Hello!


Long story short:

My name is Aswin Balaji and I grew up in Chennai, India. I have over 9 years of professional experience which spans across UI / Graphic / Motion design, 3D production, interaction programming and data visualization. I have worked independently and also as part of small production teams, and am fully capable of leading projects from concept to completion.

I specialize in UI Design, Motion Design and Lighting .

Learn more about my Experience, Education and Skill-set


The spiel:

I get excited about everything art-related; irrespective of the medium. In 'Mr. Bean' (the movie), Rowan Atkinson is mistaken for a highly acclaimed art-critic in the United States (but is actually only a security guard at a museum in the UK). His guileless statement at an art event, 'my job is to sit and look at paintings' derives much appreciation from the genteel audience. This rings true for what I do in my free time(and I wish someone would pay me for it), except, I scroll through the work of other amazing artists and curate them on my Pinterest boards for future learning. I'm always working on some personal pet project to add to my portfolio, Dribbble and Behance profiles.

I have a Bachelors degree in Computer Science Engineering, and some experience in programming interfaces and interactions. My main interest was and always will be - digital art. I started learning design when Bevel and Emboss used to be a trend and then moved on to Illustrator and Flash when I worked as a Graphic Designer.

Then I got curious about 3D. To augment my woefully inadequate, self-taught Maya skills, I enrolled in the Computer Animation course at Sheridan College, Toronto. This is where I realized that I would like to focus on lighting.

In the recent past, I have worked in VR, AR, MR, and other emerging interactive technologies. Breaking free from the screen mind-set and designing a user experience with spatial freedom, or envisioning the interactions in a real environment around the user is a challenge that doesn't get boring. I find it especially interesting that designing for these mediums almost always requires a combination of my 2D (design and motion graphics) and 3D (Cinema4D, Maya) skill-set.

I'm a bit of a stickler for good project management. Whether it comes down to updating Excel sheets or creating a project flow on Trello, I like to maintain a feedback and communication history that is accessible to everyone involved in a project. I also think that artists who organize and properly name project assets should be entitled to free beer.

On the personal side, I try to be a good husband and a father. Cliché Alert: I love to travel. No, I really do. Check out my Instagram to see the places I've been to.


 

My social presence:




Work Experience

Department Lead for 2D Design and Motion Graphics

Takeleap - Chennai, India

7 months - August 2018 to March 2019


  • Art directed and designed interactive applications deployed on HTC Vive, Oculus Touch, Microsoft Hololens, touchscreens, Tangible displays etc
  • Met client expectations from concept to completion, in a fast-paced environment geared to meet deadlines for event launches
  • Designed wireframes and high-fidelity prototypes (interaction design using Adobe XD)
  • UX research for XR (AR / VR / MR) product development
  • Streamlined 2.5D motion graphic production techniques (integrating 3D renders and camera movements with After Effects plugins such as Stardust, Plexus, Trapcode Particular, Form etc)
  • Mentored interns and junior designers to produce their best work

Technical Visualizer for Interactive Media

BuMo3dr - Chennai, India

3 yrs 5 months - April 2014 to August 2017


  • Content creation for Interactive applications deployed on XR (VR / AR / MR) devices such as Oculus and Microsoft Hololens, touchscreens etc
  • Worked on several proof of concepts, many of which were awarded as full-fledged, long-term projects
  • Managed and led projects for several clients world-wide in Healthcare, Oil & Gas sectors
  • Designed sales and marketing collateral and produced motion graphic product reveal and explainer videos

Lighting, Compositing & FX Artist

Industrial Brothers - Toronto, Canada

9 months - November 2012 to July 2013


  • Adapted existing Max/VRay lighting setup to Maya/Mental Ray utilizing FG/GI to achieve director's vision for the show
  • Shot-specific lighting modifications
  • 2D/3D effects using nParticles, nCloth and After Effects
  • Character finaling:
    - Making hot-fixes or adding functionalities to rigs to fix render issues
    - Employing Maya's deformers to fix issues and add aesthetics to final renders
    - Minor animation timing adjustments
  • Creating shading networks and setting up final renders
  • Compositing passes and cleaning up final footage in After Effects CS6

Senior Graphic Designer

Pacific Control Systems - Dubai, UAE

3 yrs - May 2008 to May 2011


  • UI design for in-house software development using Photoshop/Illustrator/Flash
  • Interaction programming for in-house software using Flex3/Actionscript 3.0
  • 3D modeling & rendering of HVAC equipment in Maya/Mental ray
  • Technical illustrations/designs and infographics for corporate brochures and presentations

Member Technical Staff

HCL Technologies - Chennai, India

10 months - June 2007 to March 2008


  • Development and routine code maintenance of projects in the Mainframe domain


Education


2011 - 2012

Computer Animation
Sheridan College, Oakville, Ontario

2003 - 2007

Bachelors - Computer Science and Engineering
KCG College of Technology, Anna University, Chennai


Core Competencies

 
Motion Design
Cinema4D, After Effects (Stardust, Particular, Form, Plexus)
Graphic/UI Design
Photoshop, Illustrator
Wireframing, Prototyping
Photoshop, Illustrator, Adobe XD
Modeling
Maya
UV & Texturing
UVLayout, Substance Painter, Photoshop
Particle and Fluid FX
nParticles.X-Particles 4, Turbulence FD
Rendering
Arnold, Octane, V-Ray, Redshift
Compositing
After Effects