Meet the communication designer pushing the boundaries of creativity with AR/VR
Creative souls often choose paths less travelled. Their unconventional approach to life defines them and their work. No one knows this better than Prateek Sethi – Mumbai-based producer, designer, entrepreneur and TEDx speaker.
Best known for his stint on the popular TV show FAQ on the Pogo Channel, Prateek has since carved out a niche for himself in the field of creative communications design. He started his design company Trip Creative Services in 2009 and hasn’t looked back since.
“I was diagnosed with lymphoma cancer when I was a teenager, which was a very difficult phase of life. It taught me to appreciate and be grateful for every moment of my life,” Prateek said. at YS Weekender.
Excerpts from an edited interview:
YS Weekender (YSW): Why did you decide to pursue a career in creative communications?
Prateek Sethi (PS): It was either that or design internal combustion engines! Ever since I was able to get my opposable thumb to follow my brain’s lead, I’ve loved drawing.
I grew up watching broadcast cartoons and VHS recordings, which really sparked my imagination. I actually wanted to improve the quality of the content on offer at the time and my grandfather, with my parents’ blessing, encouraged me to pursue animation.
I graduated in Visual Communication Design with a major in Animation Film Design from National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad in 2005, and since then life has been very hectic.
From creating new live and animated characters to exploring the multimedia mix; from channel branding to graphic music videos, graffiti, AR, VR movies, and as on- and off-screen talent; life has been a whirlwind of new ideas and sheer madness. I am also a core team member of the Animators Guild of India and completed an executive education program in strategic digital marketing at Judge Business School, University of Cambridge.
YSW: What was your vision for your design company, Trip Creative Services?
PS: Trip Creative Services was launched in 2009. Our motto is to provide the best possible services to our customers. We firmly believe that our work speaks for itself. More often than not, our customers become our friends and brand owners.
Our award-winning visual design team has worked on some of the biggest names in the industry while maintaining a nimble, nimble approach to the entire creative process. Over the years, we have completed over 680 projects, won 16 awards and received over 30 nominations.
YSW: Tell us about some of your recent and popular projects.
PS: We have recently designed the world’s only 3D wheel of life known colloquially as the Bhavachakra. We painstakingly built this for a year. The Bhāvacakra is a symbolic representation of the Saṃsāra, known as the cycle of life and death, in Buddhism. It is usually seen adorning the walls of monasteries. We brought it to life and converted it to NFT.
In addition, we did creative communication work for eleven of Skoda’s newest cars. Recently, we designed the virtual event content – shootings, presentations, films, images, AR, VR and supporting 3D content – for the new ŠKODA SLAVIA World Static Premiere.
As part of this launch, we created an AR filter, an interactive virtual reality car preview and the website for the upcoming sedan. Our social media filters have pushed the boundaries of creativity on platforms like Instagram and Facebook. It wasn’t easy because we had to work with small file sizes and very limited interactivity.
Other work in the tech space includes projects for the FB4FANS mega AR concert which took place in Thailand, Korea, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.
I would also like to mention our ongoing YouTube series, “India Folktales”. It showcases the rich variety of folk tales and traditions of the Indian subcontinent, depicted in animation form in art styles specific to that region.
YSW: In a highly competitive industry, what were the biggest challenges you had to face?
PS: When it comes to my business operations alone, once people see our work, they feel like they might have to pay a lot of money for our services. They don’t realize that our prices are extremely competitive given the experience we offer and our tremendous professionalism.
We are committed to meeting our deadlines and offering you the best possible value for money.
YSW: How have you redefined your work to meet post-pandemic needs?
PS: As we provide 360-degree design services and our products are produced in-house, the pandemic has not deterred us. During the first half of 2020, the Trip team led, designed the content and produced the very first virtual conference in the history of ŠKODA Auto India.
The live event launched three cars – the Karoq, Superb FL and Rapid TSI with a new range of TSI engine technology. We have achieved this by working from home. There were shootings of key personnel in the Czech Republic while we were stuck in different parts of India.
Even after the lockdown opened, we conducted our physical shoots following strict COVID-19 protocols in accordance with the latest government guidelines. We have a strong foundation in communications design and have a proven track record before and after the pandemic.
Interestingly, the new normal has led to an increase in demand for creative content in the areas of animation, augmented reality, virtual reality, virtual conferencing, digital and web design services.
In fact, I believe Augmented Reality is ready to take the world of communication design by storm. With further improvements in software, hardware, cost-sensitivity, and accessibility, it’s only a matter of time before AI, AR, VR, and more intense hyper-reality interactions are on the way. become a part of everyone’s daily life.
We are going to experience exciting times!