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Summer 2013 interns at HP Labs – Adria Fores Herranz

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Contributed by Simon Firth, freelance technology journalist

 

Adria-Fores-Herranz_July-20.jpgAdria Fores Herranz returns to Palo Alto this summer for his third internship with HP’s Printing and Content Delivery Lab. A rising 4th year Ph.D. student in Color Science at the Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, NY, Herranz grew up in the Catalan city of Vic, in Spain. He received both a BS in computer science and an MS in computer graphics from the University of Girona. When he’s not busy with research, Herranz likes to hike and develop his interest in photography.

 

HP: What are you working on this summer?

I’m looking at how you can represent real materials in virtual environments, with a particular focus on representing printed materials.

 

HP: What sort of things could the research be applied to?

In commercial printing, you create a proof to show people what the print job will really look like. With the growth of digital printing, people increasingly want to do shorter printing runs, and you don’t want to have to ship a physical proof every time. So there’s a lot of value in being able to create digital proofs that look exactly like the hard copy.

 

HP: What’s the big challenge there?

Usually with printing work flows you care most about the color. But the finished project isn’t just about the color. It also reflects the properties of the material you are printing on. There’s a huge difference between matte and glossy prints, for example. To accurately represent them you need to create proofs of virtual objects that you can ‘move’ around – so you can see how they differ as light moves across them.

 

HP: Have you been working on the same project each year?

Yes, the first summer I was here we were just exploring the area in a general way to see what potential it might have. Then last year I was doing psychophysical experiments, looking at the difference between how we see objects in real life and on a display. This year, I’ve been looking at improving how we measure the visual qualities of material qualities so that we can do it faster and in a more scalable way.

 

HP: Do you see your work here as feeding into your Ph.D. research?

Yes, all the work I’ve been doing is very connected with my Ph.D. topic, which is “Perceptual Reproduction of Gloss on Displays.” The HP project really interested me from when I was first interviewed because it was merging my background in computer graphics and my current work in color science. For my masters, I’d been looking at material appearance description in computer graphics and the work here was related to that – looking at how you represent real materials in virtual environments.

 

HP: What do you like about interning at HP Labs?

I like how you can ask anyone a question and they are nearly always willing to help. And the resources are great. If you need a device that the team doesn’t own, there’s probably another lab that will be able to lend one to you. I also like how, in an industrial lab, you are doing things that matter to the company you are working with and potentially impacting its future.

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