Frédéric Bonpapa – Light Motif – Animated Film

January 20, 2015
by Tim Rabjohns

    [vimeo w=573&h=322]

    Inspired by the ingenious repetitive rhythms of Steve Reich’s ‘Music for 18 Musicians’, director Frédéric Bonpapa was first motivated to make this film 12 years ago. Frédéric has been working in VFX in Paris for over 10 years, but moved to London last year.

    Fuelled by Frédéric’s VFX skills (working in SoftImage, Mental Ray and Nuke) and a love for music, he has created this wonderful piece of minimal experimental storytelling, which he describes as “a synaesthetic experience”. We spoke to the director to find out the intention and the process behind the work…

    “It was an iterative process,” Frédéric tells us, “the various graphic elements, their shapes, sizes and colours were defined very early, inspired directly by the music and its score, but the motion of these elements, animated largely through dynamic simulations, was an intensive iterative process.”

    LightMotif_still_02“As part of the process I developed many tools: muscle system, skin deformers, collision deformers, combination shape tools based on the FACS (Facial Action Coding System), ballistic projection system, advanced voxeliser…”

    One of the reasons why we are fascinated by this film at dotmogo is the purposeful looseness of the narrative; we have shown this to many people now and each person places their own story on to the visuals.  It can mean many things to many people, but what did the director intend?…

    “I wanted to question the principles of causality and determinism in an abstract form” he tells us, “causation in history is a very interesting subject but I hope that the meaning of the film is more open.”

    When asked about the monkey he tells us, “the presence of a character makes the film more accessible and can be seen as a metaphor of consciousness. It underscores the contrast between living and inanimate, figurative and abstract. The monkey’s attitude can be seen as an illustration of Stoicism.”


    A stunning piece of VFX work by such a small team I’m sure you’ll agree – but what story did it portray for you? Let us know in the comments below.

    Credits – Producer / Director / Editor / CG Supervisor: Frédéric Bonpapa. Music: Steve Reich – Music for 18 Musicians, Section II. Character Modeler: Eric Prebende. Character TD: Frédéric Bonpapa. Character Animators: Barthélémy Boirot, Frédéric Bonpapa, Mathilde Fabry, Romain Pamart. FX Animators: Olivier Barré, Frédéric Bonpapa, Jon Uriarte. Shading / Lighting TD: Frédéric Bonpapa. Compositors: Frédéric Bonpapa, Jon Uriarte.

    1 comment

    1. |

      Great to see cgi can’t still inspire outside of Disney/Pixar esthetic. It’s really refreshing and original.

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