SIGGRAPH 2023 Wrap: NeRFs, Quantum Computing, and Virtual Crowds

Sebastian Longname • August 25, 2023 • 6 minute read

After a sun-kissed week in L.A., we have reunited with our SIGGRAPH 2023 goers: Callum Macmillan, Mike Pelton, Juraj Tomori, and Ed Thomas for an eagerly awaited debriefing.

From unravelling the latest with NeRFs to the mind-bending Quantum Computing to showcasing Dimension’s Virtual Crowds. Take a look at our insights from the world-class conference on computer graphics and interactive techniques.

Crafting Authentic Crowds

Callum waved the Dimension flag with two presentations – the first delved into our record-breaking volumetric crowds for the Whitney Houston biopic:  ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’ and the second, highlighted our pioneering virtual production crowds enabled by Arcturus’ Accelerated Volumetric Video.

NeRFs (Neural Radiance Fields)

Perhaps the hottest topic of this year’s SIGGRAPH was NeRFs (Neural Radiance Fields). To put it briefly, NeRFs are a cutting-edge technique that generates 3D representations of an object or scene from 2D images by using advanced machine learning (check out Corridor Crew’s video for a great introduction).

Research and development into improving visual quality, re-lightability, stylisation, and real-time usage has been growing as of late, with Dimension’s own R&D team putting significant resources into exploring how NeRFs can be used in our productions.

Notable NeRF-related products that were showcased at the conference include Luma AI, TurboSquid NeRF virtual locations, and 3Dpresso's NeRF-based geometry reconstruction.

Cutting-edge and Upcoming Innovative Tech

Our R&D team was spoiled for choice when asked to narrow down their highlights - here’s a shortlist of the most memorable tech showcases:

  • Cinemersive Labs: A solution for creating hyper-real VR content in six degrees of freedom with a simple smartphone or with their specialised camera rig

  • Movin3D: LiDAR-based markerless real-time motion capture (i.e. mocap without a mocap suit)

  • Lumio 3D Face Scanner: a neat, portable, multi-camera and lights face scanner with quick cloud-based reconstruction

  • Arcturus Studio, a regular collaborator with Dimension, announced their acquisition of Holoapp

State of the Art in Telepresence: Google, NVIDIA and Meta spoke about Project Starline, a research project that explores AI holographic video conferencing, and Pixel Codec Avatars, a deep generative model of 3D human faces.

Harnessing Quantum Computing

Another subject of great interest to Dimension’s R&D team is quantum computing. Defined as ‘a radically new approach to creating algorithms and programs’, it promises to solve problems too complex for classical computers by harnessing the laws of quantum mechanics. While still in its infancy, it has incredible potential for real-life applications relating to generative AI and machine learning.

See you in 2024!

That rounds off our tech teams’ trip to SIGGRAPH 2023! Get in touch if you’d like to discuss any of the topics mentioned or to find out more about our work and services