Get real ?!!
Totally (well nearly completely) off topic this one. I am a bit of a boing boing fan and came across a piece which if you haven't seen then its worth it.
Take a look at this flash video...
Its hard to see what all the fuss is about until near the end. As soon as I read that Paul Devebec had a hand in this then I couldn't click fast enough. And being a presentation at SIGGRAPH should pique your interest too...
Basically, from this point onwards I defy anyone to state with conviction what is real any more. Stuff has looked real for a while but people have always eluded CGI.
If you hadn't had given it away I would have said it was stuttering video...this is amazing.
Wow! And they made such a big deal of when Square Soft did that Final Fantasy movie, and how they had to tone down the realism. This would appear to blow that out of the water.
It's fun to watch them get this level of capture / creation / animation pretty much in real-time on the show floor with a couple of cameras. There's enough processing power in modern CPU/GPU systems to do per-pixel tracking and surface/texture extract in real-time.
It seemed to work best with folks who have less-than-perfect skin textures or when using UV illumination (under which pretty much everyone has imperfect skin texture).
My wife was very upset after seeing the electronic theater things at SIGGRAPH this year. Now she can't pretend that the things she sees in the media are true representations of reality.
Paul Debevec is my CG hero...his HDRI contributions changed the way I thought about 3d modelling. This video is awesome.