Tuesday, 9 June 2015

Intel RealSense Hands-on lab


As a mo-cap animator, I was invited this week to an Intel® RealSense™ Hands-on Lab in Berlin. I had the opportunity to discover this new camera and the astonishing features it's offering. Most of all, I was interested in its face-tracking capabilities: eyes, cheeks, shape of lips, expressions, emotions, and so on. Indeed, paired with a motion-capture software like Faceshift, you can get full facial animation and lipsync without any markers needed, as opposed to an optical system.

Faceshift is a very powerful software, but it rely entirely on the camera you are using. I tested it some time ago with the first version of the Kinect sensor, and the results were pretty good. I couldn't wait to see what this one has to offer! We were given a few hours to develop an prototype application using the RealSense camera features.

No app for me, since I'm not from the dark side of programming ;) But I used the time to install a demo of Faceshift and set-up the camera for it. A quick scan of my head transformed a generic head into a 3D model looking disturbingly like me! I refined it by scanning my face, while performing various expressions (BlendShapes): mouth open, frowning, puffed cheeks... I let you imagine the startled programmers looking at me all around! Once finished, I retargeted the face tracking on a 3D head and voilà! Full face tracking in real-time, impressive! I played along with the camera parameters to get the best result possible. And what a result! The high-quality tracking delivered by the camera, paired with Faceshift algorithms met all my expectations. It took me less than an hour to get some results matching industrial standards!

I did not win the top price this day, which was a laptop with an integrated RealSense camera. But still, I was glad to impress everyone with my results and even got a consolation prize, by posting this devilish selfie on Twitter! ;)

A very productive day for sure, I'm really glad I was invited. And I kept the best for last: I was allowed to keep the RealSense camera, so get ready for more exciting projects!

Monday, 1 June 2015

It's about time!


No, you are not dreaming... After 2 years of silence, I'm back in the game! Sorry for this, I had my reasons: A great and challenging job on the one hand, and some family action on the other hand, since I am now a happy dad of a little 3D biped (to use field words!). Mommy did an amazing job on the modeling, but the animation part is no picnic, so I'm working hard to get everything smooth :)

Enough with poor excuses! It's about time to dust this blog, get rid of the cobwebs and update my portfolio! Remember, I told you two years ago that I'd worked on two amazing projects: A point-and-click adventure called The Raven, by King Art Games, the amazing German studio that brought us The Book of Unwritten Tales. I worked on in-game animations for the main characters, as well as blocking and camera animation for cut-scenes. Very nice game and thrilling story, I recommend it to all point-and-click and whodunits fans!

After that, I had the opportunity to see one of my dreams come true: Raketenflieger Timmi is a TV-cartoon for children, made by MotionWorks, and aired on the German stations rbb and MDR as part of the show "Unser Sandmännchen", which is more than 50 years old and every German grew up with! Timmi and Teddy, the two heroes, travel through space in their makeshift rocket to visit funny planets. The 3D figures evolve in a handcrafted environment, as made by a child. I animated 4 complete episodes. It was an amazing experience, bringing laugh and joy to a young audience. For a moment, I felt like working on a Pixar movie :)

Finally, I left my freelance work aside and started looking for a full-time job. You know... So I can fill up the fridge once in a while! I found one surprisingly quickly, that had me explore completely new areas. I spent these last 2 years at SportsVF, in Berlin. Our main project was developing an application to reconstruct 3D scenes of any sport event (e.g.: a goal from a football game). We paired it with a second project: an augmented-reality table, offering sportscasters the possibility to visualize and analyse a scene almost in real-time, with a wide range of tools. My main job was taking care of our motion-capture system, directing and integrating more than 500 sports actions. I also designed complex animation networks for footballer behaviours and directed mo-cap sessions for various clients. This has been for sure the most technical job I ever did and I really enjoyed it. I definitely want to keep on exploring and find another job in the mo-cap area.

That's it! You can find more infos about all of this in the projects section. I am now officially looking for a new job in Berlin or some freelance work in the meantime, so feel free to have a look at my updated resume or LinkedIn and contact me quickly before somebody else does ;)

Have a nice and sunny day! Bye.

Monday, 4 March 2013

I'm still alive !


Wow, first message in the last 8 months, it's been a long time! "Old Nath is dead as a door-nail" I bet you all thought. But I'm not :)

My life had become a little too quiet for my adventurer soul, so I decided to shake things up: If I want a job in Berlin, let's first move there! And here I am, just moved out from my dear France to this wild and untamed city.

Eight months, that's quite enough time to move out twice and I surely could have written now and then, you would say. Well, I wasn't just sitting around twiddling my thumbs! Last September, I quit unemployment to start my own little company of one! That's right, now I'm the Lead AND the junior artist, I'm the boss AND the trainee, I'm everyone!

And my first client is no other than a little game studio I applied at a few months ago and whose games I love: King Art! They asked for my help on a series of cut-scenes and in-game animations for their last promising title: The Raven (Der Rabe), a stunning fast-paced point and click adventure. I worked 3 months for them, really nice project. I can't wait for the game to be released, so I'm allowed to show some of my work. In the meantime, you can enjoy the teaser below and more info on the game website.

At the beginning of December, I left The Raven for a second freelance project I really couldn't wait to start working on: My first TV cartoon! MotionWorks, a German animation studio, contacted me last summer to take part in a 3D cartoon "Raketenflieger Timmi", for the children's television programme "Sandmann". I will work on the project until May and fully animate 4 or 5 complete episodes. I'm currently right in the middle of this exhausting but truly rewarding project, which is boosting my animation skills.

And I must be a little crazy, because I am still spending my spare time on Meteor Mess 3D, the cooperative remake we do of the good'ol Maniac Mansion. I finished rigging and animating Dave, Razor and Bernard (new shots in the Projects section), and I'm starting on the tentacles!

That's all folks! I'm currently tweaking my resume and filling up applications, as I am planing to find soon a full-time position, in one of the many great studios Berlin counts. Wish me good luck...

And if you are one of theese studios hiring, give me a call :)

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

I'm pregnant !


Just kidding, I'm not pregnant ;)

Boy that can be an awkward line to say, especially to the future dad and moreover if he's acting like a jerk about it! Well, why don't we have a look at it in my last lipsinc?

Source: How I Met Your Mother © CBS
Cobie Smulders (Robin) and Neil Patrick Harris (Barney)
Soft: Maya 2012 - Rig: Morpheus, by Josh Burton

Monday, 4 June 2012

Ok, let's go rescue Sandy!


Quite some news, on these first days of June !

I'm kind of fed up with personal work right now, so why not offering my talents around (I heard I have a few hidden ones!) That's how I met the Vampire Games team, which is currently working on Meteor Mess 3D, a point&click adventure, and could use some animation skills to complete it.

The game is a remake of the mother of all point&click adventures: Maniac Mansion, developed by Ron Gilbert and the Lucasarts team in 1987. It features a group of teenagers (as usual!), who are trying to rescue a poor cheerleader from a creepy mansion, filled with a crazy family, mutant tentacles, an evil meteor and many other unpleasant surprises. The player will enjoy mind-breaking puzzles in a black comedy atmosphere.

Vampire Games is a team of passionate people from all around the world who have been working for a few years on a 3D version of Maniac Mansion, including new features and mini-games. The project should be released this year for free and a lot of fans are waiting to re-discover this adventure.

Many game features are already finished, yet the characters could need some polishing. Indeed, they are the central point of the adventure! Starting with improved 3D meshes and animations. Therefore, my job is to design a rig for each character and use it to create a complete set of required animations (idle, walk, pick-up, scratching nuts, and so on)

Sounds great! I always dreamed to work on a Lucasarts game!

I just started working on Razor, first rig and animations are visible in my Projects.
You can follow the development on the Game Website or its Facebook Page.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Welcome to the Reel world


Quite some changes since last month, I didn't waste my time counting my toes!

First, I reorganized my Projects, keeping only the profesional and some good ones. My old animations like Lily's Escape or Character Hunter are still visible on my Youtube Channel.

Then, I offered my Gallery a fresh new design. I throw half of it away and only kept my best shots. I organized everything under clear thumbnails, et voilà :)

And last but not least, I updated my Reel with my last projects, thanks to the many good advices I got from recruters. Enjoy!

Demo Reel Breakdown available here.
See the Reel section for an up-to-date version of my Reel.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Death smiles at us all


Almost a month without a single message, I apologize to all my fan(s?)!

For my defense, I have been pretty busy filling up my Gallery with new animations, as usual:
A jumping loop for The Goon, a reload fail of a Sniper and some new moves for my US marine that I'll finish asap.

And last but not least... A new lipsync animation I've been working on this week-end, from my favourite character, in The Book of Unwritten Tales.

Enjoy! I'll put them on Facebook too, since I get more comments there...

Cheer up, it's tuesday! Have a nice week ;)

Soft: 3ds Max, After Effects, Photoshop
Rig: Max, by Peter Starostin
Game: The Book of Unwritten Tales by King Art Games

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Hello Nath, I wanna play a game...


I just noticed two days ago that my gallery was such a mess, so I reorganized everything!

I added a new category: Game, that I intend to fill up with video-game oriented animations, mostly realistic (next-gen, AAA): Move cycles, jumps, attacks, nose-picking and so on, from a wide range of characters, animals and monsters.

I'll try to put a new one every other day until I get a great job ;)

In the meanwhile, here are the first ones. Enjoy!

Game Animations
3ds Max, CS
Rigs from Rigsarena

Friday, 16 March 2012

Born to rig


A short message to all my fan(s?):

I just added a "Rigs" section in the gallery, where I'll put my personal rigging/skinning work. For now you'll find the CAT Girl I've posted before, as well as another CAT Rig I've just finished.

As always, comments are much welcome, here or on Facebook.

Have a nice week-end ;)

Rigging of Reptincel
3ds Max CAT
Model by Dorian L'heritier
Test cycle: 25fps, 128 frames

Friday, 9 March 2012

All I want for Christmas (huh?) is you...

Howdy everybody

March already, and nothing really new out there. Our two first mobile games developped at Agopia are looking quite good:
  • "Rays", the first one, is finished and available on the Android market and the Apple store.
  • The second, "Zombie Mayhem" should be released by the end of the month, I'll keep you in touch and add the two projects in my portfolio later.

Otherwise, as I have some spare time now and then, I started a little serie of lipsync animations from one of my all-time favourite movie: Love Actually!

I know it's not Christmas, but the movie's just great! My goal would be to do an animation for each key character of the film... And there are quite a lot!
I started with Judy and a wonderful scene.

There's more to come, so keep visiting ;)

Soft: Maya, After Effects
Rig: The Goon, by Sean Burgoon
Movie: Love Actually (Richard Curtis, 2003)

Monday, 20 February 2012

Curiosity killed the CAT


End of February coming, I can't believe I just turned 28! I'm getting too old for this s**t ;)

Week-end in Berlin for a job interview. Still impress how great the city is, I really have to get a job there!

New project added to the gallery: I found a 3D game model on the Internet, added a CAT Skeleton, skinned it and animated it using various techniques, like Keyframe and Procedural Animation, Blending between cycles and exporting to Unity game engine.

I enjoy working with CAT, really handy and highly adaptable to any model. I'll post more animations including animals and weapons asap.

See you soon :)

3ds Max CAT, Unity
Model from free3dmodelz.com
Animation: Keyframe, Procedural, Motion Capture

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Animation Showreel 2011


This is a huge day in the history of myself (not that anybody cares, but I do!)


I gathered here everything presentable I've done so far, mainly during the last year:
Professional and personal projects, realistic and cartoon animations, lipsyncs, etc.
I let you enjoy this marvel!

There is still some tweaking to do, so as always, comments are most welcome, especially the bad reviews!


Demo Reel Breakdown available here.
See the Reel section for an up-to-date version of my Reel.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

A Dark Night


Promises are made to be kept, here's my second MTA, with some lipsync work. Haven't seen the first one? Well, hurry up, it's in the gallery!

The principle is simple:

1) Watch a great movie
2) Find a kicking extract
3) Stand up and yell: "I've GOT to animate this!"
4) Do it
5) Put it on your blog so people can say the original looks much better!

It's getting cold out there so you all take care of you ;)

Soft: Maya, After Effects, Photoshop
Rig: Morpheus, by Josh Burton
Movie: The Blues Brothers (John Landis, 1980)

Monday, 16 January 2012

Playing Cowboys and Indians


...and a HAPPY NEW YEAR to you all!

2012 is gonna be awesome, with hopefully a new job, great challenges and loads of animations ;)

Let's begin with a few realistic animations I performed for a test last week. I like the cowboy, he's a tough but funny guy!

There's more to come so keep on visiting. And don't forget to leave me a comment or two, if you wanna see the indian kicking the cowboy's ass or if you think I should really learn how to dance the tango (true story)!

Various Animations
3ds Max, Character Studio
Models by Gameloft

Thursday, 1 December 2011

Everybody's kung-fu fighting ♫


1st of December and only three weeks to Christmas... The planning is gonna be tight if I want to finish everything I'd planned for my portfolio!

Currently working on a lip-sync sequence inspired by one of my favourite film, and gathering in the meantime some of my best work to compose my 2011 showreel, which will be the keystone of this website.

I just added to the gallery my last work I did last week for a job opportunity. Fight animation are always tricky, and the young padawan still has a lot to learn ;)

Fight Moves
3ds Max, Character Studio
Model by AMA Studios
25fps, 250 frames

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Run Pati, Run


I can't believe it's already mid November, with Christmas coming in a month. My website still looks so empty to me, regarding everything I had planned to add.

Let's do sth about it, with this run cycle of Pati the Lynx, a great Rig I discovered for 3ds Max (infos in the About>Rigs Section).

The result is not so bad, though there is still a little sth bothering me. As always, comments are most welcome!

Anyway, hang in there and stay close to the warmer :)

Pati Run Cycle
3ds Max CAT
Model by Firat Can Kiral
25fps, 19 frames

Saturday, 5 November 2011

Happy walking Goon


It's already November and I just noticed sth unacceptable: With the QBI project at work and on my spare time, I've been working the whole year on 3ds Max. Not a single project on Maya, my top favourite animation software!

Let's remedy to this:
  • First, we update Maya (they did released new versions since my old 2008!)
  • Then we fetch a good rig: Sean's Goon will do the trick
  • Don't forget a quick peep into R.Williams bible, to gather some ideas
  • That's all, new let's ejoy some Maya animation and share it with the world!

I'm really satisfied with it, puts me in a good mood in these cold days. Coments are most welcome!

Happy Goon
Model by Sean Burgoon
25fps, 24 frames

Tuesday, 1 November 2011


Welcome on my online portfolio!

After one month of hard work (why is programming so damn hard?), I hereby declare this website finished. Well, for now...

I still plan to fill it with loads of great animations, and of course, a Reel that I should prepare asap.

But for now, enjoy your visit, and feel free to contact me if you need any information regarding my work, or if I can help you in any way. I'm also open to any job opportunities allowing me to boost my skills. Check out my Resume!

Have a nice visit and a wonderful day!

Your bff Nath