I've always enjoyed producing characters, whether as a puppetteer, animator or sculptor. One day several years ago, I had some free time to record some pig voices. My recording space was highly reflective, but I was able to record my spluttering pigs as best I could. Here's a belated birthday greeting to my friend Audrey.
A few words about working on Ratatouille.
The approach taken on this film really required a collaborative environment. All the characters you see here I worked on, but as it was a collective effort all the character modellers had a hand in finishing them.
We started the humans with Larousse. When modelling the character, you need to create a mesh, much like what chicken wire looks like, stretched over the form. That network, of lines and points is called the base mesh, and the flow of the lines is called the topology. Every single one of the humans had the same topology (line flow). Once the topology had been determined for Larousse, we had to create the shape for the next character by pushing around the points of the mesh.
We could take Larousse's mesh only so far in creating the next mesh as each character had it's own unique features and it wasn't always possible to define the form using the Larousse mesh. So we added more vertices (points) and lines to the mesh to create the more complex human shapes. In order to maintain a standard topology between all the characters, we had to propagate that topology through all the existing meshes. So there was a lot of back and forth whilst updating and maintaining a consistent topology.
This took a great deal of time in the beginning, but it resulted in a huge time saving for the rigging department. We used the same process when modelling the rats. We were not really sure if we were finished with the characters until we arrived at the final character of each species.
The following slides are of Remy, Linguini, Colette, Gusteaus, Lalo, Larousse, Baby Rat, Desiree, and Celine.
Award-winning illustrator, character sculptor and toymaker.
Jonathan has been creating funny art that cracks people up for the past 25 years. He has worked on 3D animated features that include Ice Age for Blue Sky Studios, Space Chimps, and, for Pixar, The Incredibles, Ratatouille, Cars, Up, and several shorts.
Earlier, he performed with the Muppets, was a miniature model-maker on Captain Power and was a stop motion animator at The Animation House.
He ran his own toy prototyping business, servicing clients such as Disney, Warner Bros, and Thinkway Toys.
He’s taught Sculpting, Colour Theory and Lighting and was a modeling mentor at VFS.