We recently spoke with Arihant Gupta, a Senior FX Artist at MPC Vancouver. Arihant has worked on various projects, from feature film to TV projects; such as Stranger Things, Aquaman, Detective Pikachu to name a few. With such great work you’re going to love Arihant Gupta!
Q: Hi Arihant! Can you tell us a little bit more about your background and what you do in the industry and outside the industry?
A. Hi! My name is Arihant Gupta and I am a Senior FX Artist at MPC Vancouver. I am mostly known as Ari as who knows how to say my full name. My area of expertise in Houdini are fluids, i.e, flip fluids and pyro effects. Lately I have been discovering some love for Rigid Bodies Simulation as well. I have been working with Houdini since last 7 years and haven’t looked back since. I believe Houdini gives me the ability to create artistic images while retaining the technical control.
When I am not simming in Houdini, I am out paddleboarding or taking photos with my phone. I love to drive around and explore places I haven’t before.
Q. The videos you have completed for CGCircuit what inspired you to want to create tutorials on these topics? Are they typical research & development you would do to help you on the VFX you do for film and commercial projects?
ARIHANT: I always wanted to get into the education side of things when it comes to VFX. I did some tutorials back in 2014 but then stopped. So working with CG Circuit is great in that regards. Making the CGCircuit tutorial on Vellum Grains was triggered by a small RnD I did when Houdini 17 came out and with it came the new Vellum Solver. So I started doing some research on it and came up with dry/wet sand simulations. So yes, making these tutorials is definitely a part of research that was done before hand. Which is also very much the concept in actual production environment. You dive into some sort of RnD mode before you start on an actual shot or effect.
Q: What is a typical day like for you, do you go home thinking about certain shots? Do you dream about the fluid, flips and the pyro effects? Do you ever get a shot done completely perfect the first time?
ARIHANT: A typical day for me is very much dependent on deadlines. If deadlines are approaching, I am in a crunch mode. Day in, day out. At this point I really am thinking of just going home and sleeping. But if it’s down time and early in a project’s life, it’s a lot more relaxed. I can take my time to do some RnD, learn something new that I have been meaning to for a long time. And yes, there are definitely shots that I get attached to, so sometimes I am going home thinking about them. Sometimes I try to replicate them at home so I can revisit them later if I need to and improve upon it. About a shot getting completely perfect the first time, I don’t think it has happened to me yet. Clients and supervisors are always changing their mind about what they really want from a shot. So it would be a very rare occurrence to get the shot just right the very first time. Also depends on the client itself.
Q: Is there anything else you can tell us about yourself, what brought you to teaching tutorials? If you could give advice to someone just starting out what advice would you give? What software should they learn? Any mentors that inspired you?
ARIHANT: I was approached by cmiVFX in 2014 whereas I made two videos for them at the time. That was my first step into making tutorials. It was a great experience and I enjoyed it a lot. Learned some things in the process myself. My advice to anyone starting new would be to take it slow. Learn the basics. Specially when it comes to Houdini. I see a lot of people picking up Houdini and try to explode a building or do crazy water simulations without having a basic understanding of underlying concepts. And I would definitely not underestimate coding. It will help in the long run and will make your skill set a lot more diverse. I’d recommend Python.
Q: Any upcoming projects you are working on or hope to work on? Will you be creating more video tutorials for CGCircuit and also is there any software that you would still like to learn or improve upon? Do you think an artist is ever done learning?
ARIHANT: I just finished on Sonic: The Hedgehog and it was hectic.
Specially towards the end. I am going to be joining Method Studios very soon.
Yes, I will be creating a lot more stuff for CG Circuit. Regarding the software, I would say I want to explore Houdini a lot more. Houdini is something that you would never stop learning. There is always a better and more efficient way of doing things. As a Houdini artist, you have a very different mindset. The procedural workflow really changes the way you think about computer graphics in general.
To conclude, I will say, the day an artist is done learning, is the day that artist stops learning.
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We hope you enjoyed our interview with Arihant Gupta as much as we did, to learn more about Arihant please check out his tutorial “Houdini: Introduction to Vellum Grains” on CGCircuit as well as check out his links above.
If you have any questions or feedback on this blog, we’d love to hear it in the comment section below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About the Author:
Lori Hammond, CG Circuit
Author & Content Producer
Experienced multi-talented Artist/Designer/Blogger with an extensive background in the Arts & Entertainment Industry(Animation, VFX, Game & Product Design)