Desktop Map Renderer

Link

TileMill is a free Open Street Map Renderer for OSX, Linux, Ubuntu. It allows to edit the styling off the map in a comfortable editor. Maps can be exported to PNG, PDF, SVC etc.

Maperitive is annother application in this category. It’s also capable of exporting 3D Terrain Data as a textured COLLADA mesh

 

 

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Voxel Renderer for massive Geospatial Data Sets

News from the famous voxel rendering engine Unlimited Detail by the australian company Eyclideon. Deemed vapor ware by some they have now released information about Geosphere a software for viewing large geospatial voxel data sets. The technology can now also be licensed in form of an SDK.

Still some of the criticism, eg. that animation and lighting can’t be done in voxels, voiced by people like John Carmack might be right after all and the reason for the shift from the field of gaming to geospatial visualization where this is not a requirement.

Still very impressive:

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Open Source Kinect Fusion – Update

There is an update on the open source implementation of Microsofts Kinect Fusion Algorithm by developers of the open source Point Cloud Library.

They improved on the Microsoft implementation with their algo called KinFu Large as they are able to scan multiple volumes in on pass allowing to scan larger scenes in one go.

The point cloud library (PCL) is available as prebuild binaries for Linux, Windows and OSX as well as in source code from their svn repository. The code relies heavily on the NVidia CUDA development libraries for GPU optimizations and will require a compatible GPU for best results. Information on how to setup your own build environment and the required dependencies is available from their site.

Besides the Kinect the library supports several other sensor via OpenNi.

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Unreal Engine 4 Demo

In an amazing realtime demo at the Game Developers Conference in Cologne Epic technical artist Alan Willard showed off features of  the coming Unreal Engine 4.

 

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Iron Man UI VFX

A UI VFX show reel from Iron Man II showing of the extensive effects prologue did. Find more of their work here. We all know it’s not really usable. Still looks fancy though.

A montage of the creation process:

If you are interested in UX Design in Movies there is an extensive reference with a lot of video samples here: WEAVE 04.10. – Science Fiction Interfaces (German)

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A New Fullscreen Anti Aliasing Algorithm

SMAA is a powerful alternative for FXAA and similar post-processing anti aliasing techniques. Some of the new features include local contrast analysis for more reliable edge detection, and a simple and effective way to handle sharp geometric features and diagonal lines. This, along with the accelerated and accurate pattern classification allows for a better reconstruction of silhouettes. Also it looks much better for scenes in motion.

Check out the video below for a comparison with several other algos. The video is also available as a download in better quality.

Sources are available from Github.

The paper together with all of the above resources is available from this website: http://www.iryoku.com/smaa/

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Coding for Kinect

If you want to get started with coding for the Kinect and tend to use Microsofts API instead of OpenNi, I highly recommend to have a look at Microsofts Channel 9 – Coding4Fun articles on the Kinect. Lots of practical examples with source code and technical background info there. For all the Webdudes out there they even have examples for a Kinect WebSocket Server: WebSocketing the Kinect with Kinection; Kinect, HTML5, WebSockets and Canvas.

Not all examples have been updated to use the current Kinect for Windows SDK that established a new interface for the Kinect access. So check the dependencies if you want to build one.

Also worth a look is the Kinect for Windows blog.

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