Filmmaking Process

Effects Animation

Shot Production

Effects Animators dream up magic by bringing to life the elements of fire, water, wind and earth, which in some cases can become exciting characters themselves.

Starting early by engaging a film's Directors in “blank slate, conjure-something-amazing discussions,” the Effects Animation team then goes wild collaborating, experimenting and iterating until something truly special has been created.

In a stylized and graphic film such as Wish, the Effects Designer will often start with a concept pitch to the directors, as in this clip explaining how the design and motion of Magnifico's magic might work.

Then a motion test in the context of a shot would be the next step in the progression. The Wish Effects Designer did this 2D animation test of Magnifico's dark magic, which inspired the entire team.

That test became the guiding force for creating this final shot in the film.

In Raya and the Last Dragon, Effects Animators created the horrifying Druun and brought them to life. In addition, the infinite forms of water, natural rivers draining in an instant, and magical splashes as the dragons ran on raindrops, all flowed from the creative and technical skills of the Effects Animation artists.

Leaf Dynamics

While development the movement of leaves in Frozen 2, the effects team wanted to match the leaf behavior found in 2D animation like Pocahontas. Breaking the laws of physics, the Effects Animations set up the leaves to loop around in circles. This required calculating the curvature of the leaf and setting up logic so that if the leaf has enough momentum along its curve, an additional force is applied so that it continues to circle around.

Foundation Effects

In Moana, the character Te Ká consists of fire, lava drips, splashes, lightning, and smoke. The animation of these effects elements enhance Te Ká's character, emotions, and the storytelling. This progression shows how foundation effects were placed in the scene, the layered elements rendered, and the final result.

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