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Chop It Up! Animation–Driven Modeling, Simulation, and Shading in the Kitchen

By Patrick Coleman and Eric Froemling


In Disney Pixar’s Ratatouille, the creation of believable cooking environments with all their complexity has been an important element in presenting a rich world that helps draw the audience into the story. Part of that complexity arises in the preparation of food before cooking. To create complex animations of food in preparation, we designed a system that uses an animated cutting object, such as a knife, to procedurally model, simulate, deform, and prepare for shading various geometric food models as they are sliced, chopped, peeled, or otherwise broken apart. The motion of a knife (or other object) is analyzed relative to the food model to determine a sequence of cutting operations that will remodel the object as a collection of pieces. As each new piece is created, it is added to a physical simulation to generate believable response motion. We transfer surface shading parameterizations and scalar fields to resulting faces that correspond to surfaces on the original object, an

Year: 2010
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