Burma Trip Photos

The inside of one of the many Bagan temples. We recently went on a trip to Burma, and it was amazing. The country has only recently starting to open up and as a result it’s a really unique place. It was been my hardest working vacation yet and I hope you’ll agree the results are worth it.

wpid2209-IMG_6342.jpgIn Mandalay, the dusty second city of Burma, my favorite thing to shoot by a long shot were the markets. They’re nestled in back alleys, and the locals were very friendly and amused to see us there. Smiling and waving at anyone always got a great reaction. He was very smiley when I asked to take a picture, then adjusted his robe and settled into a more serious expression for the picture. All smiles again afterward.They were happy to talk, as much as it was possible, and made great photographic subjects.

We also visited some of the very pretty outlying areas, but they were generally less interesting to me than the city itself. One exception was the U Bein Bridge.wpid2265-IMG_6940.jpg The classic shots of it are with the sun setting behind it. We were there on a hazy morning instead, and those are some of my favorite shots.

A women visiting an ancient temple in Bagan. The walls of the temple are covered with murals, which I believe are original.The archeological city of Bagan is an amazing place that’s been photographed to death. My shots from the temples at sunrise and sunset are nice, but I feel better ones have been done. It’s a lot like shooting other monuments in that way. Still, I have many shots I’m proud of in and around the temples. While it’s more touristy, the locals were still very friendly and we had a lot of great times.

Sunrise in Bagan with a hot air balloon eclipsing the sun.
Burma is nothing like any place I’ve ever been. It’s safe and relatively easy to travel in. I’d recommend it to everyone.

Full Gallery Inside!

JF Nested Dielectric

JF Nested Dielectric is released as a Psyop open source initiative! It’s a shader for Solid Angle’s Arnold Renderer. It has one purpose – efficient, physically-plausible rendering of nested dielectric surfaces in production. Licensing info, source, and DCC helper files are available in the Git Repo linked below.

In large part, this is an implementation of the 2002 paper: Simple Nested Dielectrics in Ray-traced Images by Charles M. Schmidt and Brian Budge

It’s also capable of capable of spectral dispersion, direct refraction of light sources, production-feasible ray traced blurry caustics. It also has a few different optimization techniques built in to improve render times, including Russian Roulette and energy tracking and clamping throughout the ray tree.
Visualized by my ICE ray tracer

Visualization of ray-tracing dielectric media

JF Nested Dielectric is Copyright (c) 2014, Psyop Media Company, LLC and Jonah Friedman

Update: I have released a video of a unreleased photon mapper for JF Nested Dielectric, JF Photon. This was unfortunately never finished into a product suitable for artists, but code is available on Github.

New Photo Galleries

So I’ve finally gotten around to adding my photos to this blog. All the galleries I have are accessible above.

There’s a heading in the header of this page labeled “Photo Galleries”. They’re all listed right up there, so in about ten years when this blog post isn’t on the front page of this blog anymore they’ll still be accessible :)

The main galleries are what I think are my best shots in different genre. Landscape photos include my recent trips to Iceland and Big Bend. Party Photos are a weird genre. Whatever, ad-hoc lighting with bounce flash is too much fun.

Trigonometry (Thanks Mark!)

Thanks so much for the great demos at Siggraph and all the plugs!

Mark's Siggraph Demo

So if you aren’t Mark and are reading this and don’t know what I’m talking about, Mark showed off Ruffle as part of his Softimage demos at Siggraph, which are about a thousand times more engaging than mine and contain no handwavy references to “trigonometry”.  :D

Go to Autodesk’s Siggraph 2011 video streaming page, click play, scrub to about 3:30 (that’s 3 hours in, it’s whole days of streaming).

I’m hoping this weekend to do a demo on the Tangent space rotation stuff, maybe building something that interpolates tangent space rotations from scratch to show how that all works. I’m going to try to learn from Mark’s example how to make a demo fun to watch.. but if that demo below is the result when I demo something with no math, I’m not sure what chance I have with this subject.

Thanks again Mark!