15th EGSR 2005

The 15th Eurographics Symposium on Rendering was held at the end of June 2005 in Konstanz, Germany (near the Swiss border). I traveled with Alan and his Bristol crew via London Stansted, after visiting my friends John in Leicester and Katerina in Brighton.

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We began the trip on a midnight bus from Bristol, with a few of us carrying colds in addition to our suitcases.

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After transferring to a second bus at Heathrow airport, we finally arrived at Stansted for our outbound flight -- with just 4 hours to spare!

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Glad to finally be boarding a plane, the lot of us set off for Konstanz, Germany.

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Our destination airport was Friedrichshafen, which translates to "Fred's Shafen," I think.

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We had about an hour to kill before the bus would take us on our final leg, so we got creative and decided to eat and drink.

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The first (and smallest) of what would be many beers to come.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Since no one part of the journey lasted more than a couple of hours, we were all pretty beat by the time we got there.

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A fun and unexpected part of the bus ride was a short trip on the ferry across the northern finger of Lake Konstanz. (Our bus is the red one on the left.)

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The fresh air was most welcome.

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Everyone had their cameras out.
Photo by Richard

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I'm not sure what Richard was shooting behind Mashhuda's back.

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Our first look at the city of Konstanz.

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We stayed at a German language immersion center called the Humbolt Institute, which was a lot like a high-class dormitory.

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The dining/commons area was very nice, when we were allowed in it.

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As soon as we had our rooms, Alan led us the way to the university. Notice how the grass is getting longer and the trees thicker in the direction he chose for us.

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Here's Alan helping Veronica up a steep bank while Mashhuda holds onto him by his, uh, neck. Some of the students were not too happy with the route, and had worn the wrong flip-flops.

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At least there were some nice flowers along the way.

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And this old barn house (Farmbarnhousen).

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The main building of the university was a bit unusual, defying German stereotypes.

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This fountain was particularly nice, I thought.

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The lecture hall where all the talks would be held.

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A high dynamic range image of the stairwell. (Grossendynamicrangefotografen)

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Kavita, the technical co-chair, speaking with Oliver, the co-host of the rendering symposium this year.

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The early registration mob.

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All badged, we took a well-earned break. It was good to see Erik, who was taking a summer sabbatical in Rennes, France at the time.

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We went back the way we came, still unaware that a much shorter, more paved route was available.

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Alan's Path
We later learned that ticks were a problem in the area.

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A view of the old building near the Humbolt Institute.

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The same building, seen from the bus stop on our way into town.

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Climbing a bridge over the train station tracks, we arrived at an outdoor beer garden that would be our meeting spot for the remainder of the week.

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Der Biergarten.

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Die Biergartner.

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There was also food, if you want to call it that. Und bier.

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Too much of a good thing.

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Too much.

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The atmosphere there was quite nice, and it was warm as well.

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I don't know what to say about this image, except that it summed up the evening pretty well.

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The following morning, we found a much more reasonable path to the university, which took 15 minutes rather than half an hour. And no ticks!

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Safety Bike
I imagine some safty-conscious cyclist owned this machine. It looked like it needed a stinger.

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Back Way
The path we found was not without its unusual aspects, but it seemed fairly direct in the end, and avoided entering the main building, whose exits were extremely well-hidden as we had learned the day before. (Even when Rich took over navigation duties from Alan the first day, we still ended up going in circles. I did the same myself a few days later trying to exit the building following a demo.)

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The back way also took us the nice fountain and this cascade.

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One of the two lecture halls where the talks were held.

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It was a bit too warm the first day, despite the air conditioning.

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Someone told me the sign says "No smoking beyond this point." In a word, German is wordy.

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The common area of the main building was attractive, if baffling.

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Kadi & Alan chatting at the welcome reception.
Photo by Mashhuda

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We had a nice view of Lake Konstanz and the northern part of the city from the cafeteria's balcony.

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Oliver welcomes his guests.

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Storm Front
Shortly after his welcome announcement, ominous clouds loomed overhead, portending a spot of rain in our immediate future.

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It hit like a hurricane, pretty much.

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Through a curtain of rain, we could see the sun shining on the soon-to-be-wet villiagers down below.
Photo by Mashhuda

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The storm blew over, leaving patchy clouds and fresh air for our evening festivities. Julie & I had split from the rest of the group in order to change out of shorts in my case and trade flip-flops in Julie's case.

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Here's an HDR shot I took of the old house at sunset.
Keywords hdr

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Sunset by the bridge into the old downtown area.
Keywords hdr

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More HDR sunsettage.
Keywords hdr

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One of the pedestrian streets in the downtown district. Julie and I got quite lost trying to find our mates, who were already on their third round of beers at that point.
Keywords hdr

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Beer was delivered "by the meter" at the brewery they had chosen for dinner.
Photo by Mashhuda

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It was a welcoming place, to be sure.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Despite the beautiful surroundings, I was a bit put off by the idea of a heavy meal at 10 o'clock, so I just watched.

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This is also in HDR. I want to see it on the new Sunnybrook display....
Keywords hdr

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Alan makes fun of Abhi, who doesn't really need help.
Photo by Mashhuda

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The following day, Fredo and his student Addy hand out copies of Wojciech's BRDF data, which had a requisite form from MERL's legal department.

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That evening, we enjoyed a fabulous night of dining and entertainment at the famous Steigenberger Hotel.

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Photo by Mashhuda

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Photo by Mashhuda

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Photo by Mashhuda

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A view of the Konstanz marina.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Longboats? In Germany?
Photo by Mashhuda

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Champagne was featured, and often mixed with orange juice.
Photo by Richard

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It had its effects.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Ahhh, champagne on an empty stomach.
Photo by Mashhuda

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The hotel was originally a monastery, and its interior walls were decorated with a mural history of the township.
Photo by Mashhuda

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I missed the tour, but it covered the history of the area from its humble beginnings.
Photo by Mashhuda

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The artistic detail was exquisite.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Our dinner was accompanied by a jazz trio and later by a pair of comedic jugglers.
Photo by Mashhuda

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This one was quite skilled with the free yo-yos.
Play movie

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Humor was an important part of the act.
Photo by Mashhuda
Play movie

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They also took at turn with juggling glowing, colored balls. The RGB color scheme worked quite well on this audience.
Photo by Richard

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As per tradition, a group of us rendered our version of Monty Python's "Philosopher's Drinking Song." We got mixed reviews.
Photo by Richard

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Kurt puts on his best face for the camera.
Photo by Richard

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Discussing which brewery to go to next, since we were being kicked out and it wasn't even midnight, yet!

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This beautiful effect is the result of taking a nighttime shot and putting the lens cap on without realizing the shuter is still open.
Photo by Richard

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In search of more bier.

Eureka! Der biergarten!
Photo by Veronica

Veronica's "Self-portrait with Matt."
Photo by Veronica

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The Last Lunch.

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Walk to Soccer
A blurry image of a group of us setting out to play soccer.

In the end, there were more spectators than participants. (Unfortunately, we didn't get a go on the climbing wall shown in the background.)
Photo by Veronica

We had a rousing match of 6 on 5 players, and nearly everyone scored a point.
Photo by Veronica

Kurt played despite a prior injury.
Photo by Veronica

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While we were kicking the ball around, another group went on a tour of the city.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Mashhuda took these photos.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Swan & signet
Photo by Mashhuda

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A church, I reckon.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Full o' filigree.
Photo by Mashhuda

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The rabbit fish fountain. I don't know the story, if there is one.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Photo by Mashhuda

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Konstanz Harbor
Photo by Mashhuda

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After soccer and city tour, we met up again at der Biergarten (again).

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After a few German beers, Alan thought it would be fun to take a short walk over the Swiss border to try the beer on that side. No one was manning the immigration booth.

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We snuck past the gate with no one in pursuit.

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The bar Alan promised us was in fact closed, so instead we bought canned Swiss beer from a little stand at the side of the road.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Everyone posing with their beer. (Note that my beer is in fact a chocolate bar -- I know what's good in Switzerland.)
Photo by Mashhuda

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Next to the boarder, there was also a music festival going on. I'm not sure who was playing, and it would have cost 24 Euros to find out, so none of us did.

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Mashhuda took this photo of the railway bridge at sunset.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Back to the biergarten, and proper German beer.

As usual, I skipped out on the remainder of the evening, which went too late for me. This is one of the few images I've seen of Erik looking serious.
Photo by Veronica

Now, that's more like it!
Photo by Veronica

How about a punch to chase that beer?
Photo by Veronica

Matt & Erik
Photo by Veronica

Photo by Veronica

Cathy & Timo
Photo by Veronica

Photo by Veronica

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The next day we traveled home without Alan, who had another trip on the heels of this one and headed in a different direction on another airline.

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With Mashhuda leading the way, we managed to make all our connections.

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Waiting for the bus.
Photo by Mashhuda

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Some of us were still recovering from the final night's festivities.

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Veronica managed to sleep nearly every moment we weren't in motion.

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A skill much to be admired.

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The trip had us taking a bus to a ferry to another bus to a train to our plane.

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Sleep, move, sleep, move, sleep, move...
Photo by Mashhuda

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Move, sleep.

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I don't have a photo to prove it, but it's a safe bet Veronica got a nice nap on the flight back to Stansted, where I said my fond farewells to Mashhuda and the Bristol bunch.

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Page created July 6 2005 9:15:09a