DreamWorks Animation produces family entertainment that is enjoyed by audiences worldwide. It is a major consumer technology, and employs a skilled workforce of scientists and engineers working to advance the state of the art in computer graphics for film production. Their movies use the latest technology for animation, rendering and visual effects, including techniques based on physical simulation.

Many environment and character effects elements, e.g. fire, smoke, water, cloth, hair, use sophisticated numerical models to produce motion that is acceptably close to the "real world" while maintaining a high level of art directability. Coupling between models is often a compromise between these competing requirements. In this talk Dr. Henderson will survey state-of-the-art simulation techniques for visual effects and animation, and discuss some of the challenges in applying these techniques in a creative environment.

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About the Speaker

Ron Henderson is the Director of Simulation and Visual Effects at DreamWorks Animation where he is responsible for developing physical simulation and procedural modeling tools. These systems have been used for key visual effects in recent films such as "Puss in Boots", "Megamind", "How To Train Your Dragon", and the upcoming "Rise of the Guardians".

Prior to joining DreamWorks in 2002 he was a Senior Scientist at Caltech with a joint appointment to the Applied Math and Aeronautics departments where he worked on efficient techniques for the direct numerical simulation of fluid turbulence. He has a Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from Princeton University, and a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from Purdue University.

Ron Henderson,
Director of Simulation and Visual Effects,
DreamWorks Animation