Interview with Kaydara President, Michel Besner


  • Sony's "The Getaway" relied on Kaydara Filmbox, now known as Motionbuilder, for all aspects of character animation.


    The team of over fifty at Sony Team Soho used Filmbox to clean motion-capture data from an Ascension system for direct export to the Playstation 2.

    Leonard Teo: What is your vision for the 3D industry and where is Kaydara headed?

    Michel Besner: Based on our expertise acquired by building solutions for the high-end professionals in the film, television and games industry, Kaydara has started building a series of products that will bring the same expertise and technology to the consumer/prosumer market space and enable users to experience 3D as a rich and compelling media for creating stories, animations and interactive content.

    Leonard Teo: Regarding Filmbox, now known as Motionbuilder, what's in the next generation of Kaydara's flagship product?

    Michel Besner: Motionbuilder has a similar approach to Adobe Photoshop, because we recognize that most users are better at modifying pre-built clip-art than they are at creating their artwork from scratch. Content such as characters, props and animations can be imported very simply with a ‘drag and drop’ approach from any other application, using the Kaydara FBX file interchange format, and then manipulated in Motionbuilder’s suite of intuitive and easy to use tools to create media rich 3D animations in a variety of format (AVI, QuickTime, Flash, as well as FBX). The focus, here, is to bring 3D animation tools to a wider audience where users do not necessarily need to understand the underlying complexities usually found in 3D animation software.

    Leonard Teo: How is Motionbuilder PE different from other 'learning editions' and how does it benefit beginners in the industry?

    Michel Besner: The majority of the free learning editions from other manufacturers are either restricted, watermarked (both on screen as well as on output) or use a different file format. These limitations make it fun for a user to test the software for a few days but make it almost impossible to really do any in-depth work.

    At Kaydara, we decided that we needed to make available, for a limited time, an unrestricted, not watermarked, one-year license of Motionbuilder to allow students, freelancers and other such artists to really use the complete set of tools found in the software. For only $100USD, the user receives the software, all upgrades for one-year as well a complete set of documentation. So far the response has been amazing and people are discovering the incredible power of Motionbuilder.

    Leonard Teo: About the FBX format. What is it and why does the industry need a standard animation format?

    Michel Besner: To the opposite of file formats such as JPEG (2D), QuickTime (video) and MP3 (audio), there is no such standard format for 3D data. FBX is the first 3D interchange format that allows users to share and convert 3D data between any 3D application. There are currently more than 20 companies on board to support FBX (including the major four) which makes it the most widely supported 3D format.


  • Created by TBC Media ApS in Denmark, TriGirlz is a completely 3D girl band. Modeled in Discreet 3ds max, animation was motion captured using Kaydara MOCAP (formerly known as FiLMBOX motioncapture).

    Michel Besner: As we are working to expand the 3D animation market, 3D clipart is an important element of the pipeline of any user who wants to quickly create 3D animations without having to model and animate by hand. This is also why we have been working with Apple to release a free FBX component plug-in for the QuickTime player allowing anybody to playback and interacts with 3D content without having to own professional 3D software.

    Leonard Teo: The current state of the 3D industry and where is it going?

    Michel Besner: I believe that the industry is facing a real dilemma. Price wars have hurt many manufacturers and have failed to do what was intended, which was to expand the market by bringing in new users. Why? Simply because the prices are going down but the applications still only address the high end professionals in terms of ease of use, workflow and the immediate learning difficulty any new user faces when he starts the application. The applications are not easier to use, but simply cheaper. For our part, we strongly believe that the industry can succeed in growth and profitability if more companies, such as Kaydara, would work together in making things easier for the end users.

    Leonard Teo: What are we expecting to see from Kaydara 2003?

    Michel Besner: In 2002, Kaydara’s growth was in the mid 40s. In 2003, you can expect another stellar performance from Kaydara, as we will launch new products as well as expand our Motionbuilder product line. There is a real buzz right now about Kaydara and Motionbuilder. We will also see the FBX community grow and there will be an explosion of FBX clipart for artists to freely use when creating their 3D animations. [3DF|CGN]

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