1991 Fools: Siggraph '91 Preliminary Program

From: stevec@bu-pub.bu.edu (Steve Connelly)
Newsgroups: comp.graphics
Subject: Siggraph '91 Preliminary Program
Date: 1 Apr 91 23:55:10 GMT

        The Siggraph `91 Conference On Computer Graphics and Interactive
Techniques will be held July 29 - August 2 in Las Vegas, NV.  The following
contains selected portions of the recently released Siggraph '91
Preliminary Program:

Computer Graphics Achievement Award
        Awarded to persons who have significantly aided and inspired the
progress of computer graphics research.

This Year's Winner :  Jack Daniels

Previous Winners:
        Miss November, 1972
        the Mandrill
        Juan Veldez
        Nelson and Minnie Max
        General Gao of Szechuan


Simulation of Motion Blur, Penumbra, and Soft Shadows by Jittering the Film

Advances in Physically-Based X Windows: Shattering, ScrollBar Momentum,
ChainSaw and Paste, Pixmap Tile Grout.

A Bidirectional Pipeline Architecture for Publishing the Same Algorithm in
Both Graphics and Vision.

Lens Cap and Thumb Models for the Simulation of Amateur Photographic Effects.

Butta-Splines : A Class of Surfaces with the Continuity of a Baby's Butt.

Real-Time Postscript on a 30 Pages-Per-Second Printer and the Resurgence of
the American Lumber Industry.

An Implicit Equation for the Utah Teapot.

Quaaludes : Shortening Perceived Rendering Time by Altering the User.

The Litmus Test : Using pH Measurements to Distinguish the Research of
        Pat Hanrahan, Paul Haeberli, and Paul Heckbert.

Spherical Fractals and the Production of Benoit Balls.


Tutorial : The Monte Carlo Method as a Way of Avoiding Math

Tutorial : Careers in Computer Graphics
Participants will learn about opportunities in the graphics industry and
will be introduced to conversational Japanese.

Tutorial : Successful Grant Procurement
        Director of the Cornell Buzzword Concatenator Project presents his
method of proposal writing and discusses in detail his highly successful 1990
NSF-funded project, "Parallel Neural Networks for the Physically-Based Adaptive
Subdivision of NURBS in Multidimensional Ray-Traced Radiosity of a Virtual
Reality Visualization".

Tutorial: Introduction to Computer Graphics
        Participants will learn that "radiosity" means to lighten up the
pastel-colored things that are dark and that "teleological modeling in a
classical Newtonian regime" means to connect the parts with springs.

Tutorial: Landscaping for Real-Time Graphics Companies
        Computer graphics has struggled to model objects with photographic
realism.  In the case of manufactured objects, the solution has been to force
all manufacturers to use CAD/CAM so that the man-made environment consists of
simple geometries.  A modification of this solution can be applied to the
natural environment.  We will discuss how to prune evergreens into cones and
how to shape shrubs into spheres and rectilinear hedges.  Landscaping your
company's property using these techniques will allow your simplistic models of
nature to match exactly the view outside the window, fooling visiting


Panel : Graphics Hardware Standards
        The panelists will address the surge of interest in standard,
interchangeable graphics components.  Such standards are of topical importance
because, as graphics manufacturers go out of business, it would be convenient
if their products could be disassembled and plugged directly into Silicon
Graphics products.

Panel : Raster Image File Format Standards
Chairman : N. AfricanAmericanPonte, MIT Media Lab

M.W. Mantle, Pixar
        "We should be happy to live in a country with so many raster image
        standards to choose from."

S. Thomas, Univ. of Michigan
        "I don't know which universal image standard everyone is going to use,
        but I know which one I'm going to use."

A. Warhol, independent
        "In the future, everyone will design an image format that will be the
        industry standard for fifteen minutes."


Paper : Subpixel Rendering of Bicubic Patches
        Third-order patches have been rendered by subdividing them into
second-order patches, first-order polygonal surfaces (Lane-Carpenter), and
zero-order pixel-sized surfaces (Catmull).  We suggest continuing the
subdivision until the subpatch is the size of a molecule, where it can be
rendered by a standard molecular modeling package.
        Molecules have advantages also in creating realistic models.  In the
same way that Euler operations guarantee that a model is topologically
realizable, modeling with molecular primitives guaranteed that a model could be
manufactured with real molecules.  To verify the modeler, we invoke the
Weierstrass theorem, which states that any object can be made from any
primitive if you use alot of them.  We implemented uncharged atoms in C, ions
in C++.

Paper : Laser Beam Tracing
        Ray tracing is slow, which is ironic since the rays are supposedly
traveling at the speed of light.  Most of the time is spent in the
ray-surface intersection.  The authors feel that, having done all the work
of intersecting with a surface, the ray should do more when it gets there.
Laser rays provide the energy for this work.
        Instead of antialiasing the image, the ray locally melts the surface
colors, blurring them.  Likewise, when a laser ray hits a polygonal object,
the sharp angles are eroded away to create a smooth surface.
        If the force of rays is varied, then bumpy surfaces are realized.
Translucency occurs when some rays are strong enough to blow right through
the surface.  Likewise, penumbra is accomplished when some rays blast through
objects while proceeding to the light source.

Paper : Scaling Properties of Patents on Fractals
        The author has patented "fractal" functions for the creation of
synthetic images.  A fractal exhibits statistical "self-similarity", wherein
the function reveals the same statistical composition regardless of the scale
at which it is considered.  Thus, the author's patent applies at all possible
        Fractals can be characterized by their "fractional dimension", which
is intuitively a measure of their roughness.  Since changing the fractional
dimension of a fractal creates a new fractal, the author's patent extends to
fractals of any roughness.  A fractal surface of zero roughness is a smooth
surface, so the author's patent subsumes all smooth surface methods in computer
        While fractals describe the smooth surfaces of man-made objects, they
also describe the irregular, intricate objects of the natural world, and thus
fall under the author's patent.  Even if nature was not composed of fractals,
the retinal veins in front of the rods and cones are fractal, so nature would
look fractal anyway.  Fortunately for the author, nature really is fractal.
        The geometry of galaxies can also be described by fractals.  Thus, all
natural and man-made objects are fractal when considered at a very large scale.
Thus, because the author's patent exhibits scaling, it applies to all natural
and man-made objects.
        Due to self-similarity, fractals exhibit small variations over small
distances and large variations over large distances.  Since length, width, and
height can only change by small amounts over small distances but can change by
large amounts over large distances, space itself is fractal and thus is covered
by the author's patent.

Paper : Calculating Light Intensities in the Presence of a Participating Medium
During a seance, the participating medium draws forth the ghost of Omnibus
Graphics.  We present a method of simulating the scattering/absorption of the
resulting apparition density.

Paper : The Fast Furrier Transform
        We introduce a method of rendering furry surfaces, and present results
of our experiments in producing a synthetic furry teddy bear.
        In the same way a furrier strips the hide off an animal and wraps it
around a blue-haired woman, we stripped the hide off a koala bear and digitized
it so it could be mapped onto a synthetic bear model.  To obtain the 3D
geometry of the teddy bear, we sliced the nude koala bear into serial sections,
which were digitized.  It is interesting to note that "rendering" can also mean
"dismembering and grinding up".

Paper : The Application of Computer Graphics to Hardcore Pornography
        Contrary to the ambient opinion that computer animation has no
applicability, we suggest it is well-suited to pornography.  It is true that
porn requires accurate rendering of the human form.  However, once generic male
and female forms are created, all other forms are of the same topology.  Porno
stars generally differ from generic forms only by excessive local scaling
factors.  Also, while the facial expressions of the actors need to be
duplicated, the acting ability of today's stars suggests that "male
concentration" and "female boredom" would be a sufficient vocabulary of
expressions.  Furthermore, the difficult problems of rendering clothing and
lip-synching dialogue are avoided.  The actors' surfaces are emissive,
transmissive, submissive, and permissive.
        Porn is well-suited to computer animation techniques because most of
the action is rhythmic and periodic, requiring the rendering of only one cycle.
Any dynamics that cannot be resolved procedurally might be addressed by the
VPL DataCondom.
        In advanced pornographical animations systems, constraint-based
optimization will properly assemble large orgies such that each character plugs
into his/her topological complement.  The system will plug together a gay male
and lesbian female by introducing a hermaphrodite as an adapter.
        Until realistic human bodies are perfected, current synthetic
characters could succeed in porn via such vehicles as "Bogie and Marilyn Do It
French(-Canadian) Style", "Sexy Robot Straightens Wally B's Stinger", and
"Behind Closed Doors: What You Never Knew About the Luxo Family".

Paper : Solutions for Unemployment in Graphics
        In 1974, Sutherland, et al. presented "A Characterization of Ten
Hidden-Surface Algorithms", which revealed how such algorithms could be unified
as types of spatial sorting.  Today's research solves the hidden-surface
problem with ray tracing, which was not one of the ten algorithms.  Clearly,
ten researchers are out of work.
        It is difficult for any laborer when he is replaced by a computer.
Supercomputers and special-purpose hardware have replaced the hidden-surface
researchers, and the result is grim.  Gary Watkins and Robert Schumacker are
stuck in management positions.  John Warnock, while not being forced to live in
Utah, has been reduced to typesetting.
        One of the ten unemployed researchers was the inventor of the depth
buffer.  Fortunately, in 1986 he was pushed again to the forefront of research
when the depth buffer was used to render the facets of hemi-cubes as part
of the view-independent radiosity computation.  The method works for static
scenes such as graphics programmers waiting for a radiosity method to finish.
        For the other hidden-surface researchers, graphics has now developed a
severance plan in the form of the ZZBuffer.  The ZZBuffer speeds up ray tracing
by spatially sorting all objects with respect to an eyepoint.  Thus, ZZBuffer
creation can be improved by using the ten hidden surface algorithms, giving ten
researchers a new lease on life.

Advancements in Cheating for the Animation of Synthetic Faces
        We present a new device for tracking facial shape and motion so that
you can use the data to animate a face model despite your lack of actual
physiological understanding.
        The first person to steal geometry from a real face in order to make
a synthetic face was H. Gouraud.  (Gouraud and his University of Utah
colleagues B.T. Phong and J.W. Flat are renowned for inventing the shading
methods that bear their names.)  Gouraud convinced his wife to have a grid
drawn on her face so she could be digitized.  Unfortunately, in his zeal
Gouraud had the grid tattooed on instead.  Mrs. Gouraud won her husband's VW in
the ensuing divorce, and she went on to marry a Zulu prince who fancied her
        Two decades later, researchers are still painting geometric landmarks
on innocent people's faces.  Some researchers have sought out persons with
measles or severe acne from which to photogrammetrically derive geometry, but
the concept is the same.  One researcher wanted to create facial animations by
interpolating between CAT scans of specific facial expressions.  It's still
        We present a new product for cheating: The VPL DataBurnoose.  The
burnoose is a nylon stocking worn over the head.  The stocking is lined with
the same fiber optic measurement technology used in the tiny datasuits employed
by David Zeltzer in his animations of cockroaches.  The device has a special
multisensor pouch in which the tongue is put.  The burnoose adheres to the face
tightly enough that eye motion can be tracked.

Retrospective : Flying Logos
        In the movie "2001 : A Space Odyssey", an ape, touched by intelligence,
finds a femur that looks like an upper-case "I".  In a moment of ecstatic rage
he throws the bone in the air, realizing mankind's first flying letter.  Since
then, man has sought to make his words fly.  Ancient hieroglyphic symbols are
often in the shapes of eagles and hawks.  From the paper airplane to
aerodynamic sans serif fonts, mankind has been driven to make his words fly.
        Today we enter a new age of alphabet flight with the Logo Butterfly,
which boasts 26 special-purpose processors, keeping mankind safe from the
age-old fear of name dropping.

        The multiple ribbons formerly worn below the name tag will now hang
down from the crotch so as to better serve as indicators of social hierarchy
within the herd.

[ compiled by stevec@bu-pub.bu.edu and tjh@bu-pub.bu.edu. ]

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