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Looking at different resolutions

Natural surfaces, like dinosaur skin, have a multiresolution structure, which means that when you look at the surface at different magnifications, you see different patterns and details. Understanding these multiresolution structures helps create more realistic textures in computer graphics, like in the movie "The Good Dinosaur.".

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Video transcript

- In the previous lesson, we focused on the geometry of dinosaur skins and scales. - (Blonde Woman) And we used voronoi diagrams to get the overall structure we were looking for. - (Brunette Woman) But we simplified a shading of our skin using only two solid colors with no texture. - This is why our final result wasn't very realistic. We ignored the finer details we see in actual skin. When you look at your own skin, do you see one color? - No, I see a subtle variation in color and texture. - (Blonde Woman) This variation becomes really clear when we look at things under different magnifications or resolutions. Here's an image of human skin at a very high resolution. - (Brunette Woman) Wow, it reveals a whole new world of texture and color variation. There's nothing smooth or solid about this. - (Blonde Woman) Right, and because we see different patterns at different resolutions, we say that natural surfaces have a multiresolution structure. - (Brunette Woman) Let's do another example of this. - (Blonde Woman) In our shading packet, we have an image of a Maximo alligator as reference for our dino scales. Here's what we see at low resolution. The skin looks very bumpy and the color's interesting. - (Brunette Woman) Notice the checkerboard pattern across the scales, and within each scale the color looks fairly solid. - (Blonde Woman) Let's zoom in to a higher resolution. Here we see smaller scales which look quite smooth and rounded. - (Brunette Woman) And notice there's much more color variation that we didn't see before. It looks like a speckling of color due to natural pigmentation as well as dirt. - (Blonde Woman) Another reference for our dino skin is snake skin. At this low resolution it looks like a collection of solid white and black scales. - (Brunette Woman) But at higher resolutions we see new color details. The white scales contain tiny brown dots and the black scales have a light coloration around the edges. - (Blonde Woman) And if we keep zooming in things get (laughs) really crazy. - (Brunette Woman) Aggh! That's scary! (laughs) It seems like the closer you look, the more you find. - Exactly, and that's the essence of multiresolution structures. The color and texture of an object is the result of adding all of the different details together. - Before applying these different ideas to our dino skin, let's pause for a moment and get you comfortable look at the world at different resolutions. - In the next exercise, we'll challenge you to identify surfaces at different resolutions. And remember, things aren't always what they seem. What's your favorite example of something you worked on that had a really interesting mix of patterns? - For The Good Dinosaur, on the pterodactyls, each part of their body had a bunch of different textures like the crest had this brain-like texture, it was kind of icky (laughs) and gross, and then the neck we used almost like a dried lava texture to give that feeling of wrinkles. On the wings we based it on elephant skin so it would be kind of softer. And then the body was more like a dry skin feeling, almost like E.T. phone home (laughs) kind of feel to it. It was pretty nice. It all came back together and we used different illumination techniques to make it feel more interesting. But we used quite a few textures to mix and match and kind of flow from one part of the body to the other. - Pretty cool. - It turned out okay. (laughs)