Dreamworks Ingenuity Award Presented to Alumnus Lakshika Udakandage
Design MFA (2017) alumnus Lakshika Udakandage is the recipient of a Dreamworks Animation Ingenuity award. Nominated by his Technical Direction department, Lakshika received this recognition for his work on Dreamworks' upcoming animated film, Kung-Fu Panda 4. He is currently a Technical Director at DreamWorks Animation in Glendale, California.
Lakshika states that the “Ingenuity Awards is an annual event organized by DreamWorks. The aim of the award is to recognize outstanding contributors of each of the Dreamworks Feature production departments. Each year, every feature production department (modeling, FX, light, etc.) gets to nominate one person. Usually, the supervisors within the department get together and discuss and nominate a single person. For this year, my department (the Technical Director department) nominated me. There were about 18 recipients this year—one per department, one special award across the departments, and one lifetime achievement award.
The nomination was mainly for the work I did during the production of Kung-Fu Panda 4, an upcoming movie. I started on the show as a CFX technical director (technical directors get assigned per dept per show), and then, later on, took on the Generalist Technical Director role. In this role, I had to support multiple departments and needed to jump to wherever the help was most needed. I did work on multiple support and development tasks for most departments and helped the lead technical director, the supervising technical director, and other technical directors on the show, as well as artists and production coordination staff, get organized and proceed through blockers to keep the production going as smoothly as possible.”
ACCAD congratulates Lakshika on this prestigious award! Dreamworks Animation Kung Fu Panda 4 will be released on March 8, 2024.
While at OSU, Lakshika’s MFA thesis research explored the use of inherent properties of natural phenomena to create understandable and distinct characters in computer-generated animation. The short film 'Sentience' is a result of this research work, receiving screening recognition in film festivals internationally. Read more about Lakshika’s MFA thesis.