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Saravanan Govindaraj: senior lighting & compositing artist interview

Saravanan Govindaraj

Senior Lighting and Compositing Artist

Senior lighting and compositing artist Saravanan Govindaraj shares his workflow and artwork from his portfolio in this interview…

Saravanan's ArtStation

3dtotal

Tell us a little bit about yourself: Who are you, what do you do, and where are you located?

Saravanan

Hi everyone, my name is Saravanan, and I’m a senior lighting and compositing artist who loves cartoons and animated films, ever since childhood. I do lighting for a 3D scene to convey the story, mood, emotions, and so on. I do shading, lighting, rendering, and compositing as a profession. Modeling and texturing are my spare time works. My home country is India and I’m doing my job here in Malaysia.

date night restaurant outdoor environment 3d model
This personal project is based on some good references from blue umbrella animation short films. I was inspired a lot from that to make this project. I got the character's assets from the academy of animated art and other all assets I got from various sources. I did shading, lighting, and compositing for this artwork.

3dtotal

What was the workflow behind your latest gallery image? Where did the idea come from?

Saravanan

It was an amazing experience. I was inspired by the blue umbrella animation short from pixar. The mood and the colorscripts of that reference was just awesome. The workflow for that artwork was quite interesting and a little complicated for me. I used ACEScg colorspace and it took some time to understand the workflow.

3d render model sculpt young boy snail lighting
This is my artwork for TDU lighting challenge November. It was a fun and a good experience with these assets.

3dtotal

What challenges did the image present? Did you learn something new?

Saravanan

The idea of the artwork was to choose one simple snapshot, but I faced problems while set dressing the shot. It wasn’t just the shot of the asset. I got those assets from various sources and I set dressed it myself to make a scene. Many times I was disappointed when I saw the imperfect composition. It took a lot of time to make it good. I learned the ACES CG workflow through this. I learned the importance of colors, contrast, and composition to impress the audience.

3dtotal

Do you use any other software, either for work or personal projects?

Saravanan

I prefer Maya for most of my artworks. Recently I’ve started learning Katana, which has become the industry’s most used tool, and I like learning new tech and skills. I made the perfect artwork by using Arnold renderer which more and more professional and live action industries are using widely. Another recent addition is Redshift, which I started learning a month ago. I completed my Hope artwork by using Redshift.

3dtotal

How do you keep your portfolio up-to-date? Any tips?

Saravanan

I used to do my personal works frequently. Whenever I start, I begin with the simple tasks. But once it reaches a point, I try to do more and more to polish it. This is how i keep my work simple, also to be added as my portfolio. Generally, my portfolio contains the best of all my works. So I always push myself every time to do a better work, so that it will also be part of my portfolio. Just grab an idea and work out the details!

hopper disney fanmade model character 3d
This was my office assignment. The main motive to do this project is learning fur for the character and doing character lighting. This is my first ever creature fur by using XGen generate tool. It was fun and a good experience while working. I tried my best as a beginner for creating fur. Hopefully can do better for upcoming works.

3dtotal

Are you a member of any social media groups? Any favorite hashtags you check on a daily basis?

Saravanan

So far I have been a member of the Acadamy of Animated Arts group. I really love that group. I want to thank them. I learned a lot through them and group members. I practice most of the time with their amazing assets. My favourite hastags are lighting, shading, compositing, and concept art.

3dtotal

What are your artistic ambitions?

Saravanan

I want to keep learning and studying the new artistc opportunites and experiments to get a good result. I want to achieve something bigger in this animated world. I just want to reach the position where I can show to everyone how I see art.

winter autumn leaves young girl 3d model scenery
This artwork was inspired by Frozen 2's various moods and I picked one from them. It was a great experience when I tried with mushroom girl assets provided by the Academy of Animated Art. A lot of other assets dressed from various sources. My part is shading, lighting, look dev, compositing for this artwork. First time I tried Redshift and I had some issues with this artwork itself, hope I’ll learn more in upcoming works.

3dtotal

Who are your favorite artists, traditional or digital, and can you explain why?

Saravanan

Jeremy Vickery. I love his color scripts, ideas, execution in lighting. I am just addicted to his works. So far, he is my first inspiration when I start my animation studies.

TDU lighting attic scenery 3d model environment
This project was made for the TDU Lighting community on Facebook. The story which I would like to convey is a girl finding her bear toy from the room which has not been used for a while. Try to achieve night lighting. Shader, lighting, compositing was done myself, and model and textures were provided by the TDU Lighting community. Still polishing and hope you guys like it. Creator Credits: Alex Mateo and Jeremy Vickery

3dtotal

What can we expect to see from you next?

Saravanan

I have a list of plans to improve my skills and workflow. So I plan to focus on steps individually. My next big goal is to learn Katana and do some nice artwork or animated shot. I’m still doing a concept for that artwork. Hope i show it soon!

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