Dom began his career in the television advertising industry, directing commercials using new production’s digital and 3D tools. Over the past 20 years, he has also worked on music videos and documentaries, catering to a global clientele.
Since his childhood, Dom has been a martial artist, mastering various disciplines such as Taekwondo, Aikido, and Kung-Fu. His exceptional skills in Taekwondo, particularly at the Olympic and spectacular levels, have highlighted his talent for stunt work and acrobatics from a young age.
In 2007, Dom established his own company, DOM ANIMATION STUDIO, specializing in product and post-production. With a unique touch, he incorporates 3D characters into real environments, integrates special effects (SFX), and creates martial arts and acrobatics action sequences for commercials.
In 2010, Dom directed a short action film utilizing camera tracking, motion capture, and 3D compositing techniques. Two years later, he produced and directed his first independent short films, which received several awards in Los Angeles, Texas, Las Vegas, and New York for Best Action Sequences, Best Action Director, and Best Short Film.
During the lockdown in 2020, Dom collaborated with screenwriter Alick Macaire to co-produce and direct his first international animated movie, “SPACE AGENTS: The Mysterious Ax.” This Sci-Fi film revolves around the theme of hope for a better tomorrow, serving as an allegory for Dom’s feelings during the dark period of the global pandemic.
In SPACE AGENTS, Dom used several animation tools including MAYA, Unreal Engine, ActorCore motions. Along the way, Dom discovered using iClone 8 as an alternative to MAYA for mocap cleanup and motion editing which allowed him to achieve professional-grade animations at a fraction of the cost, time, and effort spent with traditional 3D animation software.
“iClone 8 simplified the process of cleaning motion captures, making adjustments, and adding other movements to the characters within our timeline. This is often a challenging and time-consuming task on Maya, requiring perfect mastery of the tools. However, with iClone, we were able to accomplish these tasks more easily, saving hours of work.”Dom Fred – Director / Producer / Editor / 3D Animator
Q: Greetings Dom, and welcome to our Reallusion Feature Stories. Kindly introduce yourself and the work you are doing with Alick Macaire for SPACE AGENTS.
Hi! First of all, thank you to the Reallusion team for providing us with a space where we creators can share our creative work. I am Dom Fred, a 3D animator and action director for real fight scenes and special effects, with over 20 years of experience today. I began my passion in 2D/3D advertising and documentary films for brands around the world and TV channels. My love for martial arts led me to create short action films and participate in many festivals worldwide, particularly in America, where I won several prizes.
In 2020, during the Covid-19 period, I had the idea of creating a science fiction universe called “SPACE AGENTS.” In full confinement, I animated and produced a 5-minute 3D animation short film that I shared on social media. The positive reactions from the fans inspired me to create a feature film version. Today, it may seem like a simple story, but the journey took me 3 years of hard work with a small, motivated team, and I want to say THANK YOU once again.
My experience and knowledge of 3D production tools such as Maya, iClone, Character Creator, ActorCore, and Unreal Engine allowed me to reassure my screenwriter and co-producer, Alick Macaire, that it was possible to create a sci-fi film in 3D all alone. The extended universe of SPACE AGENTS includes “The Soldier,” which is a discovery version, and “The Mysterious Ax,” a feature film version that will be released soon.
Q: For The Soldier, an extended universe of SPACE AGENTS, you used Maya animation software, ActorCore and Unreal Engine? How did incorporating iClone 8 into your workflow save you time and effort in comparison to just doing all animation editing in Maya? Could you elaborate on the time and cost savings of using iClone instead of Maya for mocap cleanup and motion editing?
For an independent production like mine, the question of working time and money is always crucial throughout the production of an animated film. Fortunately, iClone 8 proved to be the solution we needed in our production pipeline. One of the most significant advantages was the seamless and quick import of animations from ActorCore to iClone 8 software, for all the animations we purchased from the marketplace. This direct bridge significantly boosted our efficiency and allowed us to have complete control over the flow of animations required for complex fight scenes.
iClone simplified the process of cleaning motion captures, making adjustments, and adding other movements to the characters within our timeline. This is often a challenging and time-consuming task on Maya, requiring perfect mastery of the tools. However, with iClone, we were able to accomplish these tasks more easily, saving hours of work.
As a result we managed to complete “The Soldier” on time, thanks to the more controlled workflow it offered. This has been a game-changer for our independent production, both in terms of time management and budget considerations. Overall, iClone 8 has been an invaluable tool that has streamlined our animation production process, making it more efficient and cost-effective.
Q:What are the advantages of using ActorCore motions versus motions found in Mixamo or other platforms? Could you describe any significant difference in content, variety and quality found in ActorCore libraries?
The advantages we experienced with ActorCore compared to other platforms are numerous and have been instrumental in the success of our production. One of the key benefits is the well-organized classification of motion captures by category and theme. This made it incredibly convenient to find the specific movements we needed for various scenes in “The Soldier.”
For fight scenes, ActorCore offered a much wider selection and a greater variety of combinations compared to other platforms. This diversity allowed us to create more dynamic and engaging fight sequences, adding depth and excitement to the film.
The quality of the motion captures provided by ActorCore is exceptional, with a level of realism that has clearly been honed by professionals from the cinema sector. This attention to detail and authenticity significantly enhanced the overall quality of our animated film and made our work during production much smoother.
As independent producers, having access to such a valuable resource as ActorCore has been a invaluable. It has empowered us to create a high-quality animated film that meets our artistic vision and has undoubtedly contributed to our overall satisfaction with the end result.
Q: Your final render was done in Unreal Engine. How easy was it to connect and use Unreal with iClone 8? Did you use the Unreal LIVE LINK plugin for this? Or just manually imported all scenes and motions?
In “The Soldier,” we made extensive use of iClone’s Unreal LIVE LINK plugin, which proved to be powerful for our production process. This plugin enabled us to seamlessly transfer all our animations from iClone to our characters in Unreal scenes, streamlining the workflow and saving us valuable time.
The real-time synchronization between iClone and Unreal through the LIVE LINK plugin allowed us to make adjustments and modifications to certain scenes of the Unreal project directly from the iClone software. This level of integration and flexibility was crucial in ensuring a smooth and efficient production process, giving us more control over our animated sequences in Unreal Engine.
“The real-time synchronization between iClone and Unreal through the LIVE LINK plugin allowed us to make adjustments and modifications to certain scenes of the Unreal project directly from the iClone software. This level of integration and flexibility was crucial in ensuring a smooth and efficient production process, giving us more control over our animated sequences in Unreal Engine.”Dom Fred – Director / Producer / Editor / 3D Animator
The ease of use of the iClone Unreal LIVE LINK plugin was a significant advantage. As animators, we found the tool to be intuitive and user-friendly, making our work even more enjoyable during the production of “The Soldier.” This seamless connection between iClone and Unreal Engine contributed to the overall success of our project and helped us achieve our creative vision.
Q: Please tell us when The Soldier will be released, and when fans can look forward to seeing more of your production with the SPACE AGENTS universe?
The extended universe of Space Agents is soon to be available for audiences to explore. Our first 94-minute feature film, “SPACE AGENTS: THE MYSTERIOUS AX,” is a self-produced project by Naissandre Productions, with Alick Macaire as the co-producer and screenwriter. We are thrilled to announce that the film will soon hit theaters and VOD platforms, bringing the thrilling sci-fi experience to viewers worldwide.
As we continue to develop “The Soldier,” we are actively seeking funding and partnerships to support the production. We are proud to work with the full range of Reallusion software, including Character Creator, iClone , and more – which will undoubtedly enhance the creative process and bring our vision to life.
A heartfelt thank you goes out to our talented actors, dedicated collaborators, and supportive producers, who have been with us since the beginning of this adventure. Together, we have embraced the spirit of unity, as reflected in our guiding motto: “Alone we go faster, together we go further.”
As the director, Dom Fred, I am excited about the upcoming release of “SPACE AGENTS: THE MYSTERIOUS AX” and the development of “The Soldier.” These projects represent our passion for storytelling, animation, and the sci-fi genre, and we can’t wait to share them with the world.
Stay tuned for more updates and join us on this thrilling journey into the Space Agents universe!
Director: Dom Fred
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