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Asadul Islam is one of the bright new entrants in animation arena. Possessing a Master’s Degree in Digital Direction and 3D Animation, this talented youngster has received guidance from some of the most experienced stalwarts in animation. With internship stints in Big Animation and ToonzEra Studios, Asadul Islam has had experience in matte painting, texturing, lighting, rendering, visual effects, compositing as well as animation. Having learnt and honed his skills at the prestigious DSK Supinfocom institute, Asadul is destined to scale greater heights in this field.
CG Today : Hello Asadul, our heartiest welcome to you. We are extremely pleased to have this opportunity to interact with you.
Asadul : It is my honour to be interviewed by the prestigious CG News channel. It’s one of the biggest achievements in my life, which I believe I got by hard work, patience, dedication, motivation and destiny. Through your channel, I am glad to express my on-going journey in CG.
CG Today : When did you first develop a passion for art? How did it transform into a decision to pursue arts degree at Vishwakarma creative i-College? When did you decide to enter an offbeat and unconventional career such as animation and digital direction?
Asadul : I strongly feel that this passion for art, I inherited from my mother. I still remember the days when I was a kid and use to see my mother doing traditional art, Embroidery work and Classical Dance in Rabindra sangeet. Coming from family of artists, I got the essence of art in me from childhood. Later, I did my schooling from Army Schools in different parts of the country; I won many art awards at state and inter school level. During my high school days, my paintings were selected from the school’s yearly prospectus front page, for two consecutive years. So it was a gradual step by step process of achieving success.
For me it was a tough decision to get into a formal education of art degree. I was very good in studies and other co-curricular activities. After securing First division Commerce from Army school Khaprail with 73%, I made my journey to art more complicated. My Father wanted me to join a business oriented course as he considered art is not a well paid career. I am really thankful to my Principal, Teachers and my Mother, who really understand what I was born to do. This lead to a formal art education course in Vishawakarma Creative I college, Pune. My School Principal gave me an open declaration letter about my young talent in the field of art. It’s been seven years but I still go to my school to see the portrait done by me, hung in the principal’s office and other art works in administrative places.
During my traditional art education, I was looking for a professional training in animation outside India. I got offered from the best colleges in U.K with scholarships, unfortunately it was still too expensive for me to live there. Then one day I read in news paper that Supinfocom, one of the world’s leading animation and visual effects school is establishing a campus with DSK in Pune. That was one of the biggest happiest days of my life. This made me enroll myself to this course of Master’s in Digital Direction.
CG Today : How do you compare digital art vis-à-vis traditional art? Do you feel your basic arts education has only made it easier for you to learn the intricacies of animation?
Asadul : Both are similar but having a diversified difference. I did traditional art from childhood, so it’s like in my roots. As I had a traditional art background it didn’t take me much time to shift to the digital art. There are few things which are slightly technical but practicing enhances your skills.
Yes, I strongly feel that a basic art education is really very helpful before entering into the field of animation. I got lots of advantages being already in touch with this artistic field. Many new comers ask me that we have engineering background, commerce or any other, can we get into animation. I say two things; one you need to have passion for what you love to do and second a basic art background to understand the facets of animation. Then it’s your choice what specialty you choose in animation.
CG Today : Are there any specific areas of animation that interest you?
Asadul : Yes, I am interested in Visual Effects (particle simulation and dynamics), VFX Compositing, Matte painting, Lighting and rendering. As I have an artistic and a technical background, it helps me to create a different perspective for the Visual effects Industry. It’s my dream to open a giant Visual Effects production House.
CG Today : You interned at Big Animation (I) Pvt Ltd, an internationally recognized and award winning animation studio. Which were the projects that you were involved in as an intern in this time period? How was the experience, like of working in such a huge set up?
Asadul : I was working in different departments. It was my first internship so I decided to do a little bit of everything, so that I can understand how the pipeline works in a big studio. I was involved in the “Little Krishna” project. In which I started with the concept art and story boarding department. After that I moved to the matte painting department, then Texturing and lastly Lighting and rendering. I was really very happy to see the quality of work and also to make friends with very exceptionally talented artists.
It was a great learning experience, as everything was through a pipeline. There were constant feedback on work by the Leads and art directors. I think a professional experience is a must once you start with an animation course. Because once you come back from studio the quality of work increases gradually very much.
CG Today : You also completed a brief internship at ToonzEra studios, What was your role and which were the projects that you worked on during this internship? What were the things that you learnt the most through your internship experiences?
Asadul : I was involved in everything from pre-production to effects and animation at ToonzEra Studios for their Logo development. It was very challenging for me because I was individually doing everything. They gave me complete freedom to come up with something new and challenging. During this time I got offers from companies like Technicolor to do an internship but because of financial constraints I couldn’t go for it.
I learnt many things which really helped me a lot in ToonzEra Studios. First was to solve technical problems on my own with efficient time management. My aim was to give the logo a different level in visual effects, something which we usually not see. I undertook an extensive research and development to create the basic animatic for effects. Then achieving it technically was very difficult as I was a beginner. I believe in myself that I will do it sooner or later. Mostly everything I was exploring was for the first time. It was like a try and succeed thing for me. Finally my work was really appreciated very much by the studio owner.
CG Today : Your online portfolio is replete with brilliant artworks, particularly landscape art? How do you get around creating an art work? What is your inspiration and what is the process like?
Asadul : I am from Darjeeling, being part of such beautiful environment I always get it in my art as a bonus. I feel it’s the reflection of what I have seen as a kid. I am very much fond of sceneries, landscapes and environments. I always try to create from imagination of what I see in my surroundings. Sometimes I don’t have paper and pencil while travelling, so that doesn’t stop my creation process. I always paint with my imagination with whatever I see around me.
I keep my artistic side always alive by doing concept art work regularly. Most of them are my memories. Apart from this, another important aspect is to have a brief look at the art work of professional in this field. It really helps to develop your imagination in a proper direction. I watch lots of movies, National Geographic, Discovery and science fiction documentaries. Always keep yourself updated with what is happening in the industry. Before starting with any digital painting I make small thumbnails and paint them in grayscale very quickly. Just to get a new thought of composition.
CG Today: How has the experience of studying in DSK Supinfocom been like? What do you feel are the important attributes that make a good animation expert? As a new entrant how do you keep yourself updated about the latest happenings and innovations in the animation industry?
Asadul : I can really write a book about my experience in DSK supinfocom. I know DSK Supinfocom from a longtime. When I heard they are coming to India in collaboration with DSK, I was really very happy. It was one of biggest opportunity in life to come across a school that already proved a benchmark of exceptional quality in 3d movies. When I joined DSK Supinfocom, I was the first student to enter the campus which had only one building that also only one floor completed. I was really worried at that moment. But after meeting people Like Dr. Ashok Kolaskar the former Principle of DSK Supinfocom currently Vice Chancellor at KIIT University Bhubaneswar, I kept my faith alive. Before coming to this institution I had lots of questions in my mind regarding the production of 3D animation movies. Now most of them are cleared. Being worked as the Director of my Post graduation film, I understand with a clear vision how to produce a 3D Short film. I really appreciate support from our French and Indian trainers, who have lots of international experiences behind them to share. During my education period of 3 years, I faced lots of financial problems. With my very good proven academic performance, I got scholarships for two consecutive years. But still it was very difficult for me to study here. I got enough support from my family to continue my study.
To be a good animation expert, I think its complete dedication and hard work which leads you to the highest level of success in any Industry. You have to be never satisfied with your work. Always try to push your limits. Stay aware of the progress in the industry and keep following works of the Godfathers in animation. Once you entered in DSK supinfocom, go for an internship and see the work of professionals. I had a huge exposure of watching so many creative and passionate artists during my every internship.
To keep myself updated, I watch lots of animation movies, check forums and websites follow blogs and watch tutorials from sources like Digital Tutors and Gnomon. I say this to all my friends, make a blog or a site and keep uploading your work. Later ask for feedback from professionals in the industry. This will definitely help you to improve your level of work.
CG Today: As a part of your Master’s degree course at DSK Supinfocom you have got the opportunity to learn and work under the direction of internationally recognized digital and animation experts like Ed Hooks, Yannick Violin, Arno Krimmer, Simon Corbaux etc. Can you describe how it was to interact with these individuals and learn under their guidance?
Asadul : It was great experience to learn from these pioneers of animation. Most of them are from very big studios like ILM, Dreamworks and many others. They were sharing their experiences of dealing situation during heavy production works with efficient techniques. I learnt a lot in different areas of animation from them. Mostly a master class was for a week, during this time I was enhancing my work related to my short 3D film. I showed my portfolio and current work to everyone which was very much appreciated and liked. I got proper feedbacks on my work, which is like a boost in a right direction to develop and improve the quality.
I am still in contact with all of the visiting Professors in DSK Supinfocom and I constantly get comments on whatever I do regularly. This industry is very small in the sense that you happen to meet same people within few months.