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The Day After Tomorrow: Tornadoes, Snowstorms and Tidal Waves Come Alive With Crack Creative and NVIDIA


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The Day After Tomorrow: Tornadoes, Snowstorms and Tidal Waves Come Alive With Crack Creative and NVIDIA

Production Previsualisation Played Key Role in Early Design and Visualisation of Film’s Captivating Disaster Sequences

LONDON – 28th MAY, 2004 — Deadly twisters. Massive snowstorms. Devastating tidal waves. These are just a few of the visually intense scenes from the special effects-packed Twentieth Century Fox film The Day After Tomorrow, which opens this week in movie theatres around the world.

The cataclysmic events depicted in the film come alive with the help of Hollywood, California-based Crack Creative, a recently-launched production design and effects company (, and Santa Clara, California-based NVIDIA Corporation (NASDAQ: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, who teamed up to help the filmmakers design and visualise the spectacular sequences in Hollywood’s first disaster movie of the summer.

Crack Creative artists, working with the NVIDIA Digital Film group and computer systems driven by state-of-the-art NVIDIA Quadro® FX graphics boards, provided the filmmakers with the ability to design, view and select scenes early on in the creative process. Crack Creative’s designs included the Los Angeles twisters, the Manhattan tidal surge, views of the storms from outer space, images of wolves scavenging for food and other key scenes.

Roland Emmerich, the film’s award-winning director, explained, “Working with Crack Creative allowed us to see how sequences worked before shooting, to communicate with the actors and departments during production and to aid continuity during the edit when shots were not yet available. It was a big advantage to the film to visually explore new ideas at any point throughout production.”

Joshua Kolden, president, Crack Creative, added, “Most of these sequences went through many versions before the final version was chosen. In a normal visual effects pipeline, the sheer volume of shots would not have been possible in the time we had. The film makers challenged Crack Creative to create sequences that included a detailed model of Manhattan, as well as massive particle simulations of storms while remaining interactive. This is called ‘photo-realistic real-time’ and it was made possible by NVIDIA graphics technology. It meant we were able to send more scenes through the pipe more quickly, saving money and time, and perhaps more importantly, giving the filmmakers the flexibility to tell a more compelling story.”

About Previsualisation

Previsualisation – referred to as ‘pre-vis’ – makes the visual effects production process more accessible to directors earlier in production. It involves computer generating proposed shots for a movie more quickly but in lower quality. In today's productions, sequences and even individual shots are becoming so complex that storyboards, the traditional visualisation tool, are having a difficult time representing them. Often it is necessary to see the actual motion of the shot, or even the entire scene. Pre-vis is becoming more common and cost effective. Until recently, however, there was only one choice of quality in pre-vis, which was low.

Crack Creative’s pre-vis approach uses the latest professional-grade graphics and video hardware from NVIDIA as well as custom shaders, textures and rendering techniques to provide a full spectrum of image quality so that even very subtle effects can be visualised while maintaining interactive performance. Crack Creative provided the majority of the previsualisation work done for The Day After Tomorrow, most of which was utilised in the film with no change at all to the original design or structure.

Crack Creative’s ability to successfully integrate this process into the production pipeline bodes well for the continued use of advanced previsualisation technologies as film visual effects continue to push the bounds of creativity in film. The NVIDIA Digital Film group is working with leading studios and visual effects companies to ensure they have the hardware and software tools to make this a reality.

NVIDIA Corporation is a market leader in visual computing technology dedicated to creating products that enhance the interactive experience on consumer and professional computing platforms. Its graphics and communications processors have broad market reach and are incorporated into a wide variety of computing platforms, including consumer digital-media PCs, enterprise PCs, professional workstations, digital content creation systems, notebook PCs, military navigation systems and video game consoles. NVIDIA is headquartered in Santa Clara, California and employs more than 1,800 people worldwide. For more information, visit the Company’s Web site at

Certain statements in this press release, including any statements relating to the Company's performance expectations for NVIDIA's family of products and expectations of continued revenue growth, are forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause results to be materially different than expectations. Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, manufacturing and other delays relating to new products, difficulties in the fabrication process and dependence of the Company on third-party manufacturers, general industry trends including cyclical trends in the PC and semiconductor industries, the impact of competitive products and pricing alternatives, market acceptance of the Company's new products and the Company's dependence on third-party developers and publishers. Investors are advised to read the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, particularly those sections entitled "Certain Business Risks," for a fuller discussion of these and other risks and uncertainties.

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