Pool water test

I’m working on a scene with a pool and I wanted to try and simulate the moving of the water in a swimming pool. The effect was done in Harmony in the following manner. The blue water has a wavy edge at the top and is moving to the left. A mask cuts into the top edge which also has a wavy edge and moves to the right. The two overlap and make the movement you see. I also added a mask on the two diagonal sides of the pool to keep it from extending off.


After posting this a friend animator shared the link to a VFX site which has lots of great samples and tutorials of FXs. Here’s the link: http://flashfx.blogspot.com/

Hi Zeb,

That looks pretty marvelous…

What about adding some transparency to the water showing the tiles of the pool,
then applying some caustic refraction…?

Something similar to this:

Or, have a look at the “Toot & Puddle” Opening…
At the Toon Boom Showcase - TV Series…


Very nice work!

I agree with Nolan about adding a little transparency, but I reckon the caustics aren’t necessary considering your style of cartoon - especially with the use of flat colors.

For me, the only crit I can offer is that the water might be moving a touch too slowly. I suppose you don’t want to draw attention away from the boy but for me it was just a bit slow.

Great work as always!

Thanks so much for the feedback, Nolan and Cam! I really appreciate it! My reference for the water was mainly derived from the following video of Kid vs Kat - Sky High Dive:


I’m sure the water movement is all FBF but I wanted a quicker solution using Pegs and masks. As you can see, there is a vertical reflection texture and secondary water movement. In any case, I will have to take all this in and see what I can do. Thanks! The caustic effect looks nice but I’d be curious how he did it. Looks like a lot of work. I’ve seen something similar done in Sony Vegas just with their built in effects and textures. At the same time, I am aiming for a cartoony effect.

What about overlaying your water either with a transparent movie-file
showing some kind of water reflection…?
Or using After Effects, Motion…etc… and create those caustic/refraction effect…?

Not sure, if the “Heat Haze Effect Template” might work for this…?


Here’s my second take on the pool water. This time I added movement in the body of the water in addition to just the top edge. The movement was done in Anime Studio. I made a gradient pool water blue background with another layer on top of random wavy shapes and ellipses. Then I used their nifty script called Warp/Wavy which automatically moves all the control points of each shape in a random manner.Once I had that I exported as JPEGs and imported and vectorized them into Harmony.


The water looks fantastic. One of my favourite things to do as of late in Animate is play with the effects to see what I can get done. I love the water you’ve achieved!

Hi Zeb,

That really looks absolutely beautiful…

It’s amazing that the “venerable” Moho / Anime Studio can do this so easily…
Thought that Harmony would have such tools in its arsenal…


Thanks, Mike and Nolan! I’m sure Harmony can do this effect either by morphing or deformations, but AS’s script is so quick and easy I went that route. I’m really “all thumbs” in AS as I rarely use it but the warp effect is something I keep in the back of my mind when I have the need.

BTW, did you check out the VFX link I included in my first post? Lots of good ideas and tips.

Looking sounds good… especially Animate is play with the effects…lovely ideas.I appreciate you…keep it up!!!pool liners

Cool, looks really nice!