All Visual Effects in 2008 Will Involve Gases and Fluids

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences handed out their "sci-tech" achievement awards today, you know the ones that they blur through during Oscar night with someone like Jennifer Garner saying "I was forced... er, had lunch with these amazing people last month, and here are the highlights" and so forth. We noticed that there are a heck of a lot of awards for fluids and gases being given out here. Does that mean every single visual effects shot in 2008 is going to involve water or billowing clouds? After all, we've already seen The Mist. Check out the slippery winners below.


  • Victor Gonzalez, Ignacio Vargas and Angel Tena for the creation of the RealFlow software application. "RealFlow was the first widely adopted, commercially available, easy-to-use system for the simulation of realistic liquids in motion picture visual effects."

  • Jonathan Cohen, Dr. Jerry Tessendorf, Dr. Jeroen Molemaker and Michael Kowalski for the development of the system of fluid dynamics tools at Rhythm & Hues. "This system allows artists to create realistic animation of liquids and gases, using novel simulation techniques for accuracy and speed, as well as a unique scripting language for working with volumetric data."

  • Duncan Brinsmead, Jos Stam, Julia Pakalns and Martin Werner for the design and implementation of the Maya Fluid Effects system. "This system is used to create simulations of gaseous phenomena integrated into the widely available Maya tool suite, using an unconditionally stable semi-Lagrangian solver."

  • Stephan Trojansky, Thomas Ganshorn and Oliver Pilarski for the development of the Flowline fluid effects system. "Flowline is a flexible system that incorporates highly parallel computation, allowing rapid iteration and resulting in detailed, realistic fluid effects."

  • Dr. Doug Roble, Nafees Bin Zafar and Ryo Sakaguchi for the development of the fluid simulation system at Digital Domain. "This influential and flexible production-proven system incorporates innovative algorithms and refined adaptations of published methods to achieve large-scale water effects."

  • Nick Rasmussen, Ron Fedkiw and Frank Losasso Petterson for the development of the Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) fluid simulation system. "This production-proven simulation system achieves large-scale water effects within ILM's Zeno framework. It includes integrating particle level sets, parallel computation, and tools that enable the artistic direction of the results."