“French Roast” by Joubert

  • ©Fabrice O. Joubert  Pumpkin Factory


SIGGRAPH Video Review:




    French Roast


Company / Institution / Agency:

  • Pumpkin Factory


    In a fancy Parisian Café in the 1960s, an uptight businessman is about to pay the check when he finds out that he’s lost his wallet. To save time, he decides to order more coffee.

    “French Roast” is a character-driven short animated film. With no dialogue, the story is told through character animation, music, and sound. Staging is made from a single frontal master shot with a big mirror in the background to create the equivalent of a reverse shot.

    From a purely visual aspect, the aim was to translate the graphic look of the original character designs done by Nicolas Marlet into CG and to create a visual environment that would best integrate those characters. Modeling, texturing, and rendering were all crucial in this process. The work on textures and shaders allowed us to reproduce the painterly look of the original drawings.

    The Tramp was one of the biggest challenges of French Roast, as his hair and beard were the most intricate elements to translate into CG. We decided to use hair simulation to achieve both the graphic style and the natural behavior that we wanted.

    The film is made of one single master shot punctuated by two time lapses. We also decided that the camera would shoot in one axis only, so the characters were always facing the audi-ence, like on a stage. However, the story needed to show many of the characters’ interactions, and therefore we had to find a way to create the equivalent of reverse shots without cutting or panning the camera. The idea of placing a big mirror behind the characters came as the best way to do this. Technically speaking, we had to create a flipped version of each character in the scene so the animators could animate both the real world and the “mirrored world”.


    Softimage XSI, Autodesk Maya, Nuke

Additional Contributors:

    A Pumpkin Factory/Bibo Films Production

    Written and Directed by: Fabrice O. Joubert

    Produced by: Louis Viau, Pascal Chevé, Bibo Bergeron

    Character Design: Nicolas Marlet

    Original Music: Olivier Lliboutry

    Animation: Fabrice O. Joubert, Vincent Caudeville, Mathieu Ménard, Jonathan Del Val, Jean-François Barthélémy, Bart Boirot

    Lighting Supervisor: Alexandre Bermond

    Special Effects Supervisor: Silvio Jemma

    Cloth Simulation: Romain Privat de Fortunie

    Hair Simulation: Christophe Le Derout

Animation / Video Overview: