Computers: Artistry on a Glowing Screen

The new, natural look in computer graphics

A field of grass sways in the wind, each blade clearly defined in yellow and green. A molecule of DNA, its 65,000 atoms represented by gleaming spheres, twists and folds into a thick, knotty ring. Oversize baseballs zoom by at impossible speeds, trailed by surrealistic soda fountains and eerily chattering teeth.

These remarkable images, as sharp as photographs, yet as free from the bounds of reality as an animated cartoon, were crafted not by humans but by computers. They were among the 35 video and film clips showcased last week at the twelfth annual gathering of the Association for Computing Machinery's...

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