I am a visual effects compositor from London who has been working in production and design for over a decade. Over the span of my entire career, I have worked on a wide variety of projects, gaining valuable insight into the tools and techniques needed at any stage of the process from concept to creation.
I have always been fascinated by digital arts and computer-generated images and have put my keen eye for detail to good use. In the year 2013, I got my start doing some video compositing work, and with time it developed into a passion. I began to identify myself more as a visual effects artist rather than just a visual designer, and in recent years I made conscious efforts to transition to, and excel in this artistry.
While working in digital media, I took on video editing, grading and compositing work usually in the evenings and on weekends. I was also engaged in self-learning and many of the skills I taught myself through websites like nofilmschool.com, fxphd.com, and digitaltutors.com and many others. Working on those projects gave me a chance to participate in what I wanted to do, but at the end of every project, I felt that something was lacking, that I could be doing more. This feeling slowly pushed me towards taking an extreme step and I eventually decided to quit my visual designer job, enrolling in a full-time MSc Film Production course at the University of Greenwich later in 2015.
During my MSc, I developed a practical approach to the relationship between film production workflows, digital film technology, and creative practice. With sound, direction, and production, the program offered key modules for cinematography, and visual effects as well. I worked on film projects that foreground the importance of practice-based research, expertise, and experimentation. I also got a better understanding of cinematography as a whole, from the light captured by a camera to the digital image, from camera lenses to dynamic range, lighting, angles, and had an opportunity to use digital cinema cameras in fully equipped studios. Not only technical but also covered many creative aspects.
The production assignments also helped me attain a better understanding of the relationship between onset and post visual effects and how the onset visual effects data can be useful in various post processes. Around the same time, I received opportunities to work on sets with indie filmmakers, which gave me valuable practical experience. But at the same time, I had many questions, and I wanted to have a deeper understanding of the pipeline and the process. To find answers, I decided to do my major project and research on how the onset data reflects into VFX compositing.
My research just not only gave me a knowledge of the data and information needed just for compositing but I also found out how other visual effects departments use this information. From basic things like shooting and using a distortion grid to the importance of camera and lens information, position and measurements, I was able to delve deep into VFX data and compositing through my research. I also discovered why we need reference photos and drawings, measurements of a set, objects, props, and location. I got to know the Importance and utilisation of photogrammetry and scanning with the technical understanding of green and blue screens, tracking markers, etc. And last but not least lighting and colour and their references.
Part of my process in the research project was practical, but also involved quite a bit of reading. Because I was already familiar with Nuke, I used it for the practical and analytical part of my major project. To perform my research, I contacted several different compositors from all over the world and requested that they participate in my online surveys. I also had a privilege to (video) interview Mr Steve Wright and other senior compositors from the industry. This project was an unforgettable experience and what I learned still affects my work and technique today.
After completing my Masters, I enrolled in the "Compositing for Visual Effects" course at Escape Studios. The time spent at Escape Studios, during the course and even after while working on my first compositing showreel, helped me considerably. I not only got better at Nuke but also picked up many new skills and techniques along the way. I’m currently enrolled in “Cinematography for VFX” at Escape Studios, which will start in Jan 2018. This course should further supplement my knowledge on the subject.
At the time of this writing, I am about to finish my first compositing showreel at Escape, and I now feel I am all set to enter the visual effects industry. I am very excited, and I look forward to working with other artists in dynamic environments that foster creativity and eagerness.
Having built a foundation in digital media, with a knowledge of film production, and combining these backgrounds, I entered the domain of compositing for visual effects. I turned this interest into a career and cannot picture myself doing anything else; This is my great passion.
Updated on 29th Sep 2017.