Journal Club: Leyendecker

tf2silo (1)I’ve been thinking about the tone that I’d like to set for the inaugural Journal Club. Do I want to be controversial? Political? Technical? Humorous? This is fairly fertile ground.  So I sat down and asked myself, “What paper is the most memorable?  Which one have you forced so many people to read, whether they wanted to or not?”

And the answer was:

  • Jason Mitchell, Moby Francke and Dhabih Eng, “Illustrative Rendering in Team Fortress 2,” International Symposium on Non-Photorealistic Animation and Rendering, 2007. Paper Movie Slides

This paper is a little technical, but hopefully the slides/movie offer a more accessible summary of what it’s about.  Also, Team Fortress 2 is free to play on Steam if folks want to go check it out.

I realized that I should give some general examples of what we could discuss. The main objective of this exercise is to take an article with any degree of scope or focus and slice it in various ways to improve our understanding.  Fortunately this paper has a lot of different ways it could be broken down. We could discuss:

  • Words like Phong and Gooch are fun to say, and sound vaguely dirty
  • Leyendecker’s influence on Norman Rockwell
  • Talking about a class-based game where the character silhouettes or the ubiquitous shades of beige made the game more difficult than it had to be
  • Memories of playing Team Fortress over dial-up or your favorite TF2 class
  • Compare the various shaders and how they contribute to the art style
  • How Valve’s style manuals for all their recent games help give their games a consistent aesthetic and lets the community generate items

Basically any neurons that fire off related to the article at hand.

PyroSo I’ll see everybody back her next Wednesday to discuss. We still have to work out a method for who picks next.  One point of clarity on my definition of the word “paper” – basically it can be anything that states an opinion, analyzes something in-depth, makes an interesting observation, and so on. That being said it can be an article, a short game, a video, an audio recording, etc. The idea is to track down good thought wherever it is, and explore it.

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