Our aim is to design experiences around people, not around devices- Hitesh Kumar, Splat Studio
Want to view the world from a different lens? Why experience things as a casual viewer when you can be an engaged participant in the experience? Interactive machinery, play of light, 3D illusions and visual effects can change your perception of ‘perspective’ through the precision of technology. If that is what you’re looking for then Splat Studios is where you want to head. Having worked with the likes of P&G, Volvo, Pepsi and Samsung, Hitesh Kumar, Managing Director, Splat Studio explains how he harnesses the power of imagination.
When did you realize the need to integrate technology into experiences?
Splat has essentially been a design studio. We helped clients create films and documentaries, shorts and motion graphics. We were actively serving the event industry with content solutions and everything we did was aided by advanced computing. But all the content we created was meant for only one medium, screens. Although we were growing bigger with each show we started noticing a sort of monotony. Being educated in technology, it just made sense to utilize the new experience mediums for the content we create. The very first area we explored was 3D projection mapping. Having recently finished VFX for a feature film, we had worked with various techniques used in the VFX industry. We incorporated them with our projection mapping expertise and it worked. This opened doors to a lot of our other experiments.
What is the full portfolio of services you offer?
We are actively doing feature film grade VFX and animation for feature films on a regular basis. 3D projection mapping and large scale projection shows are also one of the major parts of our work, and more recently we have been very active with augmented reality experience designs, virtual reality content, games and other interactive experience designs.
How did you start and what was the response you received in the initial days?
We already were working with the event agencies and studios down south, and when 3D projection mapping seemed like the next best thing we should be doing, we began by creating test projects.
Figuring out the technology and technique part was easy, but making a robust pipeline for rock solid alignment technique and custom software support was the most challenging part. We started with automobile projection mapping, the toughest of them all. We wanted to be able to do the projection alignment in the shortest possible time, because most events do not have luxury of time. It took us a while to achieve that capability, but once it was in place, there was no looking back. We went on to do almost a dozen car projection mapping shows, highest number of shows for any studio in India.
What is the one marquee event you are most proud of? Please name a few other important events you've done.
Projection mapping for the FMRI launch was the first big architectural projection show, and we did huge amount of work for it. Tata motors car launch was another challenging project, where we mapped three cars on the same stage. The Resurgent Rajasthan 3D projection show on Jaipur Vidhan Sabha was another show close to our hearts, which was loved by CM Mrs Schindhia so much, that she wanted a repeat of the same show. We repeated the show this year on the same building. The show we did for Lakme India fashion week grand finale for Rohit Bal gave us the freedom to create inspired visuals, and it was loved by the fashion fraternity.
Where do you get your inspiration?
There has been a tremendous growth in the information technology, almost an explosion. People are more curious than ever, and there is art and creativity in abundance around us. We are thus able to see possibilities and experiments from around the world. Newer technologies are being developed at an unprecedented pace. All we need now is to think "what experience is my client expecting" and convert it into "what experience does my client deserve" and then design the experience, keeping in mind the best technology that we should use to make the experience stand out. Our aim is to design experiences around people, not around devices.
What is the future in this space and what are your plans from here?
We have seen tremendous growth in the sector. Our presence in the Middle East ensures that we are working on the best projects and using the best technology. In India, we have grown 20 times bigger in last 5 years, and there are expansion plans already in place. Instead of moving into more cities, we are focusing on creating new technology enabled products and services and increasing bandwidth for the fresh growth in demand. Our aim is to be able to deliver cutting edge experiential designs, which are relevant and meaningful.
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