Takeo Hatai @takeolepivot

Designer for 3D Computer Graphics, Animation, Web, and any digital content
Contact: takeo@lepivot.com or @takeolepivot

Born in Osaka Japan in 1968
Live in Paris France

1990 Joined Animation Staff Room inc.
1990 Assigned to the VFX, Motion Control Camera Shooting Team – Alpha Space
1991 Participated in the opening of the Computer Graphics Department
1996 Appointed Animation director – Directed many animated works that interweave 2D Animation and 3D Computer Graphics
1999 Moved to France aiming for new technology and expression method
2003 Established own Design Studio Le Pivot in Paris
2018 Join 1% FOR THE PLANET, Business member

With the theme of DESIGN – LOVE, Le Pivot continues to create humorous creations that give people joy and courage

Student Days

 

 

Metal Craft & CAD

Enrolled in Art and Crafts High School, Metal Crafts Department (currently Product Design Department).
In high school, while studying traditional handicrafts such as sheet metal work, metal carving, casting, and modeling,
I also, learn CAD (Computer-Aided Design) for modeling using a computer.

 
 

 

The CAD system was installed with the same model that was introduced by SHARP, a local company in Osaka.
It can be seen that it was a craft (industrial) education closely linked to the local industry.
The teacher was dispatched from SHARP, and the students called them “the SHARP brothers”.
High school design curriculum was my first computer(NEC 98) experience.

 

 

 

Fascinated by both traditional craftsmanship and mass-produced products.
It was an era when Luigi Colani (Italian Product Designer) was designing the concept model of the Canon EOS series from the perspective of ergonomic design.
I remember being impressed by the streamlined product.

Started Interesting in enriching people’s lives with “humor” as seen in the designs of ALESSI in Italy.

Music

 

 

Listen to Jazz, Fusion, and Pops, Because I played the trumpet in a brass band during middle school and high school.

The Japanese techno music band “Yellow Magic Orchestra – Y.M.O.” was disbanded and I knew the Y.M.O. for the first time.
And I was swallowed by the whirlpool of techno music.

The equipment, recording technology, and composition method developed by YMO had a great influence on later my video production.

Preparatory school

A two-year preparatory school aimed at admission to a national art university.
Life with excellent teachers and eccentric students was like a hippie life.

 
 

 

However, I couldn’t pass…
I had an idea that I wanted to start to work on a gorgeous design right away.
I felt that my student life for the next four years or more was too long.

Encounter with Computer Graphics

 
 

 

At that time, I read the dialogue between Ryuichi Sakamoto and Ryu Murakami “EV. Café – Super Evolution Theory (1989 Kodansha)”.
In that conversation, Ryuichi Sakamoto talked about the possibilities and interests of computer graphics.

I decided to study computer graphics at a technical school instead of going to an art university.

 

 

MS-DOS, Basic, C++, and Japanese Computer Graphics Software “LINKS”, I have learned the basics of computers skill in these two years.
For my graduation work, I made a 3-minute animation film in a one-year production period.
The longest rendering time was about 48 hours per picture.
And all the picture data was stored on a 5-inch floppy disk Because we didn’t have a hard drive…

Stop Motion Animation

 

Jan Švankmajer, Zbigniew Rybczyński, Quay Brothers, I saw a lot of art animations represented by them in those period.
And MTV was imported from the United States to Japan.
We had a lot of exposure to British and American music videos.

 

 

Among them, I was greatly influenced by clips such as Peter Gabriel’s Sledgehammer and Big Time, which made by stop motion shooting.

Job Hunting

 
 

 

While fascinated by the possibilities of Computer Graphics, I was also interested in stop-motion animation such as Sledgehammer and VFX, but I didn’t have enough literature…

That year, a new TV comedy show “Tunnels – Minasan no Okage desu” happened to start.
I was hooked on the opening sequence.
It was a clay animation!
Thanks to that program, I found my future company “Animation Staff Room”.

BW – Black and White

 
 

 

I didn’t know the word “digital composite”.

I wanted to cut out a person in a picture and combine it into another landscape picture.

The school had a painting software called “Image Maker”.

I painted the person white, the background black, and thought for a week or two in front of the computer.
I found one simple idea, (Person x BW) + (Landscape x (1-BW)).
Then I ran this idea in C language.

Believing that I had made a great invention, I was interviewed at the Animation Staff Room in Tokyo.

Employment

 
 

 

I submitted an animated film for the employment exam.
I’ve seen a lot of variations in this film for two years, so there’s a lot of homage to them.
And finally, thanks to watching The Wall(Pink Floyd), it also has a little social message.
At a later date, this film won the Best Technology Award in a Japanese computer graphics contest!

The evaluation at the interview was a slightly different aspect. It was my electric and gas welding license…
It seems that the future boss, Mr. Noboru Fujii, thought that it could be used for the development of the motion control camera system that was under construction.

Then, I passed the interview in the animation staff room.

Move to Tokyo

In 1990, I started my job in Tokyo.

 

At that time, the computer graphics department did not yet exist in my company.
Animations and VFX for TV commercials were shot on 35mm film.
The film is converted to D1(Digital Video Tape) by a digital recorder.
And Digital Non-Linear editing by Quantel Harry had begun.

It was just between optical compositing and digital compositing.

VFX Studio – Alpha Space

 

The first department I was assigned to was VFX Studio – Alpha Space.
I was in charge of operating a motion control.
I didn’t actually use gas welding, but I spend every day working on the camera settings with machine work.

Camera

 
 

 

I got my SLR camera Nikon FE2 for the first time.
I bought this for the prize money of the contest.

Move to Headquarters: A new department starts

Two years later, my boss said, “I’m about to do it,” and moved to the headquarters office in Aoyama.
The computer graphics department has started with Mr. Fujii and Mr. Sasaki.
Several PCs and PIXAR’s Renderman were purchased in the basement of the Aoyama headquarters.

 

 

Neither Windows nor Adobe has been released yet.
It took more than two weeks for the round ball to be rendered on the screen.

 
 

 

Two years later, the company installs Silicon Graphics Indy and Wavefront.
Work efficiency has improved dramatically, but work is busy and I spend many days losing myself.
And no one uses Renderman anymore…

Tokyo Hikikomori(Social withdrawal) era

 
 

 

In 1995, I was busy every day.
At the invitation of my friend Mr. Aihara, I apply for the MTV Station ID contest.

Without drawing a storyboard, I repeated editing by cutting and stretching many times.
Then, a slightly strange film of 20 seconds was completed.

My hard life continued and I felt a sense of obstruction, and I was absent without notice.
During the absence without notice, Mr. Terai of MTV will call me for the award.
I was really happy.

At the same time, I get a project for the opening title of the MTV show.
It’s was my chance!

 
 

 

I drew a storyboard with the idea of drawing a cel animation character on a computer graphics background.
This is the first work that I made with particular attention to art direction, cutting, and all details.
MTV – New DNA Pattern, MTV – Top of Japan, These two works have received numerous awards, including Siggraph.

Thanks to Mr. Yamamoto, the Producer who secured the budget, Mr. Ohara, the animator who gave many ideas and technics, and also the design team and the shooting team of the Animation Staff Room.

France for the first time

In 1997 I got a new project from a French company.
Mr. Georges Lacroix, one of the pioneers of 3D animation in France, recommended my film at the Hiroshima Animation Festival.
At his request, the co-production of three TV commercials has begun.
Then, on the itinerary of 1 night and 2 days, I went to France for the first time.

 

 

The style of the film wasn’t decided, but only the style of music was decided.
I let everyone listen to French digital rock Daft Punk at a production company.
No one knew…

First Internet

The French CM format was 20 seconds. It was right in the middle of 15 seconds and 30 seconds in Japan.
Co-production with a distance is very difficult.
Character animations are drawn in Japan. And the background is made with computer graphics in France.
My camera is always moving, so I have to share the frame between the two companies.

 
 

 

In 1997 We have invested in internet equipment for that job.
In 1994 Netscape Navigator released, in 1998 Internet Explorer has pre-installed in Windows 98, But We didn’t know about the internet.

A window in Windows led to France. A window in France was black and small.
No GUI, We can send any pictures and can send messages.

It’s different from the fax! No image deterioration!!!

This feeling was a technical experience with restrictions such as physical distance and time difference.

First Kiss

 
 

 

For the final preview, the client brought his wife.
After congratulations on his completion, she stood up softly and kiss(bise=French greetings) me.
Kobby 1, Kobby 2, Kobby 3

Retirement

For the next two years, I continued to make TV commercials and opening titles with computer graphics.
I felt emptiness.
There was a gap between “advertising” and my “sense of purpose”.
I wanted to aim for more valuable manufacturing such as printing, the web, or product design.

I resigned from the company Animation Staff Room I worked for for 10 years.

1999 – End of the century

I hadn’t decided what to do next, but I decided to take one step later this year.

 
 

 

When I asked the US Embassy how to live in the United States, five minutes later I received fax titled “Wellcome to the U.S.A.”
However, no matter how many times I called the French Embassy, I couldn’t connect.
A few weeks later, only a list of work visa application documents was faxed. I hated France at once.

Dreamweaver

On such a hot summer day, a Frenchman sent me an email asking “Can you make a Japanese page for my shopping site?”
I had no plans to move to France, but I felt “the reality” from his email.

 
 

 

Actually, I had no experience writing HTML and had no knowledge of the Web, but I decided to go to France and work first.

I got the key to my apartment and opened the first page of Dreamweaver (Web Site production software) on an airplane.
I read it all by the time I arrived in France, but it was a mystery.

It takes a couple of months from the time I apply for a French work visa to the result of the examination, so I submitted all the documents to the French embassy before departure.

I applied for a work visa, but I needed proof of my current address in France (such as proof of payment for electricity)
Proof of address was required to open a bank account and a bank account was required to rent an apartment…
It’s not straightforward.

Looking for a job in France

 

 

The late ’90s was the golden age of special effects in French cinema.
Lost Children (La Cité des Enfants Perdus): Directed by Marc Caro and Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Dobermann: Directed by Jan Kounen.

BUF Compagnie, DUBOI, and Mac Guff developed their own software and created wonderful images.
It had a beauty that was a bit different from Hollywood’s VFX.

 
 

 

I was looking for a job with such a gorgeous list in my hand.
But job hunting is not so easy. That’s no surprise. I can’t speak a word in French.

But HTML has improved every day.
I made many web pages every day, I also studied French words instead of notebooks on beer coasters at the bar counter.

1500 francs

Two months have passed since I stayed in France, and autumn has come.
Then, I finally visited a company that invited me, “How about 1500 francs a month?”

It’s quite different from the glamorous French company I had imagined, but the president was the biggest smile I’ve ever seen in Paris.
It wasn’t a full-time contract, and there was no pledge, but I believed in his smile.

 

 

Fortunately, the work visa was successfully issued.
The visa is valid for 3 months. This visa is invalid unless it is changed to a residence permit by the Paris police within 3 months. hurry up me! 

I loaded a lot of luggage from Tokyo on a ship, greeted my parents in Osaka, prepared as much cash as I could, and moved to France with my wife in December 1999.
When I got off the taxi from the airport, it started to snow.

Maya

There is a whole new environment, a new language, new friends, but the most painful thing was the new 3D software “Maya”.

 
 

 

Maya is a completely new version of Wavefront.
I was taught all over in French, but this was also pretty “?”
But if I can’t work, I won’t get 1500 francs, so I tried my best
The reason I was able to deliver one project 10 days after I came to France is because of my 10-year career!

To thank my salary, I redone the company logo design and edited a new showreel.
It was a verbal promise, but he handed me a check for 1500 francs every month.
And to thank him for the logo renewal, he paid for the cost of going to a French school in the morning.

DTP / WEB

When I quit the company, what I decided to do was “I’m quitting CG work anymore”, but I can’t quit so suddenly.
And, of course, it’s still going on.

 
 

 

A few months later, I received a Power Mac 8100 sent by sea from Tokyo.
I start working on DTP-Desk Top Publishing between jobs.
I did all the shooting, coverage, illustration, and writing.
36 full-color pages were tough on the Power Mac 8100. However, the printing method, DTP process, and equipment have been upgraded every issue.

 
 

 

ADSL has become mainstream in France as well, and the web version of the magazine has begun to be produced.
These have become completely self-studying, but have become the foundation of my current job.

Homebrew PC

 
 

 

2003 I made my first homebrew PC.
The budget is 1500 francs
In 2002, the franc was unified into the euro. Prices went up and it was a painful purchase.
With the fastest Intel Pentium 3 at the time set as the CPU, I went to the Chinese electronics district of Paris many times to explore the combination of motherboard, memory, hard disk, and power supply.

The aim was to be able to produce high-quality broadcast images and designs with inexpensive equipment that we could purchase ourselves.
The level of broadcasting media continued to rise to high-definition, but the prices of computer hardware and software were exactly the opposite. We were likely to win.

Rue Oberkampf

Oberkampf has meant “Over Fight” in German. It’s cool.

 

 

In 2003 we find an old factory.
The condition of the property was the worst, but I fell in love with the height of the ceiling and space.

From June to November 2003, the atelier was renovated, but the work was also in progress at the same time, so I continued to work with a vinyl tent while remodeling.
I pulled the phone line, wired the network, connected to the server, and started the Le Pivot website.

Established Le Pivot

February 2004 Completed corporate registration of my own studio Le Pivot.
As a “Fashionable Design Studio in Paris”, I am mainly producing 3D Computer Graphics, Animation, Web, and any digital content.

 

 

 
 

 

A catalog created to commemorate the 10th anniversary.

 
 

 

2020 version logo.
The logo design has been redesigned almost every year.
In addition to the design thinking of digital design and grid design, the meaning of the twinkling of the starry sky and the view of the universe is included.

Inclusion

 
 

 

This long resume was written in 2013, the 10th anniversary of Le Pivot.
I continue to write about the past and future in this blog, https”//takeologie.blog.

Many of these histories and experiences were a series of “hit and break” challenges. Keeping this spirit in mind, I want to create new value while constantly pushing and pushing.

Thank you so much for reading my long resume!

November 24, 2013, First Edition
November 24, 2018, Revised
November 24, 2020, Revised

Biography Short version

Education

  • 1983-1985 Product Design, Metal Craft course in Kogei Senior High School Osaka
  • 1986-1987 Basic art and design cramming school
  • 1988-1989 Computer Graphics in Kobe Computer technical school

Projection, Exposition, Conference

  • Pictoplasma (2008, 2011, 2012)
  • Onedotzero (2009)
  • Pecha Kucha (2008, 2009)
  • Web International Festival (2008)
  • Paris Tout Court (2008)
  • Sport in Art Exposition Olynpic game (2008)
  • FUTUR SHORTS (2007)
  • Prêt à Porter Paris (2006)
  • SHOW OFF(2006)

Publication

  • +81 – Vol.81 Highlights (2018)
  • CGWORLD (2005, 2007, 2009)
  • Design Flux 07 (2007)
  • Commercial Photo (2004, 2006)
  • TALENTS (2006)
  • Shots (2006, 2007)
  • Stash Vol.22,23,30,52,55 (2006-2009)
  • Web Designing (2006)
  • +81 (2005)
  • meuble (2005)
  • Computer Arts (2005)

Prix

  • IMAGINA 2006 «HONDA Zoomer »
  • IMAGINA 2004 «TONI&GUY Essensuals »
  • ACM SIGGRAPH 1997 « MTV Station ID / NEW D.N.A. PATTERN »
  • ACM SIGGRAPH 1997 « MTV / TOP OF JAPAN »

Filmography

  • 2018 OGW Medica 2018
  • 2011 Hitachi Smart city, Toyoyta Yaris
  • 2010 Expo Shang-hai / Venezuela pavilion
  • 2009 Toyota Yaris, Dreaming Dj
  • 2008 PSST!3 Alter Ego
  • 2007 PERMANENT ENERGY
  • 2007 PSST!2 WILDBITES
  • 2005 Sony Playstation 3 / The Brain, HONDA / Zoomer
  • 2004 A Life Trip / Baby Soul, NIKE / Hybrids

Links