What is your name and your current occupation?
Hi,I am Harinarayan Rajeev and i am currently working as a 3d animator in Dreamworks Animation Dedicated Unit,India(DDU).
What are some of the crazier jobs you had before getting into animation?
Honestly, the only job i had ever done in my life is that of an animator.I got my first job in the industry right after finishing my 2d/3d animation training , when i was 18.
What are some of your favorite projects you’re proud to have been a part of ?
Well,I am super excited about the Dreamworks Animation projects i am working on right now and going to work for at DDU,India which I consider are amazing oppurtunites that as an animator I could ever have. I also had a great time working on my third animated feature film “Dorothy of OZ” [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0884726/] while i was working in Prana animation studios.
How did you become interested in animation?
I used to draw and watch a looot of cartoons as a kid,infact i remember running like a deer after school so that i could reach home on time and watch my favourite cartoon shows,Swatkats,Dexter’s Laboratory,Johny Bravo,Popeye,Samurai Jack , He-Man,the list goes on.. I used to watch them as if they were real and living . My intense love for computer games especially Prince of Persia,Dave,Accolade etc in DOS to POP:Warrior within/Sands of time,Max Payne 1&2,Star Wars:Phantom Menace,Project IGI, GTA etc in Windows, has boosted my love for this creative art and attracted me to this wonderful career. Working as an animator made me realize the wonder and power of creating a world that not just entertains its audience but the creators as well.
Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business?
I hail form the district of Thiruvananthapuram, in the state of Kerala, INDIA. Making a Career choice was never a difficult decision, for I had realized my passion for animated cartoons from childhood itself, and I wanted to have further knowledge about the art of making cartoons.I knew they were drawings moving at 24frames per second but i had little idea about its flawless execution.So right after my schooling I joined a short term 2d animation course and an evening course in 3d animation and multimedia simultaneously, which helped me understand the creative and technical aspects of animation. The sight of seeing my own characters coming to life for the first time made me realize the power of creation and the pride one got from the appreciation of one’s talent.The awe and appreciation from my friends and tutors made me realize the expertise in technical skills and innate talents I possessed. It is at this point that my decision to become a character animator was reinforeced, and from then I never has to look back. Animation as a passion and as a job had never been better,watching my hardwork and making others happy and cheerful…its beautiful 🙂
What’s a typical day like for you with regards to your job?
Well a typical day would be,reaching office by 8.45 … breakfast…goes to my desk …checks my mail…if there is a dailies, will attend it …work…. lunch at 12.30… back to work ….leave by 7pm ( if shots assigned to me is done and approved :D)
What part of your job do you like best? Why?
Its the fun and excitement at work,even during deadlines .Its like getting paid for doing something that you like to do the most and something you are really good at. Most of the time its like playing a game and the only thing that matters is how well you play 🙂
What part of your job do you like least? Why?
Job Vs Time Time Vs Friends/Family Friends/Family Vs Job
What kind of technology do you work with on a daily basis?
In DDU-India, we have Dreamwork’s own proprietory software for animation which is awesome. Other than that i use Maya,3DsMax,Photoshop,After Effects,Premier ,Flash etc.
What is the most difficult part for you about being in the business?
less sleep 😛
In your travels, have you had any brushes with animation greatness?
I was fortunate enough to work with a lot of legendary animators from Dreamworks,Pixar,Disney,Sony Imageworks,Weta etc and got to learn so much from them in person and that experience has really helped me improve myself as an animator.
Describe a tough situation you had in life.
My final exams at school :D, The tensions and anxiety of those days still haunt me, I was always a creative person and I never understood the reason behind academics which made my situation worse during exams. It was my gateway to freedom, so yeah i it was like a war…which i won 😀
Any side projects you’re working on that you’d like to share details of?
I am planning to do a small personal short film.I have a story in mind but unfortunately time is the biggest villain,hopefully i will be able to release it in the near future 🙂
Any unusual talents or hobbies like tying a cherry stem with your tongue or metallurgy?
I used to collect game cds when i was a kid and when i grew up i started collecting toys and other collectibles 😛
Is there any advice you can give for an aspiring animation student or artist trying to break into the business?
I f you really think you have that spark / talent inside you to be a star in the industry ,then never back out because its one of the best and coolest jobs in the universe and trust me seeing your name on the big screen is a magical experience…best of luck 🙂