Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs


Early days in France

fmx/09 Stuttgart, May 8, 2009


Pierre Hénon

How Computer Graphics Began in France

The first simulation companies who discovered they could use their hardware to produce advertising, TV credits and even visual effects for movies (Thomson, Sogitec). The research conducted at universities, art schools and public institutions (INA, Paris8, ENSAD, ENST).
The emergence of turnkey systems on PCs (Giximage, Cubicomp, Action 3D) which allowed the creation of small animation studios (Fantôme, MacGuffLigne, BSCA, ZA), some of them are very big now.

The creation of TDI (Thomson Digital Image) which became one of the first 3D software companies in the world with its product "Explore".
New big digital visual effects studios at the end of the 80s (Exmachina, Videosystem/Medialab). 
This presentation will introduce how the different speakers of this afternoon session are related.

Pierre Hénon has a Master in Mathematics/Statistics and holds a PhD in Urbanism. He is a professor at ENSAD (Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs) where he created a post-graduate course on Computer Graphics in 1982 (AII - Atelier d'Image et d'Informatique).
He has been a member of ACM SIGGRAPH for more than 20 years and is an active officer of the Paris ACM SIGGRAPH chapter. One of his research axis is about the story of French computer graphics. He is the manager of the dedicated web site

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More information (in French) on the Wiki about French Computer Graphics history

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photo credit: Reiner Pfisterer