An award-winning animation director and artist, Umesh Shukla founded Auryn to push the boundaries of animation technology and provide truly unique consumer experiences. Using Auryn’s proprietary technology, Umesh has collaborated with noted storybook illustrators to bring their creative visions to animated life for leading publishers and distributors.
Shukla’s lifelong fascination with motion-based storytelling has inspired a rich career in visual effects and animation focused on the medium’s emerging frontiers. Working as senior supervisor and other strategic positions at Walt Disney Feature Animation, DreamWorks Feature Animation, Digital Domain, as well as other leading creative studios around the world, Shukla has contributed to the development of leading feature, commercial and short subject entertainment.
Shukla was a prominent member of the Academy Award®-winning team (Outstanding Visual Effects) for the movie Titanic. He was also lead computer graphics supervisor at Disney Feature Animation for the first 3D animated movie produced at its Burbank studios and served as a designer/director for an episode for Disney’s Fantasia 3. A consultant for DreamWorks' Shark Tale, Shukla’s expertise was utilized to design the technical and production pipeline.
His visual effects work played an integral role in numerous features including The Island of Dr. Moreau and Dante’s Peak.
In the directorial realm, his animated short film “Still I Rise,” inspired by the life and death of John Merrick (The Elephant Man), toured festivals around the globe, earning awards and critical praise as “a truly magical and masterful tour de force.” As a product of this experience, he then founded Animaestro, an online resource for curated short subject animation frequented by enthusiasts, scholars and artists worldwide. He is also the director of “The Girl Who Cried Flowers,” (Scholastic/Weston Woods) “Almond Blossoms,” and “In Winter Still” (National Film Board of Canada).
As the creative director Shukla has designed and produced over 250 mobile apps. They included story books and activity apps for renowned authors like Dean Koontz, Jamie Lee Curtis, Mary Engelbreit and Rosemary Wells. He is a recipient of multiple awards for app design including Appy Awards and many Parents Choice Awards. His app Auryn Ink won the most innovative app award and remains the only water coloring app on iOs.
Over the years, Shukla has presented at animation and business conferences including SIGGGRAPH and has been widely covered by leading national and international magazines. He has taught at Cal Arts, designed courses for the Art Institute, and has served as a judge at animation festivals.