Canadian 3D pioneer found dead in Dominica

The government of Dominica has asked authorities in Canada for assistance in the investigation of the death on the Caribbean island of businessman and philanthropist Daniel Langlois.

The bodies of Langlois – a pioneer in 3D animation – and his partner Dominique Marchand, were found on Friday in a burned-out car at the bottom of a ravine, in the south of the island.

Daniel Langlois

Rayburn Blackmoore, Dominica’s minister for national security, said on Monday police were treating the deaths as “potential homicides”.

The couple were allegedly ambushed along the road and shot before the car plunged into the ravine and caught fire, police said.

Four people – three foreigners and one Dominican national – have been arrested in connection with the crime.

“This type of terrible crime and the brutality in this crime is something we cannot ignore, and we cannot allow those responsible to go unpunished,” Blackmoore said.

A request has been made for “investigative support from the Canadian authorities”, he said.

The killings, he added, have “sent shock waves through the island” and “left many devastated”.

Langlois and Marchand had founded a luxury hotel in Dominica, and the government recently awarded them a prize for their contribution to the island’s development.

Rayburn Blackmoore

Langlois made a fortune with Softimage, a 3D animation firm that produced software used in Hollywood blockbusters such as Jurassic Park, Titanic, The Matrix, and the Harry Potter and Pirates of the Caribbean franchises.

“It is with great sadness that we learned of the tragic death of Daniel Langlois,” the National Film Board of Canada said on X, formerly known as Twitter. “His contributions to the world of cinema are incalculable.”

After setting up Softimage in 1986, Langlois sold it to Microsoft in 1994 but stayed on as president until 1998, according to his foundation’s website.

In 1997, Langlois received a scientific and technical Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the website said.