Lighting Challenge #29: Pixar Tribute: Gusteau's Kitchen (Ratatouille)


What an excellent challenge! I absolutely loved the lighting in this movie.

I’ve just started to shade some of the food. I’m trying to use procedural textures as much as possible to give them uniqueness.


Very interesting challenge, just one question, is it an individual challenge or a team challenge? How many people in that case?



There’s really no guidelines to whether this is for individuals or groups. Since there are no prizes besides possibly having a gallery of the best images, it’s more of a learning exercise within the community. If you’d like to have a group entry, by all means, go for it.



No GI in this one, just area lights and a point light. 5min render in Modo 501


runejw: Nice work so far. One thing I should ask is, are you trying to match the look to the film or are you going your own route? I don’t really want to give to much feedback until I understand the goal you have, however I’ll give you a little. There’s a lot of overbright highlights that could be tuned down a good amount. Most of the food looks like they’re lit from the front, which loses a lot of their shape, adjusting their key to the side or top would give them more shape. The area underneath the counter in the back of the image could use some darkening.

Kev3D: Glad you like the challenge. You have nice development so far, I like how the potatoes are looking. The purple objects are looking a little plastic or even metal. Adjusting the highlight to be rougher and dimmer should fix that. The bread loaves also have a little too high specular, they’re looking like a rough plastic.


Wow! Amazing challenge!! :buttrock:
Big thanks to Sapna Mondol for the model.

As other’s mentioned, Ratatouille was one of my fav. movie as far as the lighting and look is concerned. I am glad we have a chance to work on something similar.

This is what I came up with today in 5 hours. My goal was to set dress and achieve the colors first and then I will dive into texturing. Usually, its other way round. Will add more props and play a little more with camera setup.
About the render, I did this in Maya using Mental ray and some CC in Nuke. Nothing fancy, plain old lighting setup with 5 spot lights, 1 one point light and 3 directional lights to achieve the look.
Was trying to be close to the reference picture attached below.

Still tons to do before I can be happy about it. Would love to hear comments and critics.
Thanks a ton!



By nesco66 at 2012-01-25

Reference Pic

By nesco66 at 2012-01-25


Hi all, After downloading the scene, I’am forced to give it a try !

Sapna Mondol you did a great modeling job, everything is clean and the scene is plenty of details.

runejw : strange but i prefere the look of the first render, but i think it’s due to the lack of spotlight in this area of the scene.
Kev3D : wow the potatoes look very realistic :slight_smile:
niravsheth : Nice start, I think the feeling is there. The dof and the color bleeding are maybe a bit hardcore, but i know it’s a Wip,

And there is my Wip, I still dont know if i’ll try to get close to pixar’s or something else :


looks impressive!
can you show me a screenshot of the viewport with the lights?


Very nice! I’m new here and this will be my first challenge accepted!

I’ve just converted the FBX to obj and Blender without any losses on the topology through Autodesk FBX converter. But as this is my very first post here, I don’t have privileges to PM kanooshka with the files yet.


Thanks to ankipruthi we now have Blend and OBJ File formats! I’ve posted the links in the first post of the thread.



Oh, cool! Thank you ankipruthi!


FeD: Great start! One important characteristic of the kitchen in the film is the warmness, especially in the shadow areas. The copper cookware could use some more saturation in the reflection, they’re looking a little more like a clearcoated surface. The pans could also use some bump to break up the reflection, using a fractal should help. The chrome parts of the scene are lacking shape, one area it really sticks out is on the cart in the bottom left of the image. Besides the highlight each side and the top are nearly the same brightness. I’m really liking how the upper left hood, pans and bottle are looking. Looking forward to some more progress!

niravsheth: Definitely off to a good start! Comparing your render to the reference image you posted I have a few observations. I’m not seeing the bright blue light that you’ve used in your render in the reference image. There’s a little bit of purple in the corner but there’s only white light creating highlights. In your image there seems to be light coming from the right side of the image, I’m not sure where that it’s supposed to be coming from. In the reference I’m noticing that all the light sources are from the left side of the image. The bounce off of the wall, above the pot and from the flame itself. Keep at it!


yeah, let’s have a try !


New setup for the scene :slight_smile:

kanooshka : I completly changed the ligthing of the kitchen before I saw your C&C :blush:, I’ll try to consider them in the next wip I’ll post.

Dont hesitate to give some more feedback, the scene is complex (for me at least) and is nice for learning things I think.

The render is 5K, but for the web/forum It’s in 2K


Found another great reference for those of you who don’t have access to the movie:

FeD: Awesome update! This new setup has much more shaping than the previous. The brass trim and bars on the stoves could use more saturation, they’re looking pretty similar to the chrome parts. The burners on the stove could use some darkening of both their diffuse and reflection so that they pop a lot more from the metal tops. I’d still like to see some bump added to the metal surfaces. Keep at it!


Thanks Kanooshka and Fed for the feedback. Also, thanks for the awesome reference video.
In this version, I changed the aspect ratio of the camera a little, added more objects with texture. Took out the blue and purple light as mentioned by Kanooshka and took out the DOF as mentioned by Fed. Played with the pool of light hitting the back wall. I think it looks much better now.

About lights and render time: There are total 12 lights, mostly spot and few directional for the rims. Just one point light for the additional bounce light. Takes about 40 mins to render at 2k.

I will still be tweaking the bump on the huge pot and may be on the walls too.
Would love to hear from you again!

Uploaded with


I sign into the challenge. I am starting unwrap, texture and creating new details of geometry. Also I am modeling a “Remy” to animate and put into the scene. I have one composition in mind with this character.After texture, i will start with the lights, the real challenge. I hope to obtain a few good results.Excuse my poor english.



This is the lambert lighting… I wanted to get the lights set up first, so my next step will be to get the mood and then i’ll go for shading…


@neotrixstdr- the textures look great! matches with the original a lot…cant wait to see the final image :slight_smile:


A good reference for this scene: