Can you talk about your personal/professional journey that led you into VFX?
As a kid, I was far more interested in art and paintings, which were not always the most popular options for children at the time. This interest grew as I got older, leading to my desire to pursue a career in fine arts and completing a master’s degree in painting at Madras University. I worked as a background artist at a 2D animation company during this time; where I learned more about photoshop and the artistic tools available; this greatly influenced my decision to pursue a career in digital matte painting, and I’m thrilled I did. Later, I worked as a Digital Matte Painter at a Chennai-based VFX studio, where I got the opportunity to work on a wide variety of regional films.
What part of your job do you enjoy the most?
As an artist, I always enjoy painting concepts in photoshop; using a selection of texture brushes and paints within the software while exploring different landscapes brings me as much joy as I would get from painting in the traditional medium. My passion has become my work, and so when I’ve received awards at GAFX in digital painting, it feels incredibly rewarding. I get so much satisfaction from seeing how far I’ve come over the years, the processes behind each project and how I can bring new techniques I’ve learned to further work.
What projects have you worked on at The Mill?
Over the past several years I’ve been fortunate to work on some really exciting and industry pushing projects. Some of my most notable work can be seen in the recent VES award-winning project, Verizon ‘The Reset’; the hard work really did pay off on this project. I’ve also worked on the visually ground-breaking Arm & Hammer ‘Once Upon a Time’. One of the fantastic things about this job is the variety in work, it never gets old.
What top tips would you give to those trying to get into the VFX industry?
Interest is crucial in any career, but in VFX we need even more; a passion for watching incredible VFX movies, playing games, and spending time on art-related sites like Artstation and cgtalk can really help when taking your first steps. Being up to date on the latest in the VFX field is also important; the industry is growing at a rapid rate and so having knowledge of upcoming technologies and industry revelations will help greatly.
What early career challenges did you face, and how did you overcome those?
Moving from a traditional fine art background to the VFX industry was incredibly challenging for me at first; I used to go to classes to better understand and learn photoshop. When I landed my first job in the industry there were very few creative tasks to do; photoshop artists were mainly used for supporting compositors. It took a few years but all the studio’s now recognise matte painting and the work that can be done using it; it’s now considered just as an important aspect of any VFX job, even in low-budget films.
What is your favourite part about working at the Bangalore studio?
I love the studio culture and being able to collaborate with artists from all across India, many of them have become great friends, further improving the studio lifestyle. Working on projects that allow for more contact between onsite creatives is also inspiring and rewarding, it gives me the opportunity to learn new skills and develop my pre-existing knowledge.
What are the advantages of being in a collaborative workspace like The Mill, and how has working with your teammates felt rewarding?
Being in a shared environment like The Mill has many benefits; It’s a company with incredibly talented individuals who share a like-minded passion for the industry. Working in a creative space with everyone means witnessing problem-solving and skills that you wouldn’t see in any other industry, it’s incredibly exciting and is always evolving. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
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