The technology of the Matrix
Wired have a fascinating article on the technology being used for The Matrix Reloaded. They’ve apparently achieved photo-realistic CGI humans using a technique caleld “image-based rendering” based on taking a huge number of high resolution photos from different angles and using them to generate the 3D geometry of a scene.
The technique was first demonstrated in The Campanile Movie, where it was used to create a flyover of a University campus using still photos taken from a kite. It’s worth downloading the film to get an idea of just how powerful the technique is.
The MetaFilter discussion about the Wired article has comments from the author of the article himself.