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These animations demonstrate several of the techniques described in the papers that I have been involved in. Most of them have been rendered using our Linux cluster. I recommend using MPlayer to play them under Linux. Please note that my monitor has a fairly low intensity setting, so if you are sitting in front of a bright screen you may want to reduce the intensity in order not to see the compression artifacts.

This web-page was actually linked from slashdot! Unfortunately, too many people were downloading the animations, and Stanford University actually cut the CS-departments connection to the internet on that Sunday when the downloading was at it's peak at 25Mbs.

Some of the animations are compressed using divx4. Eventually, I plan to compress all the animations as divx4, since this codec currently has the best quality for a given size. You can download the codec at

The Light of Mies van der Rohe

This animation demonstrates how global illumination using photon mapping can be used to explore the light flow in a complex architectural model: the unbuilt "Courtyard House with Curved Elements" by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The animation was rendered on a Linux based cluster using the DALI renderer.

SIGGRAPH 2000 Electronic Theater

320x240 MPEG (63MB)
320x240 avi/divx4 (7MB)
This animation was also mentioned in The New York Times.

Rendering Translucent Materials

This animation demonstrates a new practical BSSRDF model for rendering translucent materials. Translucent materials, such as marble, milk and skin have a soft and smooth appearance that cannot be simulated with standard lighting models. We illustrate the importance of correctly rendering translucency, and show how this can be used to eliminate the traditional hard computer graphics look.

SIGGRAPH 2001 Electronic Theater

640x480 avi/divx4 (19MB)
320x240 avi/divx4 (9MB)

Little Fluffy Clouds

A simulation of light scattering in the atmosphere as a layer of clouds develops. The simulation includes a physically based sunlight model and it takes into account multiple anisotropic scattering, global illumination and spectral sampling (every 10nm). The model of Little Matterhorn was created by the graphics group in Utah.

SIGGRAPH 2000 Animation Theater

640x480 MPEG (18MB)
320x240 MPEG (8MB)
320x240 Quicktime MJPEG (7MB)

A Rapid Hierarchical Rendering Technique for Translucent Materials

This animation demonstrates a fast hierarchical rendering technique for translucent materials.

SIGGRAPH 2002 Papers DVD

640x480 avi/divx4 (12MB)

Physically-Based Modeling and Animation of Fire

This animation demonstrates a new technique for modeling, animating, and rendering fire.

SIGGRAPH 2002 Papers DVD

720x480 avi/divx4 (14MB)

Visual Simulation of Smoke

This 5 minute animation demonstrates the techniques in the paper Visual Simulation of Smoke.

SIGGRAPH 2001 Papers DVD and Video

640x480 avi/divx4 (23MB)
640x480 MPEG (130MB)
320x240 MPEG (32MB)


A marble bust rendered using our BSSRDF model. The parameters of the BSSRDF model are changed slowly from opaque to translucent. Note that this is not just a cross-fade, but an actual change of parameters. You will not get this effect with a cross-fade between two different materials.

320x240 MPEG (8MB)

Caustics from a rotating glass cube including dispersion

This is a quick rendering of a rotating glass cube. The glass simulation includes light dispersion (ie. different wavelengths of light is refracted in different directions), and the caustics have been rendered using photon mapping. The dispersion effect is quite subtle; it can be seen as a slight coloration of the caustics.

320x240 MPEG (8.7MB)
320x240 Quicktime MJPEG (6.5MB)

Rising Smoke

A simulation of rising smoke with Ron Fedkiw and Jos Stam.

512x512 avi/divx4 (0.4MB)
512x512 MPEG (4.8MB)
512x5412 Quicktime MJPEG (3.4MB)

Smoke flowing around a sphere

A simulation of smoke flowing past a sphere with Ron Fedkiw and Jos Stam.

512x512 avi/divx4 (0.4MB)
512x512 MPEG (6.3MB)
4.4MB - Quicktime MJPEG

Last update: October 7, 2002