Moana: Performing Water
B. Frost, A. Stomakhin, H. Narita. Moana: Performing Water. ACM SIGGRAPH 2017 (Talks).

For Disney's Moana, water was a dominant part of island life, in fact it had a life of its own. Presenting itself as a character, water was ever present, in a multitude of shapes and scales. An end-to-end water pipeline was developed for this film, including the creation of proprietary fluid APIC solver named Splash. This gave us physically accurate simulations. The challenge with performing water was to provide art-directed simulations, defying physics, yet remaining in a grounded sense of possibility. Incorporating natural swells and flows to support the building of designed shapes limited anthropomorphic features, and played to our goal of communicating that this character is the ocean as a whole.