Internet Graphics

The Internet Graphics Group's research activities focus mainly on graphics systems, graphics platforms, and game technologies. The group leverages its extensive research expertise to create cutting edge graphics technologies, including graphics systems and graphics platforms for Microsoft's graphics and game platforms such as DirectX and XDK. In developing game technologies, researchers from the group work closely with Microsoft Game Studios on next generation game engines.

Overview

The Internet Graphics Group's research activities focus mainly on graphics systems, graphics platforms, and game technologies. The group leverages its extensive research expertise to create cutting edge graphics technologies, including graphics systems and graphics platforms for Microsoft's graphics and game platforms such as DirectX and XDK. In developing game technologies, researchers from the group work closely with Microsoft Game Studios on next generation game engines.

A Glimpse at Several Core Innovations:

Generalized Displacement Mapping (GDM)

In computer graphics, a mesh is used to represent objects or shapes from the real world. However, today's hardware and software does not allow for efficient representation of the surface details of objects. One technology that has been applied to this is displacement mapping, which adds details to mesh models but only on a limited basis creating a phenomenon called non-height field features. Generalized Displacement Mapping is a technique created by the Internet Graphics Group that efficiently renders details of surfaces, with hardware acceleration, at real-time, and in a rich and visually appealing way.

Gamma-ton-Simulating Weathering Effects on Real-world Objects

Adding weathering effects such as dirt, rust, cracks, and scratches to virtual scenery is an important step forward and critical to improving realism in today's graphics. The Internet Graphics Group has created a technique that realistically and effectively renders a variety of weathering phenomena. The technique, which is called Gamma-ton tracing, is based on aging particles called Gamma-tons. The technology is similar to photon tracing and works by tracing a large number of Gamma-tons, thus modeling weathering effects using recorded Gamma-ton transport information. Gamma-ton tracing allows for the customization of scene geometry and tailoring of weathering sources. Many of the hurdles faced by existing technologies in modeling weathering effects can be readily overcome using Gamma-ton tracing. This includes global transport effects or stain-bleeding. Gamma-ton tracing also enables simulations of complex multi-weathering effects and can generate weathering effects that not only involve texture changes, but also large-scale geometry changes.

TextureMontage-Texturing Tool to Map Multiple Images onto an Arbitrary 3D Model

The texturing of a mesh is an important method for improving the realism of today's graphics. The challenge, however, is to match real-world 3D models with 2D images in the computer graphics realm. TextureMontage is an intuitive user interface tool that allows an artist to easily associate models to images. The tool allows seamless alignment of texture features and easy manual inpainting of uncovered parts of a model. The result minimizes the distortion of an image and ensures a smooth transition across the boundaries of different texture patches.

Shadow Fields Real-time Soft-Shadow Rendering Technique

Adding shadows to dynamic objects under global illumination is a challenge for computer graphics. Using the Shadow Fields technique developed by the Internet Graphics Group, the shadowing of objects is effectively achieved by pre-computing a shadow at all points surrounding an object. Using this technique, low-frequency or soft-shadowing effects can be applied to dynamic scenes in real-time and all-frequency, or hard and detailed shadowing can be applied interactively.



Contact Information:

Baining Guo: bainguo@microsoft.com

Overview