Pegah Naserifar can teach us a lot with her fruitful career as a Computer Graphics and Visual Effects Artist. Currently based in New York City, she works on 3D designs and effects for big-name brands. This young and successful visual effects and computer engineer has worked with famous names such as Starbucks, KFC, Mcdonalds, Nissan, Google, but has many others in her portfolio. In this interview, we reveal more about Pegah Naserifar and her fruitful career.
With being a fresh Computer Science major in Iran, I was strongly attracted by the stunning animated movies made by Disney and Pixar. The strong interest motivated me to get into the subject of 3D graphics. I started reading books related to the topics and checking different tutorials to get familiar with and improve my skills. At that time, I didn’t know in which direction to head. Having no idea about the narrow focus and specialization, I proceeded with 3D modeling. I saw it as a relatively simple and straightforward way to get started in the industry, which is quite beginner-friendly.
I worked for many years in the 3D modeling field, which helped me update my skill set. During the years, I had the chance to get familiar with the most commonly used digital tools. I worked with AutoCAD, Maya, and 3Ds Max, which gave me a feeling of satisfaction. I felt like I was gaining relevant experience while enjoying every single one of my work tasks.
Back in 2006, I worked for the Iran Technical and Vocational Training Organization as a computer graphics lecturer. I held onto this position for three years but had a side hustle at the same time. I enjoyed designing 3D models for commercials and animations in my free time before finally deciding to move to the US. I had a clear vision of finishing Savannah College
of Art and Design and enhancing my visual effects knowledge. The college provided me with the needed knowledge to become a VFX artist. The fully equipped facilities and detailed courses helped me learn more about computer graphics and visual effects. Some of the valuable things that I learned are procedural modeling with VEX in Houdini, lighting and shading, scripting in C++, and many other practical skills. After graduation, I didn’t wait for long until I landed my first job. In 2018, I proudly started my job as a VFX artist at The Mill in New York City.
I have a hectic professional life, with lots of tight deadlines to meet. This makes my job so challenging since I need to come up with impeccable 3D designs in a short time. However, this is a considerable advantage because I can see the results fast and get feedback. As a professional VFX artist, I come across many problems during my everyday work that need solutions. I work closely with my creative team to come up with proper solutions and assist the clients. We design different aesthetics and implement the client’s feedback until we have a design that suits their wishes and preferences. Together with the look development artists, animators, and the creative lead, we make sure to meet the client’s expectations to the fullest.
I would say that you have to think like a human. Always be empathetic and make sure your voice is heard. As an artist, you have a considerable influence over society, as your unique visuals can change people’s perspectives.