Siggraph 2006While I was away in Canada last week, Siggraph 2006 was taking place down in Boston.  Many of the papers from that enormously engaging conference on graphics and interactive techniques are now available on the web

During the conference, I enjoyed reading Ben Constable (of the Microsoft Max team) describe his experiences there in a series of four blog articles.

You've probably already seen the amazing new Photosynth technology, which allows you to navigate and explore collections of photos in 3D.  It's been all over the blogs, and you can download a demo video at that link.  There's also an accompanying paper, called Photo Tourism: Exploring Photo Collections in 3D.

Impressive as it is, Photosynth was only one of a vast number of research contributions Microsoft Research unveiled at Siggraph.  If you're into graphics, you may find some of the following research papers interesting.  If you're not that way inclined, a lot of the accompanying videos are still impressive and accessible, like this video of drag-and-drop image pasting.

Here are the Siggraph 2006 papers I could find with Microsoft Research contributors on board:

Drag and drop pasting Appearance Space Texture Synthesis (cool video),

Perfect Spatial Hashing (cool video),

The Cartoon Animation Filter,

Image-Based Plant Modeling,

Color Harmonization (cool video),

Drag-and-Drop Pasting (cool images and jaw-dropping video),

Interactive Local Adjustment of Tonal Values (good web demo),

Mesh Quilting For Geometric Texture Synthesis (cool video),

Flash Matting,

AutoCollage (which I saw an impressive demo of at MSR Cambridge),

Photographing Long Scenes With Multi-Viewpoint Panoramas (nice demo shots),

Subspace Gradient Domain Mesh Deformation (cool video),

Photo Tourism: Exploring Photo Collections in 3D (slick video, but the Java demo doesn't work for me in IE or Firefox on Vista or WinXP),

Locally Adapted Hierarchical Basis Preconditioning, and

Appearance Manifolds for Modeling Time-Variant Appearance of Materials,

and, lest we forget the real-time graphics stuff:

The Direct3D 10 System (architecture paper) (more DirectX 10 stuff),

Real-time Soft Shadows in Dynamic Scenes using Spherical Harmonic Exponentiation (cool but enormous video),

Real-Time GPU Rendering of Piecewise Algebraic Surfaces (alas, no video)

Enjoy -- and, my compliments to the MSR teams for such a tremendous and diverse show of innovation!