there's this sense i get sometimes that's hard to describe, it's like looking at mundane everyday sorts of stuff, and being struck by the sheer scale and brute-force implementation of it all...
like, sortof in contrast, there's the notion of some quantum stuff looking like calculation shortcuts, but our macro scale and beyond is astronomically larger, and a grain of sand just sitting in some pile is trillions of particles buzzing with all the picosecond activities of merely existing, for eons...


and my cgi fiddlings over the years really highlighted this sense for me... take a photo of a random person, and it's just this mundane image, but if you render it indistinguishably, from scratch in cgi, it's a dazzling accomplishment. and a big part of that difference is just in how our computers would take the lifetime of the universe to calculate a tiny bit of everything actually going on in that scene to physically render the photograph.

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so sometimes i'll sit and stare at the interplay of sunlight on a leaf, or a cloud, or the subtle subsurface scattering in almost everything that cgi artists still often neglect for performance, or the complex fluidic flows in smoke, and think of how these utterly tiny effects in space and time, coming and going in a blip, would take my computer hours or days to calculate a fuzzy approximation of.

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