Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Picasso People: Dorianne Fibleuil, in-house 3D Animator

The lovely Dorianne Fibleuil, graduate of the esteemed French computer graphics institute Supinfocom, is bringing her French flair to many upcoming projects and now has another reason to be proud as her graduate film 'Le Taxidermiste' was in competition at this year's distinguished Annecy Festival . We caught up with Dorianne to talk design, software and jellied eels...

Picasso: Who are you and where are you from?
Dorianne: Hi! My name is Dorianne. I come from Les Ulis, a nice little town near Paris.

P: Where and what did you study?
D: Well I didn’t start with 3D! I first went to Ecole Estienne, a graphic art school in Paris, where I chose to specialise in engraving. It was an excellent experience but I later decided to join the Animation course where I got to experience a variety of animation techniques over the two years. From here I decided to go to the much acclaimed, Supinfocom in Arles! It was three intense years learning 3D all day long. And here I am :)

P: Tell us about your graduating/degree film, and the fact it was in competition at Annecy?
D: We were really happy and excited when we saw that our movie was selected for Annecy! It's a great opportunity. We met a lot of interesting people during the festival.

I co-directed "Le Taxidermiste" with 3 others: Paulin Cointot, Antoine Robert and Maud Sertour. The film is about a taxidermist who has just died. His widow and a funeral team pay him their last respect through an unusual ceremony. We decided to push it further with the taxidermy element. We wanted to focus on the atmosphere and took time to work on all the details and textures… There are a lot of things that you don’t notice when you first watch it :)

P: What software do you use?
D: I mainly use 3ds Max, but I feel comfortable on Maya as well, and I have a some knowledge of XSI. I also use Zbrush, Photoshop, and After Effects for compositing.

P: What inspired you to get into Animation?
D: I was inspired by the master of VFX: Ray Harryhausen’s King Kong, 7th Voyage of Sinbad, Clash Of the Titans... it was magic! I had a preference for "hand made effects” which led to an interest in digital effects and animation. I always liked drawings to give freedom to my imagination, so for me animation was the best way to mix reality and fantasy, and make people believe in it all, like magic.

P: What is your biggest influence and why?
D: I have been mainly influenced by books and by art in general, plus tv shows, and cinema... I think I'm influenced by mostly everything!

P: Talk me through a typical day in the Picasso Animation Studio.
D: A typical day.... I usually arrive at work and go straight to the kitchen to prepare my breakfast, toast with butter and raspberry jam, and English tea!
Then I will ask Jane [Executive Producer] about client feedback and pop up to the 4th floor, switch on the computer, have a chat with the directors to see which direction I should take. I also usually make myself a to-do list for the day, as some days I have to do lots of retakes as well as start working on new stuff, it can be quite complicated! I try as much as I can to have everything done around 5pm, in case I have some retakes to do before Jane sends to the client.

P: When you are briefed on a new job…what do you do? Take us through the process
D: When I'm briefed on a new job I just try to think about the best and quickest way do to it in order to be able to deliver it on time. It is also important to know how the directors see it, what they want to be able to deliver, something close to their wish. And also give to client what he wants.... There is always a balance to work out between the director's and the client's wishes. It’s not always simple!

P: What has surprised you about London – are the English all crazy? Have you eaten a Roast Dinner/Jellied eels yet? :)
D: My first surprise in London was when I noticed that most of people are really nice and polite. (In comparison with Paris!) I was also really surprised to see the diversity of London's city landscape…woods, parks, buildings, cute houses, you get everything in London! I never get bored.
And yes, I had a Roast Dinner once, my Australian flatmate make me discover it! I really like it! About jellied eels, I'm quite sure that I will never try to eat this…doesn't look very yummy!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

NuFormer's interactive 3D Mo-Cap projection technology has arrived!

The Magic Lantern, credited to both Athanasius Kircher and Christiaan Huygens in the early 17th Century, was perhaps the first use of projection mapping, enthralling audiences across Europe, conjuring visions of deceased relatives and demons in dark parlours and dirty alley ways. However, in 1802 Humphry Davy created the first iridescent light by passing a current through a thin strip of platinum and from light bulb to overhead projector, the magic lamp became something very magical indeed.

Today, Netherlands based NuFormer are perfecting and utilising their own developments in 3D projection mapping, recently adapting the technology to include motion capture capabilities. This, the latest in a long line of pioneering advances for one of the world's leading 3D projection mapping companies for the company, who are confident these new advances will see the face of public marketing change forever...

The Tower prior to the projection

Picasso: What was the inspiration behind this new Mo-Cap tech you've developed? Was it demand, or was it the next obvious step? 
NuFormer: Mocap Mapping was Rob’s (NuFormer’s MD) innovative idea to combine a real-time motion capture setup with a 3D video mapping projection setup. On-site an actor in a motion capture suit impersonates the 3D character in the video mapping in real-time. The actor can see and hear the audience and talk to them directly, creating spontaneous and live interaction.

This combination is extremely versatile because every separate element of the show is custom-designed, from the 3D character, to the smaller pre-rendered animations (such as the elevator in our test) and the ‘environment’ (the time machine). For the test we created ‘Perry Dox’, a stranded time traveller from the year 2525.


Mocap Mapping can take very many forms. A brand can for example use it to launch its new product in a unique way. But the 3D character can also be a brand’s mascot, a dinosaur or a soda bottle; anything really. The essence of Mocap Mapping is that it offers an original, inspirational and highly interactive experience for the audience.
The crowd stare up in wonder

P: How long did it take to develop this until it was ready to test live?

NF: The idea for Mocap Mapping had been around for a while. In 2011 research was done to see how and if we could make all the different systems and techniques come together. Also we put together the best possible team for the test. In January an official start was made with the preparations for the test in March.

P: Is there more for you explore and develop in the 3d projection world?

NF: We are continually searching for new ways to integrate interactivity in 3D video mapping projection. We are very keen on developing new innovative approaches in-house. Continuous research and development is highly important for us, it is after all one of the reasons our clients come to us. We believe that 3D video mapping still has a big future ahead of it. 3D video mapping has potential for so many different industries, from the entertainment industry, such as theme parks and the marketing and PR industry to name just a few.   

The crowd turned up to see this new technology in action

P: What would be your dream location to use this technique?

NF: We would love to surprise an impressive square filled with people with a spectacular Mocap Mapping projection on a large monumental building. It would show the next level in Mocap Mapping with multiple 3D characters in it that all interact with each other and of course with the audience.