The team behind the movie discussed how the VFX were created.
We don't talk about Bruno, but Disney certainly does: the team behind Encanto has revealed how the visual effects for the movie were created using SideFX's Houdini.
Encanto was the first production in the studio completed using a new Disney pipeline built on Pixar’s Universal Scene Description (USD) format.
“We were fortunate that the transition to USD happened to be at the same time that SideFX released the public beta of Solaris in Houdini 17.5,” said effects supervisor Christopher Hendryx. “This gave us time during Encanto’s pre-production to explore the possibilities of this new working context, before attempting to design our own tools to handle importing and exporting USD within Houdini.”
The team explained in technical detail how the new pipeline affected the movie's visuals and characters: from the lush vegetation and the cracks in Casa Madrigal to Pepa's clouds, Isabela's flowers, and Bruno’s visions.
One of the symbols of the family’s special powers is Abuela’s magical candle flame, which needed to have a personality of its own.
“The directors loved the look of bokeh,” said effects lead Dale Mayeda, “which is a photographic lens effect that occurs when there is shallow focus and distant bright points of light which blur into a variety of shapes depending on the lens used.”