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!