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BOT VFX’s Special Internship Batch

Presenting to you one of BOT VFX’s proudest moments ever – Our 1st special internship batch for the hearing and speech challenged has just been completed! Thanks to some amazing hard work put in by them coupled with the support from all the other BOTs – this batch has now hit the production floor. We are looking to spread this happiness even more & invite applications for the 2nd Internship for the hearing and speech challenged. Batch begins Jan/Feb 2017. Please spread and share the message and help us reach more such wonderful artists!
Contact our Talent Management Team for more info or send in CVs to hr@botvfx.com

..BECAUSE MAGIC HAS NO LANGUAGE!

A cup of coffee, a few BOTs, an incredible desire to be the change and here you have it.. BOT VFX’s latest and perhaps most incredible idea ever!

Over the years while BOTs have been actively associated with several social impact initiatives be it Flood relief work, making a difference to the lives to the less fortunate, providing clean drinking water at schools or more recently with the Beach cleaning initiative, there was always an underlying feeling that we needed to look at something more sustainable and permanent, something with which we can create a small revolution of sorts in bringing about a change.

And so it came, in the form of two of our most talented artists Nithya and Vijay, both of them hearing and speech challenged, yet one of BOTs biggest shining stars for the resilience with which they fought against many odds to today deliver some of the best work for the biggest Hollywood Movies across the world. With over 5 years of experience today both Nithya and Vijay have become the pillars of our Roto and Paint departments, and we thought why not use all their experience and expertise in the VFX field spread this joy of creating magic (VFX) to several others who are challenged like them. So was born what we believe is perhaps one of the most incredible ideas for us – the 1st ever ‘Build-a-BOT Internship Program’ exclusively for the hearing and speech challenged.

“Time and again we miss acknowledging that all this isn’t possible without the trust and support of our amazing clients and the faith, belief and patience of our Sups, Leads, Artists and Support teamsA big thank you to all those who make such incredible dreams possible!” remarks Sreyans, co-founder of BOT VFX

Starting up with a batch of over 7 such Individuals with training done by none other than Nithya and Vijay using sign languages, the Internship is already underway into its 4th week, and if one had to go by reviews, the bunch is doing amazingly well and likely to hit production in a few weeks time.

“When the Idea first came up, I just jumped in joy, because this would perhaps be the most fulfilling role for me ever, I can understand the pain one goes through to get settled in life, however, in its truest sense VFX has been the magic for mine and I just hoped that I could pass on the knowledge to several others who could make a career out here” says Nithya communicating with us by writing on a piece of paper. Vijay her colleague with similar challenges and himself a BOT veteran remarked through a thumbs up “There just cannot be anything better! If we can successfully carry this, this will really make a lot of people who have had challenges in hearing and speech really believe in themselves and their ability to be completely independent”

Deepak, co-founder of BOT VFX quips “Our collective dream is to have India’s first VFX team fully managed and run by the challenged and we are not very far from there” And, we couldn’t agree more, that truly “Magic has no language”- and this drive by the BOT team is sure to create another young generation of independent and amazingly creative artists for the industry!

News coverage by the Deccan Chronicle: Disability doesn’t deter their passion for work, Deccan Chronicle, 30th OCT 2016

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Chapman’s Excellent Adventures in Chennai

When a visual effects facility is routinely pushing through work supporting thousands of shots a year for dozens of highly regarded clients, you’d think such a well-heeled organisation wouldn’t be so self-conscious about the inner workings of its production engine. But, that’s exactly what BOT VFX lavishes its focus on, despite its position as a leading provider of supporting services such as roto, paint and matchmove for visual effects facilities.

A few months back, BOT reached out to industry veteran Alexi Chapman — at the time, an independent consultant —seeking his help in assessing and recommending improvements for BOT’s 2D pipeline. Chapman has been “around the block a few times” when it comes to setting up and managing 2D departments. Over the years, he’s worked at numerous facilities in Vancouver, small and large, doing everything from working shots as a roto artist to leading a 2D department.

“I had worked with the BOT team for many years and always thought highly of the creative team that delivered solid work project-after-project and client-after-client as I moved to different facilities,” reflects Chapman. “So when they asked if I was able to come out to India to meet with the team and dive into how they did the work, I jumped at the opportunity. And it’d be an opportunity to visit India – something I always looked forward to.” In briefing Chapman before his visit to India, Hitesh Shah, BOT’s chief was quick to reveal what BOT considered to be key to their success – the three P’s: People, Pipeline and Process. “It’s important that you get an ‘inside’ look at who we are as a team, and understand how our pipeline works and how we go about things. Only then can you glean recommendations that will help us raise our game,” coached Shah.

Not one to shy away from adventure, Chapman landed in Chennai, ready to dive into work, and dive into Indian culture, both with equal vigor. “I was taken aback by the great warmth and excitement with which the team received me,” says Chapman of finally meeting the team members he’d only connected with in Skype sessions, conference calls, emails and chat sessions over the years. “When I walked into BOT’s office, it hit me that despite differences in language, culture and environment, artists are artists everywhere. I noticed that like artists in Vancouver, BOT artists adorned their cubicles with maquette, sketches, paintings and collectibles from their favorite movies. Talking to the team, it became abundantly clear that the stuff they do is more than just a job to them – they’re really into VFX, and they’re stoked by the same things artists I’ve worked with in Vancouver value. Once I understood this, it was easy to understand why BOT consistently delivered solid work.”

Chapman spent time talking to artists, leads, and supervisors in each of the roto and paint/prep departments through the better part of a week. “We conducted ‘a-day-in-the-life-of’ reviews for Alexi to help him understand both the pipeline and processes and to some extent approaches the individual artists take,” reflects Sreyans Bardia, BOT’s Head of Production. “These reviews proved to be extremely useful because Alexi was able to assemble some great insights that have helped our efficiency, reduced some technical issues, and reduce feedbacks from clients.” Many valuable insights were the result of Chapman’s intimate knowledge of how BOT’s clients actually used the work produced by BOT. For example, when client-side compositors find the need to open a Silhouette source file delivered by BOT in order to make some minor tweaks, it becomes awfully confusing when shapes fly in and out of frame. From years of experience, BOT artists have found this technique (of “disabling” shapes for a few frames by pulling them off-frame) to be highly efficient. However, it is also highly frustrating to client-side artists to quickly understand where they need to make the modifications and move on.

Chapman concedes that despite enormous variety of clients and projects, each with their own nuances and expectations, BOT is able to deliver to the individual requirements with relatively few feedbacks. Some clients only care about the alpha mattes for roto, others want the SFX Silhouette source files, and still others want the splines converted to The Foundry’s Nuke. Some projects require separated core mattes and blur mattes, others want blur baked into the same matte. For paint work, there are always the nuances of colorspace and grain particular to a show. Add to that, the projects on any given day can be in HD, 2K, 4K, 30fps, 24fps, 25fps, log, linear, varied film gates and so on. “It’s like the kitchen in a restaurant that serves dishes from 10 different kinds of cuisines from as many menus – the BOT kitchen has to be ready to deliver on anything every day,” Chapman says.

In between all of the deep-dive sessions, dailies reviews, and deep insight gathering at the office, Chapman also managed time to soak in South Indian cuisine, some sightseeing and a bit of exposure to South Indian culture. Chapman said, “I was already a fan of Indian food before this trip, but Sreyans, who’s a foodie himself, expanded my palate to a new level. He and the team were also gracious enough to take me around to see some sights I thoroughly enjoyed.” “Consider it India’s version of Southern Hospitality,” jests Bardia.

Simple Ideas; Powerful Results: Learning at BOT VFX

“Sometimes in Life, we are never sure if an idea will work, however if we have an underlying current of conviction, which just keeps saying that take the plunge, a conviction which just makes you feel restless till you make the announcement to your colleagues and the world that this is it, and together we will have to make it work; then you know you have an Idea which is a winner”

These were perhaps the exact emotions which the Talent Management Team at BOT VFX went through before launching what was a simple idea of doubling up and using our evening snack time for some fun learning. So was born “The BOT 20min Learning Workshops” that turned out to be quite a little bit of “learning revolution” (albeit for a short one month, yet we’d take pride in calling it one).

What followed was exceptional to say the least. The BOTs (as we lovingly call ourselves) went through a month of Non-Stop Learning in the 20min workshops – a new topic of learning day after day, every day, all through the month of October till early November. We had many topics ranging from Carnatic Music to Google Cars, from learning about the Prod Pipelines to Human Anatomy, from Insurance Basics to Computer Assembling, from workshops on Sign Languages to Portrait Painting. Adding to it, we had Camera and Photography workshops and lessons on Time Management. Not to forget the fun session on cutting Comic Clips and the important session about Email Etiquettes. The list and its diversity were endless and we cannot forget the enthusiastic audience at BOT who ensured that sessions were houseful and seats were getting filled the minute registrations opened.

While some may argue saying that topics were not necessarily VFX-related (except for a few), what stood out was the collective urge of BOTs to learn and share each one’s knowledge and the desire to beat one’s own inhibitions and conquering the fear of addressing audiences.

In all of this, clearly with some extraordinary unstinted co-operation of all the BOTs, we had one more WINNER up our sleeve – “The Bot 20 min workshop”- a simple idea with powerful results. Thank you, BOTs, for supporting and making it happen.

The writer is a part of the BOT Talent Management Team and can be reached on talentmanagement@botvfx.com !

Pictures and Posters from the sessions can be found here: BOT EDITORIAL – LEARNING AT BOTVFX ALBUM 

The BOT Workshop @ Visual Arts Fest by MOP Vaishnav College

“As Knowledge Increases, Wonder Deepens”, perhaps precisely what the BOT Trio of Sreyans, Sankara and Srikant, on invitation from the MOP Vaishnav College for Women, set out to achieve as they spread the word on the magical world of VFX at the Annual Visual Arts Fest hosted by MOP Vaishnav College. An informal session on the Scope of VFX in Films which started with some jaw-dropping videos and progressing to the nuts and bolts of how visual effects is done coupled with some serious talking and guidance on Careers in the VFX Industry that concluded with an interesting (and we might say popularly extended) Q&A Session. While the organizers and students were very inspired with the session, the BOT team was even more inspired – thanks to the guided tour of the display gallery hosting some amazing and creative work of the students.

As we continue to spread the magic of VFX, what is fulfilling is that the vibrancy, energy and enthusiasm of the students rubs on to us and inspires us to continue to do what every creative artist aspires ie., to do the “Undone”.

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HackerBOTs

Like a good Dev-challenge?
Show off your dev skills using JS, HTML5 & CSS.  You make the time for the full day event; we provide the problem and the food. Who knows, it might lead to some exciting opportunities at BOT VFX or help you win some amazing Gift Vouchers! Certificates will be given to all Participants.

You’re free to use your own laptop or we can provide a system if you let us know in advance.
Kickoff briefing will be at 9:30am.

Register now for HackerBOTs on Meetup

(Link: http://www.meetup.com/hackerbots/events/224717271/ )

 

We don’t give up!

In sport they say “Its hard to beat a person who never gives up” and thats one quality every Bot is good at! It was no different as 6 teams competed and enjoyed some thrilling Volleyball by the beach, congratulations to the winners and to all who gave in some super effort. A Special Mention to Mathew (From IT) and Krishna (From Production) for rounding off the morning with some super Breakfast at namma Murugan Idly. Last yet not the least, our heartfelt thanks to all Bots to turn up at 6:00 AM on a Sunday morning. Now thats what we call “Commitment”.

 

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Global Desi’s

The 69th Independence Day saw the BOTs immerse themselves in the colours of the country. The fervour of the day was well set with some amazing patriotic music and songs playing as we walked in to the studio, what’s more some thoughtful decor and the chance to paint the town red (well quite literally with our drawings) meant this was one super day when all of us just had one thing to say “Jai Hind”.

We cater the world, with  an Indian heart!

 

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