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Tripping the light fantastic

Intel promises realistic 3D effects for games developers

Intel has announced the release of its latest software, based on its LFM (light field mapping) technology, designed to allow developers to build accurate 3D graphics.

The software will enable game developers and researchers to bring a level of photo-realism to their designs, a facility previously the preserve of high-end movie special effects experts. This is made possible by accurately replicating the way light is reflected off real objects and surfaces.

"We expect our light field mapping technology to accelerate research in photo-realistic computer graphics and bring the full richness of the digital world to the desktop," said Justin Rattner, director of Intel's Microprocessor Research Lab.

"Until we introduced light field mapping last year, only high-end movie animators and special-effects developers portrayed the complex reflective properties of light interacting with objects," added Rattner.

The software is available free from Intel's Open Source Light Field Mapping toolkit, which consists of software for the composition of 3D images from digital photos and code for playback of the LFM objects.

Intel has been working closely with other graphics hardware suppliers and scanning companies to ensure its software is compatible with their technologies. It is also working with electronics giant Mitsubishi on future enhancements to LFM, such as capability to visualise complex objects such as those that occur in nature.

Open Light Fields software can be downloaded here.


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