Three days of back-to-back sessions bringing all the stalwarts of animation, visual effects, gaming and comic sector, Bengaluru GAFX 2024 drew its curtains with state government and the industry stakeholders reiterating the need for upskilling, infrastructure building and nurturing talents that can leverage the state-of-art technology in channelising their creativity. 

The key takeaway of the fifth edition of the event organised by the ministry of IT & BT, Karnataka, and ABAI at the Lalit Ashok, was that one should be aware of technological advancements without thinking that it will take away jobs. If new technology like artificial intelligence (A.I.) replaces some of the tasks, it will definitely open other paths. For instance, introduction of computers in the Indian banking sector was not well received due to similar apprehensions, but it further streamlined the process making transactions smoother and faster.

“Never before has there been a coming together of every constituency in the AVGC industry to nurture emerging talent and foster innovation to capture the dynamic evolution of each of these verticals,” said Technicolor India country head and ABAI president Biren Ghose. “Bengaluru GAFX 2024 stands as a platform that delivers blockbuster after blockbuster with three days of power-packed sessions, 130 speakers, over 100 sessions, 12000+ footfall – all in three days. This was just not about the volume. It was about the quality of these sessions. It was collaboration, content and creativity in hyperdrive.”

He further mentioned that no event of such magnitude can be done without the unwavering commitment of the Karnataka government and their chief visionary and architect of AVGC Karnataka government electronics, information technology & biotechnology and rural development & panchayat raj minister Priyank Kharge. 

Speaking about the government’s role in giving impetus to the growth in the AVGC-XR industry, Kharge said, “We need to have a multi-prompt strategy, need to think out of the box and need to engage with industry more.” Government needs to ensure all required facilities like uninterrupted power supply, land for infrastructure and so on.

The day began with the “Premiere of Sri Aurobindo – A New Dawn animated film by Studio Eeksaurs.” Its founders and National Award-winning animation film directors Suresh Eriyat and Neelima Eriyat shared how the film was painted using TV paint. Though the film’s focal point was inspiring the youth, it was hard to ignore the beautiful visuals.

Up next was the “Making of VFX blockbuster- Jawan” by Redchillies VFX COO Keitan Yadav and VFX CCO Harry Hingoriani. The film had as many as 4626 VFX shots, which were done in six months by as many as 1988 artists. They worked on Unreal Engine and took time to fine tune things in real-time.

For the next session, Eriyat and Zebu Animation Studio creative director Viren Patil discussed “Principles of Ideation of an Original IP.” The session was moderated by DATSI School of Storyteller director Mike Joseph. Throwing light on how the talents these days depend on reference for everything instead of creating it using their imagination, Eriyat said, “We need to create hands with heads,” meaning that even though we train ourselves in software and tools, we should not stop thinking. 

For the session “Virtual Production & The Future Of Content Creation,” Annapurna Studios CTO C V Rao, Greenrain Studios production coordinator Aashna Khan and it operation manager Shreesha Muthyala were on board as speakers. ABAI secretary B.S. Srinivas moderated the session. 

For the session “VFX Head of studios Panel,” the participants were: Digikore Studios animation vice president Satyajeet Kumar, ILM production director Elayaraja Krishnan, Jellyfish India general manager Jasjit Singh, Redchillies VFX COO Keitan Yadav and Rotomaker Studio’s Mike (Madhava Reddy) Yatham. The session was moderated by Anibrain VFX and strategy VP. The speakers spoke about challenges of running a studio and the growth that comes in leaps and bounds. The collective opinion was to diversify the market without simply depending on the USA and Canada markets. The speakers stated that one must conquer the fear of AI and must learn to embrace it. 

VFX supervisor Srinivas Mohan shared the making-of blockbuster RRR. “Be artists, try to be creators, not operators,” he said.

The Bengaluru B2B Forum 2024 observed the participation of 19 buyers from five countries, 42 pitches, and facilitated 174 business interactions, culminating in the signing of 53 Letters of Intent (LOIs) and Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs). GameTech Accelerate, led by Government of Karnataka and Games24x7, unveils cohort of 15 shortlisted start-ups at Bengaluru GAFX 2024

The ministers and other dignitaries officially launched the Karnataka AVGC-XR 3.0 Policy during the valedictory session. Bengaluru GAFX 2024 drew its curtains by announcing the dates for the sixth edition, which is scheduled from 26 to 28 February 2025.

Read the day 1 coverage here: Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah inaugurates Bengaluru GAFX 2024; Day 1 sees 3500 plus attendees

Read the day 2 coverage here: Bengaluru GAFX 2024: Day two focuses on technology and AVGC education