"Visual Computing Cafe Seminar — ‘Brute Force: The Future of Visual Effects’"

Nafees Bin Zafar, Principal Engineer, DreamWorks Animation

January 10th (Friday), 12:30pm
Phelps Hall, Room 1401

The bleeding edge of visual effects is always about cheats and tricks. New effects are created for largely unknown requirements, and under impractical time constraints. So we use a lot of cheats. Then we get asked to do it again, and the real trouble starts. Historically these shortcuts have given way to more correct, and brute force algorithms.

My talk is going to cover some state of the art techniques from recent films for creating cloudscapes, and destroying cities (It’s all the rage!). I will discuss how noise functions are used to create volumes, how we fake global illumination effects in clouds, and how we model elasticity with rigid bodies. We’ll look at some effects that worked well, and others that didn’t. Finally I’ll try to convince you that the answer to these problems lies in brute force algorithms.

About Nafees Bin Zafar:

photo of nafees bin zafar Nafees Bin Zafar is a Principal Engineer at DreamWorks Animation. He has worked on a long list of blockbuster films over the last 13 years, such as the Pirates of the Caribbean, Kung Fu Panda, and Transformers franchises. Nafees won an Academy Award in 2008 for his work on pioneering digital fluid effects now used throughout the visual effects industry. His expertise ranges across volumetric modeling and rendering, image processing, and dynamics simulation systems. He is an active contributor to leading academic conferences, and serves on the committee that confers Academy Awards for technical contributions to the film industry.

Hosted by: UCSB Center for Visual Computing