Most people here would agree that ATI's latest technology demo, 'The Doublecross' starring their new mascot Ruby (Download the video here) is superbly done. Real-time graphics continues to approach visuals once the realm of pre-rendered CG and in time our games will reach that same level of graphics quality. Most end-users, including myself, also agree that ATI's Radeon X800 demo does more to showcase their hardware than NVIDIA has done with their GeForce6 demos. This isn't reflective of anything wrong with NVIDIA's demo teams, but just a reflection of a different style and perspective and from another perspective, it's NVIDIA's demos that offer more substance.
Rendering with Natural Light (ATI)
Mr. Bear (ATI)
In this article, I'll dissect what it takes to make a great technology demo, in the hopes that the future will bring even better product launch demos. After all, competition brought us the hardware we have today – hopefully by competition between demo teams will do the same.
At Stanford, the introductory CS class holds a quarterly graphics programming contest. There are prizes for two categories: Aesthetic Merit and Algorithmic Sophistication. The year I entered the contest, they ended up giving me an award for Best Combined Aesthetics and Algorithmic Sophistication. It was a cool particle effect thing (given the limited programming environment) that did a starfield screen saver, fountain, etc.