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Malaysian-Representative Visual Effects Artist Shortlisted For Epic Games’ Women Creators Programme

Update (21/8/2022): The headline has been rectified to portray the story accurately and to avoid confusion regarding Zubaida Nila’s nationality. Kakuchopurei regrets the error and apologizes to Zubaida Nila for any inconvenience caused. 

Epic Games’ Unreal Engine has announced the conclusion of the second edition of The Women Creators Programme on 11 August, 2022. The initiative, in partnership with Open Air Films, ASIFA India and Perforce Software provided India and Southeast Asian women producers with a paid six-week virtual in-depth training and mentoring programme.

The programme, the first of its kind for Epic in Southeast Asia, aims to equip the next generation of real-time animators, with a particular focus on inspiring and empowering women creators in India and Southeast Asia. From over 178 applications across Southeast Asia and the Indian subcontinent, 21 women were shortlisted to be mentored by former Unreal fellowship graduates.

These include Singaporean Digital Creative Director Jessica Tan, Indonesian Producer Ellen Xie and Visual Effects Artist Zubaida Nila, who is representing Malaysia.

Zubaida Nila.

The finalists underwent one-on-one mentoring and virtual workshops, ending phase 1 of the program with a pre-visualization demo and evaluation. The creators then entered the second phase of the programme, where they learned the latest VFX techniques in real-time world building, lighting, sequencing, and virtual production using cloud-driven virtual machines. After the final training and assessment, they were given the opportunity to showcase their short films and share more about their journey and inspirations during the event.

Zubaida Nila, a visual effects artist and virtual production researcher, was deeply interested in elevating her lighting, post-process and FX skills with the evolving features of Unreal Engine 5 to create cinematic-ready content for ICVFX (in-camera visual effects) for films and commercials. Taking part in The Women Creators Program 2022 has allowed her to experiment and have control over high-end rendering processes.

Zubaida debuted her first CGI short film at the Women Creators Programme — titled “Into The Devigation”. The short film addresses the behind-the-scenes struggles of post-production artists and their magical aspiration to transition to a surreal less technologically chaotic environment.

In a statement, Zubaida said:

“The Women Creators Programme has been a huge milestone in my virtual production career path – from being inspired to being confident with my CGI skills using the most popular game engine, Unreal Engine!

I am blessed for the opportunity to have been trained by the Unreal Evangelists, other mentors and most importantly, building an amazing support system with the fantastic creators. The programme is a great incubator to encourage more women to develop the industry technical skillsets and strengthen female representation in the VFX & Virtual Production field.”

Shruti Verma, Business Lead – India and Southeast Asia, Epic Games, said:

“The Women Creators Programme 2022 builds on the success of the first edition, with the programme expanding into Southeast Asia for the first time this year. Our goal is not just to nurture some of the top women professionals in the VFX space, but to also build the foundation of an ecosystem of women creators, storytellers, producers, and animation professionals. We hope the finalists have been well-equipped by the mentorship and training to bring their ideas to life with Unreal Engine.”

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