A real-time post-processing crash course

Revision 2015 took place last month, on the Easter weekend as usual. I was lucky enough to attend and experience the great competitions that took place this year; I can’t recommend you enough to check all the good stuff that came out of it.

Like the previous times I shared some insights in a seminar, as an opportunity to practice public talking. Since our post-processing have quite improved with our last demo (Ctrl-Alt-Test : G – Level One), the topic was the implementation of a few post-processing effects in a real-time renderer: glow, lens flare, light streak, motion blur…

Having been fairly busy over the last months though, with work and the organising of Tokyo Demo Fest among others, I couldn’t afford as much time as I wanted to spend on the presentation unfortunately. An hour before the presentation I was still working on the slides, but all in all it went better than expected. I also experimented with doing a live demonstration, hopefully more engaging than some screenshots or even a video capture can be.

Here is the video recording made by the team at Revision (kudos to you guys for the fantastic work this year). I will provide the slides later on, after I properly finish the credits and references part.

Over decades photographers, then filmmakers, have learned to take advantage of optical phenomenons, and perfected the recipe of chemicals used in films, to affect the visual appeal of their images. Transposed to rendering, those lessons can make your image more pleasant to the eye, change its realism, affect its mood, or make it easier to read. In this course we will present different effects that can be implemented in a real-time rendering pipeline, the theory behind them, the implementation details in practice, and how they could fit in your workflow.

Intrinsic Gravity, by Still

Three years ago, the German demoscene group, Still, was releasing an experiment at shaping some of the work of late painter Victor Vasarely as animated figures in a tribute demo: Beta. The unusual style from a demoscene standpoint, extrapolating what his work would have been if it were animated, was a success.

Last week Still released another demo with a similar geometric style and a brilliant direction: Intrinsic Gravity. It serves as an invitation to the demoparty NVScene, to take place in San Jose, California, this March.

I recommend you these two demos, they are a pleasure to watch.

Invitation to Revision party 2014

Revision is a big demoparty held each year at Easter, in Saarbrücken, Germany. Whenever possible, it is a custom in the demoscene to release a production dedicated to officially announce upcoming parties: an invitation.

Last weekend at the Ultimate Meeting, the invitation to Revision 2014 was presented. The quality of invitations can vary wildly, from rushed and uninspired to works of art (Kings of the playground or You Should are two examples that come to mind); this new invitation is rather on the higher end of the spectrum. Aiming for epic feeling, and nailing it, it imagines a time when the mostly unheard off sub culture has become a dominant one and the reason for a major Super Bowl like event in a Tron like set.

Enjoy it and its dry wit jokes. :)

Tokyo Demo Fest 2013

This is a long due post, but I have been busy recently and couldn’t take the time to write a proper party report. Later being better than later, here are a few words about the third edition of the Japanese demoparty, Tokyo Demo Fest, which took place in the center of Tokyo a month ago.

Jade, by Offwhite, winner of the graphics competition at Tokyo Demo Fest 2013

This party is still very young. When the first edition was launched, it was a one day only event, had under 50 visitors, and I understand it took place in what seemed to be a meeting room they rented. The demoscene culture is something very little heard about in Japan, so kudos to these enthusiasts for organizing it. I wasn’t part of the team yet, and joined them a few months later, with the hope I could bring a European point of view and some of the experience from organizing Prologin for eight years (a French thing, most likely you’ve never heard of it; anyway it has a few points in common with demoparty).

The next edition was organized in a club in Akihabara which, while being way too narrow and not suited for coding sessions, certainly allowed to have a better party feeling than a cold meeting room. Around 80 visitors attended.

Sinus meets square

Étude des fluides, by Caty Olive, as part of the exhibition for the Mois du numérique

Then we went onward to the 2013 edition, with more experience and more expectations. And for some reason, many things went very well. The invitation intro, released at Function, won the PC 64k Intro Competition. Various sponsors supported us, including last minutes ones, securing us both on money and equipment. We met with the Institut français de Tokyo (a public funded cultural institution) and agreed on organizing the party in their buildings, as part of their event “Le mois du numérique” (“The Digital Month”, which had Éric Chahi as a guest star by the way). Suddenly, Tokyo Demo Fest had grown up from a nascent demoparty wannabe, to a full featured demoparty, with a warm party place wide enough for over a hundred visitors, seats and tables, real equipment (audio, video, light, network…) and other fancy stuff like an actual theater room for projections and seminars.

Demoshow at Tokyo Demo Fest 2013

Demoshow in the theater at Tokyo Demo Fest 2013

But then there was one problem left that wouldn’t be a matter of infrastructure: the mood. Would the audience participate? Would we have a real party? From my European point of view, it seems to me that Japanese people have a very hard time being spontaneous, and I understand it is somehow considered inappropriate in the Japanese society to openly show your emotions. They would watch a competition staying quiet and silent, only to give a contrived applause at the end, light years away from what we may experience in Europe, with people shouting and whistling on every bit they like. How to get this to work here was the big question, and the Japanese organizers who had attended other demoparties and experienced this uplifting feeling of being part of a crowd enjoying the event, were wondering too.

Party hall at Tokyo Demo Fest 2013

Party hall at Tokyo Demo Fest 2013

Well, I don’t know what happened. I don’t know if it’s a matter of reaching a critical mass, the opening icebreaker talk by Kioku (the lead organizer), the party place, the productions, or because we had many western visitors who by their behavior became the sparkle that would ignite the fire, but the atmosphere we had was a complete blast. That was it: Tokyo Demo Fest was now a solid demoparty, a mix of Japanese and European spirit that worked. I invite you to read this party report by Setsuko Hyodo for a more in-depth description.

Group shot at Tokyo Demo Fest 2013

Group photo with Mickey from Israel (far left), Eddie Lee (right) and Chibi-tech (far right)

Finally, on top of the cupcake, was the cherry. If you ever attended a small demoparty, you probably know the level of the releases is not going to be outstanding. Let’s face it, as fun as competitions are in such parties, you can consider yourself very lucky if you get anything, say, worth watching for people who did not attend. So how lucky exactly are we supposed to consider ourselves when we had for example a demo like Artifacts by IllogicTree (winner of the demo competition, and given how it was received outside the party, it is a good bet to say it is going to be one of the best demos of 2013), an artwork like Jade by Offwhite or a music video like ATOM – Galaxy Man by In-Sect?

Back from Revision

This article is a crosspost from Ctrl-Alt-Test.fr.

I don’t know if this is going to become some sort of tradition for us, but as a matter of fact, we attended all Easter parties since the creation of our group. This year was no exception, and we had a really great time at Revision.

Revision is the kind of party that is just big enough so even though at some point you think “Ok, I’ve met pretty much every one I wanted”, when you get home you realize how many people you wanted to meet and did not. It’s also the kind of party that is so massively awesome that when you get back to your normal life, you experience some sort of post-party depression, on top of the exhaustion, and you have to get prepared for when it strikes.

Sidrip Alliance performing at Revision

So we’ve been there, and this year we presented the result of the last months of work in the PC 64k competition. The discussion of the concept started back in May 2011, and we seriously started working on it maybe around August.

While Revision was approaching, rumors were getting stronger about who would enter the competition, how serious they were about it, and how likely they’d finish in time. It became very clear that the competition was going to be very interesting, but even though, it completely outran expectations. It even got mentioned on Slashdot!

Our intro, F – Felix’s workshop, ended up at the 2nd place, after Approximate‘s gorgeous hypno-strawberries, Gaia Machina. The feedback has been very cheerful, during the competition as well as thereafter. Also, as if it was not enough, to our surprise, our previous intro, D – Four, has been nominated for two Scene.org Awards: Most Original Concept and Public Choice. Do I need to state we’re pretty happy with so many good news? :) Thank you all!

Now a week has passed already, we’re back at our daily lives, slowly recovering, and already thinking of what we’re going to do next. :) Until then, here is a capture of our intro:

Talking about light at Revision

Over the last months I have been reading various resources on light shading, and shared the most relevant ones on this blog. Along the way I became more and more thrilled by how light interacts with materials and how we can model it to get more convincing rendering.

I found some insights to be really enlightening and very worth sharing. Therefore as a way of challenging my own understanding of this matter and as an opportunity to practice talk, I decided to speak about real-time lighting during a seminar at Revision.

Revision is a big demoparty that will be held during four days over the Easter weekend in Saarbrücken, Germany. If you are coming (which I recommend) and want to hear about shading, specular and Fresnel, come and see me!

Update: the talk is scheduled for Saturday April 7th, 14h – 15h.

“Introduction to light shading for real-time rendering”

Update: see this post for the material.