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NVIDIA Quadro Powers Vegan Zombie Short at Dave School

TOFU, THE VEGAN ZOMBIE, an animated student short made at The Dave School (Digital Animation & Visual Effects) at Universal Studios, Florida, was aided by NVIDIA Quadro graphics boards to accelerate the production process. Modeling and rendering for TOFU was done with LightWave 3D and compositing was done with Digital Fusion, both OpenGL applications that make heavy use of the NVIDIA graphics boards.

The short film is the tale of a friendly zombie named Tofu who lost his brain in a laboratory accident and had it replaced by a hunk of tofu. As a result, Tofu eats only vegetables and grains, but if the tofu falls out of his skull, he reverts into a human-flesh-eating terror. The five-minute short features the voice talents of Billy West (FUTURAMA), who coincidentally is a vegan, and Ellen Muth (DEAD LIKE ME).

"Without the realtime rendering power of Quadro graphics," said TOFU creator and producer William Vaughan, "the students would have had to resort to producing final renders instead of realtime intermediates. The time consumed would have made the three-month production schedule impossible."

The final scene, in particular was a technical challenge. The scene begins in a dining room and features all five major characters in the film. The camera pulls out into another room and then out the window, showing the house, a graveyard, and hundreds of trees. Constructed with some 4,000,000 polygons, the scene couldn't have been produced without NVIDIA Quadro graphics, according to Vaughan.

NVIDIA Corp. ( is the worldwide leader in programmable graphics processor technologies. The company creates innovative, industry-changing products for computing, consumer electronics and mobile devices. NVIDIA is headquartered in Santa Clara, California, and has offices throughout Asia, Europe and the Americas.