"My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you’ll be happy; if not, you’ll become a philosopher."
- Socrates
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Weekend reading
Sunday, October 4, 2009 | Permalink

The slides from the Siggraph 2009 course Advances in Real-Time Rendering in 3D Graphics and Games are available. Plenty of interesting stuff.

Thanks for Natasha Tatarchuk for the heads up.

[ 0 comments ]

HDR photography
Sunday, September 20, 2009 | Permalink

Back in February I made a blog post about HDR cameras. Since then a few things have happened. Pentax released their K-7, which is the first SLR with built-in HDR. It's taking the traditional approach of multiple exposure and consequently needs a lot of processing after shooting (12 seconds according to some sites). Recently Sony released the a500/550, which is both faster (2 seconds) and unlike K-7 has built-in image alignment which should allow for handheld HDR photography. Fujifilm also released the F70EXR, which is a cheaper variant of the F200EXR. Fujifilm is still the only vendor to use an actual HDR sensor and thus need no particular processing at all. All manufacturers are still only producing a final jpeg image unfortunately. Fujifilm would be in a position to offer a RAW format with HDR since they have it built into the sensor, whereas the other manufacturers could opt to use the EXR format. Anything that allows you to post-process the tonemapping would be great. But this is still early and I'm sure better solutions are around the corner and this is all a very exciting development.

After having been tempted for a while I finally pushed the order button and got myself an F200EXR. After having played with it for a while and learned how to best take advantage of the HDR feature I'm really loving it. And here's why:



The picture on the right has HDR enabled. The picture on the left is about what every other camera would produce. The pictures are taken at the same time with the same settings and no other post-processing was done other than resizing for the web.

I'm convinced that HDR will be the next big thing in photography.

[ 18 comments | Last comment by Humus (2009-10-06 23:14:17) ]

New cubemaps
Sunday, September 13, 2009 | Permalink

It's been over a year since I added new cubemaps to this site, but that doesn't mean I haven't been shooting any. I just haven't bothered to zip them up and upload before. So here's a large batch of 21 new high-res photographic cubemaps. Grab them in the Textures section.

[ 1 comments | Last comment by GoldenCloud (2009-09-15 08:09:06) ]

What to use Eyefinity for
Saturday, September 12, 2009 | Permalink

If you thought the Eyefinity feature of the soon to be released Radeon HD 5870 is for creating large resolution displays, well, I had another cool idea. Six outputs is as many as there are faces in a cube. Put six projectors in a cubic room with white walls and you can have a full surround display! Would need some coding support though, but could be potentially awesome. Certainly would be a great way to view my cubemap collection!

[ 5 comments | Last comment by Angel G. (2009-11-03 21:22:39) ]

New DirectX SDK release
Thursday, September 10, 2009 | Permalink

The August 2009 release of the DirectX SDK is out. Funny name for a September release though. This release has the final DirectX 11 components.

Speaking of DirectX 11, new details on the HD 5870 are trickling out to the public, and from the looks of it, it'll be a pretty nice card. Supposedly due for release in two weeks. It'll be interesting to see then if it's as awesome as it's painted out to be.

[ 5 comments | Last comment by FMoreira (2009-09-11 03:03:22) ]

New gallery
Tuesday, September 1, 2009 | Permalink

I've uploaded another gallery. It covers the winter 2008 to late spring 2009.

[ 7 comments | Last comment by Joel (2009-09-29 10:48:30) ]

A tribute to the 8-bit era
Monday, August 24, 2009 | Permalink

If you're old enough to have played 8-bit games when they were new, you'll probably love this awesome video. Especially if you also played a lot with Lego.

[ 2 comments | Last comment by Jackis (2009-08-25 10:30:36) ]

Baking with Humus
Saturday, August 22, 2009 | Permalink

Today we'll be baking a working GPU.

What you need:
1) One broken GPU
2) A crazy mind

Verify the GPU is still broken.


Remove heatsink and all detachable parts from GPU. Put the GPU on a few supporting screws in the middle of the oven and bake at 200-275C until lightly brown on various plastic parts.



Let it cool gently in the oven. Reattach heatsink and other parts. Put into computer and boot it up. Verify that the card is now functional.





Whooha, you actually did that? Yep.
So what's the deal? Well, I read a forum post where someone had resurrected a video card by putting it into the oven. Some people also claim to have resurrected their Xbox360 by putting it into a few towels and let it run for about 20 minutes. The reason why this sometimes works is that a leading reason for hardware failure is solder joints that crack over time. If you heat the device enough it will cause the solder joints to melt and reconnect. The melting point of commonly used solders are within reach for a regular household oven.

Some of you may recall I had a broken 3870 X2. So I thought I should attempt this trick on it. Just to give me a sense of how well this would work I first attempted this on an old SiS AGP card I found in my closet. I didn't even know I owned one, heh. So I put it into the oven and turned it to 200C. It didn't even reach that temperature before I heard something fall. Turned out some component fell off.



Lesson learned was to not put the card upside down. Seems kinda obvious afterwards, but with melted solder it will of course fall off if it's hanging under the card with only the solder joint supporting it. Then I tried it on the 3870 X2. I had to heat it much further before the solders melted. I opened the oven and poked a solder joint now and then to see if it was still hard. I had to go all the way to 275C before it finally melted. I turned off the oven and let it cool gently in there for a couple of hours before taking it out. Then I looked very carefully at all the solder joints to verify that nothing had melted too much and made a short circuit. This is of course a very important step if you're attempting this trick. A short circuit could potentially damage your whole computer or cause a fire, so don't try this if you're unwilling to take any chances. Keep an eye on the card during the whole process and double check the results. If you see any signs of any solders having flowed away from its attachment point, you may consider not attempting to boot it up. Everything looked fine on my card though, but I did at least make a full backup of my important files to an external drive before putting it into the computer. Booting up the card it now appears to work. I've been gaming on it for a couple of hours with no problems so far.

[ 24 comments | Last comment by Mickey (2014-01-20 02:27:32) ]

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