Sunday, November 15, 2009

Visualizing the Invisible

In an earlier articled titled Predator Tech, BRT discussed the potential of invisibility cloaks and how it was becoming science fact and not science fiction. One big problem regarding how this technology would work centered on the question of what would a cloaked object look like. In the past, there was no way of "seeing" this effect but this inconvenient constraint no longer applies.

Scientists and curiosity seekers who want to know what a partially or completely cloaked object would look like in real life can now get their wish -- virtually. A team of researchers at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany has created a new visualization tool that can render a room containing such an object, showing the visual effects of such a cloaking mechanism and its imperfections.

What's interesting about this research is the fact Ray Tracing is the imaging engine used in this software, a technique originally invented by the MAGI corporation in Elmsford NY to track the rays given off by a nuclear explosion. (I learned CG there as Phil Mittleman, a true visionary & CEO of the company, had a very big influence on me regarding tech, fine art and design.)

Note: TRON was the first graphic example of what could be created using Ray Tracing as this imagining technique, combined with Radiosity, is considered to be the most accurate way to depict reality.

Click here to get the PDF detailing this research. It's a good read for sure.
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