“Constructing the Underwater World of Finding Dory”

  • ©Nathan Fariss and Antony Carysforth

  • ©Nathan Fariss and Antony Carysforth



Entry Number: 53


    Constructing the Underwater World of Finding Dory



    One of the primary challenges in making a sequel to a beloved film, such as Finding Nemo, is finding a way to make the world familiar while also awe-inspiringly new. In Finding Dory, we not only revisited familiar coral reefs, but also ventured through the wreckage of a container ship, and swam through a swaying kelp forest. Starting with sets that were extracted from rib files from the first film, we painstakingly reconstructed some of the iconic reef environments in our modern pipeline. The level of desired complexity in these sets required us to build and adopt a point-and-click method of prop placement, in order to speed construction. Parts of the reef that were cheats in the first film were rebuilt in Maya and Houdini as true geometry with far greater levels of detail. Props that needed movement were simulated and cached in a generic way that could be adjusted in each shot. The set dressing artists employed a wide variety of coral, rock and vegetation models in the initial construction of the sets, followed by extensive dressing on a per-shot basis, to better lead the eye of the viewer. Combining technical and artistic effort, the modeling, dressing and tech teams came together to breathe new life into some old sets.



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