Dimitri Vallein, also known as ValOne, is a Director based in Paris, France.
He is an artist working internationally across animation films, video games,
music, and virtual experiences.

Your film THE LAST STAR has won the Best Music Video category in our LA Short Film Awards Festival. What is your film about?
The Last Star is an animated Sci-Fi short film set in the year 7437. A mysterious ancient civilization is destroying all the stars in the sky. One of their agents is about to destroy the last one - a beautiful blue star.

Tell us about your background
I grew up in a very small town in the French countryside. There was nothing to do. That's how I started to read all the science-fiction books I could take my hands on. Besides books, I started skateboarding when I was 10. Except I only had a piece of damaged asphalt to practice on. So when I was 13, some friends and I decided to build our skatepark. We had to draw up plans, call around skatepark construction companies in the area, analyze different quotes and so on. Then we presented the project to the mayor of our village, and it was approved! ( I'm telling you all this because this experience taught me a lot and showed me that even if the odds are against you, with a lot of determination and willpower you can succeed in shaping the world around you.
In that skate park, I wanted to do like the American kids I saw on YouTube (it was the beginning of the internet), so I started filming everything and making a lot of edits of those skate sessions. I made hundreds of videos in that time. That's how I learned everything about a camera: different kinds of shots, how to film in motion, what ISO is, shutter speed, frame rate, the 180-degree rule, and so on. It was a school of cinema that I made for myself, thanks to the Internet.

When did you decide to become a filmmaker?
After building the skate park with my friends, I decided to leave the countryside and go to the city to study. I went to Bordeaux and then to Paris. In Paris, I hung out at a startup incubator. It was incredible because there were so many different people from different backgrounds coming in every day to work and discuss the future, technology, and how we could create a more exciting world in the years to come. Growing up in a small village and coming to Paris and spending a lot of time there felt like the Italian Renaissance. To take the analogy a step further, I felt like Leonardo Da Vinci who had just arrived at Verrochio's studio in Florence (laughs). One night, with a great friend, we decided to watch an animated short film called "Adam" made by Unity. When I saw it, I was blown away. I remember thinking: "This is it: This is what I want to do for the rest of my life. That's how I got into animation, and I haven't stopped since.

What are your ambitions with your project?
My long-term goal is to make animated films for the general public. Right now, animation is still perceived as something made for children, with characters that are mostly sentient toys or talking animals. Animation needs to get rid of the things that hold it back and push back the narrow walls that surround it. There is so much to explore and to tell I'm confident that animation will break the barrier with cinema in the coming years and I want to be part of it!

How was the shooting? What are some memorable moments?
The most memorable memory I have from making this short film is the connection between animation and cloth simulation. After doing all the animations of my character, I had to simulate the cloth reacting to each of those animations. But it was not going as I expected, so I spent days and weeks iterating and going back and forth between animation and simulation until I got everything working the way I wanted it to. It was very long and painful, but in the end, I got a great result that makes all the difference when you see it.
When I finally finished, I showed it to some friends and the magic was seeing their eyes go wide! That moment was worth every minute of the struggle.

How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?
The peculiarity of my work is that I only use real-time animation. I didn't use any rendering software like Octane or Arnold. Instead, I use the new technology of Unreal Engine 5 to do everything in real time. And after years of doing CG, I can tell you it's a technical revolution. With The Last Star, I realised that the technology has reached a point where small teams can now create entire films that are on the same level as the ones you see in the cinema. I'm confident that in the next few years we'll see feature-length 3D animated films! This is just the beginning of what we can do with animation, and that is the most exciting part! It's a new form of medium with so much to explore and discover. The possibilities are endless.

Who is your greatest role model?
Broadly speaking, I would say that Leonardo Da Vinci. He has always been a great inspiration to me. There are so many stories in his life that serve me as a teenager to push forward and keep going. If I had to name someone more contemporary, I would say Alberto Mielgo. There is something about the ambition he puts into animation and the way he sees it as cinema and only cinema. It's inspiring.

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?
Science fiction books were what I read as a teenager and gave me the ambition to leave my small town to discover the world and try to shape its future. Now it's funny to see that I've come full circle and it's inspiring my work as a director. Science fiction comics are also a great source of inspiration, as there is no budget limit to what you can draw, I have found a lot of fresh designs and very interesting ideas in them. I dream of doing an adaptation of La Horde du Contrevent by Alain Damasio or The Ice People ('La Nuit des Temps') by Barjavel.

What are your next projects?
I'm currently working on 3 animation projects:
- Vortex, which I made in collaboration with my friend Qtn.Cls.
- New Specimen, which is a more ambitious story I wanted to tell.
- The Day I Met You, which is in pre-production. We just finished writing the script and I'm now working on the storyboard.
Right now I'm making as many short films as I can. I see them as good training for the next step. My goal is to make a longer format in the next few years, so right now I'm looking for and talking to potential producers who believe in my vision.

Where can our readers follow and see your film work?__
You can find more of my work on my website: You can learn about how I make animated shorts, exclusive projects, behind the scenes, and more. You can watch my published work on my YouTube channel, and if you want to contact me or learn more about me, you can reach me on my Instagram @valone.future.