"It's important to understand that, as with most animated films, nothing you see in Surf's Up actually exists. Everything, from vast landscapes to the most minute detail, had to be conceived, designed, and created from scratch: characters, locations, sets, props, weather, lighting and, of course, the waves. It was the job of the visual development department to "design" the film. At any given time, we had a crew of about 10 highly talented artists, working for the better part of three years. Of course, we also worked in tandem with the other production departments (story, look development, vfx, modeling, animation, texturing, matte painting and lighting) to keep up with the huge amount of designs necessary to feed the production pipeline. Once everything was designed, it was up to the Imageworks team lead by digital supervisor Rob Bredow to figure out how to bring it all to life. When embarking on the design for an animated film, one of the first questions we ask ourselves is: What is the "look of the film"? There are a lot of options: cartoony, realistic, stylized, primitive, retro, graphic, cutesy, high tech, wacky, dimensional, flat, etc."
Sony Pictures Animation and AWN Present SURF'S UP