3. Can you elaborate on some of the challenging VFX projects that you have worked on and what were those challenges?
Here is a list of the VFX projects....
Deep Rising (Dream Quest Images): The challenge was to create an Octupus like creature in CG. Animating this creature was the biggest challenge especially when it came to getting feedback from the Director. Each step of the way, the director had to approve the shots, if approval was not granted, it was back in animation, then rendering and compositing, just to come close to capturing Director's vision would take us a few weeks. We came up with a system where we only animated spline curves in order to get approvals faster. It was difficult at the beginning, but soon the Directed came to trust the thought process. This saved us many many weeks in production.
Dinosaur (Disney Feature Animation): The challenge was to build a muscles system for each CG creature, this would give the creatures a secondary animation and make them look as photo real as possible. The CG pipeline that we built for this project was the best pipeline I have ever worked on, it was the most efficient pipeline for CG production.
Here are other fun projects.... Batman Forever (Warner Brothers), True Lies (Digital Domain), Interview with the Vampire (Digital Domain).
Here is the list of animation projects...
Marvin the Martian 3D ( Warner Brothers): This was a stereoscopic project, the entire CG process on this project was a big challenge. The traditional 2D characters where never built in 3D CG before . From the approval of the characters in CG, animating them in CG while being faithful to the traditional 2D look was a great challenge. Having worked on 2D animation projects in India was very useful on this project . I quickly understood the problem the studio was facing. Fortunately the Director had faith in the experience I was bringing to his project and was willing to learn the CG process. We came up with a method that would allow the 3D animators to animate in CG while keeping the traditional look intact. We also wrote our own rendering system which helped us with toon shading the characters . There was a set way the company did film outs, this would have put us way behind on delivering the project, we came up with a method that would take half the time on our film outs. All these processes are a bit difficult to explain here, but can elaborate further in person.
Treasure Planet (Disney Feature Animation): On this project we experienced many challenges. One of the challenges was to be able to custom build every ship specific to the shot. We came up with a method that would help us do just that, this helped us keep up on deadlines set by production.
Surf's Up (Sony Imageworks): On this project the characters were animated on a very large scale. Maya program has a very hard time rendering and animating characters that are too far from the origin. We had to come up with a method to bring the characters and the set within a renderable distance. We found a method that reduced the repeated work that went on in each department (like layout, animation and lighting ) . We wrote a tool that would delete everything in the set that was not seen by the camera. We came up with an efficient way to previsualize water and waves so the interaction of the character with the water was believable.
Here are other fun projects...Shark Tale (Dreamworks), Open Season (Sony Imageworks), Mickey's PhilharMagic (Disney Feature Animation), SoarIn (Disney Feature Animation).
4. What is your take on the direction Indian VFX and CG Industry is moving towards to?
VFX using computers and CG is still a new thing in India, but I am seeing some amazing work being done in India. The direction India is going, is pretty much set by Hollywood . Hollywood has spent huge amounts of money in CG intensive movies, hope Indian VFX and CG Industry learns from their mistakes and goes beyond.