In mid-2008, DreamWorks partnered with Technicolor to open a facility in Bangalore, India – the goal was to create a fully functioning unit of DreamWorks in India. This unit came to be called “DreamWorks Dedicated Unit, Technicolor India (DDU)”.
This ambitious endeavor had a few overriding requirements; produce work at the same scope and quality level as the US based studios, and do so seamlessly, using the same high-end production process.
Three short years later, DDU fulfilled its charter by producing a number of sequences for the animated feature, Puss in Boots. Having achieved our stated goal, we are expanding our creative and technical teams to tackle the many ambitious shows ahead, including Madagascar 3 and a full feature.
Rising so quickly to such a high benchmark doesn't come without challenges.
How, in record time, to rise to the quality standard set by DreamWorks, which has had many years to refine its craft? How to solve communication and cultural gaps, not to mention overcome the time difference, to elicit the artistic synergy essential to the creative process? As a leader in feature animation, we put tremendous focus on working on and with the very bleeding edge of technology. How do we impart the tools and the required skill set for navigating such a vast array of proprietary technologies?
In this presentation, we'll focus on Effects as it best exemplifies the challenges outlined above. Analyzing shot breakdowns from the movie, we'll explore the challenges and complexities of our process. Moreover, we’ll show how we were able to bring DreamWorks quality work to India.
Philippe Gluckman, DreamWorks Dedicated Unit
Philippe is the Creative Director and oversees the creative and technical execution of all the shows produced within the unit. Prior to this, Philippe was serving as the Visual Effects Supervisor for DreamWorks Animation’s 2008 animated feature – ‘Madagascar: Escape 2Africa’. This is a role he had previously held on hits such as ‘Shrek the Third’ and the original ‘Madagascar’. Philippe joined PDI/DreamWorks in 1994 , as a senior animator/technical director working on such projects as “Batman and Robin”,” Batman Forever”, “Marvin the Martain” and numerous commercials. He was the sequence Supervisor, on the academy award-winning hit “ Shrek “and later moved on to become the Associate Visual Effect Supervisor for PDI/DreamWorks’ first CG animated feature, “Antz”. Before joining the studio, Philippe worked as senior animator at EX Machina in Paris, on projects ranging from commercials to theme Park rides. He began his career as a traditional 2-D animator, as a partner with Storyboard, and as an assistant animator at Cartoon Farm, both located in Paris. Philippe holds a degree in graphic arts from the Ecole Nationale D’Arts Appliqués, Paris.
Dagan Potter, DreamWorks Dedicated Unit
Dagan is the Head of FX oversees the creative and technical requirements for the Effects department. This includes, defining the technology that will be used on a show, establishing processes and creating pipelines for use of that technology, and defining the software development that is required for a show. Prior to his work on Puss in Boots, Dagan worked on Kung Fu Panda, Monsters vs. Aliens, as well as many TV specials, including Scared Shrekless, Madly Madagascar, Monsters vs. Aliens Holiday Special, and Merry Madagascar. Before joining the studio, Dagan was a CG Supervisor on films such as Happy Feet, Sin City, and The Day After Tomorrow. Dagan started his foray into CG by working predominantly on high-end commercials. After a number of years working in the fast paced nature of commercial production he decided to focus on live action feature effects; where had more time and resources to refine his craft. Dagan was also an instructor for the SIGGRAPH 2005 Autodesk Master Class: "Photorealistic Environments and Techniques". Filmography: Madagascar 3, Puss in Boots, Monsters vs. Aliens, Kung Fu Panda, Happy Feet, Superman Returns, The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D, Sin City, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, The Day After Tomorrow, Hellboy, Minority Report, Black Hawk Down, Dr. Dolittle 2
Dhruva Pathak, DreamWorks Dedicated Unit
Dhruva is the FX Developer has been working in the area of CG development for about 6 years. He was worked in companies such as India Games, Tata Elxsi – VCL, Prana Studios. He is currently working as an FX developer at the DreamWorks Dedicated Unit (DDU). Some of his development work at the DDU includes that of low lying fog system, looping fire system, target driven fluid simulations and foliage system. Some of his earlier development work include shaders and filters for fur and fire in Renderman, Maya plug-ins for particle systems, caching structures, foliage and forests, Maya plug-ins for bird feathers and highly-stylized smoke systems, an immersive 3D game engine on the then next generation NVidia chipsets for mobile phones. Featured streamed terrain loading, dynamic lighting effects, environment mapping and skeletal dynamics etc). He is a graduate in Physics and Electronic Science with specialization in computing technologies. He was selected to work on the navigation system of the University of Pune's micro satellite with ISRO (Indian Space Research Organization. His master’s project was nominated for research funding from the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR, Govt. of India). He interned at the Dept. of Condensed Matter Physics, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR, Bombay).