Frozen 2 – Houdini FX

The Effects of Frozen 2

In Chris Buck and Jennifer Lee’s Frozen 2, we return to the world of Arendelle with Elsa and Anna, and we venture further into new places, such as the Enchanted Forest. These new adventures required new approaches to effects for Walt Disney Animation Studios. Here, the team behind the work break down their various challenges on the film.

Beyond Snow and Ice

Released in 2013, the first Frozen film utilized significant advancements in snow and ice simulation. Frozen 2 upped the ante in effects at the studio in many ways. “Our challenge was the sheer variety of large epic effects which were drastically varied from sequence to sequence,” notes co-head of effects animation, Marlon West. “We had four elemental characters comprised of actorly and stylized effects: the wind spirit, fire spirit, water spirit and earth spirit. Each one of these elemental characters required an unprecedented amount of cross-departmental collaboration with Layout, Character Animation, Technical Animation and Lighting.”

The wind spirit needed to convey emotions and ideas, while only being made of elements in the surrounding environment. Since the wind spirit primarily resides in the Enchanted Forest, artists needed to enable ground and character interaction with any tree or foliage in the forest.

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