Imagine a lesson in optics that transports you all the way to the North Pole and lets you witness the Northern Lights. Sounds incredible, right?
Such hyper-realistic visuals are an essential part of the BYJU’S learning experience, made possible by a team of creatives who are constantly pushing the envelope to enhance the learning experience. Case in point – this realistic 3D recreation of the Northern Lights.
This matte painting of the Northern Lights, created by Soumya Choudhary, is so famous that it has been the wallpaper of every media PC at BYJU’S. The artwork, however, is not the only memorable piece that Soumya has to his credit. He has been instrumental in building an asset team that caters to an array of products with over 3000 mattes created by young artists across two of our studios.
His creative genius is as much fuelled by his skills as it is – in his own words – a “mad vision”. Meet Soumya Choudhary, the Assistant Art Director of the Visual Development Team at BYJU’S.
Soumya, who is currently leading the Visual Development team in our Bangalore and Trivandrum studios, has more than a decade of experience under his belt. He was teaching Animation and Visual Design at Arena Animation before joining BYJU’S in July 2018. And it was there that he, along with his students, created the short film- CLICK which won the Dadasaheb Phalke Award for The Best Student Film of the year among other accolades.
From this to working in edtech, Soumya has had quite a progression. He now nurtures young artists at BYJU’S. And if his words are any indication, it’s a progress that has been seamless and in perfect alignment with his personal goal of sharing his knowledge, grooming young talents.
“I have always loved teaching art,” says the BYJUite adding, “And BYJU’S was actually something that I’d been interested in for a long time. Here I get the opportunity to nurture talent and help them create effective learning products that essentially help lakhs of students. This way, my team and I actually get to create a much bigger impact.”
As a leading name in edtech, BYJU’S is always working towards creating the best of learning programmes. This includes creative breakthroughs that not only enhance the learning experience but also set a benchmark for artistic explorations in the realm of edtech.
“At a time when we were thinking about the next big thing, which is always (laughs), Soumya has taken the initiative to introduce rich and quick concept art, matte painting and 2.5D environments,” says Aswin Vijayaraghavan, AVP, Creative Content, who recruited Soumya. “These introductions boosted the visual quality of our videos and plugged into the video pipeline seamlessly. Soumya has also built a team around this catering to varied requirements,” he adds.
Soumya currently works with more than 50 artists at BYJU’S. A creative genius at heart and a problem-solver when it comes to work and the team, he reaffirms that it is the young energy of BYJU’S that sets it apart.
“BYJU’S art wing is like ‘a creative stock market’ where you have people bouncing off ideas, discussing concepts with directors and deciding the visual elements for production and post-production,” Soumya quips, adding that he has been trying to recreate this environment even during the lockdown when everybody was collaborating remotely. “From concept artists to 3D artists, matte painters, and directors, we all get together over Zoom these days to keep our office vibe going.”
According to Soumya, an artist needs to have a fresh mind and learn constantly.
He says, “I don’t think that an artist at BYJU’S needs to find separate ways for creative satiation. Satisfaction can come from anywhere. You have to grab elements from your daily life and visualise them. From concept art creation to composition, colour theory and imagining the entire cinematography.” Tapan Kumar, Creative Director at BYJU’S and someone who has worked closely with Soumya seems to adore this thirst to learn in him, “The creative in him is never satisfied, which drives him to reach new heights with each and every project,” he says.
The BYJUite channels a similar passion and curiosity in his team as well, and he puts attitude above everything else. “I look for people who are eager to grow, can distribute their knowledge and match the energy of the team. It is very important to set aside time for learning too. This can be via movies or something as simple as noticing a kite flying and thinking about its visual design.”
Engaging designs and visual elements, after all, are going to play a key role in education in the coming years. Especially, with the development of technologies such as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR).“I think in the future we’ll be creating 3D backgrounds where a student can actually feel he’s part of that environment. Say we want to teach students about the history of Roman architecture, we’ll be using AR and VR to take the student to Vatican City and have a game-like realistic feel to the teaching along with interactions,” adds Soumya.
Steve Jobs once said, “Creativity is just connecting things,” and Soumya is doing exactly that. He is inculcating a culture of observing and picking design elements from nature across the young art team at BYJU’S. And while he does so, with his energy and inherent passion for mad visuals, he is fostering an environment of continuous learning that helps the artistic bunch at BYJU’S create world-class learning programmes.
If you’re a digital artist, who wants to join the Visual Development team, click here
Prannay Jha has been a part of BYJU'S for over six years now. He got into poetry at a young age and has published an illustrated poetry collection. When he's not analysing numbers, he can be found wrecking his keyboard for blogs, articles or giving unsolicited advice to strangers on Quora!
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