Princeton University

School of Engineering & Applied Science

Computer Vision for Visual Effects

Richard J. Radke, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Engineering Quadrangle J323
Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 4:30pm to 5:30pm


Modern blockbuster movies seamlessly introduce impossible characters and action into real-world settings using digital visual effects. These effects are made possible by research from the field of computer vision, the study of how to automatically understand images. We'll overview classical computer vision algorithms used on a regular basis in Hollywood (such as blue-screen matting, structure from motion, optical flow, and feature tracking) and exciting recent developments that form the basis for future effects (such as natural image matting, multi-image compositing, image retargeting, and view synthesis). We'll also discuss the technologies behind motion capture and three-dimensional data acquisition. The talk will motivate the concepts with many behind-the-scenes images and video clips from TV and movies.


Richard J. Radke received the BA and MA degrees in computational and applied mathematics from Rice University, and the MA and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from Princeton University. He joined the Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering Department at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, New York. in 2001, where he is now a full professor. His current research interests include computer vision problems related to modeling 3D environments with visual and range imagery, designing and analyzing large camera networks, and machine learning problems for radiotherapy applications. He is affiliated with the US National Science Foundation (NSF) Engineering Research Centers for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems (CenSSIS) and Smart Lighting, the DHS Center of Excellence on Explosives Detection, Mitigation and Response (ALERT), and Rensselaer’s Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center (EMPAC). He received an NSF CAREER award in March 2003 and was a member of the 2007 DARPA Computer Science Study Group. His textbook Computer Vision for Visual Effects was published by Cambridge University Press in 2012. He is a senior member of the IEEE and an associate editor of the IEEE Transactions on Image Processing.