UWE Bristol graduates worked on animation for Oscar nominated 'Life of Pi'

Issue date: 25 January 2013

UWE Bristol Animation Graduates Chang Woon Bing (Moon) and Monisha Banerjee comprised part of the 1,200 visual effects artists who worked on the multiple Oscar-nominated film Life of Pi.

The animation and visual effects work for the film was due in large part to the efforts of the international visual effects studio Rhythm & Hues, including the Malaysian branch in which Woon Bing (Moon) has been working at since 2010 and the Mumbai facility where Monisha has been working since 2012. The visual effects for the film are the result of collaborations between the staff from all the different facilities of Rhythm & Hues (LA, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kuala Lumpur and Vancouver).

MA Animation graduate Monisha Banerjee, who graduated in 2008, was production coordinator for the Animation team. Chang Woon Bing, BA (Hons) in Graphic Design with Animation, who graduated in 2009, worked on the camera-tracking of the lifeboat and the matchmoving of actor Suraj Sharma in the sequence where a school of flying fish descends upon Pi and the tiger in the middle of the ocean.

Chang Woon Bing said the nomination could be the team's gateway to bigger and better things. He said, “We will need to continue pushing boundaries here, continue to grow and reach greater heights - let this be the beginning!”

Monisha commented, “It's been my privilege to be a part of the Life of Pi team at Rhythm & Hues. For the VFX world, there is no looking back now. Life of Pi is the most spectacular movie made yet. We can only go forward and plunge into the jungle like Richard Parker did. I am also truly grateful to all the tutors at UWE Bristol for all the knowledge I gained during my MA. Best 18 months of my life that are still giving and will continue to give me opportunities for success.”

Rachel Robinson from UWE Bristol taught Chang Woon Bing, she said, “Chang Woon Bing worked extremely hard during his time studying at the Bristol School of Animation. His final year degree show animated short was shown at Bristol's Encounters Festival. We always thought Moon would do well in the Creative Industries. He seems to be progressing in his Animation/FX Career in leaps and bounds and the success is duly deserved.”

Chris Webster taught Monisha; he comments, “Monisha joined the MA Animation programme at the Bristol School of Animation by way of a change of career. The programme enabled her to explore and develop her then untapped creativity in animation production which has along with her high level of professionalism and commitment, prepared her well to take on such a key position within such a prestigious production. She serves as a fine example to all those studying animation at UWE, her success is well deserved and reflects her determination and focus and all the animation team are very proud of her.”

Rhythm & Hues worked mostly on the ocean in Life of Pi, as well as the tiger. As the film was shot in a water tank - the team had to remove the backgrounds and the divers and replace them with computer-generated oceans and skies - a few seconds of footage took weeks of work.

Rhythm & Hues Studios is an Academy award-winning, global VFX and Animation studio headquartered in Los Angeles. It has two studio facilities in India, and one each in Malaysia, Taiwan and Vancouver. In India, The facility in Mumbai started around 10 years ago and the facility in Hyderabad was operational from 2007. The facility in Kuala Lumpur was set up in 2009 as a Multimedia Super Corridor (MSC) company. The VFX for the multiple Oscar-nominated film Life of Pi was made possible largely due to the contribution of several talented artists from all the global facilities of Rhythm & Hues.

For visuals see link to UWE Bristol News flickr

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