I didn’t think I’d ever return to New York, but now that I’m here, I am glad.
The entire 40 minutes version will be available on 11.11.11 at 11 a.m for download at sebmontaz.com.
We propose a method to realistically insert synthetic objects into existing photographs without requiring access to the scene or any additional scene measurements. With a single image and a small amount of annotation, our method creates a physical model of the scene that is suitable for realistically rendering synthetic objects with diffuse, specular, and even glowing materials while accounting for lighting interactions between the objects and the scene. We demonstrate in a user study that synthetic images produced by our method are confusable with real scenes, even for people who believe they are good at telling the difference.
Kevin Karsch, a Computer Science PhD Student, and his team at the University of Illinois are developing a software system that lets users easily and convincingly insert objects into photographs, complete with realistic lighting, shading, and perspective. According to their documentation, aside from a few annotations provided by the user, like where the light sources are, the software doesn’t need to know anything about the image. Even keeping in mind much demo videos are spot polished, I’m still astonished at how seamless it all seems. This could very well be ground breaking work.
A time-lapse taken from the front of the International Space Station as it orbits our planet at night. This movie begins over the Pacific Ocean and continues over North and South America before entering daylight near Antarctica. Visible cities, countries and landmarks include (in order) Vancouver Island, Victoria, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Los Angeles. Phoenix. Multiple cities in Texas, New Mexico and Mexico. Mexico City, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan Peninsula, El Salvador, Lightning in the Pacific Ocean, Guatemala, Panama, Columbia, Ecuador, Peru, Chile, Lake Titicaca, and the Amazon. Also visible is the earths ionosphere (thin yellow line), a satellite (55sec) and the stars of our galaxy.
The New York whirlwind weekend seems to have sprouted wings! It just so happens that Dances Of Vice is throwing a party the Saturday we’re there, Enchantment Under The Sea, a 50’s prom themed gala at Morningside Castle, and then the Coilhouse crew has just scheduled their Black & White & Red All Over Fundraising Ball for the Sunday! Given that I planned this about as carefully as a drunken carpenter, this is brilliant luck. Apparently there couldn’t be better timing!
Today’s other good news: I’ve scored a ride to Burning Man with my friend Jordan.
Essential Reading: Iceland’s Ongoing Revolution.
“What happened next was extraordinary. The belief that citizens had to pay for the mistakes of a financial monopoly, that an entire nation must be taxed to pay off private debts was shattered, transforming the relationship between citizens and their political institutions and eventually driving Iceland’s leaders to the side of their constituents. The Head of State, Olafur Ragnar Grimsson, refused to ratify the law that would have made Iceland’s citizens responsible for its bankers’ debts, and accepted calls for a referendum. […]
To write the new constitution, the people of Iceland elected twenty-five citizens from among 522 adults not belonging to any political party but recommended by at least thirty citizens. This document was not the work of a handful of politicians, but was written on the internet. The constituent’s meetings are streamed on-line, and citizens can send their comments and suggestions, witnessing the document as it takes shape. The constitution that eventually emerges from this participatory democratic process will be submitted to parliament for approval after the next elections.”