Biographies

At the beginning of the project Mikaël Auffret wondered about the use of the 3 dimensional relief video screening and interactive volumes in Art.

In 2001, he met Quentin Delamarre, a computing researcher in Angoulême.What initially was to be a collaboration between an artist searching for news tools and a mathematician looking for an innovative project quickly became a mutual quest to explore new creative methods. Their complementarity allows them to set up projects blending both the technological dimension and a sensitive and esthetic approach to new forms of perception and the ambiguity between real and virtual worlds.

 

 

Born in Boulogne-Billancourt on 29 December 1971, Quentin Delamarre graduated with a degree in engineering from the Ecole Centrale de Lyon in 1994, before going on to obtain a PhD in Information Technology in 2003 from the Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis for a thesis written at the INRIA Sophia-Antipolis (national institute for research into computer science and automation).

As part of his engineering course, Quentin developed man-machine interfaces in the form of an articulated arm capable of manipulating objects in a 3D environment. His keen interest in real-virtual interactions saw him move into research in 1995 by means of a DEA (post-graduate diploma) in robotics and image processing at Sophia-Antipolis. For his diploma, Quentin presented an interface for the non-invasive capture of hand movements using a video camera.

First in his year, Quentin won a state scholarship to continue his studies by means of a thesis at the INRIA Sophia-Antipolis on "tracking the movements of articulated objects in video image sequences" under the tutorship of Professor Olivier Faugeras. He went on to present his work at conferences in France, Japan, the UK, Sweden, and Greece as well as in the pages of "Computer Vision and Image Understanding", a specialised international review. He was also invited to spend two months at the MIT's Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in Boston.

While studying for his PhD, Quentin Delamarre developed recognised expertise in computer vision, image processing and software programming. His research efforts led to the invention of a system to capture movement without markers. In 2000, Quentin's work caught the eye of the CEO of XD Productions who immediately invited him to join the company's research and development department in Angoulême. Quentin spent five years on the team developing his system and giving it real time capabilities with the assistance of funding from the state (CNC), the European Union (ESPRIT projects) and the CNBDI (national centre for comic strips and narrative drawing) amongst others. He was also active in developing systems enabling special effects to be created for the cinema, animation and television.

Quentin first met Mikaël Auffret in 2001. After pairing up to apply new technology to digital art, their successes included development of a system for the automatic generation of chaotic virtual forms and another system to explore the first in 3D.

In 2005, Quentin's research work for XD Productions culminated in a system which could be used by the audiovisual industry and computer games. Since the projects designed in partnership with Mikaël Auffret were now proving to be increasingly time intensive, Quentin decided to devote himself to this field on a full-time basis.

 

Mikaël Auffret began working for the Cryo Interactive video game company and the Canal+ studio in 1997 while still a design student. He had already developed a keen interest in interactivity and was exploring how best to marry this technique with the creation of digital art installations.

With an industrial design BTS (vocational training certificate) in his pocket, Mikaël enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux Arts de Brest in 1999, with a view to further investigating application of new technologies to artistic fields. For his DNAP (national diploma in visual arts), he presented a digital installation implementing virtual materials rendered palpable thanks to the 3D effect.

It was at the Ecole des Beaux Arts that he first embarked on his current artistic quest by conducting numerous projects focused on basic geometric shapes such as the cube. He also worked on the notions of frontier, time and the opposition of incompatible natural elements, by means of anamorphoses and 3D projections.

Mikaël then went on to work in the field of computer generated images and video games for the Paris-based In-Utero studio. In 2000, he turned to teaching, taking up a post as senior lecturer in 3D computer graphics at the EMCA/EMCI animation and computer graphics schools in Angoulême. Charged with hiring external contributors to further training courses at the EMCA and overseeing teaching methods, he taught computer generated images at the EMCI for four years, supervising the short films produced by students at the end of their courses.

At the same time, Mikaël continued to experiment with stereoscopic techniques in digital art with a particular focus on research into alternative processes for modelling and working with materials.

It was at this time, in 2001, that he first met Quentin Delamarre. They quickly realised that they were both working towards the same goal. Their partnership gave rise to a period of fruitful exchange and experimentation as they began to focus on a new field of research.

Among other projects, they were to create a system for automatic generation of chaotic virtual forms and another for 3D exploration. As the projects were growing in scale and the 2004/2005 educational year had come to an end, they decided to devote themselves to their shared passion full time.