Ken Museth is one of the worlds’ leading researchers in simulation technology, and Weta Digital’s recently appointed Head of Simulation and Research Development.
Ken is a prolific contributor to the science of visual effects, and sharing his expertise kept him very busy at SIGGRAPH this year.
Ken took part in two talks: Novel Algorithm for Sparse and Parallel Fast Sweeping, in which he described parallel computation of sparse signed-distance fields; and Production-Ready MPM Simulations which discussed two complementary techniques to speed up material-point-method-based simulations: a special GPU implementation that can run simulations up to five times faster, and a significantly reduced computational workload while adding artistic control with a novel particle-activation scheme.
He also presented his paper Fluids II: Multi-species simulation of porous sand and water mixtures; and ran a course on VDB, - software invented and developed by Ken that allows for high-resolution volumetric visual effects using limited computing resources.
The four contributions cover work that was mostly carried out as part of his previous role with DreamWorks Animation. We are very excited to see how all this material will evolve in the future.
Luca Fascione is Senior Head of Technology & Research at Weta Digital, where he oversees Weta’s core research and technology efforts including simulation and rendering research, software engineering and production engineering.
Luca is also the recent recipient of s Sci-Tech award received for his work on Weta's facial motion capture system FACETS. He took part in The Academy's Scientific and Technical Awards Panel to discuss the technology.
Luca also partnered with Johannes Hanika for a two-part Course: Path Tracing in Production.
Justin Israel took part in the talk Pipe Dreams: Large-Scale VFX Pipelines.
He discussed how Weta ensures peak utilization of hardware resources and handles the increasingly dynamic demands placed on its render farm infrastructure. The solutions Weta Digital has developed include custom queuing, scheduling, job description, and submission systems. Justin presented the scalability issues encountered and detailed the strategy, process, and results in solving these problems.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Birds of a Feather are graphics-related, attendee-organized, informational discussions of shared interests, goals, technologies and/or backgrounds. This year we had two participants: Frankie Liu on Bridging the Gap Between Production and Technology and Peter Hillman for ID Map Solutions.