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Computer Engineering Seminar

Problem Solving in Visual Effects: Spider-Man 3

Jonathan Cohen

This talk will discuss how the visual effects team tackled several of the technical and artistic challenges of Spider-Man 3. I will present details of the "sandstorm" effects system, including how we modeled, animated, simulated, and rendered hundreds of millions of sand grains per frame at feature film quality to create the "sandman" character. I will also provide some background on the entire film-making and visual effects process.
Jonathan Cohen is a research scientist with NVIDIA, where he focuses on numerical computing and parallel programming. Prior to joining NVIDIA, he held technology R&D positions in the feature film visual effects industry. His work can be seen on films such as Spider-Man 3, The Chonicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Cat in the Hat, and Hancock. In 2007, he was awarded an Academy Award for Technical Achievement for his work on fluid simulation and volumetric modeling. He has held positions with Sony Pictures Entertainment, Rhythm and Hues Studios, The University of Southern California, and Microsoft. He received a Bachelors of Science in Math and Computer Science from Brown University.

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