Visual Effects Professional who Contributed to ‘Titanic’ will Present at HPU

HIGH POINT, N.C., Oct. 31, 2012 – High Point University will host speaker and Dr. Jerry Tessendorf, at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 16 in the Extraordinaire Cinema in the University Center as part of its Faculty Cultural Enrichment Grant Series.

Tessendorf is the director of the MFA program in Digital Production Arts in the School of Computing at Clemson University. Among the numerous films to which he has contributed directly are “Titanic,” “X2,” “The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe,” “Happy Feet” and “Superman Returns.” His highly influential career in the visual effects industry was recognized in 2008 by an Academy Award for Technical Achievement in honor of his development of custom fluid dynamics tools.

Tessendorf will describe how the simulation of the dynamics of hair, cloth, liquids, rigid bodies, and particles for feature film production depends on the choice of the numerical integration technique. The choice of solver used in the simulation affects the visual outcome, production convenience and robustness. He will also discuss the film-making advantages and disadvantages of the choice of solver and will demonstrate numerous movie clips.

“Dr. Tessendorf’s work demonstrates the usefulness of computational physics to solve complex problems such as modeling fluid dynamics,” says Dr. Aaron Titus, associate professor of physics who invited Tessendorf to speak at HPU. “His career shows how physics can be applied to various fields, perhaps in ways you might not realize. The next time you see a simulation in a movie and exclaim, ‘Wow that seemed so real!’ you can imagine that maybe a physicist produced that simulation.”

Parking for the event will be available for community members in the Norcross Graduate School lot.

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