Pixar's Ratatouille - Production Stuff

I found this interesting link in CGtalk, about the animation progression in a Pixar film, in this case ‘Ratatouille’. I think it is very very didactic, not only because the progression, but because there are many hints about how Pixar get things done in its films.

(it is “Animation Progression Reel”)

There are seven stages:

1. Story

I have counted about 40 animatics for a sequence of 18 seconds (many of them are reused) which gives a good idea of the detaill needed at this stage of the production. Average is 2 per second, therefore for a 90 min. movie you’d need about 10.000 animatics! http://forums.cgsociety.org/images/smilies/eek.gif

As per the wikipedia ‘a rough dialogue and/or rough sound track is added to the sequence of still images (usually taken from a storyboard) to test whether the sound and images are working effectively together.’ Scene composition is defined.

<b> 2. Layout</b>

Layout of characters and elements. Basic movements, which probably just reproduce animatics sequence, but with a bit of transitions too. Basic modelling of objects. However, the main characters are already quite defined. Basic shading. The frame has side marks to help the scene composition.

<b> 3. Blocking animation.</b>

“Blocking is like a first pass of animation. You (or at least I) block in the major acting beats of the shot to quickly show the director my acting choices. This way, if there’s something he doesn’t like I can easily change it because my curves are stepped and each control is keyed on the same frame. Once blocking is approved then I go ahead and start offsetting things, adding overlap etc.” Capel

The objects are more detailed and the scene desing is almost completed. Body acting is defined, also eye blinking, but lipsync and facial animation are not done yet. Differentiated colors start to show up in shaders.

<b> 4. Animation.</b>

Animation is completed, even the facial animation and the lipsync. More side marks in frames. Basic speculars in shaders. Particles.

<b> 5. Cloth and Hair. </b>

At this stage, modelling and scene layout seems to be already completed. Object maps and shaders are completed too, although the scene is still a plain opengl pass.

<b> 6. Effects.</b> 
Steam and fire. Basic lighting can be seen in the last scene, it is probably a rough key light.

<b> 7. Lighting.</b>.

Very cool.

I saw the movie last night. In many ways, I almost thought it looked too real. The Incredibles was just the right form of stylization for me, but the environments in Ratatouille were more or less photorealistic.

this thread was just bookmarked! :slight_smile:

The dotted line on some scenes would represent the TV-Safe region, possibly even the title-safe area (for CRT screens).

yay, more useful info :smiley:

Pixar’s Ratatouille 9 Minute Preview



and I the only person who has trouble viewing the video? it tells me Flash 8 isn’t installed, although I am using adobe flash 9. Anyways, here is a direct link for the high res version:

heh, i allso downloaded :slight_smile:

I’ve seen that preview and it is amazing. It is going to be the best pixar film ever.

Concept art:



ooh, alvaro, thanks for another nice link :slight_smile:

For those of you who are interested, here is a blog which has links to the latest clips uploaded.


I’m looking forward to seeing this film when it comes out over here :slight_smile:


The Art of Ratatouille Book:


Ratatouille looks to be a lot better than Cars. After seeing the previews I have to say the environments are gorgeous, and the animation top-notch. With any luck, this will be the best Pixar movie to date. I’m looking forward to seeing it in theatres.


As I said, I’ve seen it. What will really float your boat is how well the philosophy of the movie fits in with Blender.

Great food and recipes shouldn’t be left to only a sacred few, just like great animation tools shouldn’t be restricted to the wealthy or those working in the top notches of the industry. Likewise, great talent can come from anywhere, and should be recognized for its own sake.

Me <3 this movie like crazy.

One last addition to this thread about Ratatouille production stuff:

Characters Designer Jason Deamer


…and yet another last addition:

Visualising taste:

Well, it’s official. I know more about this movie than I’ve ever known about any movie - and I still haven’t seen it. Amazing.

And after you do finally see it, you’ll probably want to see it again. Every time someone around me mentions going to see it I find myself back in the theater watching it again. 3 times so far. I haven’t paid to see a movie multiple times at the theater since Empire Strikes Back. It is very rich, especially for people into doing CG / animation. I can really check out the animation and backgrounds now that I know what’s coming. I notice more details at every viewing.

Now, come on DVD! I hope it’s as packed w/ behind-the-scenes and commentary as the Incredibles disc was.

Thanks for that link. Hadn’t seen that one.

Now, come on DVD! I hope it’s as packed w/ behind-the-scenes and commentary as the Incredibles disc was.

Yes! The Incredibles was the first quality DVD we bought (We got the 2-disc collector set) and I was astonished by the amount of material they put on compared to the few movie previews that used to come on video tapes.

I have spent so much time in the last 12 months watching and re-watching all the CG DVDs we have now and almost all of them have something to learn from - although Cars is a bit sad and contains very little behind the scenes stuff. The Cars disc doesn’t even have a commentary version. I initially avoided the apparently boring commentaries but when you start getting serious about your movie making, these commentaries can prove quite interesting in their own right. “The Incredibles” has two commentary options - animators and directors.

Hopefully the Cars DVD isn’t a sign of future Pixar DVDs.

This week my wife bought the Toy Story 10th Anniversary 2-Disc Edition and it’s blown my socks off. It has volumes of stuff including some simple tips for animators.

On the issue of Ratatouille at the cinema, Aussies (and Brits) may be interested in this.

it looks very good, absolutely tuns of fluid sims, all look photo realistic. hopfaly someday blender will be able to do things like this…

More Pixar stuff. Looking at those scenarios one can realise how important is the reference gathering task. These lucky guys probably spend some days visiting old parisien kitchens and sleeping in crappy hostals and in under roof apartments, taking photographs like mad.