Personal and professional life

I am dedicated and goal oriented in both my personal and professional life, working diligently to achieve success. Throughout my life I have tackled challenges with clarity of thought, positive that my sincere efforts will net me the results I deserve, never doubting my own capability and resolve.

Being part of a close-knit, educated family growing up in rural Pakistan, my parents instilled in us a hard work ethic, both in our daily lives as well as our studies. We were a middle class family, traditional, yet moderate in our views. I was one of 9, born after 6 sisters and followed by a brother and sister. From an early age, I saw all my elder sisters excel in their studies, going on to study science, English and Persian literature, education, psychology and Islamic studies among others. All of them went on to obtain post graduate degrees, and some of them are successfully practicing in their respective fields. Not only were we brought up to believe in getting a good education, most of us were involved in various extracurricular activities as well.

Having such a large family afforded us the chance to bond closely with each other. Many times, all we needed was each other's company - like siblings the world over, we fought, played together, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. As our lives took us on our journeys, we still maintained the same strong bonds, knowing full well that each of us was just a call away in times of need. I strongly believe that all this was made possible by the dedication, hard work and love our parents had for us and our futures. They worked hard to give us the best opportunities available and enabled us to realize our potentials.

I grew up in an environment that almost sounds like a fairy tale now. My father was employed by the National Irrigation Department, and as such, we found ourselves moving from one project to another on a frequent basis, always far from the suburban network of Pakistan. Our family quickly adapted to life in rural Pakistan, enjoying a lifestyle that is hard to imagine nowadays. I fondly remember tending to our stable of livestock, helping my mother and sisters lay the vegetable garden for the upcoming season, or spending cool evenings gazing at the completely clear, unpolluted sky with the millions of stars to keep me company.

Although we were always far from the cities, my parents opted to keep us all close to them, and I vividly remember the long journeys we had to make to attend school, and trudge home in the evenings to complete the day's work.

As my dad neared retirement, he chose to settle down in Jhang, a moderate sized city in the northern region of Pakistan. I started my college during this time and was finally exposed to the urban lifestyle. It was a big jump, but I quickly started enjoying the more open lifestyle, and the exposure to many new adventures.

I made friends with people of all walks of life and constantly found myself comfortable around people who exuded an air of mystery. I would try to delve into their lives, take interest in their realities. I realized that for me, friendship was more than just a casual encounter, it was a chance to make an impact on someone's life and have the same done in return. Some of my closest friends are from this period of my life, and as time has passed, so has the intensity of our friendship.

I kept many hobbies during this time, most notably travelling. I enjoyed discovering some of the most beautiful areas of Pakistan with my friends, and as a result, started taking heavy interest in photography to capture all that I was seeing. Although nature, landscape and scenic photography is still my main passion, I also enjoy doing portraits, and mood photography. I think this is an extension of my interest in the mysteriousness of the human being. I like to capture not just the individual, but the range of emotions they're exuding at that time.

I started taking a keen interest in the arts in general, and quickly took to classical Urdu poetry and started exploring the various languages of my region: Urdu, Punjabi, and Saraiki.

As time went on, and I became self-independent, I realized that another hobby that I had not given much thought to was my life saving force: cooking. Although I had grown up with a houseful of servants to take care of our needs, I would enjoy watching my mother cook and soon started experimenting on my own, producing my first omelette at the age of 12. I have added to my repertoire since then and enjoy dabbling in all sorts of cuisines, most notably Pakistani, Arabic and continental. As an extension of this hobby, I enjoy entertaining friends and strangers alike.

My life has taken me on various journeys, far from my humble beginnings as a boy enjoying nature, and a carefree lifestyle amongst lush green farms, always flush with the sounds of birds, and other animals. The pure air, the vast open spaces continue to bring a smile to my face as I look back. My personal retreat is thinking of those magical nights when I would find myself next to the banks of a canal, listening to nature; the sky full of sparkling stars, providing the only source of light to see the water flowing smoothly.

Art, through the ages has had the power to affect our sensibilities, to mould our views, to provide escape from the realities of life. It triggers emotions within, and allows us to feel joy or sadness. It speaks individually to all, and at the same time proclaims a universal message. We have learned the history of civilizations through art, and have mapped our future with the musings of great thinkers.

We have come a long way from the primitive art forms of years past, and as technology continues to fully manifest itself in our daily life, we continue to harness its power to make advances once thought impossible. I find inspiration in trying to achieve what was once thought impossible, in making the improbable a reality.

As a child growing up in Pakistan, I was fascinated by cartoons and animated movies and the imaginary worlds they would weave in our minds. For an hour every day, I was free to dream, and to think of the possibilities that lay ahead. The beauty of these stories stuck with me, and I developed a keen interest in the fine arts. As I grew older, animation became more sophisticated with advances in movie making and continued to blur the lines between the real and the imaginary.

I became passionate about all facets of Animation, Graphic Designing, Digital video capturing and editing, and started working with my photographs and videos as a hobby, quickly turning a pastime into a dedicated passion. I am constantly fascinated by how technology, like Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Dreamweaver, After Effect and Premier, can be used to create different moods and effects using the same media - each with its own unique character. I am intrigued by how an image in an artist's mind can be showcased to the world, evoking reactions of awe and wonder from some, while creating angst among others.

As an undergraduate student, I undertook a rigorous degree program in Information Technology, graduating with Honours, which not only allowed me to hone my skills, but also instilled in me an insatiable thirst for knowledge. Upon graduation in 2004, I took on progressively challenging positions gaining valuable experience in web design, graphics, and multimedia design.

My continued enthusiasm for digital visual effects, along with a strong desire to gain in-depth knowledge of this intriguing field, has greatly influenced me to pursue a Masters degree in this discipline as a stepping stone to my future career. I believe that my passion, coupled with academic studies and practical experience, will help me achieve my goal of becoming a leading force in the innovations that are yet to be realized in the field of digital visual effects.

During my work experience at BeeHive Digital Communication, as a senior Web and Multimedia Designer, I found I had a great interest in Digital Visual Effect when I watched a video presentation of the upcoming King Abdullah Economic City (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9CH6poPH3UQ&feature=related), I was awed by the quality of the computer animation and digital visual effects work. I realized then that I had to improve my fledgling skills to realize my potential and continue to rise higher within the corporate world.

This self realization proved to be a turning point in my life as I decided that to move forward I had to drastically alter my direction and pursue post graduate work in either web and multimedia or post-production studies. I quickly found out that only passion cannot lead me towards realizing my dream. It must be supported by academic studies and practical experiences in the relevant field. For this reason, I decided to take post graduate study in Digital Visual Effects and now I am very much focused and determined to pursue a career in post production as a visual effects supervisor.

At this point, the possibilities are endless about what I want to pursue. The course work thus far has given me more options than I had thought been possible. I have learned about many technologies including match mover, rotoscope, organic modelling, texturing, high definition compositing and dynamic simulations. All have been equally interesting and with much of the course work still undiscovered, I am certain that by the time I am ready to graduate from this prestigious institute, I will be able to define my role more concisely, leading to my ultimate goal: a Visual Effects Supervisor.

The University of Kent gives students an opportunity to meet experts first hand. Many industry professionals visit the Department of Animation & VFX at University to share their experience and to talk about new techniques, tools and industry standards. Many affiliated with some of Europe's most prestigious visual effects and computer animation studios. These formal and informal interactions would allow me to gain valuable insights relating to my field of study, as well as providing me an impetus to enhance the quality of my own work. I believe exposure to such a diverse range of resources would set me in the right direction as I start my career.

William Shakespeare once wrote "Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft may win by fearing to attempt." This sentiment, echoed over 400 years ago, still resonates strongly with me today. It has given me the ability to mould my goals and ambitions with a firm mind, away from lingering doubts. I have realized that the desire to achieve requires action, with the concrete belief that anything is possible.

For my final project, I want to produce a 30 second scene (a bus collision, and the aftermath of this collision busses accident, after accident the road and zoom into few effects), covering advance compositing, particles, texturing and lighting.

For advance compositing I want to shoot few characters against a green screen (people running on the road/street after bus collision), with the emphasis on the characters' shadows. For particles, I would like to work on shatter effect (parts of bus, glass (windows), realistic fire (fluid), smoke (sprites) and I also want to create a realistic water effect (n-dynamics) (composite a fountain on the side of the road or at the square). For back plate I would like to shoot inside the University of Kent or in city centre, Canterbury.

It will be a complete team work, group one( 3d artists) and group two (VFX artists), group one will model the buses, fountain and animate the buses and group two will create the all particles effects and shadow for the characters and both groups will work on texturing and lighting.

Overall, I believe, my skills and dedication would direct me to the right path to enter into the digital visual effect industry.

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