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SIGGRAPH 2013 is coming up on July 21st through the 25th, with the latest and greatest in graphics development for movie production, gaming platforms, and scientific visualization. Some of the presentations and exhibits each year focus on new and emerging technologies, and as usual they have put together a prevue of some of the more interesting ones. A few of these are silly, and more of them need context to understand their potential applications, but a couple of them are obvious game changers that will revolutionize how we do things once they get into full production. And as a special bonus, I am including their Real Time Preview for this year as well.

Science News reports that a team at the University of Glasgow has set up four single pixel detectors and used gear normal to a high school science lab to create 3D images, fully mapping the test object. Why is this important? Because unlike a 20 million pixel camera array, single pixel detectors can operate over a much greater bandwidth than visible and ultraviolet light, so you can also apply it to thing like x-rays and infrared energy. This is going to open up a range of applications not previously available, especially medical imaging and natural resources investigations.

3-D IMAGING MADE SIMPLE from Science News on Vimeo.

How an animator approaches the creation of and object/effect relationship can be really interesting. The examples I am including here are from recent postings by SIGGRAPH, an organization that has been at the heart of computer graphics since long before most people knew there was such a thing. And yes, many of them are professionals, including all three of the artists in this group.

The folks at APOD have done it again, with yet another amazing picture. This time Göran Strand did a mosaic image of the full moon over a snowfield, with the lights of Östersund, Sweden peeking over the horizon in all directions. Check out his other images at his site, he creates some truly astounding graphics.

Small Snowy World

If you are a digital artist or are just looking for some tutorials, check out Layer Paint, a new site full of resources to help out. This site really did just launch, so they are just beginning to compile their gallery and get their tutorials going. I found a free brush set there that was perfect for a project I am working on as an example, and while the brush set format is for Photoshop, all my other graphics packages like Gimp or Paint Shop Pro use them as well. This is a 2D resource site put together by the great folks at 3D Total to expand their online artistic footprint. The terms of service include an entry to prohibit the use of add blockers on their sites, but even when you give them an exception you generally only find a single ad per page down at the bottom. Since it is always for a 2D or 3D graphic software package or plugin I have been drooling over anyways, I am not offended even though my wallet is at risk. If you are into building your own images, stop by and check out this new resource from the UK.

The APOD site at NASA, AKA the Astronomy Picture of the Day page, recently posted this 3D image of Helene, one of the Trojan Moons of Saturn. And yes, you will need to break out your red/blue glasses to see it properly. Helene is a tiny little thing measuring only 36 by 32 by 30 kilometers, not even big enough to have gravity crush it round. This stereo picture was built from a few shots taken by the Cassinni orbiter back in 2011, but only recently composited together. The APOD collection is definitely my favorite source of quality wallpaper for my computer desktop and tablet screens, they have some amazing stuff there.

APOD comet image Helene