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Faster computer graphics

June 14, 2011

At right, a standard digital animation algorithm has simulated blur by sampling 256 different points on the wings of a moving butterfly for every pixel in the frame. At left is the image produced by sampling one point per pixel. In the center is the result of a new algorithm that samples only one point per pixel but infers the color values of the surrounding points. The result is very close to the 256-sample image but much easier to compute. (Credit: Jaakko Lehtinen)

MIT computer graphics researchers have developed a technique to simulate the photographic blur caused by moving objects (a computationally complex calculation) and the unfocused background of an image when the camera is focused on an object in the foreground.

The result could be more convincing video games and frames of digital video that take minutes rather than hours to render (motion doesn’t look fluid without some blur).

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