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‘Tangled’ tresses tough task

Rapunzel's do took years of software development

Rapunzel’s “Tangled” tresses didn’t come easily. It took years for a team of software engineers and developers who’d been obsessed with hair simulations to make them look right.

“We realized that the hairs interact with one another and move as a group instead of individual strands,” says “Tangled” senior software developer Kelly Ward. “So you’re simulating waves of hair that need to reflect all of the character’s moods.”

Tom Thompson, a senior software engineer at Walt Disney Studios, worked with this idea to develop a program that could add everything that would make the hair really look like, well, hair.

“You have to put the messiness, hair texture and color into the hair,” says Thompson. “It was really difficult to make Rapunzel’s shade of blonde look real and we had to light it very carefully so it didn’t look fake, because it’s not easy to fool the eye.”

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