Here I’m back again, this time with an International Match moving Artist Sitthichok Khunthaveelab from Thailand.
Born on March 13 1981, Bangkok, Thailand, who is graduated from Thammasat University (Thailand) with a bachelor’s degree in the field of economics. After that he moved to Vancouver, Canada to pursue his dream of being a 3D artist.
He went to Vancouver Film School (VFS) and took the 3D Animation and Visual Effects course (class 3D59) which he focused on animations. A year later he graduated and had been looking for an animation job as well as doing his personal project for a while until he went to LUX Visual Effects.
At LUX he started off as a 3D generalist mainly responsible for tracking camera movements for the live-action shots and before long he had become specialized in tracking tasks, match-moving as well as doing layouts from simple storyboards. Also did creature and mech animations for shows that LUX received too.
He has been on board with LUX for 3 years and a half before deciding to come back to Thailand after being away for almost six years and now am working as a visual effects contractor (freelance) which at the moment, still work for LUX doing camera tracking and match-moving jobs.
And here from I shall be asking him certain questions pertaining to his work and the industry that he is passionate about.
Q.Where did you grow up? Has that influenced you come into this industry?
A. I grew up in Thailand, in a province (city) next to Bangkok called Samut Prakarn. May be the answer to this question will have to be “no”, because back when I started taking 3D seriously (around 2003) people here in Thailand mainly used 3D packages for modeling (most were for architecture, interior and product designing projects), people rarely did anything more than making single frame renders (or some simple flying cam shots). Back then I did not even think about getting into the industry rather than just trying to learn 3D skills in order to make my own animation shorts.
Q.How was your experience in VFS? Why do you choose VFS
instead of other school?
A. I was looking for some advanced 3D courses abroad and since my late grandmother who lived in Vancouver always wanted me to go live with her, I set it as my target city from the beginning. The reason for VFS was also really simple, since I’d already graduated a bachelor degree I looked for short diploma courses and VFS reels caught my attention the most. My experience at VFS was great. The course opened up my eyes to the potentials of animation and visual effects as a ‘professional career’ rather than just to make my ‘personal’ shorts. My class (3D59) was also a great class full of skillful, professional as well as friendly persons (most of us still hang out or keep in touch with each other till this day) and we did have some great instructors who taught us beyond the manual also.
Q. What are the biggest challenges you have faced being a
Matchmoving artist at LUX VFX?
A. Biggest challenges (laughing) I had faced would have to be that one time I had to track a close-up shot of an actor’s lower torso in front of a green ground with only a few tracking markers which also happened to be made of green tapes. The catch, was that the actor kept moving in front of those only markers we had (sigh).
Q. You also did creature & mech. Animations for LUX VFX,
tell us more about it?
A. I love animating creatures and mechs, I would be able to use more imagination (unless someone could find me some real life references of dragon or giant worm with extendable inner mouth) while trying to blend the look of my own animations with those of existing animals or machines in order to make them look believable. Usually it was quite easy to create animations based solely on imagination and imitating existing animals’ animations were not too difficult also, creating some animations fresh out of your head while trying to blend in some qualities which the audience can associate with their real life experiences was a challenge within itself. But overall the experiences for me were fun and rewarding. (We mainly used Maya for animations)
Q. In your opinion, what are your strong points?
A. I work hard, I work a lot and I don’t mix ego with works.
Q. What are your main source of inspiration?
A. Satoshi Kon (great director of anime movies Perfect Blue, Millennium Actress) is my greatest inspiration for storytelling. I don’t really have a particular animation hero, let’s just say fine animations (such as Toy Story, Iron Giant, Ratatouille) and animes (such as Millennium Actress, The Girl Who Leapt through Time, Oblivion Island: Haruka and the Magic Mirror) are my best sources of inspiration.
Q7: If someone wants to work in studio as a matchmoving
artist, what is the eligibility (software skills, experience) he/she
A. I can’t say for all HR departments, different companies with works of different natures might be setting different qualifications for matchmoving artist openings, but I would say in my own opinion based on my little experiences that someone who wants to work as a matchmoving artist needs to ‘understand’ matchmoving and should be able to track scenes shot with different type of camera movements (translation, rotation, …, etc.) and should also be able to matchmove some moving objects within the tracked scenes. All I mentioned could be done using any tracking/matchmoving and 3D animation software of choice as long as one really understands the process.
As for experience, like I said I’m not HR person but in my opinion it’s all about individual’s problem solving skill. One could be a fairly new artist but was able to finish the almost impossible tracking/match moving task while someone who worked in the industry for a fair period might be stuck within his(/her) comfort zone and use more than average time to finish some simple tasks. A person with a good reel with no experience has more chance for an interview than another one with long history but a mediocre reel.
Q. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
A. I don’t see it clearly quite yet (laughing), may be running a small family-sized CG studios or regularly making some webisodes? Those are what I wish for my future but I might not even be working full-time in the industry anymore. We’ll see.
Q. Anyone you’d like to give thanks or show appreciation to?
A. I would like to give my appreciation to my supportive parents, Vivian & Chanchai Khunthaveelab, for letting me try and find my path. Special thanks to Kevin Little and all the great people at LUX Visual Effects Inc. for giving me an opportunity even without any experience, training me as well as treating me like family. 3D animator Dong Hyun Kim for being such a supportive friend in both personal and professional lives. Ploypan Chulasugandha for being an encouraging voice for the things I did and do for a living. And last but not least, thanks to you, Shuvra Sengupta for being interested in my works as well as setting up this interview, cheers.
Q. Any tips for newcomers? Who want to be a match moving artist?
A. Apart from my answer to question 7, I’d say watch tutorials and try everything. Try good plates (image sequences with clear markers with correct focal length provided) to learn how properly planned shots are done as well as try bad plates (the opposite of the good ones) to practice and improve your problem solving skills (because in the real world, you tend to face the bad ones more often than not). It all comes with experience so practice a lot.
Thank You So Much Sitthichok For Giving Your valuable time for this Interview , It is an inspirational Interview. Cheers :)
Want To Know More About Sitthichok aka Pomme
visit hereOfficial Website
Apart from professional 3D and VFX career, he is an occasional 2D artist trying to learn how to draw as well as making manga (comic) and also a gamer at heart.
Follow him on Twitter
Thats it from me now, will catch you guys soon with an another Interview.