XIX Workshop de Investigadores en Ciencias de la Computación, ITBA, Buenos Aires (2017)

La Realidad Virtual (RV) se ha convertido, una vez más, en un tópico popular e interesante tanto en el ámbito de la investigación como en el campo comercial.

Esta tendencia tiene su origen en el uso de dispositivos móviles como núcleo computacional y displays de RV. Tales dispositivos no están libres de limitaciones, tanto en el software como hardware que soportan. Esta línea de investigación tiene como objetivo analizar el impacto de los dispositivos móviles en los modelos de interacción de RV, y desarrollar nuevas aplicaciones de esta tecnología.


MSc thesis: "De Mr. Increíble a Judy Hopps: un estudio sobre modelado de cabello y pelaje en producciones de animación"

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Hair (or fur, for animal characters) is one of the crucial components of creature design and production. It is one of the most noticeable features that contribute to the authenticity and identity of the character. As such, not only its simulation must be aesthetically pleasing and physically plausible, but it must also fit within the character’s universe.

For this thesis, we survey all available methods and techniques of hair styling, simulation, and rendering, both for offine and realtime use. We make special emphasis in those models known to be used in feature animation, in particular the films Tangled, Brave, and Zootopia. Additionally, we present a complete hair simulation and shading system, constructed according to the specifcations of these models, and implemented within the open source 3D creation suite, Blender.

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Krita is a professional, free and open source painting suite that allows concept artists, texture and matte painters, as well as illustrators to deploy their full creativity towards production of high quality art pieces. High bit depth color spaces are essential to feature-level production pipelines. The recent introduction of HDR, supported by Intel, is a great stride towards this objective. However, there remains a critical, unfixed issue: support of color space operation across all numeric representations.

In T4488 Wolthera van Hövell detailed how Krita assumes that all floating-point color spaces assume a range [0.0, 1.0]. This is correct for all cases except two: CIE’s 1976 La*b*, and CMYK. The first one is usually assumed to be in the range of L = [0.0-100.0], a, b = [-128.0, 127.0]. This project proposes to unify all color space data and operations, while introducing support for custom value ranges, so as to properly support all color spaces through the same API. Additionally, we plan to allow unbounded operations so as to support HDR.

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Argentina in Science

In 2016, amid controversy regarding the budget for Argentina’s National Scientific and Technical Research Council (CONICET), some publications authored by CONICET researchers were discovered and considered as “unscientific” in social media (Clarín, 2016). The ensuing reaction has called into question the quality and relevance of CONICET’s research, as well as the sound administration of the budget assigned to the Science and Technology field.

The current administration has launched several initiatives purporting to promote the visibility of its activities. For example, the tools “Real Economy Dashboard” (Tablero de la Economía Real) and “Productive Simplification” (Simplificación productiva) publish statistics of the economy and the actions carried out by the Ministry of Production. However, there are no equivalent alternatives for the CONICET, apart from each researcher’s individual web page.

For these reasons, our project aims to explore different features of our country’s scientific production, as well as allowing access to individual articles.

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GSoC 2018: Implementing a Hair Shader for Cycles

Among Blender’s proposed ideas for GSoC 2018 I found this gem, a request to port Zootopia’s shader to Cycles.

Realistic hair or fur is essential when creating a plausible virtual world. In feature animation, this is often used to define the signature look of characters; examples include Pixar’s Brave (Iben et al. 2013), and Walt Disney Animation Studios’ Tangled (Sadeghi et al. 2010; also Ward et al. 2010) and Zootopia (Chiang et al. 2016).

Currently, Cycles has a working hair shader (wiki page, sources), based on Marschner et al. (2003)’s model. Its several assumptions and simplifications make it inaccurate for light colored hair (d’Eon et al. 2011) as well as for most types of fur (Yan et al. 2015). Furthermore, d’Eon et al. (2011) and Khungurn and Marschner (2017) demonstrated it to not be energy conserving.

This project intends to upgrade Cycles’ hair shader to the aforementioned Zootopia shader by Chiang et al. (2016), by porting Pharr (2017)’s implementation. Lukas Stockner has made available a WIP patch, which may also serve as a basis for this work.

BSc thesis: "Técnicas de deformación para objetos virtuales. El impacto entre vehículos como caso de estudio"

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BSc thesis:

In this work we evaluate the suitability, performance and precision of different deformation techniques for virtual objects. The test case is a car accident simulator, implemented using the Unity engine and executed under Android.

This work was cited in the WICC 2017 workshop paper by Selzer et al., “Modelos de interacción y aplicaciones en realidad virtual mediante dispositivos móviles”.