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We present a performance optimization study for an incompressible fluid simulation code designed for animated special effects. The solver uses a marker-and-cell (MAC) method to simulate the motion of liquids and gases. The main challenges in the optimization were identifying efficient data structures for managing the particle data, and rewriting the iterative pressure projection step so as to introduce threading without compromising the convergence rate. On average we achieved an improvement of over 300% in the performance of the serial implementation and parallel effciency of 65% on an 8-core desktop by threading portions of the application.