Multi-Threading for Visual Effects


Multi-Threading for Visual Effects

Wednesday, 12 August 9:00 AM - 12:15 PM | Los Angeles Convention Center, Room 502AB

Parallelism is important to many aspects of visual effects. In this course, experts in several key areas present their specific experiences in applying parallelism to their expertise domains. The problem domains are very diverse, and so are the solutions employed, including specific threading methodologies. This allows attendees to gain a wide understanding of various approaches to multi-threading and compare different techniques in a broad context of state-of-the-art approaches to implementing parallelism, and helps them decide which technologies and approaches to adopt for their own future projects. The presenters describe the challenges and difficulties they encountered, and the approaches they adopted to resolve these issues.

The course begins with an overview of the current state of parallel programming, followed by five presentations on various domains and threading approaches. Domains include rigging, animation, dynamics, and rendering for film and games, as well as a threading implementation for a full-scale commercial application that covers all of these areas. Topics include CPU and GPU programming, threading, vectorization, tools, debugging techniques, and optimization and performance-profiling approaches. The focus is on practical approaches and solutions to problems commonly encountered by developers.

Course Schedule

9 am

9:05 am
Multithreading Introduction and Overview

9:45 am
Parallelism in Houdini - practical lessons learned

10:30 am

10:45 am
GPU Rigid Body Simulation Using OpenCL

11:10 am
Asynchronous Computation Engine for Animation

11:40 am
Parallel Evaluation of Character Rigs Using TBB and Vectorization




Understanding of programming in C or C++. Understanding of visual effects software development.

Intended Audience

R&D developers and technical artists who want to expand their understanding of mult-ithreading approaches and challenges in the visual effects domain, including film and games.


Martin Watt
DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc.

George ElKoura
PIxar Animation Studios

Erwin Coumans
Google, Inc.

James Reinders
Intel Corporation

Jeff Lait
Side Effects Software, Inc.