Walt Disney Animation Studios has a deep history of technological innovation, ranging from early pioneering methods, Academy Award® winning software, and continuing through all aspects of modern animation production. We are pleased to share papers, talks, and a selection of projects to highlight this work and inspire innovation in the animation community.
A renderer is the software that takes a complete virtual scene composed of models, animations, textures, lights, and other objects and produces the final images that make up an animated movie. It does this by calculating how light bounces around the scene and interacts with objects. Hyperion is our in-house renderer. Specifically, it is a physically based path tracer.
Physically based simulation is an indispensable tool for creating realistic and believable virtual environments. By leveraging the power of modern computer systems, and using the laws of physics, it takes a huge burden off the shoulders of an artist and allows the creation of highly complex visual effects which would otherwise be unfeasible to animate 'by hand', such as crashing ocean waves, snow blizzards and fireball explosions to name a few.
**Meander Animation Tool** Meander started development in 2010 as a stand-alone vector/raster hybrid animation system with the primary goal of bringing the power of digital tools to hand-drawn animation. Although originally targeting 2D cleanup animation, it was designed to be general enough for use throughout all departments in the studio. After its use on Academy Award® winning animated shorts Paperman and Feast, Meander’s core functionality was repackaged into a platform-independent library called MeanderKit, allowing it to be integrated into a variety of tools on different devices. Meander was honored with an Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences SciTech Award in 2017.