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Published on Mar 24, 2015
Good Signed Distance Functions define geometry by providing a semantic description that is very close to the essence of what the shape actually is - but that is almost completely lost when working with polygons or voxels, who solve the problem by throwing big amounts of data at it. Think vector graphics vs. pixels. As a result, SDFs can describe objects in an elegant way that makes variation, animation and last-minute changes trivial. Since building good SDFs is not straightforward, this talk will focus on patterns that help with the modelling process by making it more structured, such as two different families of operators, debugging views, and assorted best practices that have helped us build last year's "the timeless" and other 64k and 4k intros. A very short introduction will show what a Signed Distance Function is (spoiler: a piece of code), what properties it should have and how it is commonly rendered. We will then probably spend most of the time live-coding SDFs and looking at creating geometry using this technique.