A Report on the 13th Eurographics Workshop on Rendering, Pisa, Italy, June 26-28th 2002.

By Kirsten Cater, University of Bristol, UK

 


The Eurographics Workshop on Rendering (EGWR) is an established annual conference, and this year, the 13th session, was held in Pisa, Italy, on June 26 – 28, 2002. It was organised by the Visual Computing Group, part of the Information Technology CNR Institute, in association with Eurographics. The workshop was also held in cooperation with ACM SIGGRAPH, and was sponsored by ATI Technologies Ltd., SONY, and Computer Shop.

The workshop is well established as a major international forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences in the area of rendering algorithms and techniques; and with it has created a real community. It allows researchers not only to present their work but also to forge new friends in the field.

This year there was record numbers not only in submission, 112, but also in attendance, 145. Thus the reviewers and committee had a tough selection, as the overall quality of the submissions was very high, however in the end, 29 submissions were accepted as full papers and 11 as poster presentations.

 

         

The workshop gets underway – welcoming speech by Simon Gibson, EGWR 2002 Program Chair.    

                               

Papers were spread over 11 sessions within the three days of the workshop, with topics including colour, rendering and tone-mapping, projective and view-dependent textures, shading and shadows, and interactive walkthroughs. The workshop also included an entire session on interactive global illumination algorithms; Fernandez, et al. accelerate direct lighting computations by storing in the octree cells the fully and partially visible light sources and potential occluders for the cell. Wald, et al. trace coherent ray groups with quasi-Monte Carlo integration sampling to parallelize global illumination. Dimitriev, et al. introduced a method for selective photon tracing for moving scenes, first they trace ‘pilot photons’ to detect regions of change, and then they trace ‘corrective photons’ for a more accurate integration.

Other emerging areas in the field, such as appearance capture and point-based rendering, also provided a significant contribution to the technical programme. Yang, et al. described a system of 64 unsynchronised cheap firewire video cameras connected to six PCs, which warp on graphics cards only the parts of their input images that will be needed in the final novel image, which is composited by a seventh PC. With no use of geometry to enhance the light field reconstruction, multiple exposures are thus visible outside of the plane of focus.

In addition to the full papers, poster presentations took place during the coffee breaks between paper sessions. These included occlusion culling, Monte-Carlo rendering and sampling algorithms, and a method for creating real-time animations of realistic fog.

 

     

The Poster Presentations                                   The Certosa di Calci monastery, Pisa

Following with tradition there were also two invited talks by internationally renowned experts in the field. This year the lectures were given by Professor Hans-Peter Seidel from Max Planck Institut für Informatik in Saarbrucken, Germany, and Dr. Doug Roble from the visual effects studio Digital Domain, California. Hans-Peter Seidel talked on ‘From Acquisition to Rendering’, which encompassed his research into algorithms and techniques for acquisition, real-time interaction and high-quality rendering of high quality 3D models. He also discussed taking into account characteristics of the human visual system and deploying spatio-temporal coherence in animation both with the aim to improve rendering efficiency.

In his presentation, ‘Visual effects: Before and After the Render’, Doug Roble described how rendering is only a small part of what a visual effects production house like Digital Domain do to make the image look ‘right’. He covered many of the steps from camera calibration, 2D and 3D tracking, compositing, colour timing, computer vision, and other tricks and tweaks of the industry, all with the aim of making the CG image look like it belongs to the film.

However, it wasn’t all work we also had two great socials – the first was a tour of the Certosa of Pisa that is an architectural masterpiece and one of the most important monasteries of the Religious Order of “Certosini” ever built. This was followed by a fantastic dinner in a farm restaurant  “Degli Omberaldi”.

Due to the fact that the workshop was being held during the World Cup, the second social event consisted of a football game – the Teapot Cup! The two teams, Europe (Blue) versus the Rest of the World (Red), were formed from willing participants of the workshop. A hard match was fought, however, in the second half the Rest of the World went on to win 2 – 0. For both sides and spectators the matched was followed by a well-deserved dinner in a traditional restaurant in Pisa: ‘Le Arcate’ (‘The arcades’).

 

The tough gets going!                                          The Winners - The Rest of the World

The Best Non-Winners – Europe

The 14th Eurographics Workshop on Rendering will be held in Leuven, Belgium, at the end of June 2003, and will be hosted by Philip Dutre and the Computer Graphics Group at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven. Next year’s rendering workshop will have a hard act to follow. Hopefully we’ll see you there!

The proceedings from the workshop are published by ACM Press, in the book entitled “Rendering Techniques 2002” (ISBN 1-58113-534-3).

Photographs courteous of Greg ward and Paul Debevec.