The Water in Moana

I saw Moana recently with my wife and in between being delighted by the story, tapping my toes along to the music, and crossing my fingers my toddler would like it when I inevitably buy it, I could not stop starring at the water.

Disney Animation does not go for photo realism with their characters, but materials still need to behave the way your brain expects them to so they stay on the good side of the uncanny valley. What Moana has accomplished with the animation of water is truly staggering. And it is, unsurprisingly, the same folks made the snow so believable in Frozen.

Seriously, it is worth seeing this movie just to marvel at how far computer models for complicated things like fluid dynamics have come.

Postscript: In the time between when I saw the movie (and literally gave myself a todo in the theater to write this blog post) and actually got around to writing it, I came across this fantastic post about the water animation that you should go read.

Then go watch Moana. Again.