Thursday, September 15, 2011

Senior Design - First Post!

It's been a tough process picking my topic. I originally had two ideas: 1) an Android AR app that lets you place furniture in any room, and 2) photon mapper on WebGL. In the end, I thought the AR project was a little too scary since it involves a lot of computer vision, although the prospect of playing around with Android SDK is still very attractive. So I decided I wanted to stick to basic computer graphics topics (which makes it safe because there's tons of resources out there), but taken to a new platform (I always wanted to play with WebGL), and that's how I came about my topic.

Here's the abstract:

Rendering is the process of generating a 2D image from a description of a 3D scene through a computer program, and it is one of the primary focuses of computer graphics. Years of research in the field has perfected the science of rendering such that today’s movies and films are able to produce almost perfect life-like images. With the advanced rendering methods we have today, it is difficult, sometimes impossible, to tell apart computer graphics from real-life photography. However, recently, web technology has been seeing many amazing improvements, and every day we are finding the web to be a more powerful and versatile platform.
The goal of this project is to bring realistic rendering with global illumination capabilities to the web platform through WebGL. The renderer uses regular ray tracing for direction illumination and uses photon mapping for indirect illumination. The renderer is expected to run on the latest WebGL supported browser, on any machine. The user can also modify the scene and the renderer can respond interactively. Because of these constraints, the target scene is quite simple, with only a few primitive objects.

I'll probably be spending the next week doing lots of reading, along with reading up on basic WebGL tutorials and setting up a basic framework, maybe getting a cube to show up on screen.

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