16-19 October 2016
Copenhagen University
Europe/Copenhagen timezone

Software Development for Movie Production and Rocket Science

17 Oct 2016, 09:30
Marble Hall (Copenhagen University)

Marble Hall

Copenhagen University

Thorvaldsensvej 40
Oral Contribution Welcome Session


Dr. Ken Museth (DreamWorks & SpaceX)


In this presentation I'll share some of my personal experiences related to the tricky business of scooping, managing, developing and deploying technical software in various contexts. The main focus will be on industrial production environments as well as an open source project you have likely never heard of, but almost certainly seen on the big screen. This project, dubbed OpenVDB, is a C++ library comprising a novel hierarchical data structure and a suite of tools for the efficient storage, rendering and simulation of sparse volumetric data discretized on three-dimensional grids. Ken Museth is the manager and Sr principle engineer of research and development in visual effects at DreamWorks Animation, California. He invented VDB, which is the enabling technology of OpenVDB, an open sourced library for efficient storage and simulation of VFX, which is setting a new standard in the movie industry (used in over 100 full feature movies). For this he was awarded a technical academy award in 2015. Prior to joining DreamWorks Animation in 2009 he worked on VFX in live action at Digital Domain for three years, was a full professor in computer graphics at Linkoping University for five years, and a senior research scientist at Caltech for five years. During the last period he also worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory on trajectory design for the "Genesis" space mission. Since early 2014 Ken has also worked part-time for SpaceX on CFD simulations of the new Raptor engine powering the main stage of the Mars Colonial Transporter. Ken holds a PhD in theoretical physical chemistry from University of Copenhagen University and loves adventure motorcycle riding.

Primary author

Dr. Ken Museth (DreamWorks & SpaceX)

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