2020-11-18 Cinematic Scientific Visualization: Where Science Meets Hollywood Visual Effects - Kalina Borkiewicz

Cinematic Scientific Visualization:  Where Science Meets Hollywood Visual Effects


Speaker: Kalina Borkiewicz

Advanced Visualization Lab, 

National Center for Supercomputing Applications,

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Online Event

Free, General Admission, open to the public

For our November meeting, direct from SIGGRAPH 2020, we have a talk that combines big data, computer graphics, animation and visualization with a terrific speaker. Don't miss out on attending this exciting meeting!

Scientific visualization for public education serves a vital role in our modern society which communicates with image-based memes and incentivizes out-of-context sensationalism through clickbait journalism.

The data visualization community has the unique capacity to engage public audiences by cutting through the noise with meaningful scientifically validated imagery. The Advanced Visualization Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications has years of experience in creating high-quality cinematic scientific visualizations for public outreach. They work with scientists, film producers, and education experts to create virtual tours through data collected from astronomers, geologists, biologists, and other scientific domains for high-resolution immersive screens. Films that contextualize cutting-edge computational research with a narrative and use innovative visual effects help audiences build a foundational understanding about complex science concepts.

This presentation will explore the process of creating cinematic scientific visualizations with scientific and visual effects tools for public audiences.


6:00 - 6:05 PM Introduction

6:05 - 6:45 PM Talk

6:45 - 6:55 PM Q&A

6:55 - 7:00 PM Closing and Adjournment

Join us and learn how cinematic scientific visualization can help you illuminate vital facts to audiences everywhere!

Kalina Borkiewicz is a senior research programmer for the Advanced Visualization Lab at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She spends much of her time writing computer graphics software and tools that are used to convert extremely large scientific datasets into high-fidelity, production-quality, IMAX-screen-ready visuals. 

She is the primary developer of Ytini, an open-source middleware between the scientific analysis Python package, yt, and the visual effects package, Houdini. 

She has contributed to documentaries including “Imagine the Moon” (Adler Planetarium), “A Beautiful Planet” (IMAX/Hulu), and “Seeing the Beginning of Time” (Amazon Prime).

Additional Reading:

SIGGRAPH Asia 2020 interview with Kalina Borkiewicz

Scientific Visualization in Houdini (PDF)


Click here to Reserve for Wednesday, November 18

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