Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Assoc Prof Biju Dhanapalan

Associate Professor, School of Art, Design and Media

Assoc Prof Biju Dhanapalan

Biju Dhanapalan is one of India’s leading visual effects directors, working in feature films, commercials, art installations and new media. He has designed and supervised animation and visual effects for over a hundred feature films, which has earned several nominations and awards. Biju has also been involved in stereoscopic projects across varied media. After obtaining a degree in Electrical and Electronics Engineering, he went onto study Product Design at the Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay. This trans-disciplinary training and expertise led to successful pioneering projects; India’s first Stereo 3D short film (2009) and Australia’s first live 3D visuals in music concert (2005) among others.

As a special effects supervisor, Biju has designed and developed many custom devices and gears for numerous feature films and commercials. He has also designed and developed various filming equipment including 3D stereoscopy rigs.

Biju has been a practicing animator and visual effects director/supervisor/consultant for the past twenty years for Indian, English, French as well as Hollywood productions. Few of his successful film projects so far have been ‘Ghulam’, ‘Bhootnath’, ‘3 Idiots’, ‘PK’ and ‘Neerja’.

Biju Dhanapalan has been a co-exhibitor at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, New York. The exhibit was an interactive sound piece with live microphones and recorded tracks, involving a Foley pit and the play of making sounds; making it an interactive perceptual installation.
He has designed and executed computer generated imageries for a video installation exhibited at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum, Berlin.
Biju will be co-exhibiting an interactive art installation at the upcoming Kochi-Muziris Biennale 2016
Research Interests
Biju Dhanapalan has research interests in the following areas:
Digital animation and visual effects practice led research covers areas of feature films, commercials and TV serials; the interdisciplinary collaboration of art and technology in new media and interactive exhibits; 3D immersive technology in air traffic control systems; Motion analysis of classical dance forms; intuitive pedagogical tools for math learning. Multi-surface projections, Interactive Stereoscopy and Alternate Education. Inquiry into the play of 'song and and dance' in Indian cinema and its role in the narrative arc of films
Current Projects
  • "Capturing Kathakali": Performance Capture, Digital Aesthetics and The Classical Dance of India
  • Framing the Virtual: Investigating virtual cinematography in real-time animation filmmaking
  • Virtual Reality for the Lost Singaporean Film Pontianak (1957). A Case Study to Explore Virtual Reality Environments for Singapore’s Cinematic Heritage.
Selected Publications
  • Biju Dhanapalan. (2016). Capturing Kathakali: Performance capture, digital aesthetics, and the classical dance of India. 2016 22nd International Conference on Virtual System & Multimedia (VSMM) (pp. 1 - 7) IEEE.
  • Biju Dhanapalan. (2014). Communicating India’s Soft Power: Buddha to Bollywood. Asian Journal of Communication, 24(6), 617-618.
  • Mahesh Samat. (2011). The Spirit of Ixora. The Walt Disney Company India.

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