Meet the Artist: Pascal Blanché

Become a member of the CGSociety

Connect, Share, and Learn with our Large Growing CG Art Community. It's Free!

Thread Tools Display Modes
  05 May 2005
Meet the Artist: Pascal Blanché

Pascal Blanché

Art Director, Ubisoft
EXPOSÉ 3 Grand Master

Pascal Blanché is a world-renowned digital animation artist. He has worked in the video game field for eleven years at companies such as Virtual Xperience and Ubisoft. He has also worked on CG films including character modeling and lead cinematics at Xilam Studios, and also with Sony, on the first French/Canadian full CG movie ‘Kaena: the Prophecy’. Pascal is presently Art Director at Ubisoft, one of the biggest video game development studios in the world.

Pascal Blanché has just been announced as the EXPOSÉ 3 Grand Master. The Grand Master title is bestowed upon an artist exhibiting outstanding skill and contribution to the advancement of digital art. Selected by a highly celebrated panel of judges, Ballistic Publishing presented the EXPOSÉ 3 Grand Master Award to Pascal Blanché. “I am deeply humbled by the honor of being named the Grand Master of EXPOSÉ 3. Being chosen to follow on from Ryan Church and Craig Mullins is awe-inspiring,” said Pascal Blanché.

Blanché started out as an illustrator, doing page layouts and comic roughs at Tilt magazine, the biggest French video game magazine at the time. “Then came a day when I jumped at the opportunity of my life. The official illustrator was out for holidays, the magazine was doing its first publication in full digital process and they needed a full-page illustration. I told the boss I could work Photoshop on a Mac. Of course, it was my first illustration with Photoshop, and the one button mouse was a nightmare to use, but I managed to get more illustration work after that, and my own column about CG drawing.”

In 2000, Blanché moved to Canada and worked for a year as an animator, then lead animator on the first French/Canadian full CG movie ‘Kaena: the Prophecy’, distributed by Sony. It was the first time he’d had such a specialized animation assignment. “I remember animating a scene with ten human-like characters moving around and interacting each other at the same time,” says Blanché. “Unfortunately, the production of the sequel was stopped. This was a pity because with the experience we’d gained, the second movie would have been interesting to do.”

Blanché found his first assignment in the video game industry with a little company called Virtual Xperience, where he worked with five other guys on a video game for three years. “I started creating characters in clay, then used a digital camera to take a picture of each pose and reproduce the whole animation with an Amiga 2000.” After that he worked two years at Xilam Studios on the adaptation of a French kid’s cartoon called ‘Home to rent’. Blanché was in charge of the modeling of the characters and lead cinematics. Thomas Szabo, the director and scriptwriter of the project was also one of the scenarists of the series. “He taught me a lot about framing and storyboarding; how to place a camera; how to tell a story in a few shots,” says Blanché. “He would come in on Monday morning with a few strips and act out the entire cinematic in front of me. With no time for full modeling, half the time I was animating and modeling what I had in the frame, and the other half mixing up little recipes on After Effects to save time. After a lot of coffee, my first game was released.”

“I think that CG arts fields will continue to grow, and the 2D and 3D mediums will converge more and more,” explains Blanché. “This will happen in all areas of professional creation: concept design; matte painting; architecture; and VFX. More traditional artists will switch to CG. Things are only starting to get interesting.”

Pascal Blanché

Post your questions or request for critique

The "Meet the Artists" forum provides a conducive environment where CGTalk members can have the opportunity to speak to some of the finest digital art talents in the world! CGTalk members can post questions and artwork, and have them answered or critiqued by these master artists. This is a fantastic opportunity to gain valuable insight from seasoned industry veterans!

Rules for Q&A/Critique:
1. Use your real name (edit your CGTalk profile in UserCP). Note: Anonymous postings may be removed at CGTalk's discretion.
2. Please be polite when asking questions or for critique.
3. Check the whole thread to see if your question has already been asked. Do not post duplicate questions.
4. When posting critique, please use the CGTalk Attachments feature so that the artwork remains accessible.
5. Note that the Artist is under no obligation to answer all questions or critique all work posted. It is at his/her sole discretion to answer questions or critique work.
6. If the Artist does not answer your question or critique your work, do not harass him/her.

Last edited by Leonard : 05 May 2005 at 09:43 PM.
  05 May 2005
Hi Pascal!

FIrst off, congratulations on your acheivement of Grand Master of Expose 3!
I've admired your work for its technical accuracy and beautiful compositions for a long time. So many of them have a great sense of motion and life to them, they are awe inspiring to look at.

How difficult was the transition from doing comic roughs to digital illustration?
As an art student beginning to work in a digital media, is there a specific field (illustration, industrial design, etc) you would emphasize to be successful in the industry?
How much time does your average peice take to complete?
How much importance would you place on institutional education as far as developing strong enough skills to work within the industry?

Thanks Pascal, and Congratulations again!
Iron rusts from disuse, stagnant water loses its purity, and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigors of the mind.
  05 May 2005
hi pascal,
first i have to say that i love your work. your are a big inspiration for all of us!

my question is if there is anything more you want to achieve in your life (in cg work)? i mean you worked on games, films, magazines. is there anything more that you would like to work on?

visit my website...!!!
  05 May 2005
Hello, Mr. Blanché

First of all - the obvious thing - congratulations on the Grand Master title. Your work has truly earned it's place and respect .

The foremost question that always comes to my mind when I see a brand new piece of art from you is: "How can he imagine such wonderful and weird things?" And by weird, I mean imaginative and clever, not odd-and-ugly-weird . So, I think this is an opportunity to ask this straight from you:

Where do you find the imagery/inspiration for your work (other artists, music, etc.) and how much of it is just skill of creating original design from years of experience? Is originality in your opinion something you can develop and practise?

I know this is The Question that is always asked from prolific and succesful artists, but someone else would ask this anyway if I didn't.

Congrats again and keep up the good work .
Visit my homepage
Spread the word, sketch everyday!

Last edited by jtuulos : 05 May 2005 at 10:11 PM. Reason: added another question
  05 May 2005

I thought they might get you to do this. I'm glad they did.
my name is Brian, I'm a big fan of your work.

if you get a chance, I would love some input on a value scale problem I'm having with a 2D project of mine. I've started on color in another file, but I'm still not convinced I've gotten a good feel with the B&W study. the link is below.

thanks so much,
my Master and Servant entry
my The Journey Begins entry
  05 May 2005

Hey Pascal, I'll use this thread, like everyone, to show you my respects for your amazing work.


I'd say that your unique style is like the croquettes of my grandmother, there's some hidden ingredient that no one can guess that makes them be sooo tasty and special...anyways in your case everyone knows it's mostly about textures / lighting / photoshop, so... questions:
1. Do you use GI in that personal stuff, or you prefer to light manually to control everything more?

2. Do you think it's important to give textures some filter or manual tweaking to get the mood?

3. Do you think that tweaking in photoshop "A LOT", as you have said in some threads of your images, makes them less valuable as 3D art?

4. Do you like paying a lot of attention to detail, or you prefer the perfect overall look (colors, composition, etc.)?

5. Do you really think photorrealism is something that can be called "art"? (it doesn't have anything to do with my opinion, it's just a question)

Thanks Pascal
  05 May 2005
While I was still praying on free software I had no internet or portal to some sort of civilisation. I had magazines and your work has thoroughly insppired me too push things in myself to make what I want to make. I'm sincerely greatfull for that.

I'm not very experienced and I'm guessing many people fresh to 3d and character design would pop by here.So this would be to ask.

So I'd like to ask, what your "golden rules" are when working into a final result. DO you have a method on approaching the geometry you need, hoow much freedom do you leave in your sketches. What does one actually need to be capable of for good characters, or what should we know?

I wonder if you yourself have created a concept to put your creatures in, for a movie maybe. I believe there would be market for such a short film. Maybe UBI soft could uphold the flag and catch in on the profits for you to beable to do it.

edit: I would also be much obligeed if you would have a look at my model for as much as it is now. If there's the time I guess.
My forestnymph creature thingy
whole thread for her
it's NURBS yes , and un-stitched... Maya 6...uhm...if you need any info...just ask...
modelling practice #1

Last edited by jmBoekestein : 05 May 2005 at 11:55 PM.
  05 May 2005
congrates on the grand master title!

i always find your work to be some of the most recognizable due to your unique style," i think its the lighting"

Im starting to get serious about working freelance as a modeler and texture artist, have any tips on where to start developing contacts and work?
So far ive found that competition is fierce, and its hard to even someone to look at your work, let alone to take the risk of trying unproven talent, so pointers from someone in your position would be greatly appreciated.

also it would be great honor if you would stop by and critique some of my work.

thanks for your time, and the opportunity to ask a few questions

Best regards
Jon Bennett
Master & Servant Entry

there are 3 things which may not long be hidden.
The Sun
The Moon
and The Truth.
  05 May 2005
CONGRATULATIONS pascal!! Must feel great to be named 'grand master'...

I have no questions right now, so I'm going to sit back and enjoy watching you sweat under the tide of questions you're going to get!
Must say....always enjoyed your stuff, esp. the snailman....
Keep up the amazing work, you're making us all proud
  05 May 2005
Hey pascal, I'm a big fan, and I've had this 35" x 52" mermaid print for a long time. (way before CGPrints anyway ) Everybody that sees it stares at it forever. They love it. I love it.
I was wondering if I were to pull this from the frame, roll it back up, and send it to you with return post included would you sign it for me? I would be forever grateful.

Dimebag Darrell
08/20/1966 - 12/8/2004

I got CULT status baby!

Last edited by onlooker : 05 May 2005 at 11:41 PM.
  05 May 2005
oh finally! hehe i hope you remember me pascal,
anyways you know how much i love your work, heres my questions:

1-i love your 3d illustrations, my question is when you are modeling a character are you creating it to work from any angle , and then you figure our your composition later?
or do you plan out what the illustration will look like and then model and texture accordingly?

2-same thing with weighting and rigging do you just do enough to pose or are your characters built to be animatable?

i love your illustrations and style keep it up.

-heber alvarado
  05 May 2005
Hi there Pascal,

I can't think of any questions but I want to use this opportunity, since you will for sure be reading this thread, to congratulate you on the Grand Master Award in EXPOSÉ III and also on your general success in the world of CG. I also wish you all the best to the future both in your personal and professional lives!



- loocas duber
- Lukáš Duběda | ADVERTS s.r.o. | duber's blog
  05 May 2005
Hi Pascal, it's awesome to see you here. I love your artwork, it's just gorgeous. personally i find two of your pieces - arcanum and gladiator- to be some of the most amazing 3d works i have ever seen. magnificent. how do you come up with such incredible designs? ok stupid question...

do you do a lot sketching, drawing etc. before you start modeling? or maybe you do everything on the fly as you go, improvising a lot..

you seem to heavily rely on the composing packages. do you spend a lot of time tweaking your rendering settings trying to get the best results straight out of your 3d app or do you achieve this unique look of your works doing a lot of work inside of, let's say, photoshop?

thanks for your time!
  05 May 2005
thx everybody for the reeeally kind comments!
for starters, you know im french , so.. expect some funny english from time to time
ok lets roll:

1_going from traditionnal illustration to cg illustration was not a big deal, i was already used to
work with different kind of mediums (photography,sculpt, video..)
2_from my own experience, i would say that you should go with what fits you the most, or what
you are really eager to learn, what you can project yourself working on for years. when it comes from your heart, you will have much more chance to succed.
3_i would say between three and six weeks.. it really depends on the subject, the time i have..
4_ You should never underestimate the power of the institutional education . Seriously.. it can be sometimes a bit boring to learn stuff you think you dont need, but it is a whole experience you would have not approached by your own.. And it helps. So yes i would say that a good institutional education is a really good base for a career.

comic book.. i would love to create my own cg comic book.. i think that there is plenty of new areas to explore there...

i dont think i have enough years of practice to already have my own original design. Of course i have a style.. but i am still perfecting it and searching for it. I am a huge comic book reader since my early days, i read mangas, art books, european comics ( BD ) and watch almost anything that is related to animation. Everything i see gives me so tracks and hints for possible new illustrations, so it is really hard to tell from where my imagination comes from! I have a deep interrest for artists that really have great imagination. For instance, i respect the work of Boris Valejo but i dont find the thrill of a good Frazetta paint in it...

cant see your rather like you send me a direct email for more personnal work, i'll answer with pleisure...

1. I tend to use GI now, but slightly. I always avoid to add more than three lights in a scene.

2. i would say that it depends on the subject, but generaly i love to tweack materials to get the good specular and softness
3. the big question.. where to put my work? is it still 3D art? ahaha well ,at this point i like to say that i am using tools that i am the more comfortable with.. and i dont ask myself to much question about it

4. overall look is what drives my attention at first, yes. Then i usually try to detail parts that are worth it (meaning parts that will show at the end)

5.yes Photorealism is art.

heey jmBoekestein!:

1_My golden rule number one is: overhall to detail (as explained above)
my sketches are usually here to fix the idea very fast ( it happened from time to time that i FORGOT about that cool pict i had in mind) and to fix the comp also (strong lines)
My other golden rule stick to the overhall thing: i think about the pose of the character at first, then i think about what he should look like,and then i go to details.
2_First i would say that you need to have some anatomy knowledge, then some knowledge about what have been done for the last 20 years in character design.. no need to remake things from the past, you need to go further...

3_ ahah thx.. i dunno about Ubi taking on the opportunity, one day ill manage to get there i hope
4_ send me your model by email, i'll take more time to help you out

well, you really need to create a good portfolio, that's the key..
like for the other ask for helps, id rather like you send me an email, iwill take more time talk about it, the forum is not really the good place for it sorry

heya paperclip

it would be my pleisure, sned me an email so i can give you my personnal adress

all my character are modelled, rigged, then put in pose...
except the mermaid, i textured her after putting her in pose, lazy me :P

thx loocas, cheers!
-- pascal blanché --
- - " If only you could see what I've seen with your eyes... " (Roy, Nexus 6). - - -
  05 May 2005
Thx Pascal!!!

Insightful stuff! Haven't even tried to go from an overall sketch to an image yet. I still have so much to do.
I will be studying characters for sure!!! Hope to do nothing else actually, lol.
I see I still have a long 2d road to walk! But I got started allready, luckily.

Thanks a bunch for taking the time for my model. It means a lot to me!

will be lurking...

modelling practice #1
Thread Closed share thread

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Society of Digital Artists

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2006,
Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Minimize Ads
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 09:33 PM.

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.