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Published on Jan 23, 2014
College of Charleston computer science graduate Nafees Bin Zafar '98 is a visual effects artist for DreamWorks. His day-to-day tasks involve finding new ways to blow things up and create mayhem. He won an Academy Award in 2008 (when he worked for Digital Domain) for developing fluid simulation software used in movies that include "The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring," "Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End," Flags of Our Fathers," and "The Day After Tomorrow." Scientific and Technical Academy Awards are only given for breakthroughs of considerable merit are recognized, and only after they've proven their value for a number of years.
Bin Zafar reads the script, then looks at the movie's storyboard to determine the effects he'll need to produce. He then writes code to create the desired effects -- tweaking the math to make objects speed up , slow down, skin, rise or whatever.