Big brains behind tiny EEGA
The team leaders of six key departments: VFX, animation, modeling, lighting, composition and tracking put their heart and soul to complete the massive...
The team leaders of six key departments: VFX, animation, modeling, lighting, composition and tracking put their heart and soul to complete the massive task assigned to them by Rajamouli. Their dedication and commitment played a vital role in the film bagging the 60th National award in the Best Visual Effects category Santosh Padala SS Rajamouli, director of the movie 'Eega' had spent 3-4 months on modeling of the protagonist's character�fly in Iran. However, the same work was completed in significantly shorter period�20 days of time, when he approached Makuta VFX, a visual effects studio based in Hyderabad. He was happy to find many talented craftsmen in the studio. With the help of the most creative and promising graphic artists, around 85% of computer generated (CG) shots were produced in the studio for the movie. The director made it a point to mention them in every interview and promotional campaign that he indulged in. The team leaders of six key departments: VFX, animation, modeling, lighting, composition, and tracking put their heart and soul to complete the massive task assigned to them by Rajamouli. Their dedication and commitment played a vital role in the film bagging the the 60th National award in the Best Visual Effects category. And quite naturally, they are elated and exuberant. Each leader has some instances to share. For instance, Prabhakar, team leader (TL) of VFX department, said, "There was a dearth of animators. As a result, we relied on two types of 3D animation softwares�3D Maya and 3DS Max. Hence the conversion turned into an arduous task. Similarly, exporting was the most challenging task. As the director conceived most scenes with water, fire, and dust, it was very difficult to produce visual effects." Ramaiah Debbati, who created graphical model of the fly and led the team, was the first one to receive a pat from the filmmaker. He completed the task of modeling in very short time. Out of the 14 varieties of fly models he prepared, only one was locked. He said, "When Kamala sir assigned me to generate a model, I completed it within one day. Later, sitting next to me, the director used to explain the physical features of the fly with the help of photographs. Creating 3D fly model was the toughest job that I ever did. A whole week was spent on the creation. Rajamouli's inputs were of great help," averred Ramaiah. Lighting is one of the key aspects in visual effects. Lalita, being an experienced lighting technician, went through turbulent times during the project. "We needed to focus on minute details as the subject was very small." stated Lalita. As the nature of fly's body was non-reflect-able, we had to use two lighting schemes�prop lighting and manual lighting�to show it like an original creature, said MS Deep Raj of the same department. "A huge amount of labour was invested. But after achieving the award, the pains turned into sweet memories," stated the much excited Raj. When it comes to Dorababu, who led compositing (incorporating different layers and shots into one) wing, working for the project was one of the toughest tasks, but left indelible professional moments in his life. "It was a new type of compositing altogether. Creating background, zooming in on tiny character and maintaining proper depth of field was not a cakewalk. However, the efforts were recognised," he said proudly. Tracking department leader Sai Ram has many stories to share with. "Live work should be replaced with graphical work. Selecting and using lenses required meticulous care. The movie was 60% tougher than any other film that used visual effects. Finally, but most importantly, animation team leaders Rakesh and Bhanu, took the most challenging job of moving to every location along with film crew to demonstrate animation work. Matching live footage motion with CG shots required painstaking efforts. Especially, the ice tea, fly birth, and climax sequences needed great patience and attention. The title song too, was challenging, added the duo. Besides the team leaders, each and every technician had been through their own share of hard work to complete tasks in a stipulated time. They had very little time left to spend with family, had to switch off their mobiles, and more importantly had to take permission from the maker, who was often hooked to the studio, even for a small break. In short, they disconnected themselves from the outside world. But, in the end, they came up with an amazing product; received accolades and won awards, a perfect identity for a perfect team! The project would have been impossible without the contribution and efforts of Pete Draper, one of the founders of the studio, RC Kamal Kannan and Akula Sunil, visual effects producers of the movie and not to forget, the team leaders and members, agree the team members in unison.
26 Jan 2020 4:17 AM GMT