Images. With Haotian Zhang.


Our Lovely Surplus/Our Gluey Brunch

Rendering Empathy

Soft, gradient light cast on smooth surfaces of Platonic geometries. Subtle, mild colors diffusing in air. A slight frosty gloss. This is the contemporary imagery allusion of intimacy, a cheap source of love and care. It arouses imaginations of tender touches, soothing aroma, and gentle whispers. An image is in an instantaneous entanglement with human faculties and emotions, and rendering is what translates data and codes into an image. Evolving from the crude Lambertian diffuse shading, rendering algorithms can now fabricate the utmost delicacy that may leave reality less desirable. Multiple calculation models lay on top of each other to forge a sweet wonderland that loves you and deserves your love. Toward the aesthetics of empathy, rendering is exquisitely biased.

We propose a retrospective tour into the fabrication of empathy in rendering, attempting to trace the evolution of renderers and open the black box. We build our own render engine to exaggerate biases and test their affects. After using photogrammetry to make a faithful digital replica of a real scene, we tweak the digital model in its translucency, reflectivity, glossiness, intensity of indirect reflection, level of ambient occlusion, etc. The final project is an “alive” rendering that reacts to the mood of the audience implied by their cursors.

my gluey brunch.png
Our Lovely Surplus_1.png