“The Rigid Body and Fluid Dynamics of LAIKA’s “Missing Link””

  • ©David Frederic Horsley and Peter Stuart

  • ©David Frederic Horsley and Peter Stuart

  • ©David Frederic Horsley and Peter Stuart



Entry Number: 75


    The Rigid Body and Fluid Dynamics of LAIKA’s "Missing Link"



    LAIKA the animation studio is known for stop-motion and a unified fusion of art and stunning visual effects technology. This presentation will cover the techniques used to generate water effects and a collapsing bridge of ice for LAIKA’s Missing Link.

    Building on techniques for incorporating stylized water effects with stop motion animation developed for LAIKA’s Kubo and the Two Strings [Montgomery 2016], the FX team used SideFX Houdini’s [SideFX 2019b] guided ocean and narrow band FLIP tools to guide the action and manage the larger scale and more numerous shots required for Missing Link.

    The collapsing ice bridge sequence presented an unusual challenge integrating stop motion animated characters with an animated CG set piece. To accomplish this difficult task, the normal course of production was reversed, and the CG animation was used to guide the character animation.


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    John Montgomery. 2016. Kubo and the Two Strings: water effects. https://www.fxguide. com/featured/kubo-and-the-two-strings-water-effects/.
    SideFX. 2019a. FLIP Solver dynamics node. https://www.sidefx.com/docs/houdini/ nodes/dop/flipsolver.html.
    SideFX. 2019b. Houdini. https://www.sidefx.com/.
    SideFX. 2019c. Whitewater Solver dynamics node. https://www.sidefx.com/docs/ houdini/nodes/dop/whitewatersolver.html.
    Wikipedia contributors. 2019. Pattern formation — Wikipedia, The Free Ency clopedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Pattern_formation&oldid= 894685972. [Online; accessed 6-May-2019].
    Zahed, Butler, and Fry. 2019. The Art of Missing Link. Insight Editions.



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