BUF Compagnie

BUF Compagnie

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


Based in Paris, France and Los Angeles, California, BUF Compagnie (BUF) was founded by Pierre Buffin in 1984. The company develops software for visual effects (VFX) and computer animation for feature films, commercials, music videos and special venue projects.


BUF’s research and development group is composed of 15 engineers.

BUF has developed a number of visual effects techniques: stereo-modeling and camera mapping techniques; a motion blur post-process; camera tracking software; the "mental ray" for a ‘freezing-effect’; a technique for 3D camera movements in a photorealistic environment reproduced by utilizing still photographic images; software to simulate clothing; a technique to produce invisible continuous shots between live action and full CG; singular character animation software; crowd generation and management techniques along with new fluids and solid dynamics systems; tools for animation and paint3D; and the ‘bullet time’ effect created for “The “Matrix” franchise (which was inspired by the research carried out by BUF while working on Michel Gondry's "Like A Rolling Stone" music video in 1996.

BUF has an animation studio complex in Pantin, France, which developed the animation for “Arthur and the Minimoys” of over 1,600 shots .

To date, BUF’s commercial division has developed more than 1,000 commercials. BUF’s most recent success 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 created by BUF.

As of April 2007, BUF has received 14 awards for best visual effects and 20 additional nominations and accolades in technical cinematography. The company has won eight Clio Awards, and five Music Video Awards for word done on videos 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.

BUF also does graphic design work, having executed principal branding campaigns for Disney, Coca-Cola, Citroën, General Electric, Lexus, Paramount Pictures, Studio Canal, Europa and Metropolitan.

BUF has contributed 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, and Comic Art of Europe Through 2000: An International Bibliography.

Buffin is also actively working on 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.


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