Seeing the Simulacrum: Computer Generated Images

Which of these images is computer-generated? What does it mean to be photorealistic? How can any image be trusted? Are you living in a simulation? Who’s writing your life? Have the interns taken over the writer’s room with wild attempts at high concept story ideas that are just making you so exhausted you’re ready to fire all of them, hire some old-school sitcom writers, and live a life of laugh tracks and happy endings? We got a little off-track there, but the question remains: which of the above images is computer-generated? The answer is all about surface tension. Here’s more from MOTHERBOARD:

According to the research paper “Solid-Fluid Interaction with Surface-Tension-Dominant Contact” which will be published in the August edition of ACM Transactions on Graphics, the simulation looks so real because the researchers have invented a new form of modeling solid and water interaction using what they call three-way coupling. “At the heart of our physical model is a thin liquid membrane that simultaneously couples to both the liquid volume and the rigid objects, facilitating accurate momentum transfer, collision processing, and surface tension calculation,” they said in their paper.

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