« Back to Our Work

Waikiki Aquarium – Hawaiian Island Formation

This entry was posted in Educational. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.
Waikiki Aquarium – Hawaiian Island Formationplay button


Waikiki Aquarium


The University of Hawaii, Big Blue Nowhere


The Waikiki Aquarium in conjunction with The University of Hawaii wanted to have an animation showing the formation of the Hawaiian Island chain starting with Kure Atoll for a new exhibit at the aquarium. The animation walks though the islands formation, colonization by different life forms, human settlement and establishment of sanctuaries and national parks.

Production Notes

The creation of the main Hawaiian Chain was achieved by converting USGS elevation data into height maps that would then displace planar geometry to produce the islands. Satellite photos from NASA were used for texturing the geometry. Kure’s formation was achieved using a combination of shape animation in XSI and some After Effects work to seamlessly merge three separate 3D renders into one.