This post, Populating the World of Ralph Breaks the Internet, is part of an expenses paid trip with Disney.
We were able to sit down and chat with Cory Loftis (Production Designer), Dave Komorowski (Head of Characters and Technical Animation), Renato dos Anjos (Head of Animation), and Moe El-Ali (Crowds’ Supervisor) from the upcoming movie “Ralph Breaks the Internet.” This chat was probably my favorite of the entire trip, and was fascinating to me.
As someone who works entirely online, the thought of someone (or some people, actually) sitting down and brainstorming how the inside of the internet looks is so interesting to me, and from the clips we were able to preview they did an amazing job!
How many characters are in Ralph Breaks the Internet?
They explained that their daunting task was to just make a 3D space come to life.
We look down and there’s foot traffic and we look up and there’s foot traffic.
When thinking about populating the internet for this movie, they knew they were up for a challenge. A Crowd simulation was run and for this shot, they needed about 150,000 characters to make a shot like the one here:
Making that many characters isn’t quick and easy, no matter how you do it. For comparison, here are a few stats for other movies these guys worked on:
Bolt: 57 characters total
Wreck it Ralph: 223 unique characters, 421 variations (clothing, face, and hair differences)
Zootopia: 182 unique animals with variants for families–moms, dads, siblings.
Ralph Breaks the Internet: They pulled everyone over from Wreck it Ralph (minus Turbo, of course!), then had to populate the Internet. The grand total was 434 unique, character 6,752 variations.
That’s a LOT of characters! Here is an example of one of the characters in Ralph Breaks the Internet, Knowsmore–one of my favorites:
Do you see how one character can have so many variations?
This is a huge movie–between colors, characters, and all of the other animation items they have to consider, there are over 500,000 options for this movie.
What kind of characters populate the internet?
Two kinds–Net users and Netizens.
Netizens are the people in the actual machine–literally running your email from one account to the other, holding onto the things in your virtual shopping carts and cashing out your purchases. They even place your hearts on Instagram, your thumbs ups on Facebook, and your swipes right or left on… well, nevermind that social network ;)
Net Users are the internet version of yourself, like a ghost. They “run” from website to website, sending emails and opening accounts. It’s a simple version of yourself.
What fun situations are brought to light in Ralph Breaks the Internet?
The animators also had to bring a few websites and scenarios to life for the movie. There are a few situations I bet you’ve never thought about–for example how a Netizen and an Internet User interact together when a shopping cart is abandoned or even when you head to Google to search for a term. These situations make for some hilarious scenes in Ralph Breaks the Internet!
What happens when the internet “dies” or goes out?
What does the internet think about cat videos, or the black market?
Ralph Breaks the internet opens in U.S. theaters November 21, 2018.