Flags and Waves

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

Flags and Waves is a short computer animation test clip created by animator Bill Reeves and Alain Fournier for Pixar 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 exhibited at SIGGRAPH in Dallas in 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]

Flags and Waves can also be found as an Easter egg in Pixar Short Films Collection – Volume 1.


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 flapping in the wind as the noise shifts to the sound of a calm beach side. The camera 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 0-307-26575-7. 2009 Vintage Books edition: ISBN 978-0-307-27829-6, p. 91. Excerpt available at Google Books.
  2. ^ a b c http://www.thepixarpodcast.com/library/title/flags-and-waves
  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

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