Download Disney’s data set for Motunui island from Moana
Walt Disney Animation Studios (WDAS) has released the complete data set for Motunui island from its 2016 animated feature Moana, including the ocean, coral, trees and other vegetation.
The data – a version of the actual scene used in production, modified to make it possible to render without proprietary tools – is intended for use as a standard dataset for testing rendering algorithms.
It’s also an excellent learning resource for anyone who wants to explore how production data is structured – or simply whether their hardware can render a scene of the complexity typical in feature animation.
A real production scene, comprising 15 billion instantiated primitives
According to WDAS, the data is an actual production scene, used as part of an early teaser.
It is made up of 20 elements, containing meshes with “more than 90 million unique quads and triangles along with 5 million curves”, and more than 28 million instances for leaves, debris and rocks.
When everything is fully instantiated, the scene contains over 15 billion primitives.
Geometry is provided in OBJ format, along with Ptex textures, shading information and animation. The scene contains seven cameras: the primary shot camera used in the original animation test, and six other views.
Modified for rendering without Disney’s proprietary tools
To make the scene possible to render outside WDAS – the original is based on Disney’s in-house tools, including its Bonsai vegetation generator, and the Hyperion renderer – a number of changes were made.
As well as removing some of the fine detail from geometry and materials, that meant adjusting the shot to render in a single pass, and baking or removing the ‘keep alive’ animation.
However, in some cases, the conversion work actually increased the scene’s complexity.
The original shot used an early version of WDAS’s ocean pipeline, which was upgraded to the latest techniques used in the movie, then art directed to match the look of the original ‘minimalist’ water.
You can find more information in the detailed PDF documentation that accompanies the download.
Representative of key challenges encountered in feature animation
WDAS describes the scene as representative of some of the challenges encountered in a “typical production environment”, including large amounds of instanced geometry, and complex volumetric light transport.
Although it doesn’t feature motion blur, or large numbers of light sources – two other key production challenges – it’s the closest you’re likely to come to real feature animation data in the public domain.
It’s also an incredible resource for graphics researchers: expect to see a lot more views of Motunui in tech tests and rendering demos over the years to come.
Availability and system requirements
WDAS’s Moana Island Scene is available under a custom licence that permits only research, software development and benchmarking.
As you might expect, it’s a big download: the base scene, required to render a still frame, is 44.8GB, and the animation data is a further 23.6GB. There is also a version of the data translated to work with the open-source pbrt renderer, which clocks in at a more streamlined 6.1GB.