Flags and Waves

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Flags and Waves
Directed byBill Reeves
Alain Fournier
Written byBill Reeves
Alain Fournier
Produced byBill Reeves
Alain Fournier
Release date
August 1986

Flags and Waves is a short computer animation test clip which was created by animator Bill Reeves and Alain Fournier for Pixar sometime in 1986.[1][2][3] The clip included waves reflecting a sunset and lapping against the shore.[1] Reeves and Fournier made the project with the feedback of John Lasseter to work out details of rendering water and waves realistically, including lighting, motion, and shading.[1][2]

It was first exhibited at SIGGRAPH in Dallas in August 1986,[4] along with Lasseter’s landmark computer animated short Luxo Jr. and another test project Beach Chair, by Eben Ostby.[1] The methods developed during the creation of this project were the basis of the water in Finding Nemo.[1][2] It is based on an oceanographic model of ocean waves which Fournier dug out of the literature from the nineteenth century.

Flags and Waves can also be found as an easter egg in the Pixar Short Films Collection – Volume 1 which was released in November 2007.[5]


The fourteen-second short begins with the title Flags and Waves and under it the title in French, Drapeaux et Vagues, superimposed on the SMPTE color bars while a high-pitch frequency sound is made. The bars are revealed to be a flag that is flapping in the wind, as the noise shifts to the sound of a calm beachside. The camera then pans up to show three more flags flapping in front of a beach as the bright sun appears to be setting.


  1. ^ a b c d e Price, David (2008). The Pixar Touch. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. ISBN 978-0-307-26575-3. 2009 Vintage Books edition: ISBN 978-0-307-27829-6, p. 91. Excerpt available at Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c "The Pixar Podcast".
  3. ^ A.M. Buckley, Pixar: The Company and Its Founders (ABDO, 2011), ISBN 978-1-61714-810-1, p.39. Excerpt Available at Google Books.
  4. ^ John Lasseter by Richard Neupert p. 55 ISBN 9780252098352
  5. ^ "Pixar Short Films Collection Blu-ray Review". ign.com. November 14, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2020.

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