“Wave displacement effects for Surf’s Up” by Carlson

  • ©Deborah Carlson




    Wave displacement effects for Surf's Up



    For Surf’s Up, our challenge was to create realistic waves for an all-CG surfing mockumentary. The surfing waves were designed to be character animated, and it was the job of the effects animation team to ensure that the rest of the water effects combined seamlessly with the surfing waves. These included ocean surface displacement effects as well as particle effects for spray, splashes, drips, and white water. This sketch focuses specifically on the various surface displacement effects that were used in the film. The wave displacement effects can be generally categorized into ambient ocean procedural displacements, surfing wave-specific procedural displacements, and character-driven interactive water displacements.


    1. Hinsinger, D., Neyret, F., and Cani, M.-P. 2002. Interactive Animation of Ocean Waves. In ACM SIGGRAPH Symposium on Computer Animation, ACM Press, 161–166.
    2. Tessendorf, J. 2004. Interactive Water Surfaces. In Game Programming Gems 4, ed. A. Kirmse, Charles River Media, 265–274.

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