Vijay with more than 15 years of experience in the Indian Entertainment Industry has worked in most of the Indian & international languages movie. He has worked in more than 900 projects as VFX Designer/ supervisor/ consultant/ Tech Head/ Line Producer/ Co-director. Vijay has worked in movies like, “Manmadhan ambu, Osthi, Shyloo, Aadhavan, Earam, Ayan, Kalavani, Angadi Theru, Maghadeera, Virumandi, Jeans, Guru, Chachi-420, Yuva, Goal, Krrish, Shivaji, Dashavataram” and so on.
AnimationXpress.com’s Khushali Jobalia spoke to Vijay about his latest project Aravaan, his role as VFX Supervisor, challenges, and more…
Can you brief us about the VFX work done by you in the movie Aravaan?
We started our work in the early pre production stage of the movie while script was being written. Since the movie was set in 18th century, we had to digitally create the village and exteriors related to the script, we did a lot of research and decided on how the houses were built in those days, the roads laid, the village etc. Another challenging part of the movie was the animals, especially a bull sequence where the hero was supposed to ride on a bull. I have been associated with the movie from the very start till the last minute as a Visual Effects Supervisor, where we planned every tiny little thing as part of visualization and executed them into reality.
What were the tools used by you for the VFX of the movie?
We have used Animatronics technique which is usually executed in International VFX movies and the challenge here was we had to design the Animatronics Rig and operate it manually, unlike the motorized electronic operation of the rig as in Hollywood. (Bull Sequence)
How many VFX shots have you worked on for the movie?
Approximately 550 shots of the movie
As the film contains more than 45mins of VFX what according to you is the best scene?
For me, I would say the robbery sequence where the hero Aadhi and Pasupathi climb a wall and enter into the Chimney and rob. We erected a huge pillar set 180 degree horizontal in ground and we showed the artist climbing the pillar without any ropes.In the scene, we also created the whole house wall and the complete village shown in the backdrop is digitally created and composited. Another best scene would be the bull sequence where (Hero) Aadhi rides on a bull saving Pasupathi from the chasing villains, in which we had to digitally create each and every bull, around 1000 in number, which would never be possible to shoot in real.
What was the most difficult part of the project?
The first challenge we faced was to collect references for the 18th century architectural details during the pre production and while shooting, and the bull rig which we had to operate manually, with the help of art director we were able to achieve it. We found it difficult to make the artists understand and make them imagine the things that are not available in real time on location and yet they had to act assuming they are. And nonetheless to say we could never compromise on anything and accommodated every single demand from the director’s side.
Was it difficult to portray the VFX as real as it should look, since the movie is digitally shot only with Red and 7D mark (canon)?
No. In fact, it was a wise decision taken by us to shoot the movie digitally, as we needed many layers and many versions of a shot so we could do more experiments and if we had shot the movie with film stock, it would have been expensive.
Which studios were working on the VFX of this film with you?
I was coordinating with more than 7/8 studios in Chennai and freelancers to execute the movie in six months time which was very limited considering the volume of the work, so I had to outsource each sequence to more than one studio and freelancers too. It’s a difficult job to get the work done by all of them on time and to put them in sequence, but it was more thrilling and gave a good experience.
How was your experience of working with Director Vasanthabalan?
I had earlier worked with the director in his last movie “Angadi Theru”, where we digitally created the Ranganathan Street and we both had a good frequency of understanding things which helped me working for Aravaan, even though Aravaan was a completely different genre from Angadi Theru. I must say director Vasanthabalan is an adamant man who will not stop at anything less than what he wanted, and in that way, we always end up doing things better for him than the previous one.
How were you approached for this film?
After Angadi Theru, director Vasanthabalan called me up for Aravaan and he asked me to work on the movie fully dedicated from the start till release of the movie, which I had to agree after understanding the role and importance of VFX in the movie. I agreed to do so without a second thought and all these challenging sequences we shot and the hard work we had put in these fourteen months has given me more than satisfaction and firstname.lastname@example.org
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