MDTStudent Stories

Murali: There’s no better place than learning from industry professionals.

By January 11, 2018 No Comments

Ever since a “mind-opening” experience during a DreamWorks workshop in the United States, Murali has been determined to get into the Visual Effects industry. We caught up with Murali to find out why the Master of Design Technology (MDT) programme at the Wellington ICT Graduate School has been his best move yet to pursuing this dream.

Murali working on his ‘Alien Invasion’ story as part of the Compositing course; here he integrates various CG elements in live-action footage using NUKE and Maya.

Q. Hi Murali, tell us about your journey so far?

“I’ve worked in the Software Consulting industry for the last 10 years following my Bachelor’s degree in Computer Application. But my passion is VFX, so I went on to complete a Master’s in Digital Media in Germany, followed by a one-year Diploma in Film Direction in India. Now here I am in New Zealand studying towards a Master of Design Technology!”

Q. What drew you to VFX?

“When I was in the United States, I attended a DreamWorks workshop. There I met industry people who shared their knowledge about VFX. One of them was from Weta Digital and had worked on the Avatar movie. This was a mind-opening moment for me; I knew then that I wanted to be in this industry. My attempts to get there have been on-going ever since.”

Q. So why a Master of Design Technology?

“One of my friends who works for Weta told me about this programme, and that key people from Weta were involved in designing and teaching the courses. When I learnt this I grabbed at the chance; there would be no better place than learning from industry professionals!”

Murali is mentored by Kevin Romond, VFX Supervisor at Weta Digital.

Q. What do you love most about the programme?

“Actually, every bit of it! We are learning compositing, lighting, motion capture (mocap), every bit of the VFX pipeline and what goes into making a live-action film. Also studying at the Miramar Creative Centre which is surrounded by film studios Park Road Post, Weta Digital and Pūkeko Films.”

Q. So it’s living up to your expectations then?

“The MDT programme is the best, it’s reached far beyond my expectations! I’m learning things that I never imagined I could learn by myself. The teachers and mentors who share their years of valuable knowledge with us are amazing.”

Q. Any stand outs or highlights so far?

“A highlight for me was setting up the entire mocap studio. Nowhere will you get a chance like that – to do everything from scratch, through to capturing live performance. Creating Image Based Lighting (IBL) maps to light our 3D characters and match it with live-action plates. Also the workshops from industry professionals – RED Digital Camera, Matte Painting and Script Writing are stand outs.”

Murali prepares the motion capture studio at the Miramar Creative Centre and shows off the mocap suit.

Q. So will we be seeing your name in movie credits soon?

“My passion for VFX is my biggest motivation. My goal is to work in this industry as a Compositor and for pioneer companies, like Weta Digital, one day.”

To see more of Murali’s work, visit his website:

About the Master of Design Technology (MDT)

The Master of Design Technology is open to anyone with a Bachelor’s degree who already has some basic understanding in digital design technologies, and who wishes to build further relevant skills appropriate for the Visual Effects related ICT industry.

The MDT is a one-year, full-time, 180 point professional Master’s degree that will provide students with the skills needed to work effectively in highly technical design professions such as game design, Visual Effects (VFX), exhibition design and multimedia design.

The Miramar Creative Centre, home to our Master of Design Technology (MDT) programme.

Next intake for MDT is March 2018 — February 2019.

Applications are now limited. Book an advice session with our Academic Advisor today!

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