Nobody blows things up like Hollywood. Now, with the help of a tool called Wavelet Turbulence, filmmakers can generate realistic swirling smoke and fiery explosions that are more detailed, easier to control and faster to create.

UC Santa Barbara researcher Theodore Kim and three collaborators developed the tool, which won an Academy Award in 2012. So far, Wavelet Turbulence has been used in a number of major Hollywood films including "Avatar," "Iron Man 3," "Man of Steel" and "The Amazing Spider-Man."