Paris-based creative VFX, animation and motion design studio Mathematic has grown from boutique roots into an international powerhouse using an array of Sohonet connectivity services. Recent work has included promos for Ed Sheeran and Lil Nas X, commercials for Apple, Sprite, Adidas and Tag Heuer, Disney+ episodic science-fiction Parallels and feature films such as Vesper (for which Mathematic won a GENIE Award for the Best VFX at the Paris Image Digital Summit 2023) and contributing to Darren Aronofky’s Oscar®-winning The Whale and Wes Anderson's Asteroid City. Mathematic’s scope of work includes live venues and concerts including Drake and The Blaze as well as being awarded recently with a Molière award for best visual creation.
“We don’t focus on one type of VFX, we explore, produce and execute everything from traditional painted animation to photoreal VFX and motion graphics,” says Mathematic Flame Artist / VFX Supervisor Clément Germain. “Every job is unique and to which we bring bespoke creativity.”
Launched in 2006 by Guillaume Marien, the company quickly established a reputation for artistic design and finishing of commercials and music promos. In 2016, it established its creative hub in Montréal, Canada, and began to take on more high-end TV and feature film work. Late last year, Mathematic opened a new office in Los Angeles, Culver City, which acts as an interface for North American projects, and as a creative and finishing studio. With 200 full time staff, Mathematic is a major vendor, providing services including conception, design, content production and creative consulting. In 2022 alone Mathematic collectively produced up to 200 projects including 70 commercials, five feature films, 45 video game cinematic trailers and 20 music videos.
According to Clément, 85 percent of the company’s work is for projects in the US and the UK, a growth only possible with fast and seamless connectivity based around Sohonet.
The studio started to work with Sohonet ClearView Flex for remote review and approval sessions during the Pandemic. “Agencies and clients used to come and see us for in room collaboration to deliver the final product but we had to find other tools to work with as Covid-19 spread,” says Clément. “Sohonet was extremely quick to deliver us a ClearView Flex unit. We asked for one on a Monday and got it two days later which was just ahead of lockdown.”
Mathematic’s Paris and Montreal offices were already connected by fibre but to facilitate more efficient remote file sharing between them and to triangulate with its studio in LA, the company turned to Sohonet and the reconfigurable network access service Multiport.
“Point-to-point connections are fine between two offices but with three or more you have to think differently,” he says. “We not only wanted to connect our hubs but also connect with clients and DOPs wherever they are in the world.” Multiport services are delivered over the Sohonet Media Network and optimized for media production workflows and security needs. Sohonet’s premier 24×7 support service is included, with access to engineers who understand media and entertainment and the technical requirements involved.
Clément explains that Multiport offered the ability for Mathematic to reconfigure and scale as needed. Its artists in Montpellier will work remotely on media stored in the cloud and from workstations hosted in Paris. “We think of Paris and Montpellier as one hub. Similarly, we wanted to build a global network for artists and clients to access media wherever they were and to be able to work on projects with an identically fast and elegant performance as if they were in the office.”
Multiple other services are now open to Mathematic enabling it to access ever larger-scale projects and work directly with a host of prestigious partners.
“First, you can adjust your bandwidth capacity from one month to another. So, if we have 3G in Paris we can upgrade to 10G when working on a large feature and we anticipate more traffic, after which we can scale back down again. Other providers don’t enable such flexible bandwidth configuration.
“Secondly, we have access to Sohonet’s Media Network allowing us to directly connect into other clients also using the network including Disney and Netflix. Several A list directors also have Sohonet high-speed, uncontended internet into their homes.”
In fact, more than a thousand companies and over 100,000 storytellers worldwide are connected to the world’s largest private fiber network for film, TV and advertising. “This really widens the market for us since we can now tell clients that they can access Mathematic from everywhere."
Mathematic is also making use of Sohonet FileRunner as a fast secure file transfer service between its hubs over the Sohonet Media Network.
“We essentially are one hub between France, Montreal and LA from which all projects are shared,” Clément says. “We needed strong SLAs so that if there was any problem, we are guaranteed a rapid and expert response. We also needed to have redundancy on the line. This is why we went to Sohonet."
Mathematic is also continuing to add locations and talent to its award-winning service and will add a new hub in Montpellier, south of France to offer even more accessibility to creative partners and to source a growing and diverse team of talents worldwide, Last month, Mathematic was selected for France 2030. This project initiated by the French government will allow Mathematic to expand Montpellier hub by 2030. It is an opportunity to leverage the latest technologies, to bring more visual effects work to France, as well as build strong relationships with schools by working with students at an earlier education point.
“Sohonet’s network will help up to reduce our carbon footprint on this project, connecting all the facilities to one main data center in France,” notes Clement, “where we will reuse the heat from the servers to deliver it to public infrastructures or apartments. “We’ll continue to rely on Sohonet’s technologies to keep communications secure and consistent as we expand over the next several years,” adds Clement. “It’s an exciting time of growth for us.