Series of articles on noise generation

I discovered last year these tutorials by Jasper Flick on how to make and use noise in Unity, and a couple of terrain and particle use examples. They present the difference between value noise and gradient noise, how Perlin noise and simplex noise work, and among others how to use curl noise to control the flow of particles.

TheĀ order information is presented is well thought, although the intention might not be clear at first. Don’t let the beginner’s tutorial tone (“You’ll learn to: create and fill a texture;”, etc.) turn you away, as the series do a great job at detailing the concepts and algorithms in a simple manner yet without cutting corners like so many articles on the topic do (when they’re not blatantly wrong and go ahead calling a blurred noise “Perlin noise”). I thought I had a pretty good grasp of gradient noise already, but reading it gave me an even better understanding.

Pushing particles around with Simplex curl noise.

While at it, other resources on the topic include Ken Perlin’s GDC 1999 talk and his two pages paper Improving noise explaining why use a 5th order polynomial for interpolation (a function I’ve sometimes seen called “smootherStep”).

Billboards and particle rendering

Geeks3D recently posted a couple of posts on billboards rendering using vertex shader or geometry shader, and particle rendering performance when using point sprites or geometry shader.

History explained

So yesterday was the announcement of a massive breakthrough: CERN have discovered a new particle thought to be a Higgs boson. This is a milestone discovery future generations will have in their textbooks. Maybe it is a good time to remind the excellent animation Jorge Cham published a few months ago, explaining in simple words what the Higgs boson is. (it is also a good time to have a look at the photos taken soon before the launch of the Large Hadron Collider)

Final Fantasy tech demo: Agni’s Philosophy

The platform is not specified, but this is advertised as being real-time. Source. Not quite out of the uncanny valley yet in my opinion, but quite some nice skin tones and hair rendering.

Update: Geeks3D pointed out that a video of the demo presentation at E3 is available.