BUF Compagnie

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BUF compagnie
Privately held company
Industry Visual effects, CGI animation
Founded 1984
Headquarters Paris, France
Key people
Pierre Buffin
Number of employees
Website buf.com

BUF Compagnie is a French visual effects company, specializing in CGI for feature films, commercials, and music videos.


Based in Paris, France and Los Angeles, United States, BUF Compagnie (BUF) was founded by Pierre Buffin in 1984.[1] The company develops new software advances in visual effects (VFX) and computer animation for feature films, commercials, music videos and special venue projects. BUF’s pre and postproduction services have earnt industry nominations for Best Visual Effects and awarded innumerable technical achievement awards[citation needed].


BUF’s research and development group is composed of 13 engineers[citation needed].

BUF is credited with pioneering in the following fields : stereo-modeling and camera mapping techniques in production; the development of motion blur post-process and camera tracking software[citation needed]; creating ‘freezing-effect’; conceiving 3D camera movements in a photorealistic environment reproduced by utilizing still photographic images[citation needed]; introducing new software that simulates clothing; producing invisible continuous shots between live action and full CG; advancing singular character animation software; introducing crowd generation and management techniques along with new fluids and solid dynamics systems; creating original tools dedicated to animation and paint3D and launching the ‘bullet time’ effect created for “The “Matrix” franchise, which was directly inspired by the research carried out by BUF while working on Michel Gondry's "Like A Rolling Stone"[2] music video in 1996.[3]

BUF has an animation studio complex in Pantin, France, which developed the entirety of animation for “Arthur and the Minimoys.” of over 1,600 shots[citation needed] requiring the involvement of 20 supervisors and 100 artists at any one time. Buffin also customized the equipment and trained his team of artists to work on every aspect of the structure and creation of the company’s first animated motion picture.

BUF’s commercial division has developed more than 1,000 commercials adopting broad visual methods and technical challenges, to realize the director’s vision on the small screen. BUF’s most recent triumph was the #1 top-rated 2007 Super Bowl advert for Hewlett-Packard. Commercials for Mercedes-Benz, Lancia, Nissan, Peugeot, Canal +, Coca-Cola and Disney, have also been executed by BUF.

By April 2007, BUF had received 14 awards for Best Visual Effects and 20 additional nominations and accolades in Technical Cinematic Excellence. The company had won eight Clio Awards, the advertising industry’s highest honour, and five Music Video Awards for the Rolling Stones, U2, Madonna and White Stripes. Other music video credits include Lenny Kravitz, Björk, Nina Hagen, Terence Trent d’Arby, Air, Emilie Simon, Chemical Brothers, Melanie Blatt, Ginger Ale, Daft Punk, Texas, All Saints and Foo Fighters.

Graphic design is a further extension of BUF’s expertise, having executed principal branding campaigns for Disney, Coca-Cola, Citroën, General Electric, Lexus, Paramount Pictures, Studio Canal, Europa and Metropolitan.

As a broadly documented resource in the VFX domain, BUF has been integral to numerous publications, textbooks, industry reference books and manuals, including The Animation Business Handbook, Rendering with mental ray, Monte Carlo and Quasi-Monte Carlo Methods 2004, Cyberarts 2000: International Compendium Prix Ars Electronica, Comic Art of Europe Through 2000: An International Bibliography.

The company Buffin was built into a $250 million business over 23 years. By forming an on-the-job learning Academy for young professional artists, BUF now employs a large percentage of its workforce directly from specialized universities across Europe, with a median age of 25.

BUF continues to carry out numerous diverse VFX projects for feature films. Buffin is also mounting two literary adaptations destined for animated films, one from a Jules Verne novel and another from Lewis Carroll. In addition, BUF has two live-action projects and two animated sequels to “Arthur and the Minimoys” in development.

Already in discussions with several U.S. entities on this front, Buffin is producing pilots and two motion picture projects in Los Angeles.[when?]


This is a list of films in which BUF provided VFX work.[4]


External links[edit]