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Frederic Durand

frederic_durand_at_the_beach2About Frederic Durand
Working on animated films, feature films, and commercials during the past 20 years, Frederic Durand had the opportunity to work at Sony Imageworks, Disney Animation, DreamWorks, Jim Henson’s Workshop, the Mill, MPC and Digital Domain under the supervision of very talented supervisors and cinematographers.  Frederic is also the co-founder of Noroc Studio, which is a digital effects company based in France. As a leading lighting artist, his approach is not only technical, but also artistic.  He heavily emphasizes and integrates aspects of cinematography into his work.  Frederic is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale des Arts Decoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris, France. Additionally, he was awarded and completed a one year student exchange appointment at Cooper Union in NYC during his masters program.

Mentor Preferences
Frederic has a strong artistic background, as he has studied and worked with highly regarded and skilled art instructors.  He practices drawing and painting on a regular basis and support others in such endeavors. He is a lead CG lighting artist using Maya, Renderman, Mental Ray and V-ray, and hs been in the entertainment business since 1991. His focus is how to use lighting in a cinemagraphic way.  Shading and compositing are areas he covers too.

Ideal Mentee: I am interested in working with individuals who are interested in lighting generally speaking (not only CG) and individuals who are curious about what it is really like to be working in the animation industry. Lighting and shading tend to be less popular as a career for aspiring CG artists, so much so, that sometimes people focus on modeling and texturing while leaving out a lot of available opportunities. It can be difficult for companies to find people who are skilled in this area, thus the opportunities for finding employment may be increased. Lighting artists must be well-rounded and need to have a strong understanding of how illumination works in our world and in the CG world, and be able to transfer their traditional art knowledge in painting and photography. Lighting is not a linear process, there are a lot of trial and error moments, and always many different potential solutions to a problem.

10-Week Plan: I feel that in such a demanding and fast changing industry people need to know more than the “how?”. Simply knowing how to use digital tools is far from enough, as most of this knowledge is available on the internet anyway. What people need the advantage of the addition of the “why?”. Why things are what they are, where they come from and how they connect to, frequently, overlooked knowledge from the past. I blend classic cinematographic knowledge to up-to-date CG instruction. I demonstrate how CG tools work in relation with how a gaffer and cinematographer works and how we carry on the tradition. Of course, I am flexible and open in my approach, and would welcome the exploration of any questions that the mentee would like me to address. I am here to guide and to help! 1 – LIGHTING FUNDAMENTALS 1a – Illumination in our world versus CG . 1b – How CG illumination works. Modeling is lighting! 1c – Lighting, shading, rendering and compositing: interconnections and definitions. 1d – The concept of layering information and compositing. 2 – DIRECT LIGHTING 2a – CG light sources typology. 2b – Anatomy lesson: The spot light. 2c – Big lights versus small lights. 2d – Light designations applied to CG: key, rim, fill and more. 3 – INDIRECT LIGHTING 3a – Indirect lighting concepts. 3b – Final gathering. 3c – Global illumination and caustics. 3d – Occlusion. 3e -The direct and indirect illumination: a delicate combination. 4 – ENVIRONMENTS AND RENDERING 4a – Capturing environmental information: basic concepts. 4b – Image based lighting in Maya. 4c – Render layers and passes. 5d – Rendering and compositing interrelations.

Maximum Number of Mentees: 3

Maximum Distance: International

Language(s): English & French

Preferred Meeting Times: Lunch time or Evenings (PST)

To apply to become Frederic’s mentee, click here.

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