GAFX 2022 wraps up with a hooting response; all participants cheered the physical version

Bengaluru GAFX 2022, the two-day gathering of industry stalwarts of animation, visual effects, and gaming  at The Lalit Ashok and Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath, was a refreshing change for the speakers as well as the attendees. The second day’s line-up had been packed with the presentation of blockbuster films like Dune, K.G.F: Chapter 2, RRR and Beast. The enthusiastic bunch of young crowd immensely enjoyed these sessions, pitting intelligent questions as wells going crazy with the appearance of their favourite stars during the VFX breakdowns.

The key takeaway of the AVGC discourse was that the face-to-face interaction almost after two year hiatus was the need of the hour. Most of the speakers were amazed to witness the footfall, interact with tomorrow’s talents, meet industry friends and exchange ideas.

As training of new talents is raising high on the priority chart, the day began with an educational session conducted by Technicolor Creative Studios academics head Sandeep Sharma. While taking on ‘The Making of Production ready artist and Roadmap’, he pointed out that one cannot be “production heavy” while at school. For that it is important to get industry exposure.

Sharma pointed out the importance of skills over mastering of softwares. Houdini or Maya is just a tool and one needs to show what they can do using those tools. “If we don’t train production ready artists, how will India lead,” he asked.

Technicolor Creative Studios academics head Sandeep Sharma

Up next was the session on ‘The Indian Comics Story’ which highlighted the power of comic books in making you a master story teller. Alok Sharma, Saumin Patel, Bhanu Pratap Singh, and Somnath Pal all grew up consuming stories.

“If you understand story-telling, you can contribute anywhere in films, animation or games,” Sharma said. He gave the reference of the caves paintings of the Paleolithic age where they communicated using images. Singh believes in breaking the rules and trying to explore and innovate. He feels that the audience have become smart so content creators need to surprise them.

Emphasizing the importance of practice, Patel said, “Luck is when preparation meets opportunity; this is a very profound line. Everything needs compounding. If you love something, you need to practice it at least for an hour every day. Pal who moderated the session also feels that nothing can beat hard work and practice.

Thalapathy Vijay’s film, Beast, another VFX heavy film, had a jam-packed audience. Phantom VFX head Ravindran along with his CG supervisor Anish Sreedhhar presented the making of the film.

Anish revealed that they had only 60 days time to deliver 1800 VFX shots. They had created digital doubles as most of them were action oriented sequences.

Further moving ahead, Aptech president & executive director Anuj Kacker launched Arena Gaming, as they observed the sector booming. He takes pride in seeing the name of his students in the credits of movies like Dune.

Jigesh Gajjar

DNEG VFX head Jigesh Gajjar shared the VFX breakdown of Oscar winning film Dune and explained what went into the making of the out worldly visuals. Royal Ornithopter in the film was as axample of photo real model and Dunes of Arrakis was done using effects simulation. All of these involved a lot of Research and Development work.

They made use of Mo-Cap suits for some of their fight sequences. The enriching sessions invited curious questions from the audience who wanted to know how the Mo-cap works, etc. to which Gajjer that even motion capture has to be manually animated.

The the next session, Technicolor Creative Studios studio head Kranti Sarma and Technicolor Creative Studios creative director VFX Rajarajan Ramakrishnan conducted a session titled as ‘Breaking myths and making bridges for India’s AVGC industry’. Both these experienced leaders tried to answer recurring questions. The studio that has almost 7000 employees in India aimed to build bridges.

Sharma revealed that not just the students need a break but the industry too needs them. Ramakrishnan highlighted that how the creative minds here in India put things together.

One of the most awaited sessions for the day was from Makuta VFX. The division head and chief technical officer Pete Draper’s presentation on the Making of RRR. The VFX veteran is a regular at GAFX and was surrounded by the students who wanted to extract more and more of VFX knowledge.

According to him, if one tries imagining something for modeling, there is a chance of getting it wrong. So, one should always depend on references. Not only he stresses on pre-visualisation, his team had also done post-vis for some sequences of the period drama just to see if all key master shots were in place.

From left to right: Ganesh Papanna, Bhuvan Gowda, Suresh Kondareddy, Uday Ravi Hegde

With the movie breaking new records every day, the blockbuster session for GAFX 2022 was also on ‘The Stars Behind the Visual Grandeur of K.G.F: Chapter 2’ which brought Unifi Media MD Uday Ravi Hegde, VFX supervisor Suresh Kondareddy, DOP Bhuvan Gowda together to grace the occasion. The initial video and the breakdown reel with superstar Yash was received with hooting and whistles.

In the session they interacted with ABAI VP Ganesh Papanna and discussed how the hard work of the film’s director encouraged everyone to work seamlessly.  As the day drew towards closure, there was an entertaining dance performance by a group of youngsters.  Higher Education, IT/BT and Skill Development Minister Dr CN Ashwath Narayan graced the occasion and appreciated the progress of the Kannada film industry.

Parallel competitions were held at Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath. The winners and runners up of the event were felicitated at GAFX.

In his vote of thanks, ABAI secretary B.S. Srinivas regaled the success of their come-back in physical form. According to him, GAFX 2022 has surpassed all previous editions in terms of footfall and overall response. Everyone drew the curtain to this year’s edition with a feel-good factor.

GAFX 2022 starts with a massive footfall of 3,000 plus attendees

Bengaluru GAFX 2022, India’s premier event on animation, visual effects, and gaming raised its curtain with an enthusiastic crowd who were happy to attend the on-ground version of the event post pandemic. The first day of the event witnessed a footfall of more than 3,000 plus attendees at The Lalit Ashok and Karnataka Chitrakala Parishath.

The event began with the customary lamp lighting ceremony, welcome address by ABAI secretary Srinivas Bindiganavale and the curtain raiser was carried out by ABAI president Biren Ghose. The government of Karnataka additional chief secretary electronics, information technology – biotechnology, science and technology Dr. E.V. Ramana Reddy delivered a special address highlighting the booming AVGC industry in the state. 

The government of Karnataka minister of electronics, information technology – biotechnology, science and technology, higher education and skill development, entrepreneurship and livelihood Dr. C.N. Ashwath Narayan also graced the event as the chief guest.

Post the inauguration ceremony, Technicolor Games global president Jeaneane Falkler gave a sneak-peak of the global studio’s work culture, during a session titled as ‘It’s life in Technicolor Studios’ as a keynote speaker. 

Technicolor Games global president Jeaneane Falkler

Next up was a fireside chat titled ‘The Future of National and Regional Cinemas’, with Indian film producer and entrepreneur Madhu Mantena and Biren Ghose. Mantena, who had recently announced that he is creating the epic, Ramayana, which is set to explore amazing on-screen visuals, shared in-depth knowledge of filmmaking which has gradually evolved.

Ghose opined that all should term filmmaking as image-making. “Filmmaking is nothing but curation. A producer is a curator,” Mantena said. According to him, filmmaking is a commercial form of storytelling. If one needs to stand out, one cannot keep using the same set of images. Today’s audience has become smarter, due to which storytelling formats that are faster have been successful. 

Post this, MPC VFX head of creative operations Payal Vijay Selvam and head of texturing Subhashish Banik presented an amazing breakdown during the ‘Making of award-winning film, Disney’s Cruella’. They revealed how meticulously the live-action shots of animals and their CG doubles were created. 

For instance for a certain scene with three on-screen Dalmatians, where one was a real animal. The artists almost took 700-800 shots. Similarly, for another scene where moths were shown flying from a gown almost took 50 hours to render.

After the visually enriching talk, it was time for Zebu Animation’s producer Ishani Priyamvada’s session on ‘Producing Animation – Trials, Tribulations, Triumphs’ where she mentioned that the studio is looking for new innovative IP ideas as well. Overall at GAFX 2022, Priyamvada felt the joy of facing the audience once again, meeting industry people face to face and interacting with students. 

Arena Animation and VedAtma Animation Studios director Sukanya Srinivas moderated a panel of passionate educators who are trying their best to give weightage to creative learning. In a session titled ‘ABAI powers AVGC learning through Digital Art College Project – 8th Anniversary’, University Of Mysuru CIST director Dr Nagaraju D, Karanataka Chitrakala Parishtah HOD Dr. Raghavendra Kulkarni, Bengaluru University electronic media director Dr. Sripathi T, Mahalasa College Mangaluru chairman Babu Rao, VDJN College of Fine Arts Gadag principal cum Hampi University NEP syllabus committee president Dr Chuvan BL, Shanthiniketan Chitrakal Mahavidyalaya principal Vlishakarma Acharya and Raviverma College of Fine Arts pricipal Shivkumar spoke about the growth AVGC learning.

The Mill head of creative Ari Podreider introduced Manideep Sani Setty from his team whose work brought several accolades. They presented ‘Winning the 2022 VES, British Arrows, and Clio awards: Behind the Scenes with The Mill’. 

During the discussion centred around The Mill, Podreider spoke about the creative productions that take place in The Mill and how they brainstorm with 800+ artists spread across the globe.

In the session on ‘ABAI-COE – The future of virtual production and digital humans’, the audience witnessed an enlightening presentation by COE centre head Shiji Sunil, COE technical head Aravind Kalyan, Mocap supervisor Sunil Kumar, Tanuja, and Sujith. They showcased the various facilities offered by the COE like photogrammetry and motion capture techniques. 

Up next MPC creative operations head Rutvij Barot gave the audience a sneak-peak of what went into the making of the short film DEVMASA, part of ‘Epic’s Shorts India Program – 2021’. Directed by Neha Sharma, it is a unique film with Metahuman characters. 

MPC creative operations head Rutvij Barot

Barot revealed that getting the Indian look on Unreal was a huge challenge and they had to create few assets to create something closer. It was interesting for the team to work with a director who was experiencing the VFX pipeline for the first time. They locked 70 per cent of the camera angles during the pre-visualisation. 

Post this Gamitronics CEO Rajat Ojha conducted an in-depth session on ‘Games on Metaverse’. He explained the importance of community and word of mouth in Metaverse. “If you know how to create, you will be there. Build, price it, sell it and let it flow,” Ojha said. 

He also revealed his company’s aspiration to build a proper city in Metaverse with all the real-life like amenities for shopping, travelling, entertainment and so on. 

Moving to the last session for the day, Bengaluru GAFX 2022 focused on ‘Bengaluru VFX Industry Showcase’. ABAI secretary B.S. Srinivas interacted with Unifi Media production head Shivakumar, Pinaka Studios studio head Sachin Ravi and MRT Studios director Naveen Manoharan. The panel jointly highlighted that all big production houses give emphasis on pre-production work.

From left to right: Sachin Ravi, Naveen Manoharan, Shivakumar, B.S. Srinivas (‘Bengaluru VFX Industry Showcase’ panel)

According to them, the whole VFX pipeline is about smart writing. If the VFX artists are involved from day one, great quality production can be achieved. It is very important for the filmmakers to understand VFX. Visual effects are no longer a post-production fixing work. The industry has come a long way. 

Unifi Media’s Shivakumar of KGF fame suggests the aspirants to give emphasis to hard work and let their work do the talking. 

All these sessions were being live-streamed virtually as well and along with the above mentioned topics, there were few other sessions happening parallely as a separate track. With this day one of the GAFX conferences came to an end. Day two of GAFX is set to witness making of Dune, Beast, KGF 2 and RRR.

Stay tuned for more updates!

Exit mobile version