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<   No. 2518   2009-12-18   >

Comic #2518

1 Young Jamie: We're never going to meet our own grandfathers wandering around the base. They'll be locked away in a secure lab somewhere.
2 Young Adam: What do you suggest?
2 Young Jamie: Let's go into town and hang out in a local bar.
3 Young Adam: So we can meet our own grandmothers and try to become our own grandfathers?!
4 Young Jamie: I was going to say so we can think about our options.
4 Young Adam: I've already thought about them.

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He obviously hasn't thought about it long enough.

Don't think about it too hard yourself. It is slightly disturbing, but I'm afraid this sort of thing is virtually inevitable if you start mucking about with time machines.

2023-11-14 Rerun commentary: In August 2014 I travelled to Vancouver, Canada, for the SIGGRAPH 2014 conference on computer graphics. I was fortunate because it was closely related enough to my work at the time to justify my attendance. Amongst the many talks and presentations I attended, one of the most popular was a talk given by animators on The LEGO Movie, titled The LEGO movie: bricks, bricks and more bricks.

They showed several scenes from the movie, in various stages of the rendering process, with different algorithms and so on. One very interesting thing they mentioned was that when they did the first test renders, the Lego constructions looked too smooth and unrealistic. They realised that physical Lego blocks have a tiny manufacturing tolerance, so they're not exactly identical in size. So they added a tiny random jitter to the sizes of the simulated bricks, and when they assembled those into constructions and rendered them, they looked much more realistic.

You can see this effect in the real Lego wall behind Adam and Jamie above. If the bricks were all perfect, the wall would be utterly flat and wouldn't have those visible shadows caused by the slightly different brick sizes/positions where the seams are. We're conditioned by long experience to know that a wall of Lego bricks has these slight imperfections, which the animators had to then reproduce to make The LEGO Movie look like real Lego bricks.

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