Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs


Early days in France

fmx/09 Stuttgart, May 8, 2009


Jean-Charles Hourcade

INA, first CG trials; TDI the creation of the Explore software

Jean-Charles Hourcade and Alain Nicolas founded a 3D animation lab at Institut National de l'Audiovisuel in Paris 1982. The two guys started doing 3D Computer Animation without a computer, but they had access to a 24 bits frame buffer. After Daniel Borenstein joined the company, the small group morphed into TDI and developed its flagship, "Explore", which became the world's most popular 3D animation package in 1991.

Jean-Charles Hourcade is President of Red Cat Technologies, an independent strategy consulting firm focused on the media and technology industries. Until mid 2008 he was Senior Executive Vice President/CTO of Thomson, where he directed the research and development of new technologies.

Jean-Charles was among the original pioneers of 3D computer graphics. Initially as an engineer and then as Head of Research at Institut National de l’Audiovisuel he designed some of the earliest 3D software and composed the first 3D animations for French television, as well as animation and visual effects for motion pictures and commercials. 

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

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photo credit: Reiner Pfisterer