His remains and those of his partner, Dominique Merchant, were found in a burned out car in Dominica. Three people have been arrested in connection with the deaths.

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The remains of Softimage founder Daniel Langlois along with his partner Dominique Merchant have been found in a burned out vehicle in Dominica.

Over recent years, Langlois and Merchant created the Coulibri Ridge Eco Resort on Dominica, and a few days ago, both were reported missing. The vehicle with their remains was discovered late last week.

“The entire community on the island is in mourning following a devastating incident on Thursday, November 30,” said a Coulibri Ridge resort spokesperson in a statement. 

Simon Walsh, the project manager at Resilient Dominica — a non-profit affiliated to the Daniel Langlois Foundation, added: “We have lost the incredible team of Daniel and Dominique. I am sorry to have to bear this horrific news.”

At the beginning of November, the government of Dominica honoured Langlois with a Meritorious Service Award for his contributions to sustainable development and research projects within the hospitality and business sectors.

The circumstances surrounding the disappearance and fate of Langlois and Merchant remain unclear, although police in Dominica have reportedly taken three people into custody for questioning.

Langlois founded Softimage in 1986 and served as its president and chief technology officer from November 1986 to July 1998. The pioneering 3D computer animation software Softimage 3D was used in a long list of classic VFX-heavy movies, including Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, The Matrix, Titanic, Men in Black, Twister, Jurassic Park, The Mask and The City of Lost Children.

The company went public in 1992 and was acquired by Microsoft in 1994 for US$130 million. Under Microsoft’s ownership, Softimage supplemented its VFX software by developing a non-linear video-editing and compositing suite named Softimage|DS.

In 1998, after helping to port the products to Windows and financing the development of Softimage|XSI and Softimage|DS, Microsoft sold Softimage to Avid, which was looking to expand its visual effect capabilities.

Avid renamed Softimage|DS to Avid DS, which was eventually discontinued in 2013.

In October 2008, Autodesk acquired the Softimage brand and 3D animation assets from Avid for approximately $35 million. In February 2009, Softimage|XSI was rebranded Autodesk Softimage. It was discontinued with the 2015 release.

Prior to setting up Softimage, Langlois worked for eight years as a film director and animator.