Sonam Budhiraja is currently working as Freelance Creative Designer. Previously she was a Designer & VFX Faculty (Editing, Compositing & VFX) at Picasso Animation College in Delhi. She has also worked as a Line Producer at Future Works Media Ltd., a Compositor at Aum Creations in Mumbai, and a Compositor at DQ Entertainment. Ms. Budhiraja graduated from Delhi University with a B.A. in Marketing and Advertising. She has more than three years experience in the VFX industry and is also a Graphic Designer.


CG Today : Welcome, Sonam, to CGToday. Delightful to speak with you.

Sonam : Thank you :)

Sonam - Freelance Creative DesignerCG Today : Being a Freelance Creative Designer, how do you keep abreast of the latest innovations in animation and visual effects?

Sonam : I leave no stone unturned to keep myself abreast of the latest innovations in Animation and VFX. I surf online daily and keep an eagle eye on all the related magazines.

Besides, I spend a couple of hours often in watching such Indian and foreign films which have an extensive use of Animation and VFX. I analyze their making and the software’s involved for the development of some intriguing shots. Furthermore, I stay in touch with my friends who are working in the industry in various upcoming production studios.


 

CG Today : Previously you were working with Picasso Animation College, according to its bio, Picasso Animation College seems to be turning out industry - ready animation professionals. To what do you attribute the success rate of the graduates from Picasso?

Sonam : The course module, curriculum and the trainers at Picasso Animation College help and support students to excel in tools. In regard to creativity, as everyone knows; it's their own exploration.

CG Today : What prompted you to move into a career in animation training? How did you pursued as a trainer?

Sonam : To be very honest, it was a matter of chance. With the family background of English Literature I was looking for the same after passing class XII. It was then that I came across the subject Ad and Marketing which drew my attention and I unanimously got a green signal from my family to go ahead. To add onto it I looked around for some innovative combo and my search landed up at MAAC. After that I never turned back. Lately I found that the freshers coming into this field were not as equipped as they should be, they took it simply for ‘learning something new’, so here cropped up the idea of channelizing the freshers and I landed as a trainee.

CG Today : Is there any standards or a bench mark you followed in guiding your students for creating a show reel, can you share with us?

Sonam : Most of the freshers don’t know what exactly a show reel is. So, they are given guidelines to be followed for specific show reels i.e. modeling, lighting, compositing, etc. The guidelines are inclusive of the points to be taken care while developing their show reel. It should be made and presented according to the area of specialization. The guidelines comprise of all the minutest of the details like starting from the background score to be used till the duration of the demo and even the resolution of the final output.

CG Today : What are the software’s you trained? What’s special about them?

Sonam : I trained my students in Eyeon Fusion, Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects and Adobe Premiere. Citing an example, according to me every software has its own specialties…. If u talk about morphing then as per my knowledge Autodesk Combustion is the one which can do wonders as compared to others… so one can’t rank the softwares..

CG Today : When you were with Future Works, you were on a team that “cleaned up” portions of the movie Veer. "Some of the clean ups and wire removals were particularly complex, so there was a back and forth with EyeQube“, said Future Works Creative Director Abhishek De. Tell us more about this project.

Sonam : Working on Veer with EyeQube was quite challenging. I very much agree with the statement of Mr. De. We were allotted the shots for Clean up and wire removal and there were a couple of shots where we were supposed to add bullets and debris. Talking about the complexity of the shots, many of them were pretty easy to deal with but some were really tough. There was a particular wire removal shot of Salman Khan in which we had to actually create the BG, track it with the original and do the rotoscopy for Salman… and the wire on his body was also very difficult to deal with along with the hair.

CG Today : Could you share with us some of the other films you worked on while at Future Works?

Sonam : Working with FutureWorks was a great pleasure. I have worked on quite a number of movies out of which Gulaal was my first movie. After that it was Alladin, World Cup 2011, Jashnn, Tasveer 8*10, 3 Idiots, Prince, Dulha Mil Gaya, Nakshatra.. and many more.

CG Today : What was your job description when you worked as a Line Producer?

Sonam : As a Line Producer there were a lot many responsibilities on my shoulder and since I was a bit new to this Production line I was given a complete support and guidance by Ms. Namrata Chipkar. She was my mentor. Being a Line Producer I was supposed to keep a track of all the data provided by the creative heads and the directors. I was meant to act as a bridge between the artists and the management. The responsibilities included from sending day-to-day report of all the artists to getting an approval from the creative heads for shots. Maintaining excel sheets, to keep a track record of all the data flowing from one dept to another and above all maintaining the bond within the team.

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