by Dominick Spina

Congratulations to the cast and crew of “Inception,” the winner of this year’s Oscar for Best Visual Effects. For the first time the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences expanded the Best Visual Effects category to five nominated films, and it was another clean sweep for films that relied on NVIDIA technology—all Oscar nominees in this category were created by studios using NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics solutions.

Double Negative (DNeg) created visual effects for several of this year’s nominated films including “Inception,” “Iron Man 2,” and “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 1.” Central to DNeg’s effects workflow is their proprietary fluid simulation system, known as “Squirt,” a component of which was recently rewritten to leverage the NVIDIA CUDA parallel computing architecture and Quadro graphics processing units (GPUs).

“Moving our fluid solver onto the GPU allows our artists to get back the results of their simulations much faster,” said Dan Bailey, lead GPU developer, DNeg. “Fluid simulations are now sent to a specialized GPU farm, giving artists more time to iterate and ramp up the complexity of a shot to achieve a more believable result for the big screen.”

We salute all of this year’s nominees, and extend kudos to the “Inception” visual effects crew, including Dan Bailey and the team at DNeg who made it happen—with a little help from NVIDIA Quadro.