CG Today : Mr. Kalia, you offer technical consultancy to Global School of Animation & Games on the upcoming projects, technical bottlenecks being one of your specialties. What according to you is the one biggest challenge facing the digital entertainment EDUCATION industry?

Kalia : From my point of view, low investment in equipment’s of Digital Entertainment Education Industry by existing majority of education players (including universities). Very few colleges in India have top class facilities. I wish the government will interfere and set minimum standard in near future.

CG Today : Mr. Kalia, how important is it for an animation studio to get aspects like audio-video, VFX, infrastructure and production pipeline design right for a studio to even start with its creative work, leave alone producing something? What kind of bottlenecks apart from the ones you spot in core technology, are more frequently encountered?

Kalia : The aspects like infrastructure, Equipment, Pipeline etc. depend upon size and functional area of a particular studio. Every project has its own requirements and bottlenecks... the most challenging part is R&D and Implementation planning of elements of problem to achieve solution in time & budget.

CG Today : As technical head in AAG, you had completely designed and implemented the IT networking, infrastructure, Wi-Fi, workstations and data security. Did you choose any reference point for these implementations or any studio or organization in specific that whose idea and design looked impressive to you?

Kalia : AAG was an excellent initiative by AJAY JOSHI (The person who started first degree course in Animation at Birla Institute of Technology in India), and I joined this company when it was on papers. At AAG, I was responsible for all technical decisions i.e. from network cable to switch, workstation to server, Render farm setup etc... I’m very impressed & inspired by VFS.

 



CG Today: You had an under-graduation in tax, cost, finance and economics and then moved on to E-Max diploma from WEBCOM Technologies learning about multimedia and web technologies. What had sparked this drastic career change? How did you manage to find that your interests and roots like in animation and digital technology?

Kalia : I had seen Jurassic Park in 1993 and I was passionate about it but nobody was there to guide me. Moreover I come from a very small city, UNA in Himachal Pradesh where I started learning computers in 1997 but ended up with DOS, DBASE, COBOL, C, window 3.1 only... After B. Com I moved to Chandigarh and joined E-Commerce in 2000 where I learned about multimedia , Web Technologies, Databases, JAVA and did assembling & selling of PCs for pocket money... By the end of 2001, I was through with all major computer disciplines... So finally I followed my interest & passion. I learned 3ds Max, Vegas and Combustion in 2001-2002 by self-learning and pursued MSc in Computer Science because at that time there was no Degree (Bachelor or Masters) in Multimedia or VFX.

CG Today: Mr. Kalia, can you explain our readers about the most important aspect/aspects of a career in technical consultancy, especially for animation and games studios? What kind of software or hardware should they be well acquainted of before making the splash?

Kalia : As per my experience, robustness and feasibility of solution are most important factors on which projects get funding. As a technical consultant, it’s hard to do everything alone because most of the time some type of dependency remains. So professional linking always pays. For newbie’s I would like to say, keep eye on current as well as technology in research and work hard in your area of interest.

CG Today: Global School of Animation & Games is laden with great facilities starting from technology to create breathtaking VFX to sound design, audio and video mixing equipment at the highest level and even touch screen whiteboards. As technical head, what kind of importance would you attach to the technology for the true animator to blossom?

Kalia : For being a good animator only paper, pencil, passion and good teacher is required. But to do commercial work one must have to learn tools of the trade which are based on technology. In 1920-30’s animators have done wonders without much technology, but today the scenario has changed. Before computers if work was done in 2 months by team of 10 now similar work is possible in less than 2 weeks.

So in a nut shell, technology brings commercial feasibility and extra competitive edge.

CG Today: Mr. Kalia, animation comprises of creativity and imagination on one side, the techniques to translate them into animation on the other side, along with a lot of tools that will assist this. What according to you is more important and what would your advice be to aspiring animators looking for education in this field?

Kalia : As many people prefer to say COLGATE rather than toothpaste, in the same way animator is synonymous to digital creative people, I would prefer using the term CREATIVE Industry where many more profiles like Designers, Sketching Artists, Matte Painters, Editors, Compositors, 3D Modeler, Rigger, Texture Artist, Simulators, TDs, Game Level Designer, New Media Artists, Programmers and a lot more are there...

So my advice is to join a good institute with experienced Gurus and where student can get hands on experience on current technology, good learning environment, industrial tie-ups, internship policy, campus placement, industrial tours etc. are to be considered on priority basis.

And in this industry only output matters... and here one must have to do hard work for good career.

CG Today: Mr. Kalia, we would like to know what attracted you about facing technical challenges head-on instead of focussing on 3D animation and VFX. Also, can you please tell our readers if technical consultancy in the digital entertainment industry goes hand in hand with animation or if it an entirely different domain of its own?

Kalia : I’m good in R&D and usually I get bored with regular type of job profiles. That’s why I am working on Augmented Reality Education Project at Global.

Secondly, as far as domain of Technical consultancy is concerned, It could be for Mental Ray, Liquid Simulation or digital double then it would go hand in hand with animation... In another scenario, setup of render farm with Linux server for the rendering is little bit of a different domain.

CG Today: At Aditya Infotech, as 3D animator, what was your experience like working on developing 3D Transition Effects for Pinnacle’s Video Editing products? Can you talk us through the toughest technology you encountered and the challenges within?

Kalia : It was a great experience to develop 2D and 3D effects, working in Lightwave, debugging & testing in Avid Liquid (Video editor) and quest for real time 3d effects was the toughest part... I remember that we took one month to complete our first real time 3d effect with testing. At Aditya Infotech, in addition to Pinnacle (Now Avid) technologies I also got exposure to Autodesk hardware & software solutions too.

CG Today: As someone, well versed in animation, VFX, 3D etc. what is your favourite work of animation that you have witnessed or encountered and why?

Kalia : In 2008, I worked on Makrand Joshi’s (he is animation director of OSCAR nominated movie, “The Legend of Buddha”) short movie “Lost Home” in which I did overall Project management (Digital Part only), Editing, 3d Animation & Compositing. This short movie was nominated for Golden Cursor and FICCI Frame Awards in 2008 and the Lost Home has been awarded as SPECIAL MENTION by jury at 11th Mumbai International Film Festival for Documentary, Short and Animation Films.

CG Today: Mr. Kalia, thank you for providing your valuable insights to us and we wish you all the best for your future endeavors as well.

Kalia : I’m also thankful to CG TODAY for providing such a platform to share my experiences, my heartiest wishes to CG today for their good work.

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BK Kalia – Technical & VFX Head

Global School of Animation and Games,

New Delhi, India.

Website : Kalia Creations | Global School of Animation and Games

e-mail : kalia [at] kaliacreations [dot] com

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