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The Work That Made Me: Pauline LaCroix

Senior CG artist at Ntropic on how video game cinematics inspired her to get into CG and Gondry’s peculiar universe

The Work That Made Me: Pauline LaCroix

Pauline LaCroix is the senior CG artist for award-winning studio Ntropic, leading their CG teams on a variety of VFX projects for some of the world’s most recognisable brands. Her skills as a CG generalist, with a keen eye for lighting, have earned her acclaim for her work on everything from content for Clinique, to animations for the NFL, to sprawling narratives for Cartier, to feature films like Marvel’s 'Ant-Man and the Wasp'. 


The ad/music video from my childhood that stays with me…

I remember vividly the first time I saw the music video 'Around the World' from Daft Punk, directed by Michel Gondry. The choreography amazed me, everything was directed with a lot of attention to detail and was extremely well thought out. It was also very different from any music video you could see on the TV at that time, which I liked. I became a huge fan of Gondry’s work, his aesthetic and his peculiar universe.

The ad/music video/game/web platform that made me want to get into the industry…

I could say the cinematics from my favourite video games gave me the desire to work in the CG industry. But I think one video made an even bigger impression on me at a much younger age. It's the ground-breaking short film 'Ghosts' by Michael Jackson. It wasn't as much about the music itself, but about all the great special effects it had. I remember watching the behind the scenes over and over again. It showed how they dealt with motion capture, transforming the artist into a dancing skeleton which mesmerized me. It's also where I learned about green screens, and CGI. I think I knew I wanted to make a dancing skeleton for a living right there.

The creative work (film/album/game/ad/album/book/poem etc) that I keep revisiting…

I am still very attached to the fantasy books I've read as a child/teenager. They showed me the power of imagination and creativity. The nerd in me could read Harry Potter for the 100th time with no problem!


My first professional project…

I didn't find any videos of the movie we made for the exhibition but here is a behind the scene.

I was extremely lucky to be able to work with the artist Jean Giraud aka Moebius for a retrospective of his work for la Fondation Cartier in Paris in summer 2010.

I was a gigantic fan of his work (especially les mondes d'Edena) and was given the chance to work very closely with him to transpose his 2D art into CG.. It was one of the best experiences of my life and an encounter I will never forget.


The piece of work (ad/music video/ platform…) that still makes me jealous…

Some of my friends worked on the project Love, Death + Robots, created by Tim Miller with David Fincher as an executive producer. The variety of shorts is amazing and the creativity has no limits. They created some beautiful pictures, very challenging ones and you can tell the artists had such a great time working on those projects. Very jealous!


The creative project that changed my career…

As a summer internship I was lucky to be hired by the company Quad and the VFX team of Wizz. I worked on the Bruno Aveillan commercial "l'Odyssee de Cartier". It was one of the most beautiful videos I ever worked on (and to this day, one of my favourite commercials ever) and the company decided to hire me right after that. It was the beginning of my career, and people still remember that commercial when I am talking about it. We also won a couple of Gold Lions—it's one of the projects I am the most proud of!


The work that I’m proudest of…

I had the chance of being the light Lead on a great piece called 'Legend of Cambria', where we had to work on dragons, rock golems, burning cities. It was a long and arduous work but the team was amazing and seeing it all coming together at the end was a great joy. 


I was involved in this and it makes me cringe…

That's an easy one, one of my first projects as a lead was a music video, we worked days and nights non-stop for weeks to try to make up something beautiful...and the video was never released. I was so frustrated! And that music still haunts me to this day.


The recent project I was involved in that excited me the most…

It's a hard one, I think I am always excited for the projects I am on. They always bring up new challenges, and I always meet excellent artists who I am excited to collaborate with. 

In these peculiar times, what I would be very excited about would be to go back to work with people—meet them for real, and not just via zoom calls—and do a couple of shoots all over the world. That would be quite magical. Also working on anything with a dancing skeleton…

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