SANTA CLARA, CA -- This year the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expanded the Best Visual Effects category to five nominated films, and it was another clean sweep for films that relied on NVIDIA® technology -- all Oscar nominees in this category were created by studios using NVIDIA® Quadro® professional graphics solutions.
Double Negative (DNeg) created visual effects for several of this year's nominated films including "Inception," "Iron Man 2," and "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1." Central to DNeg's effects workflow is their proprietary fluid simulation system, known as "Squirt," a component of which was recently rewritten to leverage the NVIDIA CUDA™ parallel computing architecture and Quadro graphics processing units (GPUs).
"Moving our fluid solver onto the GPU allows our artists to get back the results of their simulations much faster," said Dan Bailey, lead GPU developer, DNeg. "Fluid simulations are now sent to a specialized GPU farm, giving artists more time to iterate and ramp up the complexity of a shot to achieve a more believable result for the big screen."
"Iron Man 2" features spectacular visual effects work, much of which was delivered by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). "Working with NVIDIA Quadro, we're able to work faster and iterate more frequently, which hugely benefits our artists, and ultimately the quality of our project work on films like 'Iron Man 2,'" notes Ben Snow, ILM visual effects supervisor. ILM works closely with NVIDIA on GPU development to accelerate both effects creation and rendering pipelines.
Scanline VFX utilized its proprietary simulation software, called "Flowline," to create natural phenomena, such as the spectacular tsunami recreation in "Hereafter." Scanline is now writing its next generation of "Flowline" as a CUDA architecture-based, GPU-optimized application.
"Scanline VFX is an R&D-centric effects company that is always looking to push technologies to the limit," said Stephan Trojansky, president of Scanline VFX LA. "We are investing heavily into implementing various forms of GPU acceleration into our pipeline, and are starting to see speed improvements of more than 10 times as we integrate more of these components into our workflow."
Sony Pictures Imageworks (SPI) completed the majority of the visual effects work on "Alice in Wonderland," creating 1,700 shots in total. Effects accelerated by NVIDIA GPUs include the mist and lightning emitted by Jabberwocky the dragon, the appearing and disappearing effects of the Cheshire Cat, and the dust and destruction caused by the hot-tempered Bandersnatch.
"Our work is all about storytelling, and so we need tools that make it easier for our artists to tell their tales," said Magnus Wrenninge, senior technical director, SPI. "With NVIDIA Quadro graphics delivering performance levels up to 100 times faster than other systems, we can achieve the director's creative vision -- and that's our ultimate goal."
The winner will be announced at the 83rd annual Academy Award ceremony on Sunday, February 27, 2011.
For more information about NVIDIA Quadro Professional Graphics Solutions, please visit www.nvidia.com/quadro.
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NVIDIA (NASDAQ: NVDA) awakened the world to the power of computer graphics when it invented the GPU in 1999. Since then, it has consistently set new standards in visual computing with breathtaking, interactive graphics available on devices ranging from tablets and portable media players to notebooks and workstations. NVIDIA's expertise in programmable GPUs has led to breakthroughs in parallel processing which make supercomputing inexpensive and widely accessible. The Company holds more than 1,700 patents worldwide, including ones covering designs and insights that are essential to modern computing. For more information, see www.nvidia.com.
Certain statements in this press release including, but not limited to statements as to: the benefits, features and impact of NVIDIA GPUs and NVIDIA Quadro graphics; and the effects of the company's patents on modern computing are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause results to be materially different than expectations. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include: global economic conditions; our reliance on third parties to manufacture, assemble, package and test our products; the impact of technological development and competition; development of faster or more efficient technology; design, manufacturing or software defects; changes in consumer preferences or demands; changes in industry standards and interfaces; unexpected loss of performance of our products or technologies when integrated into systems; as well as other factors detailed from time to time in the reports NVIDIA files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC, including its Form 10-Q for the fiscal period ended October 31, 2010. Copies of reports filed with the SEC are posted on the company's website and are available from NVIDIA without charge. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and speak only as of the date hereof, and, except as required by law, NVIDIA disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect future events or circumstances.
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