Dave Rand at fxguide.com

Posted on July 29th, 2008 in Entrepreneurship, CG Community, Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

If you don’t know who Dave Rand is, then you’re not up to date with the VFX community in Montreal. Dave is a VFX supervisor that has been turning a lot of heads recently as a self-made spokesperson for the 100 former artists of Meteor studios. His crusade about paychecks for the last weeks of work at the company before its bankruptcy has appeared in newspapers and magazines such as La presse, Variety, Playback and The Hollywood Reporter to name a few. His post on CGsociety has generated a huge amount of traffic and the thread is still going strong.

He is the guest in the first of a 3-part podcast over at fxguide.com about the state of labour in the digital effects industry. As usual, Fxguide has produced a fine segment and Dave’s view on our business is very insightful.

I agree with him that our industry is in its infancy, and that we are at a turning point where business models have to be rethinked to become more refined, structured and profitable. I’m far from being a business mogul, but I hope that as an experienced professional turned new company owner I can contribute to the progress of our field of work. I wish him well on his campaign.

Ubisoft Campus

Posted on July 28th, 2008 in Entrepreneurship, CG Community by Marc Bourbonnais


Ubisoft Campus on Notre-Dame street in Montreal.

Last Friday I had the privilege to speak at Campus Ubisoft in front of over 100 students in video game development and 3D animation. My conference was part of their course “ exploration of the industry “ where professionals from the video games and digital effects world come by for a chat about their careers, their goals and of course the state of the industry.

For my own presentation I talked about my steps in VFX, our setup of Modus FX and some key points about getting a job in the industry. The setting was very simple and informal and lucky for me the students were very engaged (for two hours!) and kept asking relevant questions; I like a dynamic crowd.

I enjoyed very much my first visit to the Campus. Many thanks to Ubisoft for inviting me.


 Part of the crowd as they were settling in. Yes, that’s a very fine looking Vectrex console sitting up in front. At least they know their gaming history…

The Visual Effects Society publishes its first white paper

Posted on July 17th, 2008 in CG Community, Working in CG, Technical, Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

The Visual Effects Society (VES), the entertainment industry’s only official organization representing the extended community of visual effects professionals, has published its first ever white paper, entitled “The State of Visual Effects in the Entertainment Industry.”

The paper, drawn from input from numerous sources including a VES Think Tank discussion, the VES Executive Committee and others, examines existing conditions within the visual effects industry and how these issues affect the entertainment business on a macro scale, from workflow to the interaction of personnel within various departments and the extraordinary impacts that the digital revolution has caused.

To see the white paper, click here:

Ubisoft buys Hybride

Posted on July 11th, 2008 in CG Community, Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

So earlier this week video games maker Ubisoft announced its acquisition of VFX studio Hybride. Very big news for the VFX industry, and a huge event for the VFX and games community in Montreal.

The convergence of video games and digital effects industries is not new. In 2005, Lucasfilm’s new Letterman Digital Arts Center was a way to bring closer together its video game division (LucasArts) and VFX studio (ILM) to share technical knowledge and creative power for added value. A new Indiana Jones title is one of the first projects of this new collaboration, for example by pushing the limits of the Euphoria engine from Natural Motion. Just last year VFX studio Digital Domain announced the creation of a video games division, right after working on the impressive Halo 3 trailer. One memorable result is the “Mad World” teaser for Gears of War. You can read more about it here.

The difference here is having a multinational video games company acquiring an established VFX house. In fact, Ubisoft has been working on building their own CG studio in Montreal (Ubisoft Digital Arts) to refine the cinematics of their production titles, as well as start short and long movie spin-offs using these same titles. The acquisition of Hybride is a huge leap foward.

But I’m no prophet. What will precisely happen with this acquisition is everyone’s guess. Having been an employee of Hybride for over 10 years, of course my thoughts go to everyone at my last employer; I’m more than proud for all the owners at Hybride that I’ve worked for during over a decade. I’m also very happy for my ex-colleagues that have exciting new opportunities with the added support of a new respected corporation.

Finally, as a VFX studio owner myself, this happening is extremely positive. It has brought Montreal in the limelight and shows the vigour of both industries. For Modus, Ubisoft’s ownership of Hybride gives us a new opportunity to differentiate ourselves. Not forgetting the immediate added value this transaction has brought for all VFX studio.

Exciting times are up ahead. Can’t wait to see!

Busy, busy, busy…

Posted on July 7th, 2008 in The Company, Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

Yes, I know this blog has been silent for the past weeks. As you can guess, we’re extremely busy these days; our first major deliveries are coming up. I had to give more time to production and less to administration, this is how start-ups go.
Since we are on the brink of outputting a huge amount of finals for three projects, we’re hiring right now 3D lighting and rendering artists as well as 2D compositors. We have enough work to take us to mid-autumn.

3D lighting and rendering artists

  • Lighting and rendering of 3D elements shots for film and HDTV
  • XSI environment
  • Effective immediately - All levels of experience needed

2D Compositors

  • Integration of 3D elements on live plates for film and HDTV
  • Some 2D effects - compositing work
  • Nuke 5 and Shake on Mac
  • Effective immediately - All levels of experience needed

You can send your resumes to : jobs()modusfx.com