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Effects overview

Pixar effects artists create realistic water using particles and simulations. They apply forces like wind and gravity to particles, making water interact with characters and scenes. Learn how to make water and more for animated films with particles and simulations, making stories come alive!

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Video transcript

- Hi, I'm Eric Lacroix and I'm an effects artist at Pixar. - And I'm Sarah Beth Eisinger, another Pixar effects artist. - At Pixar, when we say effects, we mean the creation and animation for anything that moves... - But isn't a character. Almost all the natural phenomena in our films are created by the effects teams. - Things like dust. (air blowing) (coughing) (soft crunching) - Smoke! (loud blare) (coughing) Fire. (sizzle and crackling) (cough) - Explosions? - No. (bang) (loud, dramatic boom) - And effects creates water in its many forms. - [Eric] Making believable water in the computer is really exciting and really challenging. That's partly because water takes so many forms. Placid Lake you could swim in, or rushing river you would not want to be caught in. - [Sarah Beth] The type of water we create depends on the story we're trying to tell. And the way we approach water is different depending on how it interacts with the characters and how close we are to it. - One of the tools we use to create believable water in the computer are particles. - [Sarah Beth] Let's start with a single particle. We can apply forces to that particle such as wind, or gravity, or more particles that push and pull each other. By adding many, many, many more particles and applying those same forces, we begin to create water in the computer. (water splashing) - [Eric] Water in the real world is also made up of particles, because molecules are really just super tiny particles. And even though are particles are much, much bigger than molecules, the physics are similar. So we simulate those real world forces using math and code. - [Sarah Beth] It would take years and years to individually animate the billions of particles that make up the water in these scenes. So it helps that we can use an existing set of rules that particles in the computer can follow. (splash) - You are probably asking yourself, how can I create water for animated films? - Great question, Sarah Beth. In the following lessons, you'll learn all about creating water using particles and simulations. - Have fun and stay dry!