Psyop welcomes a world class CTO, Jean-Francois Panisset


 

We are incredibly happy to announce that seasoned visual effects engineer Jean-Francois “JF” Panisset has joined Psyop as our Chief Technology Officer.

Panisset earned a reputation as a world-class engineer and coder during his many years at Discreet Logic and then Auodesk, where he was instrumental in writing the code for the first version of Inferno. He then moved to Sony Imageworks and worked in their high speed compositing group.

Old friends, new horizons

Panisset worked with Psyop’s COO, Mark Tobin, for several years at Rock Paper Scissors and a52, where he was part of the team that built the first end-to-end digital solution from camera capture to final delivery for a major Hollywood studio film with director David Fincher. Panisset and Tobin worked together again at Moving Picture Company, where Panisset helped define the technical infrastructure for the MPC offices in both Los Angeles and New York.

Panisset will be working closely with Psyop’s technology teams on both coasts. Panisset will also collaborate with Psyop creative directors to explore non-traditional, integrated campaign work. Panisset’s reputation as a bridge builder and enabler between technology and creative teams suggests the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Psyop.

“Top-Notch Viral Marketing” for Bethesda’s Dishonored

For gaming luminary Bethesda, we partnered with agency Rokkan to create a series of three artful prequels to hype their forthcoming title, “Dishonored” (Arkane Studios), due out on October 9th. The first chapter, “The Awakening,” launched on YouTube today, and it’s already getting tons of love.

Here’s what the press is saying.

Forbes:

Four stars for this one. Or two thumbs up. Or 10/10. However ad/webisode critics rate this sort of thing, I give it high marks.

PC Gamer:

It’s slick and stylish and seems spoiler free, with Chloe Moretz [of "Kick Ass"] on narration duty and “Dexter” composer Daniel Licht handling the music.

Venturebeat:

[Psyop] produced this Dishonored webisode with nearly all hand-drawn animation. The team added some computer effects in post-processing to give it that painterly look, but otherwise, this is traditional, hand-cramping work.

It’s refreshing to see a company get creative with its marketing opportunities.

Gaming Examiner:

This is a webisode you should not miss. Not only does it explain the history of the town of Dunwall but it also introduces the backstory to some of Dishonored’s leading characters. The dark animated stylings combined with a solitary narration from a young girl, makes the episode a sure-fire hit.

Stay tuned to the Bethesda blog for the next two webisodes rolling out tomorrow and Thursday. We’ll share much more about the series on Thursday.

Augmented Reality Demo App

Here’s what we do when we have a few days to play around. The image target is one of our plain ol’ business cards. The graphics are real-time 3D objects with an animated texture thrown in for the little birdie. (There’s even a cute chirping sound effect that you can’t hear in this video.)

This is only scratching the surface of what’s possible, of course. It’s just a quick prototype made for fun and to prove that yes, we can build this sort of stuff. Quickly.

NOTE: This app is an internal project and is not available for distribution.

Psyop Softimage ICE Workshop

Back on May 25th, Psyop hosted a star-studded (in our eyes) summit of Softimage artists. Knowledge was shared. Secrets were divulged. Beer was consumed.

Now if you don’t know what Softimage ICE is, there is very little chance you will find this interesting. You will be especially annoyed by the quiet audio and near absence of editing.

If, however, you do know what Softimage ICE is, there is a very good chance you will find this riveting. For this select group of visitors: you’re welcome.

Presenters included:

  • Vladimir Jankijevic, Elefant Studios (Zurich, Switzerland)
  • Andy Jones, Massmarket (LA, USA)
  • Jonah Friedman, Psyop (NY, USA)
  • Fabio Piparo and Eban Byrne (NY, USA)

Watch


Psyop Softimage ICE Workshop – Part 1 – Vladimir Jankijevic, Elefant Studios (Zurich, Switzerland).

More videos after the jump…

Friday Eargoggles – Hot Chip: In Our Heads

This week’s Friday Eargoggles post comes to us from Adam Coffia in Psyop’s NYC office.

When my friends and I heard that Hot Chip would be playing in Prospect Park in July we immediately snatched up our tickets. Who wouldn’t want to dance around like a fool outdoors in the middle of July with fellow sweaty audience members?

Hipster House

In Our Heads, the band’s latest album, recently dropped, and I for one cannot stop listening to the electro pop dance beats that some bloggers are labeling “Hipster House.”

Highlights of the album include “Flutes,” “Night and Day,” and the opener, “Motion Sickness.” Just be careful where you listen to it — it may cause you to breakout some uncontrollable (and questionable) dance moves.

Watch

Listen

Listen to In Our Heads on Spotify | Subscribe to the Psyop Friday Eargoggles playlist on Spotify

Friday Eargoggles: Usher – Looking 4 Myself

This Friday Eargoggles installment comes to us from the venerable Tony Barbieri in our NYC office. Enjoy.

A little while back, Usher decided to share one of his new tracks, “Climax,” while making an appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Instantly, my ears were alive with the sweet melodies and carefully crafted hooks. I couldn’t help but sing along in falsetto (which to my ears sounded identical). I mentioned to my wife that I would like to hear the rest of the album.

Fast forward to last weekend. My wife had put together a collection of music and podcasts for our 9-hour drive to and from Ohio for a wedding. Unbeknownst to me, she had included the new Usher album. While cruising down highway 80 through Pennsylvania, she took control of the IPod© to switch to the next track. What happened next was magical.

Beyond the Hype

The lead-in track to Usher’s new album has a hype moment in the beginning. What better way to prepare the listener for what is to come then to begin by hyping up the journey they are about to take?

What a journey it turns out to be. The collection of songs Usher has put together here has something for everyone: Club beats, R&B, rock N’ roll, even a bit of indie rock. You can tell he has taken some risks with this album, and to me has succeeded.

One of Usher’s producer’s on this album, Rico Love, said: “What he wanted to do on Looking 4 Myself was explore himself musically. He stepped outside of what was safe and normal. He wanted to make an album that expressed where he was going sonically and not just where he’s been for the past 12 to 15 years. He’s growing, developing, moving, shaking, and being something that’s new, cultural, and that’s affecting people sonically. That’s kind of forcing the people to grow and elevate.”

Risky Business

When interviewed by The Guardian, Usher described his album as a “consistent” and “eclectic” project. He considered his collaboration with producer Diplo was “a risk” and followed by saying:

But hey man, if you take no risk, you stand to gain nothing in life. Dare to be different. I don’t look like you, I don’t walk like you, I don’t dance like you, I don’t move like you or talk like you. That doesn’t make me odd, that makes me who I am.

Whilst talking to MTV, Usher stated that Looking 4 Myself is “the most artistic of an album” he has ever had in history. When questioned by Reuters during an interview regarding the latter quote, and how this project was different, Usher explained that he felt he was near a ‘rebirth’ and that prior to Looking 4 Myself, he felt restricted and conformed to a specific standard. He said to himself, “I gotta go with what I feel and hopefully people will follow me”.

I will follow you Usher. The range of emotion he shares in this album really resonates with me on another level. If this is the path of evolution he plans on taking, soon I don’t think we’ll be able to recognize him as homo sapien.

If I can extrapolate the evolutionary pattern he will follow it will most likely be similar to an Usher + Ridley Scott Alien life form that has perfected the art of creating sound. I don’t think the Engineers could have planned for this.

Listen

Listen to the entire album on Spotify | on Rdio | Subscribe to the Psyop Friday Eargoggles playlist on Spotify