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Use the GDC 2021 Session Viewer to browse and sort the ever-growing list of sessions by day, time, pass type, topic, and format. All registered attendees will be able to build their personal schedule directly within the event platform, once live early July 2021. All times are listed in Pacific Time.

Torch Them All: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Make Fire

Shahin Rabbani  (R&D Scientist & Physics Programmer, Ubisoft Montreal)

Date: Wednesday, July 21

Time: 2:30pm - 3:30pm

Pass Type: All Access Pass, Core Pass

Topic: Programming

Format: Session

Vault Recording: Video

Audience Level: N/A: I prefer to present live on-site but I am open to delivering a virtual presentation

Great advances have been made in various domains to achieve jaw-dropping visual and gameplay experiences in the video game industry in recent years. There is still one question that lingers on many gamers' mind:

"Where are the real-time smoke, fire, and water simulations in games?"

This presentation lays down a number of fundamental mathematical and engineering barriers that have slowed down the fluids simulation integration in video game productions with tight computational budgets. A savvy physics programmer must be aware of not only engineering tricks in their arsenal but also what can be done to the underlying physical model to help ease the fight against code optimization. The Torch initiative at Ubisoft La Forge aims to achieve this through revised mathematical models as well as leveraging the simulation system with machine learning techniques.


The audience will learn about the trade-off between engineering and theoretical efforts to effectively solve complex problems such as real-time fluid simulation. This presentation demonstrates how one can leverage math against such notoriously hard engineering problems to meet production-level performance benchmarks.

Intended Audience

Physics programmers and VFX artists. The audience needs to have a basic knowledge of fluids simulation, GPU pipeline and algebra.