Imagine shopping online for the perfect back-to-school outfit. You can see the colour and size and perhaps the texture of the fabric, but can you tell how it will look from different perspectives under fluorescent classroom lighting?
"The material might be very beautiful but a potential customer wouldnt know that because the image gives a grossly incomplete sense of texture," says Alex Vasilescu, a doctoral candidate at U of Ts Department of Computer Science. The software she has developed, called TensorTextures, requires just a few sample images of any surface with complex three-dimensional relief, such as luxurious velvets or shimmering silks. Using that information, it can render the true appearance of the surface from every possible viewpoint and under any illumination.
TensorTextures could be adapted for the Web and filmmaking and could possibly be introduced commercially within a year, says Vasilescu. The software is described in a study presented at the SIGGRAPH 2003 conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques in San Diego July 31.CONTACT: Alex Vasilescu, Department of Computer Science (currently at the Media Research Lab, New York University) 212-998-3320, email@example.com or Nicolle Wahl, U of T public affairs, 416-978-6974, firstname.lastname@example.org
Nicolle Wahl | U of T
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A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.
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There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?
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