Rat-Sized Water Effects in Ratatouille

Gary Bruins, Jon Reisch

Abstract:

A particularly heavy effects sequence in the film Ratatouille depicts a colony of rats fleeing their home and crossing a long narrow river in several makeshift boats during a rainy afternoon. Nearly the entire sequence was photographed inches above the ground from a s perspective. Although this perspective provided a very interesting point of view of the world, it also brought an extra level of difficulty to an already challenging sequence. A raindrop creating a seemingly insignificant two-inch splash in the river could easily span one third the height of our final image. Described below is our approach to achieving believable water related effects from the point of view of a rat.

Available as Pixar Technical Memo #07-14