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
August 1986

Flags and Waves is a short computer animation test clip, which was 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 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, which is 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
  5. ^ "Pixar Short Films Collection Blu-ray Review". ign.com. 14 November 2007. Retrieved 27 October 2020.

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