Let’s go way back. Where were your born and raised? Where are you now? What sparked your interest in digital art?
Hi, I'm Steven Dupuy. I was born in Paris, France 31 years ago. I still live and work in Paris but I'm looking at opportunities to work abroad.
I’ve been interested in digital arts for over 15 years when I started playing online games (CS). I was doing all sorts of flash animations for my team at the time. I knew at this point I wanted to work in the digital arts industry.
I've always liked images and moving images even more so it was natural for me to head in this direction.
Please describe what you do. What are some of the projects you have worked on / clients or studios you’ve worked with?
I'm a visual effects artist. I do all sorts of natural phenomena such as water, smoke, fire, clouds or destruction stuff, explosions or unrealistic, abstract effects. Basically everything that is not animated by the animators is animated by us - the effects artists.
I've worked on several big and smaller projects here in Paris. I started my career on Despicable Me, I then worked on the Lorax, Despicable Me 2, Minions. In between these projects I've worked on several commercials and game trailers like Ghost Recon and World of Tanks just to name a few.
As for the studios the big one in Paris is Illumination MacGuff. I also worked at medium ones like Unit Image, Fix Studio or Microbe Studio.
What’s the most important tool you use?
I use mainly Houdini and Maya, and 3dsmax from time to time. I often use RealFlow as well for small scale fluid work. Compositing wise I use NUKE, which in my opinion is the best in its class.
While Houdini is my main tool for effects, Maya is my tool for core foundation;. it’s the software I learnt at school, so I like to have it by my side to handle all the simple stuff (cleaning geometries, etc..).
Is there something you are currently working on, or are excited about starting, that you can tell us about?
I'm trying to develop my own personal project. Something abstract, I have the idea I just need to find time for it but with a 2 month old daughter it's not easy :)
What movie and/or game from the past do you wish you had worked on and why?
I'm a big fan of the Pirates of Caribbean movies, I really wish I had worked on one of them! I don't know I just like the pirate universe. ILM did such a great job with Davy Jones!
I also like the League of Legend game, so getting involved in any way would have been great.
What do you like to do away from the computer?
I'm a sports guy, so I like to go out and move. I do CrossFit, I like this kind of training, it’s very intense in a short amount of time. I also like surfing, windsurfing and everything that's water related. Unfortunately in Paris it's a bit hard to practice.
I also do photography and videos as much as I can. Maybe one day I'll shift to directing or something, why not :)
Can you tell us a little about your process?
Every time I start a project, or I'm assigned a new shot, I ask for a brief of what the director/supe wants. Then if possible I look at some references on the web to get a good sense of the timing, look etc.
And, then if it's something I haven't done before it's trials and errors. As soon as I have something good enough to me, I show it to the director. That's where Houdini really shines in my opinion; you can iterate a lot and show many versions of an effect quickly. It's also much more flexible than Maya when you have retakes, and when the animation is updated, etc.
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