Expert’s words: Christophe Martin, Com par l’image

Com par l’image has 28 years’ experience in graphic creation, multimedia design and images rhetoric. The main fields of its expertise are science, architecture and medical sector.

Your job must have changed a lot over 3 decades.
What are the major changes that you obeserved?

At the beginning, in the 80’s, we all thought that graphic arts computerization would revolutionize our jobs and boost our capacities. It did. The only thing we did not foreseen was the impoverishment of the graphic designer who became a computer graphic designer. In the 90’s, with CD-ROMs mass production and multimedia developments, we had to learn new script languages like Lingo to create interactions and animations on screens. 3D appeared (in color). It already existed in architecture firms with plotters. The ones we used to call “perspectors” had to computerize their job as well, to remain at the service of architects. At the end of the 90’s, with the development of the Internet, a lot of graphic designers retrained as they saw a great opportunity to diverisfy and re-build a good reputation. The web killed CD-ROMs and lead softwares like Director (bought by Adobe). Beginning of 2000, the 3D softwares offer enabled major advances in graphic illustration with great gain in productivity and quality. Some people (like me) decided to specialize in this field and gradually abandon other graphic areas where competition was unbridled and faced logical price drop. This is when I specialized in the production of illustration and animation fordocumentary and scientific images. Now, the next logical step of 3D animation is virtual reality. It offers significant opportunities and requires the know-how of the illustrator, the 3D animator and the developer.
I have been fortunate enough to practice the 3 of them for the past 3 decades.

What do you think are the specific constraints in medical or scientific fields regarding 3D imaging?

No constraints. Just scientific reliability. Everything is not rigid but things must not be fanciful either. And it is fine to me. The educational aspect of images is very important. I often tell my clents: “Do not explain me anything that I could not produce with clay.” Illustration and animation are just about telling a story with images.

Let’s project into the future. How do you think computer graphic designers will work in 2050?

3D graphic designers will use modelling interfaces that will require gesture. Artificial intelligence will probably be involved as well. As long as technology does not reduce our capacities, it is good and exciting for our imagination. Care should be taken not to become dependant. Drawing is the vocabulary of the graphic designer. Using this vocabulary, you can always measure out your know-how, whatever technologies it takes… or even without technology.