Big ambitions

A new company in Dubai Media City aims to persuade regional companies to buck the offshoring trend. StudioArt says it can deliver 3D animation and post production services of the highest standard to regional producers.

  • E-Mail
By  David Ingham Published  August 31, 2006

|~||~||~|A startup production house in Media City has ambitions to take on post production and advanced 3D animation work from around the world. StudioArt, a subsidiary of a Dubai-based computer networking company, has invested in an infrastructure that it believes will enable it to deliver work of the highest standard. “In the future, we want to be working on 3D animation and post production,” says Rafees Rahmatullah, the company’s technical manager, who previously did 3D animation work for Dubai Shopping Festival. “We are ready for that now.” He reels off an impressive list of the software and technology that his creative team has at its fingertips. For 3D production, the team uses Maya. Discreet and After Effects are used for compositing. 3D Studio Max helps the team create content for motion graphics. Final Cut Pro provides a reliable video editing platform. On the sound recording side, StudioArt can boast that its modest office contains a sound studio, equipped with Pro Tools and a Control 24 platform. AutoCAD helps the team create 3D walkthroughs of major construction projects. Rahmatullah is also proud of the fact that the company has a rendering farm in its office. “After finishing our work, it all has to be rendered and this can take huge time,” he says. “If it is done on the PC, animators cannot use the machine and are sitting idle. With a standalone farm, time spent rendering can be used for another job.” “Work can take one day, but rendering can take one week,” adds Jeswin Lopez, account manager. The company now numbers eight people, six of whom are technical personnel recruited from the sub-continent. India is a well established 3D animation hub and StudioArt says recruiting labour from there is not as easy as one might think because of improved salaries and plentiful job opportunities in the field. Nevertheless, Rahmatullah claims he has people in his team who have been involved in international award winning projects. “When we started this company, our main concern was that we wanted to deliver a superior level of artistic and technical output,” he says. “You can put in all the technical materials you want, but getting a good team is very difficult.” In its short lifespan of eight months, StudioArt has kept itself going with post production work on commercials, prepress work for its sister company’s clients and creating 3D walkthroughs of major developments. Rahmatullah says that his favourite assignment so far is a 3D walkthrough that the company created for Dubai Industrial City. StudioArt says it has faced no shortage of work, largely thanks to its ability to tap into the customer base of its mother company. These companies, who are consumers of computer networking technology in various fields, have a particular need for a company that can design brochures and other corporate publications. The company’s ambitions, however, lie very much in the areas of 3D animation, video editing and post production. “We saw a need for a company that can provide not only publishing services, but also 3D and post-production work of the highest standard,” says Pradip Sampat, business development manager. StudioArt’s ambition to work on high quality animation projects could be about to realised. The company says it is currently involved in pre-production on a character-based feature length animation for a Dubai-based producer. Should the project go ahead and StudioArt is commissioned to do the 3D work, the technical team’s six personnel will be stretched to the limit and some work may have to be sub-contracted. “It would certainly require a bigger team and we will have to have support from India,” says Rahmatullah. “But we also have very good technology, with very powerful workstations in place.” Studio Art is convinced that clients in Dubai will choose to give work to a local company, rather than outsourcing to offshore locations, particularly if the right level of quality and customer service is available. Clients, according to Sampat, want to be able to see who they are working with and being on the ground in the region ensures better communication with clients. Clear communication, he adds, is essential because of the rapid turnaround times that local clients demand. “There is a huge requirement for 3D in Dubai and clients want output very fast,” Sampat explains. “Clients here want those 3D [walkthroughs] in one and a half months. The communication is also easy, with less chance of being asked to redo work. Everything gets executed very fast with us based here.” StudioArt should have no trouble keeping itself busy with its existing pipeline of work. However, its real ambition is to persuade local producers, currently used to offshoring high level 3D animation and post production, to keep work at home. “This industry is really growing up over here, with advanced facilities,” says Sampat. “If we are delivering a high quality of work from this office, we can really achieve a lot.||**||

Add a Comment

Your display name This field is mandatory

Your e-mail address This field is mandatory (Your e-mail address won't be published)

Security code