Why video games are made of triangles.. smaller and smaller triangles

The power is in the polygons.

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Space is the Place, the best starfield on the web

Space is the Place is a remixable Glitch app that generates a full-screen starfield with a "morph" control to make it more or less psychedelic: hold your clicker down and move it back and forth for fabulous results. There's something weird about the optical effects used, a video-era flare that's unusually appealing, like the early-1980s Doctor Who intro Read the rest

The best of SIGGRAPH 2018

All of 2018's latest computer graphics techniques and toys in one eight-minute video. I hope you like ray tracing! More. Read the rest

Tank: an excellent animated short paying homage to 80s vector videogames

Red Giant's chief creative officer Stu Maschwitz used Adobe After Effects to painstakingly create Tank, a fantastic tribute to 1980s vector graphics videogames like Battlezone, the Vectrex system, and the original Star Wars coin-op machine. Below, "The Making of Tank."

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Will this Unreal Engine real-time ray tracing demo run on my 486DX?

What better way to show off a second mortgage's-worth of parallelized GPUs (Eight Nvidia V100s, apparently) raytracing a scene than Star Wars' Captain Phasma?

The Unreal Engine's been knocking socks off for a long time:

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Fractal generator

Andrei Kashcha‏ has created a lovely fractal generator, using WebGL.

Click "Randomize" to have it generate a new fractal. If you want, tinker with some of the parameters by changing values in the function, and watch as it produces trippy results! (Deeper instructions by Kashcha here, along with the code.)

I've been sitting here in a trance staring at this thing for half an hour now, somebody help me. Read the rest

Online simulation of a ripple tank

You like wave dynamics, right? And things simulated in web browsers, right? Well, here's an online simulation of a ripple tank, which I've been playing with for twenty minutes and which I fully expect will keep me busy until lunch. [via]

This is a simulation of a ripple tank. It demonstrates waves in two dimensions, including such wave phenomena as interference, diffraction (single slit, double slit, etc.), refraction, resonance, phased arrays, and the Doppler effect.

To get started with the applet, just go through the items in the Example menu in the upper right. You can also draw on the screen with the mouse. The predefined setups are just starting points; you can modify the sources and walls as you desire.

Click the 3-D View checkbox to see a 3-D view.

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Warp your mind for a minute or twenty with this interactive ribbon animation

Turn out the lights, put on some trippy tune, and have fun moving around in Zhouyuan Li's color-shifting 3D matrix of undulating ribbons. Read the rest

User interface from Tron Legacy boardroom scene recreated in HTML

You may now enjoy the Tron Legacy Encom user interface in HTML. The original, as depicted in the movie, was designed by Bradley Munkowitz; the recreation defaults to github feeds, but has all sorts of possibilities to fool around with, such as Wikipedia (pictured) and the weather.

README .TXT END. PROGRAM

Hello User. This is a reproduction of the graphics in the boardroom scene in Tron: Legacy. If you have not seen that movie, check out this background material on the making of that scene before proceeding.

To make this a bit more fun, the boardroom is configured to visualize live updates from Github and Wikipedia, with more streams to come. Click on a stream in the window to the right to continue.

The boardroom visualization requires the use of WebGL and Event Source. The test below indicates the availability of these features on your system.

This was created by @arscan as a learning exercise. It is not affiliated with Disney, Tron: Legacy, Encom, Wikipedia or Github in any way. The source is available on Github.

The typeface is Inconsolata, of course. Read the rest

Check out Frederik Vanhoutte's experiments in generative graphics

Frederik Vanhoutte describes himself as a creative coder who works in the field of generative art. His site W:BLUT has lots of cool little experiments. Above, Big Red I, a longer fractal experiment that evokes FRank Lloyd Wright. Read the rest

Gallery of science fiction interfaces

Science Fiction Interfaces, gathered by nnkd, represent the myriad yet curiously familiar systems of control found in other worlds and times.

Previously: Chris Noessel: lessons of science fiction computer interfaces

User interfaces in sf movies and tv Read the rest

Real data used to create fictional flight over Mars

Jan Fröjdman used HiRISE satellite data from Mars to create this beautiful and detailed flyby of the planet. Liz Stinson writes that stitching it together took months.

For Fröjdman, creating the flyover effect was like assembling a puzzle. He began by colorizing the photographs (HiRISE captures images in grayscale). He then identified distinctive features in each of the anaglyphs—craters, canyons, mountains–and matched them between image pairs. To create the panning 3-D effect, he stitched the images together along his reference points and rendered them as frames in a video. “It was a very slow process,” he says.

When I was a kid, my mind was blown by Isaac Asimov's VHS wonder, Voyage to the Outer Planets and Beyond, which (at least in some versions, if not the one you can find on YouTube), included the NASA Jet Propulsion Lab's 1980s Mars flyover animation: my first encounter with the glitchy, transfixing, uncanny quality of real data from another world. How far we have come, yet not gone.

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Randomly generated pixel art potions

Brian Macintosh made an Icon Machine that generates procedural potions. Gotta drink 'em all! Source code. Read the rest

"Hyperbolic tiling": can you escape from an extradimensional prison?

The only thing at Hypernom.com appears to be a 3D fractal cage. You can move toward the edge with the WASD and arrow keys. But as you approach it, a new level of detail pops in and you seem no closer to the perimeter. Approached as a game, there is a "trick" to escaping—but I'm not sure you're supposed to. Press numbers to change the forms that bind you. There are all sorts of things going on like this. Read the rest

HX-01: a feature-length journey in psychedelic space

HX-01 is an animated full-length film on the verge of hitting its modest $6k crowdfunding goal. Its landscape of psychedelic geometric video graphics are just my cup of acid; check out the trailer and see if it's yours, too.

Hi, my name is hexeosis. For a little over three years now, I’ve been creating and posting animated GIFs on the internet. I’ve been unreasonably lucky to have connected with thousands and thousands of fans from all over the world. Crazy, but awesome!

I’m launching this Kickstarter campaign to help fund the production of a full length, full color, full HD sized animated short film.

PREVIOUSLY: Xeni blogged about creator Hexeosis in 2014 when they were first getting us high on Tumblr. Read the rest

Why video game eyes are creepy

When it comes to the uncanny valley of video game characters, the eyes have it. Even as digital characters become increasingly (hyper)realistic, the eyes lag behind. At FastCo Design, Mark Wilson looks at the technological and perceptual challenges of designing eyes with personality:

The initial problem with rendering eyes is simply that of light and structure. While the eye looks simple to, um, the naked eye, when you actually examine its structures, you realize it’s actually a mostly clear object. All of these clear layers manipulate light differently, and in reaction to one another, through a spherical structure (but notably, not a perfect sphere!). On top is the cornea. It’s not just a transparent lens. It’s a transparent lens that bulges out from the eyeball. It might reflect light like a mirror, or refract light, warping it like a water droplet on a windshield. Indeed, every structure you see within someone’s eye—like the colorful iris—has been distorted by their cornea.

"The transitions of each of these things, from one to the next, needs to be handled properly," says (Brian Karis, senior graphics programmer at Epic Games). "How light interacts with all those things has to be handled."

The white of the eye is particularly tricky. Known as the sclera, it’s actually the layer that wraps around most of your eye like an orange skin. Light "scatters" from the sclera through the clear gel that comprises most your eye—which is the same phenomenon that gives a glass of milk its particular glow.

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Points of inflection: monochrome generative audiovisuals

Alexander Senko wrote Pure Data code that "produces a lissajous figure with different frequency ratios and a phase modulation. The curve generates pitch, harmonics and volume of sound. The inflection points on the curve create rhythmic structures."

I don't always blog about figures, but when I do, they're lissajous ones. Read the rest

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