PUPPETEER Julianne Buescher
BODY PERFORMER Alice Dinnean Vernon
DESIGNER(S) Bonnie O'Clair

Nalu is a digital character designed by NVidia and constructed for performance by Jim Henson's Creature Shop. Nalu was used to promote the GeForce 6800 GPUs of the GeForce 6 Series video card.

Nalu, which means "wave" in Hawaiian, is a mermaid and daughter of the sea. She has long, flowing hair which shimmers and undulates in her underwater home, showing off the power of the GeForce 6800 GPUs. NVidia's engineer William Donnelly, engineer Hubert Nguyen, artist/modeler Bonnie O'Clair and animator Anders Beer were credited with crafting this 3D real-time demo.

Nalu's most striking feature is her long, flowing hair which is simulated in real time and lit by a technique called "deep shadows" where the topmost hairs glow brightly from exposure to the light, while the lower hairs are darker. Designed to demonstrate the power and capabilities of the GeForce 6800 GPUs, the effects of gravity and water current on Nalu and her surroundings, the color of the light coming through the water, the iridescence of her scales, the light refracted through the water's surface lights up her skin, and the dynamic visual effect of her body and hair casting soft shadows on her as she swims are all rendered in real-time.