Entertainment

I made Ogundiji’s House, Gbotija’s Coffin in Jagun Jagun with Computer – Ibadan-Based man

Movie lovers who have seen Jagun Jagun, the Nigerian action thriller made by Femi Adebayo Salami, may not know that some structures in the movie are unreal. One of them that warrants a significant mention is Ogundiji’s mansion, a computer-generated CGI image. Legit.ng caught up with Davies David Enioluwa, the artist who did the work. He told the story of how the mansion and other artificial additions to the movie were created using CGI and animations.

He told Legit.ng that he has always loved the creative arts since childhood. Davies said his career choice as an artist was influenced by his father, who is also an artist.

He stated: “I hail from Ibadan, Oyo State. I come from a family of four, which includes a younger sibling. My introspective nature has been a part of me since childhood. I’ve always been more of an observer and thinker than a talker. This disposition has shaped me into someone who values observation over constant speech. Interestingly, my father’s background as a visual artist greatly influenced my career path as a CG Artist.”

How Davies David became a artist Initially, Davies set out to study law at the University of Lagos, but later changed his mind. He told his parents he would like to switch to fine and creative arts, earning him three years of idleness at home. He refused to proceed to school to study law until he was allowed to enrol for fine arts.

“My educational journey has taken me through several schools. During my upbringing, I attended three different primary schools and three secondary schools, which adds a bit of a humorous touch to my experiences. After completing my secondary education, I initially aspired to become a lawyer. I prepared for exams, including JAMB, and had commendable results. However, there was a moment when I was scheduled for an interview at UNILAG. Close to that day, I told my parents: “I don’t want to study law; I want to do fine art and become an artist.” Those were my exact words. Although this choice led to three additional years at home, I was resolute in my decision and willing to endure the delay to follow my passion. Ultimately, I secured admission to study fine arts and design at the Polytechnic Ibadan. I am immensely grateful for this opportunity, as it has led me to where I am today. Without this crucial step, I wouldn’t have realized my true potential and passion for art.”

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Davies’ journey into the CGI world Interestingly, Davies did not set out to become a CGI artist and did not study it in a formal school. Although he did an 8-month course in graphics design, he said he is mostly self-thought as he started picking skills online as early as 2016. His words: “I didn’t exactly study CGI formally. My journey began as a hobby that grew from my natural talent. I had a knack for inventing things from my imagination, like crafting characters and stories that came to life through drawings. Back in nursery and primary school, during breaks, I’d draw these comic characters, tell my friends stories about them, and they always looked forward to them. My dad, a traditional artist skilled in various media, inspired me with his work, even though I didn’t quite grasp my future path then. I would often experiment with his tools, which sometimes led to me getting serious scolding. As I got older, I discovered cartoons (mostly at friends’ houses) and became captivated by their movement. I would excitedly discuss these animated characters with anyone who would listen. My fascination deepened during junior high and persisted through high school.”

How Davies became a CGI artist for movies It was when he enrolled for a formal course in graphics design that he made the decision to start creating art for movies. Narrating how he began, he said: “In 2016, I started learning to draw professionally, but it was tough because I was self-teaching. I looked for art schools in Nigeria, but most were abroad and beyond my family’s financial means. So, I mainly practised using online resources and books. During this phase, I realized I wanted to create art for films and animations, even though it wasn’t entirely clear yet. A friend suggested Andrew Loomis’ books, which laid my drawing foundation. In 2017, I took an important step by enrolling in a media academy in Lagos for an 8-month professional graphic design course. It was incredibly helpful.

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Davies said he has been dedicated to practising and learning, relying on online tutorials, observing others’ processes and trying out new techniques. According to him, his growth has been shaped by his time at Anthill Studios, where he has worked on various projects and expanded his skills.

“Despite not having a formal education in CG art, I’m eager to pursue one someday. To summarise, four key things have fueled my progress: interactions with people, online resources like books and videos, paid courses, and hands-on project experience,” he stated. Davies gets the opportunity to work on Jagun Jagun For Davies to have worked on the post-production of a big movie like Jagun Jagun was something he would never forget. He said he had always known that one day he would make his impact felt in a big movie.

“For me, working on a movie like Jagun Jagun was an experience that I have always imagined to happen. It felt like a manifestation of a long imagined experience. Although my work was post-production based, which means that I didn’t need to go on the set because what I do is majorly behind the screens (Computer). I have always wanted to be a part of projects like this, where I get to interpret someone’s idea and bring it to life, and I am glad I got to do that on Jagun Jagun.”

Challenges Davies faced while working on Jagun Jagun Of course, creating art for Jagun Jagun came with its own challenges. Davies said he embarked on extensive research to create what people could believe was real.

He said: “First of all, every work of art in production has its challenges. Jagun Jagun is a big project and it also came with its own challenges, especially in my department. On this project, I worked hand in hand with the VFX team at Anthill Studios, which was led by Mr Niyi Akinmolayan, where I had to create most of the CG assets that were used in the film. Creating Ogundiji’s mansion was a lot of work because it wasn’t an ordinary one, nor was it common in that era. So I had to create something that was believable enough to make people think and agree that a mansion like that could have existed in that era.

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“When first heard that we needed to create a set extension for the film and I would need to create a CG mansion for Ogundiji, I knew that I had to come up with something awesome and out of the ordinary. I had to invest quite a number of time into doing a lot of research and studies. I didn’t really get much because something like that had not been done before, so it was more of creative thinking and execution for me. Also, while working on it, I had to work with a tight deadline which is something that is quite common in production. However, I am glad it all came out really great!”

Davies created Gbotija’s coffin in Jagun Jagun

Apart from Ogundiji’s famous mansion, there were other things that Davies created in the movie. He told Legit.ng about them: “I created the coffin that was sunk in the water that had Gbotija in it. After creating, Eri Umusu, the lead animator in Anthill Studios did the awesome animation. I also created the weapon crates that were put in Ogundiji’s palace ( the scene where he was telling Gbogunmi that some Westerners brought some gifts to him). I also got to create Ogundiji’s war axe in 3D as well as a pillar in the palace. This was later used to create the animation where the axe flew back to Ogundiji’s hands after it cut off Jigan’s (Odunlade Adekola) hand. Bukky Awomolo, the senior animator at Anthill worked on animating that, and it came out well. I am sure many people didn’t know it was all CGI.”

Source: Legitng

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