Sumit Pabbi is an Effects Artist at Lucasfilm Animation. Prior to acquiring this position, he was a Special Effects Artist at Big Animation, and a Support Tech at IBM Daksh. Sumit was educated at the Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics, IIS Websity, and the National Institute of Information Technology.
CG Today : It is a pleasure to speak with you today, Mr. Pabbi.
Sumit : Thank you!
CG Today : Lucasfilm, what a great place to work, right?
Sumit : Yes, one of the best companies in the world and working on one of the best projects out there, all the way from live-action, Games, Animation and Visual FX. You name it and we’ve got it all covered under one roof with our 3 different departments: ILM, LucasArts and Lucasfilm Animation. A fun environment to work in.
CG Today : You are creating FX elements, R&D and FX Compositing for the Star Wars: The Clone Wars series. You have finished with Season 2, 3 and are now working on Season 4. Is working on such an iconic vehicle any different from working on a newly created one?
Sumit : The Clone Wars series is an extension of the original Star Wars movies that takes place between Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. The only difference I would say is the medium in which the story is told, the originals being live action and now in a complete CG 3D animation. We are bridging the 3 year gap between the 2 movies and telling the past stories of many characters from the movies, which only got a few seconds on the big screen.
CG Today : Were you a fan of the Star Wars films, and do you draw on having seen them in some way as you work on the television series?
Sumit : I liked the Star Wars movies from the beginning but I think I became a fan of it once I started working on the Clone Wars and getting to know each character in more detail with each episode and that’s what’s good about this show. The politics, the involvement of different characters and most importantly the details of the war that were not covered previously, can now be found in this series.
CG Today : What kind of research and development is necessary for your work on Star Wars: The Clone Wars?
Sumit : We take a lot of references from the old Star Wars movies and check videos of real life explosions, destruction and so on. The next step would be how not to make it look as real as it looks in real life, but still keeping the dynamics and flow of elements as they behave in real life. We do create our own scripts and plugins for repetitive tasks and sometimes a single fx shot can require its own R&D. Most importantly, we should keep in mind the look of the show and the stlye of fx.
CG Today : In creating the FX elements for the show, is there anything that is new or ground-breaking going on?
Sumit : The Clone Wars FX is a lot different from what we would generally expect for FX to look like in real life or what we usually see in the movies or any other TV series. As others try to make their FX look more realistic, we try to make it look very artistic and give it a feel as if someone has painted it on every frame, but still keeping it close to its real world dynamics. It’s all about the shapes, as we say here.
CG Today : At Big Animation, you worked on the series Little Krishna. This 3-D animated series has won nine respected awards. Did you feel that this was an important project for your career?
Sumit : Yes, off course! That was the first project I ever did after completing my animation studies from MAAC, starting off as a trainee in FX, to a junior artist and finally to FX Artist. The project won couple of awards for Visual FX even before its launch on TV that reassured us of the quality of work that we were delivering at that time.
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