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 3D production, UI design, 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 the 'Mr. Bean' 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 appreciation from the genteel audience. This statement rings true for what I do in my free time(and I wish someone would pay me for it), except, I'm scrolling through other artists' work and curating them on my Pinterest boards for future learning.

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 Graphic Designer.

Then I got curious about 3D. To augment my woefully inadequate, self-taught Maya skills, I enrolled into 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 put considerable emphasis on client engagement, and I'm a stickler for good project management. Whether it comes down to maintaining 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 maintain organized and properly named project assets should be entitled to free beer.

On the personal side, I try to be a good husband and a father. Cliche` 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


2018 - 2019


Department Lead for 2D Design and Motion Graphics
Takeleap - Chennai, India

Creative direction, design mentoring and content creation


2014 - 2017


Technical Visualizer for Interactive Media
BuMo3dr - Chennai, India

Content creation for Interactive applications deployed on touchscreens, VR/AR headsets such as Oculus and Microsoft Hololens. Managed and led projects for several clients world-wide in Healthcare, Oil & Gas sectors.


2012 - 2013


Lighting, Compositing & FX Artist
Industrial Brothers - Toronto, Canada

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 deformers to fix issues and add aesthetics to final renders
- Minor animation adjustments

Creating shading networks and setting up final renders

Compositing passes and cleaning up final footage in After Effects CS6


2008 - 2011


Senior Graphic Designer
Pacific Control Systems - Dubai, UAE

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


2007 - 2008


Member Technical Staff
HCL Technologies - Chennai, India

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


Skill-set

 
Cinema 4D
Motion graphics, FX
Maya
Modeling, Animation, nParticles, Fluids
X-Particles for C4D
Particle effects
Arnold
V-Ray
Redshift
Octane
Substance Painter
Texturing
Photoshop
UI Design, Texturing
Illustrator
UI Design, Texturing
After Effects
Compositing