Acting with Contact in Ratatouille - Cartoon Collision and Response

Gordon Cameron, Robert Russ, Adam Woodbury


Contact is natural in the real world but often avoided in 3D animated features. Animators tend to make acting decisions that minimise or avoid contact within and between their characters and the world, and when apparent contact does occur, it can tend to feel both "floaty" and unrealistic. "Ratatouille" called for dynamic, tactile characters that would feel very much a part of their animated environment, squashing into and against each other, props and the world itself. The contact needed to be compelling and believable within that cartoon world, and with that in mind we aimed to develop and deploy technology that would allow animators to easily setup collision relationships, make acting decisions with contact response interactively, and alter the resultant shapes.

Paper (PDF)

Available as Pixar Technical Memo #07-10