We’re delighted to share that we’ve received the Collaboration Award at the CVMP Technical Awards!
Last night at the 20th ACM SIGGRAPH European Conference on Visual Media Production (CVMP), our crew behind the Double Negative Gravitational Renderer (DNGR) tool received the Collaboration Award, recognizing the joint effort on a dedicated project between industry and academia!
Developed to create the iconic images of black holes and wormholes in Interstellar, the project, completed in 2015, was a collaboration between Caltech’s Professor Kip Thorne and DNEG’s Chief Scientist Oliver James, leading our development team: Simon Pabst, Sylvan Dieckmann, Paul-George Roberts & Damien Maupu.
Over an intense seven months, they condensed a mountain of equations into code to create the most accurate depiction of a black hole and wormhole yet seen! The DNRG’s unprecedented detail has led to the publication of two scientific papers and has become a tool for astrophysics research, giving us new insights into gravitational lensing.
Learn more about the development of the Double Negative Gravitational Renderer here.
On working on the project, Oliver James said:
“Working with Professor Thorne allowed us to take ambitious risks on this project, knowing we had a world expert underpinning our team. Being rigorous with the physics enabled the tool we created to exceed its original purpose in movies and it has since been used in education, public outreach and even scientific investigation.”
Professor Thorne added:
“The demands of making IMAX-quality images of objects near a black hole triggered my DNEG colleagues and me to devise and perfect a new approach to creating such images – an approach embodied in DNEG’s Gravitational Renderer. That marvellous code not only produced the stunning images of hot gas swirling around the black hole Gargantua in the movie Interstellar, it also became a workhorse tool for us to explore bizarre aspects of astrophysical gravitational lensing of stars by black holes.”
In addition to 2014’s Interstellar, the DNGR has also been used in look development for Foundation Season 1, Brian Cox’s Universal Live Show, as well as educational videos for the Tycho Brahe Planetarium in Copenhagen and the Mt. Stromlo Observatory Visitor Centre in Canberra.