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Stippling As Fast 3D Technique

timothy posted more than 11 years ago | from the dot-dot-dot dept.

Graphics 185

An anonymous reader writes "This Stippling effort wins best paper at IEEE Boston conference. Could real time medical rendering be whizzier than Id?"

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fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765350)

first post

Re:fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765360)

firstest!!

Re:fp! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765363)

Congratulations! You are the winner of the FP Grand Prize! Unfortunately since you aren't logged in, we can't find out who you are and give it to you. Too bad, it was really cool too.

--CmdrTaco
The real CmdrTaco has no UID. CmdrTaco (#1) is an imposter.

First (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765355)

First post! -izod

whizzier than id? (4, Funny)

pcbob (67069) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765357)

Probably not, but it's certainly just as bloody... or maybe i'm underestimating doom III.

Re:whizzier than id? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765417)

Probably not, but it's certainly just as bloody... or maybe i'm underestimating doom III.

Does this mean we'll get to see a dead monsters' innards in detail? (neat) In realtime? (coooool)

You: (looking at final beats of monster's heart)
Girlfriend: what are you doing?
You: (surprised) huh! oh, ah.. just playing this new game.
Girlfriend: What's the mission?
You: Uh... hey, I wonder what would happen if I used the BFG9000 next time...

Re:whizzier than id? (0, Offtopic)

m0ta (585555) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765545)

someone should mod this up insightful

NIGGER POEM (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765677)

Ten Little Nigger Boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self, and then there were Nine.
Nine Little Nigger Boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself, and then there were Eight.
Eight Little Nigger Boys traveling in Devon;
One said he'd stay there, and then there were Seven.
Seven Little Nigger Boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves, and then there were Six.
Six Little Nigger Boys playing with a hive;
A Bumble-Bee stung one, and then there were Five.
Five Little Nigger Boys going in for Law;
One got in Chancery, and then there were Four.
Four Little Nigger Boys going out to Sea;
A Red Herring swallowed one, and then there were Three.
Three Little Nigger Boys walking in the Zoo;
The big Bear hugged one, and then there were Two;
Two Little Nigger Boys sitting in the Sun;
One got frizzled up, and then there was One.
One Little Nigger Boy living all alone;
He got married, and then there were None.

Re:NIGGER POEM (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765694)

You are very cold.

The real question is... (2, Funny)

StandardCell (589682) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765358)

...when will it be used for pr0n?

Re:The real question is... (1)

mkweise (629582) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765371)

My guess is that's what the prehistoric cavedwellers mentioned in the article originally invented the technique for.

Re:The real question is... (-1, Offtopic)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765397)

There's some boobies in this [ku.edu] .Good enough for ya? For more info click here [ku.edu] . Ah google, my only friend.

Rob Malda, Dead at 54. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765689)

Ten Little Nigger Boys went out to dine;
One choked his little self, and then there were Nine.
Nine Little Nigger Boys sat up very late;
One overslept himself, and then there were Eight.
Eight Little Nigger Boys traveling in Devon;
One said he'd stay there, and then there were Seven.
Seven Little Nigger Boys chopping up sticks;
One chopped himself in halves, and then there were Six.
Six Little Nigger Boys playing with a hive;
A Bumble-Bee stung one, and then there were Five.
Five Little Nigger Boys going in for Law;
One got in Chancery, and then there were Four.
Four Little Nigger Boys going out to Sea;
A Red Herring swallowed one, and then there were Three.
Three Little Nigger Boys walking in the Zoo;
The big Bear hugged one, and then there were Two;
Two Little Nigger Boys sitting in the Sun;
One got frizzled up, and then there was One.
One Little Nigger Boy living all alone;
He got married, and then there were None.

Voxels? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765361)

Um, aren't these kind of like voxels (volumetric pixels)?

Most systems that capture real-world objects and convert them into sets of 3d coordinates - such as motion capture systems - capture clouds of 3d points, so I don't really see what's novel about this.

Re:Voxels? (1)

CableModemSniper (556285) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765376)

Not really. Its kind of like stippling. Which was around long before computers and 3d imaging.

It's really not that far out (5, Insightful)

Frothy Walrus (534163) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765364)

Stippling is just the application of small, uniform polygons (aka "dots") in rendering images. To modern graphics hardware, a dot may as well be a polygon, so we haven't gained much in practical terms.

WTF? This is ancient (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765366)

I've seen point-cloud animation used in stuff like the Cyberware 3D scanner preview window for at least 5-6 years. What am I missing?

Re:WTF? This is ancient (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765536)

You're not missing anything. It is ancient. It is easy. Carmack could probably write the code for it while jerking off. It just goes to show that many eggheads trapped in the ivory tower don't know diddly about what's happening in the real world. Someone will probably get a PhD thesis or two out of it also. Oh and a bunch of research grants. Hopefully, a smart undergrad student will point out the previous art when the try and apply for a patent.

A point sprite by any other name... (1)

l33t-gu3lph1t3 (567059) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765367)

is still a point sprite ;)

That is not the most common term (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765562)

In research papers it is most likely to be simply called point sample (as in "point sample rendering"). That is not actually what the paper is about, it is how best to interpret a volumetric dataset (so mostly transparant, not just a boundary representation) as a set of point samples such that an interpretable image results ... the act of conversion is called stipling, and as far as I am concerned it did deserve its own term.

Misuse (1)

the.jedi (212166) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765373)

Alright, now I can convince my friends that Georges Seurat did a painting of someone's colon!

(-1 Defaming the Glorious Arts)

Re:Misuse (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765408)

*rimshot*
Sorry, it needed that.

Uh huh... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765380)

Slow News day eh?

Or can we say... (2, Funny)

ejaytee (186527) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765382)

Can a bunch of PhDs who are all supposed to know quite a bit about what they are doing, including Purdue EE professors, a researcher or two from IBM TJ Watson, and some almost-PhD graduate students, come up with something as mighty as what Id Software can invent?

Id is great and everything, but gee, I hope the answer is yes, they probably can.

Re:Or can we say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765420)

When's the last time you saw an EE/CS professor driving a Ferrari?

Re:Or can we say... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765463)

As a matter of fact, one of my EE professors drove a Ferrari F40 to work on nice days. The gloomy ones were made for the 740i.

His name was Dennis Polla, U of MN EE department. One of the best profs I ever had.

Re:Or can we say... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765563)

Hmmph. OK, I stand corrected.

Re:Or can we say... (1)

Evil Adrian (253301) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765516)

Amen! All of my CS profs take the regional rail... :-(

Re:Or can we say... (2, Flamebait)

Error27 (100234) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765682)

Id created their genre and has been the technology leader ever since. Some first person shooters were arguable more fun and in Duke Nukem you could kick the head around which was pretty cool. But Id has always had the best technology.

You think that a few academics could beat them at graphics programming when no one else has been able to? That seems silly to me. That's like saying, "He could win a race in the olympics but he is too busy to enter."

Until some professor creates a better graphics engine than whatever Id is producing, I am afraid they will have to deal with it: A college drop out is kicking their butt...

No polygon replacements. (5, Informative)

DarkHelmet (120004) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765383)

If you look at the bottom:

Abstract

NON-PHOTOREALISTIC VOLUME RENDERING USING STIPPLING TECHNIQUES

This is obviously a compromise approach. There's no way this would be able to make photorealistic games.

The difference between medicine and gaming is that with medicine, you have a real-life object whose structure whose PROPERTIES you're trying to recreate realistically, regardless of how off-color or computer generated it appears.

With gaming you have an object that's computer generated, whose APPEARANCE you're trying to recreate, with lesser regard to the properties within that object. For instance, most gaming models consisting of polygons have hollow insides...

People at Id don't bother to render and model the organs. People in medicine don't care about having models of human hearts bumpmapped or glossy.

This is supposed to be news for nerds. What's with all the mindless generated hype?

Re:No polygon replacements. (3, Insightful)

Bastian (66383) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765454)

On top of that, I don't think that stippling really applies to the gaming situation as a technique - they are trying to generate 3-D images given complex data sets based on x-ray transmission within the body. I have a feeling that generates points of information, and the old technique would be to either use voxels or translate the data into polygon information.

Beside the fact that modelling such information for a game would be ludicrously time-consuming, I fail to see why this technique could offer an advantage to the display of 3-D graphics in a gamin sense - and I doubt it's actually faster in terms of the amount of time it takes to get mathematical data translated onto a cathode ray tube. All the article says is that it's faster than previous techniques in medical imaging. The article doesn't say what those techniques are, but since I can't for the life of me see how a CT scanner would get polygon information out of x-rays, I think we can all be sure that they aren't at all similar to what the Quake 3 engine is doing.

Re:No polygon replacements. (5, Interesting)

good-n-nappy (412814) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765546)

IIRC one of the biggest advantages of stippling in rendering surfaces is that you can get a fast simulation of transparency. Check out here [sgi.com] . So maybe the same applies in 3D. The 3D stippling might allow you to simulate complex semi-transparent volumes - perhaps also avoiding some z sorting or alpha blending.

Also, maybe you WOULD see more of this in games if it could be done in real time. Just because all we have now is polygons doesn't mean that's the way it has to be.

Re:No polygon replacements. (2)

deglr6328 (150198) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765644)

"IIRC one of the biggest advantages of stippling in rendering surfaces is that you can get a fast simulation of transparency."

Of course, IANADoctor, but I would imagine that this technique would also be very useful in so called "4D" [gemedicalsystems.com] ultrasound systems. Increasing the speed of rendered frames with transparency would allow visualization of fast motion such as heart valves in 3 dimentions and real time. I don't think this is possible with any method except ultrasound (spin relaxation times make MRI unfeasable and CT's have to image serially with individual slices by moving the patient).

Incidentally, in my opinion, I don't think there many examples as perfect as this technology is of the Arthur C. Clarke quote of "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic." Think about it, if you were a person living just 200 years ago what would you think of a device that when touched to someone's body, allowed you to see what was happening inside live on a screen?

Re:No polygon replacements. (2)

good-n-nappy (412814) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765724)

Coincidently, my wife just had an ultrasound. I had heard of these 4D things and looked into it and there was really only one in the Bay Area - Los Gatos, I think.

Anyway, we opted for the normal ultrasound but I was extremely impressed with the process. The individual 2D ultrasound images do not do it justice. In the live version, I could definitely count fingers and toes and even reconstruct a lot of the 3D structure in my head.

My point is that the radiologists are really, really good at spotting abnormalities in these grainy 2D pictures. So I'm wondering if these 4D ultrasounds aren't mainly just for parents. Not that that is necessarily a bad thing - but maybe it wouldn't be a huge leap for medical diagnosis.

What I've gathered so far from all these baby books I've been reading is that most prenatal abnormalities cannot be fixed. When something can be fixed, the risks of fixing it are really high. So they are only even going to try fixing the very major problems. I'm guessing that ordinary 2D ultrasounds can probably pick up these major problems. Maybe this will change though as the risks of prenatal surgery go down.

Re:No polygon replacements. (1)

mcdrewski42 (623680) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765554)

I think the key point is that transparency is slow to calculate, and when you can just simulate transparency by dithering/stippling the image then the computer can do it without too much work. That way you don't need a high-end workstation to visualise the scan, and the CPU cycles can be much better used elsewhere.

Re:No polygon replacements. (1)

Mattcelt (454751) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765618)


With gaming you have an object that's computer generated, whose APPEARANCE you're trying to recreate, with lesser regard to the properties within that object. For instance, most gaming models consisting of polygons have hollow insides...


While what you're saying has been true traditionally, it seems to me that more and more game creators are (re-)discovering that it's the physics and structure of real life that give rise to the best appearences.

IOW, the more appearances need to be real, the more real the models need to be. It turns out that more often it's actually simpler to model reality than to recreate its appearance in some other fashion. That's why research institutions and governments spend so much money on exabit computers to model reality better.

[ramble]Hmmm... I wonder if someone has already done a proof that the mathematical calculation of a reality is more expensive than the reality itself... That it's more efficient to have actual reality than to try to model it on a computer. [/ramble]

Mattcelt

Re:No polygon replacements. (3, Interesting)

varaani (77889) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765674)

While what you're saying has been true traditionally, it seems to me that more and more game creators are (re-)discovering that it's the physics and structure of real life that give rise to the best appearences.

That's only one side of the issue. For large 3D objects, you're correct. Billboarding a la Doom is definitely a fawing trend. But appearance models are very popular in current 3D and not going away anytime soon.

Think of texturing as an appearance model. Simulating the actual phenomenon of light hitting individual molecules is very heavy, but that's what you're going to need if you're trying to solve the true properties of a real-world material instead of just modeling its appearance.

The same goes for using programmable texture for modeling fur, for example. Modeling the individual hairs one by one with polygons is computationally much more intensive, and the results aren't necessarily better, unless you're doing raytracing to account for the scattered light in the fur. Computers must become a lot faster (millions, billions, gazillions) before appearance models are going away.

mathematical calculation of a reality is more expensive than the reality itself

That may well be true. Luckily humans do not perceive the reality directly, so most of the information contained in it is lost, and modeling just what is perceivable (i.e. appearance) continues to be a justifiable approach.

I don't see what's new or novel about this (5, Informative)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765387)

Essentially, they are just using a different primitive (point) instead of splat or voxel, traditionally used in volume rendering visualizations.

Most of the complexity in volume rendering consists of preprocessing the data (alpha testing would be a simple way, other methods involve transformations into the frequency domain, etc.) to reduce the asymptotic complexity of the set to be rendered from the naive O(n^3) to something which corresponds to the actual visible set, not the actual rendering itself.

I don't think they are doing anything different in this stage -- it's still the same dataset that needs to be worked with, after all.

Re:I don't see what's new or novel about this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765476)

I kind of agree with you about that, but perhaps the speed they are going for is not in the preprocessing stage but in the rendering stage. It seems like you could get away with alot less memory requirements and alpha blending issues involved with volumetric rendering with voxels,etc.

Regardless, I still wonder how accurate the results are compared to voxels. After all the medical industry insists on losless compression for 2d imaging.

Re:I don't see what's new or novel about this (2)

Ryu2 (89645) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765525)

True, that's something to consider, although with modern graphics hardware, the gain by using points is pretty negligible compared to the time rendering using actual voxels.

The article did say that the viewer could choose to drill down and selectively render the scene in detail using a more "realistic" method, though.

Re:I don't see what's new or novel about this (1)

ct.smith (80232) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765605)

First, I think this does qualify as a splat technique. Splatting is really just about using a single type of easily rendered object to visualise the model.

Second, I don't think this is a volume rendering application so much as a rapid surface visualisation. As the data for medical imaging is often points from some sort of scan to start, being able to stay within the point framework can conceptually reduce the vertex decimation complexity. However, this is difficult to see how this applies here as the no reference to the work is directly provided in the article.

Third, the "new" part about this is that they've successfully applied the concept to both NPR and imaging to produce really good medical images. The "novel" part is that medical imaging is always good for the "oooohs and aaahs"; almost makes me want to change my area of research :)

mod down, parent is troll (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765665)

just look at this comment [slashdot.org] he posted recently.

Parent is troll, mod accordingly

bad journalism alert (1, Insightful)

Stanley Feinbaum (622232) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765388)

This Stippling effort wins best paper at IEEE Boston conference. Could real time medical rendering be whizzier than Id?"

Lets see... ID is a company devoted to making games where you run around aimlessly killing and dismembering people.

the people who developed the strippling effect are hardworking professions trying to help mankind by developing technology that could help further medicine.

How can you even compare these two?

A truly thoughtless comment.

Re:bad journalism alert (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765422)

*applause* This troll account definitely has promise.

Re:bad journalism alert (3, Insightful)

flikx (191915) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765440)

Not so. In fact, many of the developments first applied to games are usually directly applied to the medical field and other visualization fields.

Re:bad journalism alert (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765448)

Sorry, this is a little off topic, but I just have to say this. An author on the sf.indymedia.org website wrote an article about why he killed a man [indymedia.org] .

That is so fucking fucked up, I don't have the words to describe it.

Re:bad journalism alert (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765502)

I hope that guy gets the chair

Re:bad journalism alert (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765567)

I feel that if you are a police officer and participate in the enforcement of unjust laws, then you are guilty of a crime against freedom and a perfectly acceptable target. It's justified to kill a police officer who might kill you if you don't.

Ideally, we need to reform the system to make it so that cops are held accountable to the same laws as everyone else (meaning if they kill someone in the line of duty, they are absolutely prosecuted for murder where they must prove that it in self defense or fry with the other criminals). Until then we need to take matters into our own hands.

The whole REASON we have a second amendment is to protect us abusive government agents (cops).

Re:bad journalism alert (1)

bozoman42 (564217) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765472)

Stanley Feinbaum, professional journalist. I have no tolerance for bad journalism!

And you read Slashdot? ;-P

Re:bad journalism alert (2, Insightful)

GoatPigSheep (525460) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765548)

the world needs entertainment as much as it needs medicine. There is no proof that Id's games are damaging for society, it is more likely America's lack of gun control.

The army has used Id's technology before for training simulators, so it can be said that their software DOES help America in at least one way other than entertainment.

so that's what they call it.. (1)

faeryman (191366) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765389)

"Ancient artists used a technique called stippling - in which pictures are created by painting or carving a series of tiny dots.....

In stippling, also known as pointillism, the artist creates numerous dots with paint, ink or pencil to produce gradations of light and shade, forming an image."


In geography class we used to do this to draw deserts on the maps. Funny though, we called it 'Lets piss the teacher the off' and the whole class would do it all at once. Oh well.

This new application of it looks pretty promising. I used to work at a hospital and I saw the CT scans being done. This really would be a nice QUICK way to quickly see whats going on.

What the fuck is that heart? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765710)

ya a loverboy or somethin'?

I never know ATI/NVIDIA hires strippers... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765391)

Forget about hiring computer science majors! Just go to the strip clubs and start sending the headhunters!! Get the same performance for 99+% off!!!

Isn't this just... (1)

Kashif Shaikh (575991) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765393)

Voxels?

Re:Isn't this just... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765480)

No, it's not just voxels. The first hint that it's not just voxels is that 'voxels' is a noun and 'stippling' is a verb. Medical data is routinely stored as high resolution voxel maps which take a long time to render. What these researchers have done is to come up with a way to reduce the data in a voxel map so that the remaining data renders quickly and is representative of the original 3d image.

Voxel? (1)

Jezral (449476) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765398)

Reading the article, stippling at first sounded awfully lot like what we call pixels nowadays.

And then they say 3D stippling...so in other words, they reinvented voxels?

-- Tino Didriksen / projectjj.dk

I knew... (1)

0000 0111 (141160) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765404)

they'd eventually find a good use for stippling some day... Other than lunch money and tutorials that is.

While on the subject of real-time filters... (5, Informative)

hackshack (218460) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765409)

The trend in game engines is, as it has been in the past, largely towards better image quality. The stippling technique described in the article is a tradeoff for those who'd rather have the medical equivalent of "better framerates."

That said, you CAN have sketchy-looking Quake if you want with NPRQuake [fileshack.com] . I've tried this and it looks incredible- it's a shame no commercial games have used this technique yet. Reminds me of that 80s music video where the gal walks into the mirror, and everything's all "pencilly-looking" but in real-time... now what was that damn song? (racks brain)

Also check out Waking Life [imdb.com] . It's available on P2P as I write this, but you didn't hear that from me, and you're better off renting the DVD for all the extra goodies. It's not as pretentious as many make it out to be, and the visuals alone are worth it.

Re:While on the subject of real-time filters... (1)

Elfboy (144703) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765447)

It was Ah-ha - Take on Me.

Damn cool video, eh song.

[OT] While on the subject of real-time filters... (1)

Stormie (708) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765520)

Reminds me of that 80s music video where the gal walks into the mirror, and everything's all "pencilly-looking" but in real-time... now what was that damn song? (racks brain)

"Take On Me" by A-Ha.

Re:While on the subject of real-time filters... (1)

theArtificial (613980) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765553)

the song is by Aha.

Take on Me - Ah ha. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765602)

one of the first (if not the first) to use animation in a video.

To read more... (3, Informative)

DraconPern (521756) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765431)

The actual papers are presented here [purdue.edu] .

Next advancement in medical imaging (5, Funny)

Woogiemonger (628172) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765436)

Rumor has it, doctors will soon be rendering a patient's internal organs with ASCII art.

...a case of Art preceeding Science (1)

Guppy (12314) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765683)

"Rumor has it, doctors will soon be rendering a patient's internal organs with ASCII art."

Though it isn't exactly an example of an internal organ, noted author Kurt Vonnegut has already made progress in this field. In one of his books (Cat's Cradle?) he makes use of the ASCII rendering technique to provide the reader with a detailed visual of a sphincter:

*

Whoa... just imagine how many polygons that would have taken!

Re:...a case of Art preceeding Science (2)

richie2000 (159732) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765721)

Wow, goatse.cx prior art. Scary.

This is data visualization , not pretty graphics (4, Insightful)

Lupulack (3988) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765455)

This technique is meant to be a fast ( real time ? ) method of viewing medical data , like watching a CAT scan as it's happening. It's *not* attractive , it has no textures , it doesn't render the organs with all their colour or bump maps. What it *does* do is give the surgeon an immediate source of information on the status of the patient's condition. Very interesting stuff , good application of a technique to a real need. But it's not anything to do with Id. It *won't* make Quake 4 any faster.


As most people know , including most Slashdotters ( I hope ) , 3D doesn't begin and end with Video Games. Other things use the technologies too.

How exactly is it different.... (2, Insightful)

dracken (453199) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765468)

...from drawing an image as a collection of pixels ? Isnt the fact that 3D objects can be represented as collection of discrete pixels well known ?

Re:How exactly is it different.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765592)

I am so smart, S M R T!

That is one of the most stupid comments I have read. Could you for one moment think that maybe this just isn't the same as the technology used in Quake?

Maybe this has something to do with visualising HUGE amounts of data, not rendering a few hundred (thousand) polygons in real time.

Ancient knowledge brings amazing possibilities. (3, Funny)

Temporal (96070) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765475)

From the article:

Ancient artists used a technique called stippling - in which pictures are created by painting or carving a series of tiny dots - to produce drawings on cave walls and utensils thousands of years ago.

Wow, think of what you could do with this! You could print grayscale images using only one color of ink, or color images using only three or four! No longer would we be limited to viewing images on expensive computer and television screens. We could actually print the images on a super-thin sheet of cloth or wood. We could call this new device "paper".

Ancient artists sure were smart.

Maybe this is unrealistic... (2, Funny)

SouperDouper (568634) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765477)

Could this be used in a FPS to map people's facial expressions in real time (well, less the appropriate lag). I'd love to be able to see the pissed off look on some guy's face who I've fragged three dozen times straight.

Ebert on Stippling... (-1, Offtopic)

napa1m (154836) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765485)

Hey they got a Stippled image of Ebert's head [purdue.edu] !

This Stippling is exciting and refreshing! While like most modern Hollywood fare it suffers from thousands of tiny plot holes, the main concept remains evident throughout. The best stippling of the Summer! Take the kids!

I give it two thumbs up!

^nA

Who needs fancy 'wares (1)

Chuqmystr (126045) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765491)

Awww who needs all that fancy shmancy software, just go hire a cave man!

"This image of a human cranium was created with a new kind of computer-imaging software that uses the ancient technique of stippling to convert complex medical data into 3-D images that can be quickly viewed by medical professionals. Data from CT scans were converted into dots to create the stippled image. Cave dwellers and artisans used stippling thousands of years ago to create figures by painting or carving a series of tiny dots."

See what I mean?

New Technology?! Bafoo! (-1, Flamebait)

skogs (628589) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765496)

So...they are using points to represent real life things...kind of like film and computer imaged MRIs... The only difference in this entire thing appears to be that somebody decided to use a digital system to record the data instead of a traditional analog version. Honestly, whoever thought that making a dot is harder than making a polygon must have eyes in the back of their head...because they are looking backward. My old apple II could make dots...in lowres and hires modes! The shortcut in any software and rendering technology at that time was to tell the computer to make a 'line'. This was a collection of dots...made with one line of code...rather than 300+...depending on the length of the line. I think the super nintendo was the first console system to ever do polygon graphics...which adds the third dimension...and in order to draw more than one dot in a three dimensional space...you tell the software to render a polygon...and fill in all the spots within the borders of that polygon. So...is this a dot graphic off an old Okidata dot matrix printer and an apple II? Or is this a polygon dot which has sides? Or is this really just a bunch of PhDs with their heads up their asses that really don't know a thing about imaging? These people are not physicists, and they are not computer geeks. These people wouldn't know a capacitor from a 'black box' if their life depended on it. They also don't know a shred of any computer language, or have a clue what pRon sites their kids are surfing while they are in their bedrooms. Doctors don't know the first thing about computer imaging. And I don't know the first thing about the medical mystery that is life...other than what my college physiology classes taught me. I don't make my opinion on medical issues sound authoritative...I wish these bafoons would keep their opinions on imaging from going around the world with the assumption that they are authoritative...because they aren't. Stupid people. dots. my God in Heaven...please save us.

a song (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765523)

I fucked a fucking cheesewedge, I fucked it in the floor

I fucked a fucking cheesewedge, just like Tipper Gore!

--

YEAH! Would you believe that that was going through my head for the last two hours? Maybe I should play less video games...

ever played q2 (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765524)

/me points to the stipple alpha option in software mode...
Anyone else remember this?

obJoke (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765527)

q: Do you like stippling?
a: I don't know, I've never stippled...

Not really that exciting (5, Interesting)

Temporal (96070) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765532)

Could real time medical rendering be whizzier than Id?

Probably, but not because of this. This technique would have very little use in a gaming environment. Indeed, algorithms indended for medical imaging rarely do. In this particular case, the dotted images don't really provide any sort of occlusion. That is, you can see right through the image to whatever is behind it. Great for medicine (where the whole point is to see inside the patient's body), bad for games.

As a matter of fact, when I read this, my only thought is "well, duh". I do 3D graphics myself, and I am having a hard time believing that this technique is new. Particle system rendering? There must be something more to this that the dumbed-down article isn't telling us. Maybe they have a new, advanced algorithm for deciding exactly where to place the dots... that really must be it. As long as we're reporting on low-level algorithms, I have a new algorithm I came up with for drawing borders on the silouette edges of cartoon renderings efficiently. Do you want to hear about it? No? Aww...

uh oh (3, Funny)

enneff (135842) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765537)

"whizzier than Id"

I really, really hope that was an unintentional pun.

How Nice (1, Troll)

USC-MBA (629057) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765539)

I can' help but notice that this research has been funded by two government agencies [purdue.edu] , NASA, and the National Science Foundation.

While I for one am delighted to see that the usual low expectations of tax-dollar-funded research have in this case been confounded, I can't help but wonder how much genuine innovation has been stifled by the need for researchers to jump through the ususal hoops for their precious grant money, to say nothing of the frustration these researchers must feel as their hard work skips merrily off into the public domain.

All water under the bridge, I supppose. I wait with delighted anticipation for some hot for-profit startups to get ahold of this software and, with the invisible hand of the market as their guide, take this technology (and hopefully my mutual funds! ^_^) to astounding new heights.

That's Slashdot for you... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765560)

I knew what kind of comments this article would get when I was reading the linked article. And what do you know, dozens of "Duh, this is old technology, it's just voxels" -comments from totally clueless writers that think they know everything about 3D medical imaging because they have overclocked their Geforce-cards.

Please people. Do you REALLY know anything about what the article is talking about? Think for a moment. If you think that this somehow is not innovative, you are probably wrong. Just because you are a nerd and possibly get/got good grades at school, doesn't mean you know everything. Well, I guess it goes with being a nerd...

Downloadable (5, Informative)

jki (624756) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765575)

They have made the renderer available, here [purdue.edu] (win 2000 only). I don't think I have the interest to see further than just trying whether it works for me, but if someone does, please let us know if you find anything worth commenting :)

Let's hope... (2)

Quaoar (614366) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765594)

...that they don't confuse this technique with "stapling" the next time you go into the doctor's for a thorough physical. Ouch.

Um. What is this crap? (5, Interesting)

DrunkenTerror (561616) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765608)

This article sucks, and the /. write-up sucks more. It has virtually nothing to do with id, Doom, or games in general. They're visualizing data sets, not shooting rockets at each other at 60 FPS (or 8 fps in the Doom3 demo ;). Rendering static, previously collected data Vs. On-the-fly rendering of a rapidly changing dynamic environment.What should one expect from an anon submission, though? :P

And how bout these amazing captions? They read like a typical /. dupe. (similarities highlighted)

IMAGE CAPTION 1: This image of a human cranium was created with a new kind of computer-imaging software that uses the ancient technique of stippling to convert complex medical data into 3-D images that can be quickly viewed by medical professionals. Data from CT scans were converted into dots to create the stippled image. Cave dwellers and artisans used stippling thousands of years ago to create figures by painting or carving a series of tiny dots. More recently, 19th century Parisian artist Georges Seurat used the method, also called pointillism, to draw colorful, intricately detailed works. Because dots are the most simple visual element in a picture, they also are ideal for computer visualizations.

IMAGE CAPTION
2: This picture of a human foot was created with a new kind of computer-imaging software that uses the ancient technique of stippling to convert complex medical data into 3-D images that can be quickly viewed by medical professionals. In this image, data from CT scans were converted into dots to create the stippled image. Stippling uses tiny dots to create an image. Because dots are the most simple visual element in a picture, they also are ideal for computer visualizations.

Oh well, at least their subjects and verbs agreed in number. (...data... ...were...)

Re:Um. What is this crap? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765623)

If you think the Slashdot writeup sucks, have a look at the comments. "Isn't this just voxels? Wow, could this be used in quake?"

For once, they could just admit they really don't know anything of the subject and shut up, rather than make complete fools of themselves.

you'd think it's simple, but it's not (5, Interesting)

bbc22405 (576022) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765610)

I'm reading lots of comments about "how is this different from just plotting pixels?" and such. If you were given a voxel dataset, and were given the job of showing the internal structure, in a nifty, sorta-transparent, sorta-3D way ... you would likely fail.

It is not as simple as it seems. You want the nearer bones (or whatever structure) to show up more, but not completely obscure what is behind. And you want the stuff behind to look "behind". But how?

It is not the same problem as calculating normals of polygons to see which surfaces are facing the viewer, sorting things by depth, and finding out what is completely obscured by what else. Go back, and think again.

I'm guessing (without reading the paper), that the point of using dots is that the dots are not infinitely small, but rather have a small measureable size, and so the nearer dots are drawn larger, but that all dots are small enough that they don't tend to "hide" each other in the Z direction, but rather "pile up" a bit to make the piled up places darker. This sort of "implementation" is interesting I think solely because one might be able to implement it in a way that makes use of fairly standard operations implemented by vroomy graphics hardware. (Ie. it is not otherwise an obvious implementation of the desired operation, and I'll guess that the initial reaction of the people who built the graphics hardware/driver is "hey, you're abusing it!", followed almost immediately by "wow, cool!". It's as absurd and wonderful as if you drew a cloud of smoke between you and another object by drawing each particle in the cloud.)

Steps to success (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765613)

1. Develop way to render extremely low quality pictures (akin to TRS-80 Model 1 graphics)
2. ?????
3. Profit!!

Isn't new... Future Crew did it years ago (2, Interesting)

wmoyes (215662) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765616)

Didn't Future Crew have a pixel based 3-D effect towards the end of the Unreal demo? Its was really cool for its time.

Oh yeah... (2)

djupedal (584558) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765619)

We were doing color 3-D Ultrasound in Japan 10 years ago...great fun. You recall the visible man and woman projects right? Checked them out lately?

Pointalism (3, Funny)

bytesmythe (58644) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765625)

Hmm... I've never been a big fan of pointalism. It looks like too much work.

Now, a nice impressionist rendering would be great. Although, I'm not sure I'd want a neurosurgeon screwing around with my brain based on an artistic impression of it.

"Well, see the giant green splotches represent perverted thoughts and... well, there isn't much else to speak of. Apparently, this small yellow part over here is occupied with programming, and it's slowly being invaded by a brown sludgy part which wants some more coffee. Overall, the painting's not worth much, and I certainly wouldn't want it hanging over my couch. Ok... let's make the first incision."

Re:Pointalism (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765628)

You, sir, are about as close to a "humour terrorist" as they come.

StippleQuake? (-1, Redundant)

Yuioup (452151) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765656)

So is anybody working on StippleQuake?

Yuioup

id did this already (4, Interesting)

mewsenews (251487) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765666)

Does noone remember Quake 2? The software renderer had an option called "Stipple Alpha" which would render transparent entities such as water and glass using a stippling method. It was much faster than true alpha blending, and it got the job done. Carmacks like four years ahead of the curve as usual..

You missed the point. (2, Insightful)

Ayanami Rei (621112) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765692)

The purdue scientists know what stippling is. They point is they found out how to transform voxels into 3d stipples that look good from multiple directions... not stippling in the screen coordinate sense. So how is Carmack suddenly a pioneer of medical imaging?

I don't see the point (2)

g4dget (579145) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765702)

You can map voxel and density rendering onto modern graphics hardware to get real-time volume rendering without too many problems. Furthermore, medical applications require high fidelity: you don't want doctors to miss some detail, and these kinds of stippling techniques greatly reduce the resolution.

Game Application (2, Interesting)

AmbientNeedle (629661) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765720)

To shrug this off as having no bearing on the gaming world may be a bit narrow-minded. Remember, just because something is in 3D, it doesn't mean you want it to look like it's in 3D.

For instance, the cel shading technique, by which specifically designed shading networks are applied to polygons in order to emulate the look of 2 dimensional animation. For the same reasons that technique has garnered so much popularity over recent years in the gaming industry, an application like this may find similar inspiration.

In addition, this type of rendering goes beyond gaming, right into the entertainment industry. Art studios are constantly looking for new ways to present their animations. There have been several festival animations, done in 3D environments, that were purposely rendered in 2-dimensional ways. Who's to say you won't see this method used in the future?

Prettier alternative (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 11 years ago | (#4765727)

How does this compare to the OpenQVIS [uni-erlangen.de] work?

Yes! (2)

Lussarn (105276) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765733)

This is the ancient dotball from the amiga demo time. I know someone would make good use of it. Don't see what the news is yet though.

Interesting question.. (1)

sifi (170630) | more than 11 years ago | (#4765740)

The main application for this seems to be medical imaging. Do you think that this technique has any advantages over other visulisation techniques? i.e. Can medical professionals spot problems easier with these images?
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