Copyright Blue Sky Studios.
A clip showing the working progression of the effect from conception to final frames.
The wave is composed of a series of modular "ribs" lofted together. Each rib is a NURBS curve. The control vertices of the curve were hand-animated to create the 2-dimensional profile of a curling and crashing wave. Each curve was then duplicated, offset in space and given independent control for scale as well as timing (via a +/-/average node connected to time). Top level handles were added to allow the user to slide timing and scale for each rib & for the wave as a whole. Thus, a simple, poseable, animator-friendly 3D wave was produced.