Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Lilo & Stitch surfing sequence
When I was the director of special effects animation at Walt Disney Feature Animation in Florida, my most enjoyable job by far was creating the effects designs and special effects animation techniques for the surfing sequences in the movie Lilo & Stitch. A small team of the core artists on the film actually traveled to Kauai, Hawaii, to research our specific areas of interest. My job was to spend as much time as possible observing the water and waves, and research how to best realistically depict cartoon characters surfing, keeping within the simple and elegant style of the film.
Although the effects animation was entirely hand-drawn, I did incorporate 3D elements to assist in the process. The surfboards themselves were 100% CGI. Also, we created animating CGI water surfaces, that we then printed out and used as guides to draw our traditional water surface effects on. This enabled us to keep our water surfaces more alive, rising and falling with subtle wave motion as real ocean swells do.