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Mark Elendt & Jeff LaitMark Elendt Jeff Lait

“Innovation on simulations and proceduralism on Visual Effects and the Film Industry”

Wednesday, May 23
Building 3 Auditorium - 11:00 AM
(Cookies at 10:30 AM)

Earlier this year, Jeff Lait, Mark Elendt and SideFX were awarded Scientific and Technical Academy Awards for their continued work and innovation on the Houdini Visual Effects software package.Houdini is primarily used for visual effects in films and has been used in features like Spider-Man, Moana, Mad Max, Interstellar and The Shape Of Water.  It has also been used for television shows like The Game of Thrones and Stranger Things as well as content creation for many AAA video games.Over the past decade, visual effects in films and games have grown in complexity and constantly push the boundaries of compute and memory constraints.  Houdini's open and procedural nature allows artists to meet these ever increasing demands.  Mark and Jeff will discuss general techniques that VFX artists use to approach these problems, with some concrete examples shown using Houdini.

Mark Elendt Bio:

Mark Elendt has been a developer at SideFX for over 25 years.  He has contributed to PRISMS, Houdini and the Mantra renderer.  While at SideFX, Mark has received four separate Scientific and Technical awards from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, including an Academy Award of Merit, the highest honor given to film scientists.

Houdini is an essential tool in the film industry and has been used in movies like Mad Max, The Lord of the Rings, Interstellar, Spider-Man, and The Shape of Water.  The flexibility and proceduralism of Houdini also make it a powerful tool for video game creation and scientific visualization.

Mark is passionate about the industry and is active in ACM SIGGRAPH as well as production communities like the VES.

Jeff Lait Bio:

Jeff Lait is a senior mathematician at Side Effects Software where he has worked on Houdini since version 1.0.  He has contributed to geometry processing, rigid body solvers, and fluid simulations.  He has also had the "joy" of working with many architectures over the years: SGI, Alpha, x86, Itanium, PS2, and PS3; and is still waiting for the system that solves more problems than it causes.


IS&T Colloquium Committee Host: Helen- Nicole Kostis

Sign language interpreter upon request: 301-286-7348