Meet the Team: Sathish Kumar and Spark Multimedia

Sathish Kumar, who was part of our

Summer 2012 modeling team

has branched out on his own with his new studio, Spark Multimedia. He
and his company will be partnering with us on creating many of the large
virtual sets we need to create for


Spark Multimedia

is an open-source based studio, based in Tamil Nadu, India. In addition to their involvement in creating virtual sets for the


project, the company also works on commercial architectural renderings,
product simulations, and prototype demonstrations. The company has
access to skills in 3D modeling, photography, video production, music,
and audio production. The company was founded in 2013 by experienced
Blender 3D artist, photographer, and project manager, Sathish Kumar D.S.

We’ve already looked at some of the most technically challenging modeling problems for



Chris Kuhn

‘s work on mechanical models,

Bela Szabo

‘s critical work on character modeling, and the complex rigging and effects work which

Gorka Mendieta

will be working on.

But by far the


modeling challenge for


will be the interior virtual sets for the

ISF-1 Colony


Iridium Station

In addition to being very important and complex in themselves, these
sets are also important because they are the ones that will be on screen
the most during the series run. Most of our scenes will, of course, be
shot on these sets. They’re our equivalent of the


interior sets for

Star Trek

— we’ll see them in every episode.

However, because they’re virtual sets, we’ll be less limited on their size. We intend to model the entire colony. The


set will be four levels, totaling about 5000 square meters of floor
plan. We will be modeling all of this up front, although we’ll only be
dressing the sets as we need them. Even so, there’s a large area of sets
to finish and dress even for the pilot episode alone. One thing that
makes it a little easier is that the colony is meant to be constructed
out of standardized modules, so while there will be some customization
required, quite a lot can be achieved by just replicating a few standard
module models.

Of course, the set will actually be broken up into many
dynamically-linked Blender files, using Blender’s internal resource
linking system. This is going to be a complex system of dependencies to
maintain, but it will allow us to have a virtual representation of the
entire colony without having to include the whole model in every shot
file (there’s no need to waste CPU cycles computing geometry that can’t
be seen at all from where the camera is).

We’ll also be creating a partial model of the USAF

Iridium Station

(we won’t be needing a complete model until much later, if ever), as well as some exterior sets and sculpted landscapes.

has expressed a lot of enthusiasm for this project, both for its
open-source and free-culture aspects, and it’s relationship to space
development, and we’re really looking forward to working with him and
his company on it. In addition to himself, Sathish has access to a
number of colleagues in his area, through his professional connections
at Real Works studio, so he’s got the ability to scale up if we can
support it.