A Computer Graphics Grand Challenge: How Much Realism is Enough Realism?

Friday 5 October 2012, 12.00pm


Nick Whitehead Lecture Theatre, Glyndwr University, Mold Road, Wrexham, LL11 2AW

Prof Jim Foley, College of Computing Georgia Institute of Technology, USA


A major challenge facing computer graphics researchers is knowing how much realism is enough realism. Technically, we can create images that fool the eye. But is that the goal? Is it necessary? The answer is "it depends" - on the purpose for which the graphics are being created - for entertainment, for training, for conveying specific information, for carrying out a task. Fool-the-eye realism is not always the right answer.

In this talk I categorize some of the purposes for which we create graphics images, survey experimental work and approaches to help assess the relationship between image realism and image effectiveness, and discuss my own early work using the Shepherd-Metzler mental rotation task with computer graphics images having varying degrees of realism. The talk is illustrated with video and still images.

Speaker Bio:

Jim Foley is a Professor in the College of Computing at Georgia Tech. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a Fellow of AAAS, ACM and IEEE. He has received two lifetime achievement awards, from ACM/SIGGRAPH and ACM/SIGCHI. Foley is co-author of three books: Fundamentals of Interactive Computer Graphics, Computer Graphics: Principles and Practice, and Introduction to Computer Graphics.

He joined Georgia Tech in 1991 as the founding director of the Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center in the College of Computing. US News and World Report ranked the Center number one in 1996 for graduate computer science work in graphics and user interaction. On leave from Georgia Tech from 1996-99, he was CEO and Chairman of Mitsubishi Electric Information Technology Center America, where he was responsible for Mitsubishi's corporate R&D in North America, and before that, Director of MERL - Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratory.