VYV’s nodal fx system turns back the hands of time for acclaimed Montreal directors in Temporel. Time warping effects built in Photon provide content for hologram-like video projections in Lemieux and Pilon’s latest creation.

Michel Lemieux and Victor Pilon have collaborated many times over the years with VYV on large scale projects such as Cirque du Soleil tours. These creators also happen to be the co-founders and artistic directors of 4D Art, a Montreal-based theatre company well known for its high tech mise-en-scènes, notably for the integration of hologram-like illusions in its productions.

However, there was a twist: Temporel would not rely at all on text; performers would be physical actors with a circus background. Therefore, the plot and its conceptual underpinnings had to be explained visually, mostly through the interactions of the performers with video scenery.


Nicolas Pfeiffer, one of VYV’s Photon specialists, was dispatched to the production with the mandate to build the real-time fx the show would need to express an experiential view of the flow of time. Also, he would have to train a new Photon operator and programmer from 4D Art’s own technical team who was new to our systems and technology.

The creators wanted to create scenes where the protagonist would interact in real time with past images of himself generated through live actions on the stage. It was critical to rapidly offer the actors a working fx system, in which time could be manipulated on the fly during the creation phase.

“I programmed a series of multitap video delays connected to our live capture system to allow us to precisely recall short video segments driven by the actor’s performance. This allowed the actor to play with ghost versions of himself. For example, a book thrown by the character in the past could be avoided by a future version of himself. The tricky part in programming that system was to allow control over multiple variable delays so their time values could be changed on the fly to create dramatic effects. Thanks to the flexibility of Photon’s nodal fx system, achieving such results was an easy task.”

-Nicolas Pfeiffer, Photon specialist

Besides programming a time-warp rig, Pfeiffer had to train a new programmer whose job was to build the sequential elements of the show and operate the systems during the performances.

“I only spent one day with Sandy Dionne in our lab to show her the basics of Photon. She was then able to jump straight into the production phase and program a server system that controlled seven video projectors. Content integration and show operation have been perfectly handled by Sandy even if there was little time for training.”

-Nicolas Pfeiffer, Photon specialist

Photon is a powerful media server featuring a flexible nodal fx system that allows the creation of striking, real-time visual effects. While our products can handle complex, large-scale environments such as stadiums, they are also perfectly suited for smaller presentation contexts and are easy to learn and manipulate, even for someone who is new to this technology.

  • Production Company

    Lemieux Pilon 4D Art and Les 7 Doigts

  • Co-production

    Place des arts and L’Espace Jean Legendre — Théâtre de Compiègne Scène nationale de l’Oise

  • Visual Design

    Michel Lemieux et Victor Pilon

  • Original Music

    Julien Mineau

  • Set, Costumes and Props

    Anne-Séguin Poirier

  • Lighting Design

    Francis Hamel

  • Interactive Effect Coding VYV

    Nicolas Pfeiffer

  • Image co-design

    Normal Studio

  • 2D/3D Animation

    Martin Paré (Normal Studio)

  • Sound Design

    Marcin Bunar

  • Photos

    Jean-François Gratton and Martin Girard

  • When

    From the 10th to the 27th of January 2018

  • Where

    Cinquième Salle de la Place des Arts - Montréal, Canada