San Rafael, Calif. - Autodesk Inc. announced that Indian animation and visual effects studio Visual Computing Labs (VCL), a division of Tata Elxsi Ltd., used Autodesk Maya software as the lead 3D modeling, animation, and visual effects tool on Roadside Romeo.
VCL relied on the Autodesk Flame visual effects system to create the film, whereas Prime Focus used the Autodesk Lustre system for the final color grade. A joint production of Yash Raj Films and Walt Disney Pictures, Roadside Romeo is India's first 3D animated mainstream feature film, as well as the first Hollywood-Bollywood co-production.
tells the tale of a pampered puppy whose owners move, leaving him behind to fend for himself on the streets of Mumbai. In the classic Bollywood tradition, the 95-minute film comprises 1400 shots, approximately 40 scenes, and five song-and-dance numbers. The film features the voice talents of top Indian actors, including Saif Ali Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and Javeed Jaaferi.
"Our goal with Roadside Romeo was to create a quality production that would set the standard for future 3D animated Bollywood movies," says Pankaj Khandpur, creative director at Visual Computing Labs. "The high quality we achieved with this film has much to do with the Maya software's robustness, flexibility, and interoperability. Maya is the backbone of our animation pipeline and has been an integral part of our workflow since we officially opened our doors in 2002. An additional benefit is the large talent pool of Maya artists."
Involved from the project's inception, VCL was instrumental in developing the look and feel of the characters. "Our team handled all the pre-production, character and background design and storyboards," continues Khandpur. "The Maya software's advanced character rigging is one of our favorite features. We chose to design our characters in a 'squash and stretch' style; this meant a character might walk with a bounce and have more elasticity in the way its body reacts to movement. Maya lent itself beautifully to this animation style. Flame is also key to our digital film pipeline. Maya meshes seamlessly with the Flame system."
During the 21-month production schedule, VCL had approximately 120 artists working on the film at all times. Final conform was done on Autodesk Flame at VCL, and the final color grade was performed by the Prime Focus Group, using Autodesk Lustre.
Roadside Romeo was written and directed by Jugal Hansraj and has been released worldwide.