Shifting the paradigm: Isotropix CEO Sam Assadian
Monday, June 5th, 2017 by Julian Karsunky
Just recently we proudly announced our new partnership with Clarisse, the high-end 2D/3D animation software by French developer Isotropix. Designed to streamline the workflow of CG artists, Clarisse is specialized in the creation and assembly of immense environments, look development, lighting and rendering.
We had the chance to talk with Sam Assadian, CEO and founder of Isotropix. Continue reading to find out about the company’s history, the development of Clarisse and the upcoming version 3.5.
Hi Sam, thanks for taking the time to talk to us! To start things off, can you briefly recap the foundation of Isotropix?
I’ve co-founded Isotropix about six years ago together with my long-term business partner Sebastien Guichou. It started with just the two of us and has steadily grown into a global enterprise since then – employing over 30 people today!
Sebastien and I met during our computer science studies at university. We both shared a true passion for computers, video games, animation and VFX and were doing CG as a hobby. We started our careers together over 20 years ago working in the CG Industry as CG generalists on feature films, TV, commercials and AAA game cinematics. Seb was more into modeling, FX and rigging, whereas I was more involved in lookdev, lighting and rendering.
Sam Assadian (left) and Sebastien Guichou, co-founders of Isotropix
Working as CG artists, how and when did you decide to develop your own software?
Even though working as CG artists was awesome, we were often frustrated because the tools we used at the time felt rigid, clunky and ultimately limiting. It was as if they’d been designed by people who didn’t have a clue about the actual creation process of CG images. Using our computer science skills, we knew we could improve our workflow.
We started by writing scripts and plugins, which eventually led to us writing proprietary tools. Ultimately, this quest for a better workflow evolved into the idea of creating our very own CG and VFX software, designed from scratch to let artists be as creative as possible when working on high-end images. We wanted to create the tool we ourselves would have loved to use in production. In 2009, Sebastien and I took the leap of faith: We started exclusively working on the prototype of Clarisse (in his dining room!) and two years later, in 2011, we opened Isotropix.
So what does Clarisse actually have in store for CG artists?
Clarisse is a breath of fresh air in a market that hasn’t really evolved over the past 20 years. At its core, Clarisse offers CG artists a brand new unified workflow, designed from scratch by former CG Artists. This results in a next-gen application that allows artists to layout, assemble, lookdev, light and render at an unprecedented speed.
Basically, Clarisse brings what every CG artist has always been dreaming of: The ability to interactively work on final images no matter their complexity. Thanks to Clarisse, instead of technical issues, artists can now fully focus on being creative. Clarisse’s workflow is so amazing that we keep hearing from our customers that it brings back the fun to the job!
The interface of Clarisse provides a multitude of high-end features, all designed to be consistent and intuitive.
Since its foundation, Isotropix has quickly acquired a list of quite illustrious customers.
Indeed, Clarisse is used by more and more artists all over the world! We have a broad portfolio of happy customers ranging from world-leading studios such as Double Negative, Industrial Light & Magic, Weta Digital to mid/small-sized studios such as Tippett Studio, Important Looking Pirates, Raynault VFX as well as very small boutiques and freelancers.
Are there any productions that Clarisse iFX has been used for that stand out in your mind?
We love VFX and we’re very proud to say that in less than two years, Clarisse has already been used in over 20 feature films such as Avengers: The Age of Ultron, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Star Trek Beyond and Assassin's Creed as well as many TV-series like Agent Carter, The Young Pope and Black Sails. More recently Clarisse has been extensively used on Kong: Skull Island, Life, Fast and Furious 8, Wonder Woman and the highly anticipated Valerian!
You can check out the released feature films list made with Clarisse at http://www.madewithclarisse.com
Clarisse streamlines working on even the most complex scenes.
RebusFarm is very happy to fully support Clarisse iFX by extending our render service to its user base. How would you describe the advantages of our joint venture?
We’re super excited to work with the RebusFarm team and I know for a fact we’re not the only ones! Quite a few customers of ours were very keen on seeing Clarisse available at RebusFarm. We’re thrilled to see how smooth and easy it is to submit renders to RebusFarm. The RebusFarm plugin is so tightly integrated to Clarisse that final renders are just a click away!
Finally, can you tell us a little about the upcoming 3.5 version?
We’ve just returned from FMX where we unveiled Clarisse 3.5. Our exclusive presentations covered the new features of the upcoming 3.5 version, some of which are truly amazing. Just imagine this: Artists can interactively paint super complex stuff like forests, rocks, buildings in the viewport! If you’ve missed our presentations during the FMX, you can still catch up on our video recordings available at our website. Clarisse 3.5 is scheduled for release shortly.
However, as Clarisse is still new, many artists don’t know about its potential to revolutionize their workflow quite yet. Clarisse brings a whole new paradigm shift that must be fully experienced to understand what we are talking about. That’s why we provide a free Clarisse Personal Learning Edition and encourage everyone to try it out themselves!
To celebrate our partnership with Isotropix, we’re currently offering a 50% discount on all renderings made with Clarisse!