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Visual effects, water, fire and smoke simulations are among the most common applications in films with a high proportion of visual effects. However, the calculation of these effects often represents a bottleneck in film productions. The artistic control is always more important than the physical correctness of the simulation.

One of the goals of the project is to investigate how an open framework for the simulation of visual effects in connection with a high-performance computer center should be designed. To that end, we examine existing approaches to carry out our tasks. Have 'big data' approaches been used in VFX and where are the problems? Can database input / prioritizing sparse input data be supplemented sensibly?

Project Palander investigates how to incorporate open-source programs onto a HPC system, thus avoiding licensing issues when using a high number of nodes. It provides a prototype application for performing HPC fluid simulations at high speeds and/or resolutions. For the content creation platform, we use Blender, into which we introduce a Python add-on to bypass its native fluid simulation engine; instead, the simulations are then performed on the HPC system using Palabos, an engineering-grade and massively parallelizable fluid simulation tool.

FMX 2017, Conference Talk, Tools of Tomorrow
High-Performance Computing for Artistic Content Creation
May 5, Bertha-Benz-Saal, 15:00 - 16:00

Project files and code available at Github:

Digital Production 1/18: Simulationen mit Höchstleistung berechnen