5 Questions with Dulshan Keragala

Senior Model/Texture Artist

Dulshan is a Senior Model/Texture Artist at our Melbourne studio. He joined the Melbourne team as a junior when our studio first opened our doors 7 years ago. We sat down with him to learn all about how he got his start in VFX, his favorite projects he's worked on, the things he loves most about working at Luma, and more! Get to know Dulshan in 5 questions.

What inspired you to get into VFX and how did you get your start in the industry?

I saw the very first Jurassic Park movie as a kid and that was the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen. It fascinated me how they brought those dinosaurs to life. Around the same time, there was a TV show called Mega Movie Magic on the Discovery channel, and it was all about behind the scenes and how movies are made. It showed me that the whole process of making a movie was dynamic and you get to work with a great team who are specialised in different skill sets. From that moment on, I knew it would be an amazing thing to do as your job.

I decided to study an Advanced Diploma in Animation and Multimedia. And soon after I graduated, I was lucky enough to land a job as a modeler at a small studio which was working on a short film called Nullarbor. I was there for about 6 months. After that, I couldn’t find any work in the industry, so I thought it would be a great opportunity to work on my reel. So while I was working as a cleaner on a casual job, I worked on my reel for about a year. Finally, I got to work for a slightly bigger studio as a generalist for an animated TV show. That extra work I put in my reel really helped me to get that job.

My first breakthrough to feature film came when I found work as a previs artist at Proof for a film called iFrankenstein. I also got to work on the film set which was great and one of the most memorable moments of my life. Literally a dream come true. Then just as we were wrapping up, the visual effect supervisor that I worked under, James McQuade, told me that I should apply for a studio called Luma Pictures. And here I am, 7 years later!

Everyone is always ready to teach you everything they know, no matter how busy we might be.

What’s the best part about working at Luma? 

I think for me it’s the variety of work that I get to do. I think being able to work on an asset from start to finish (modeling, texturing and look development) is a great opportunity to own an asset and see it through. Also, being able to work closely with my other team members and other departments is a great way to polish your craft and learn new things. Everyone is always ready to teach you everything they know, no matter how busy we might be. And that’s also one of the reasons why I really like Luma, it’s the people I work with! They make any difficult task very fun to tackle. 

What film are you most proud of and why?

I enjoyed every film I worked on because they are all so different from each other, and each film brought a new set of challenges to overcome. But if I have to pick one, then I would say Spider-Man: Far From Home. Mainly because I got to work on the Spider-Man Stealth Suit,  which was a whole new different Spider-Man outfit that we haven’t seen before. I got to do the modeling, all the texturing and look development work which was great fun. I also got to work on Molten Man. He was one of the most complex assets I’ve worked on and I enjoyed it a lot because it was a very collaborative effort with many other departments like FX and comp.  Seeing those characters at the cinema was one of the most amazing experiences ever.

As the self-proclaimed king of South Melbourne, what would you say is your favourite thing about living and working in Melbourne?

First of all, I never claimed that! I really like Melbourne. It’s been the most livable city in the world for like 7 years, so that’s a start. And I’ve been here for more than 15 years. It has a great balance between quiet and busy. Great culture and of course great food and coffee. Every suburb has its own culture and you can find something that fits you really well. 

Think of your personal project as a big feature-film project and give it all you got.

What’s one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring artist?

I think the most important thing is that you find out exactly what you would like to do. What are you really good at and what do you enjoy doing? And then go and polish those skills. Work hard, but most importantly, work diligently. And believe in yourself. If you do what you love to do then working on a personal project or in a big feature shouldn’t really matter right? Think of your personal project as a big feature-film project and give it all you got. That way, you can end up with a great reel or portfolio. If there is downtime between work, use it to work on your personal projects. I always think if you love and care for what you do, work will always find you.