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1999-08-05 07:00:00+00 by Dan Lyke 0 comments

Okay, I'm feeling a bit better this morning. I don't yet know if the Dan, Leo, Phil & Sam party had any arrests, but it did have nudity and lots of good conversation. Admittedly, I was a wimp and didn't get naked, my excuse is that the security guard seemed to be paying an undue amount of attention to the hot tub about the time I was going to move that direction, so transit in and out seemed risky. And that was at quarter to two, I don't know what time the bar closed but I didn't want to have to hang out there forever.

If you got a ticket, save it. It should be the beginning of a tradition. I knew SIGGRAPH had truly started when the most conversation I could get walking to the conference center from the hotel this morning was a hung-over grunt. But I did get a solid 4 hours of sleep last night. And I had a hell of a time removing the "void" stamp from my forehead. URLs of note: Jean-Pierre Hébert has a cool piece in one of the art galleries, a table of sand through which moves a steel ball that traces out cool patterns.

I played a bit with Virtual Technologies force feedback glove. For $40k it seemed a bit steep, I wanted a little more resolution in the touch, but that may have been because it was only my hand that was interacting with the environment, not my hand position (weird to feel pressure on the fingers without having the arm blocked). But it was a fun toy. And I played with their sensor glove alone (more like about $10k) in another exhibit with a stereo display, and that was actually quite cool (using my hand as a 3d paintbrush), so there are possibilities here.

Other cool idea was the sketch based 3d modeler. It was a bit crude, and the interface didn't end up being nearly as intuitive as I thought it was going to be, but the idea has merit. Draw a shape, it gets roughly translated to a 3d object (given some rounded thickness). Draw another figure on that first shape and it's a shape for extrusion, you can then rotate and draw another guesture to do the extrusion. Draw a cut from that shape and you get an indentation. I think it's available from http://www.alice.org/

Nothing much on tap for today, I think there was one paper that interested me, and I want to go find some of the people I talked with last night (For instance, Terrence Masson's doing a book signing, his new book is a dictionary of CG terms), and investigating the party options for this evening.

That sound session yesterday was largely on ways to parametrically synthesize sounds, and to calculate issues like reflections and such. Cool discussion. I got hauled out at the end to go to the show floor and try to figure out a problem with NT. Looks like I'm just going to have to rewrite that entire system to blow off the sockets layer and use a more complex threading and native API approach. C'mon, Microsoft, networking doesn't have to be that complicated.

If you're in LA, party tonight at the Figueroa, 10 to midnight. Find me and I'll buy you a drink.

And I must be getting old, I'm much more interested in conversation than hanging out with the sweet young design school students. Not that there are terribly many of them, the male to female ratio here is extremely high. As you'd expect.

The show floor opens today, we'll see what looks cool there. Question on one of the walls: "Will fashion be futuristic or retro?" Fashion hasn't been futuristic since we first donned animal skins to keep ourselves warm. After that it's all been a homage to something.

The talk I wanted to get to yesterday evening was cancelled because of legal wrangling and intellectual property issues. This morning I'm trying a talk on "Virtual Worlds / Real Sounds", which I hope is going to cover a lot of stuff about synthesizing audio in a 3d environment, the algorithms used to do placement of sounds. I played with QSound (link is off the top of my head, I hope it works) back when we were developing the RAPIX 3d application framework, and was pretty impressed by the kinds of positioning that our aural system is set up to do (and how the QSound guys used that). Hopefully this will cover some of the nuts and bolts of how to do that.

[ related topics: Dan's Life Microsoft Graphics ]

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