Viewers of the Nigerian action thriller “Jagun Jagun,” directed by Femi Adebayo Salami, may be surprised to discover that some of the movie’s structures are entirely computer-generated. One noteworthy example is Ogundiji’s mansion, a stunning CGI creation.
Naijalegit recently had a conversation with Davies David Enioluwa, the talented artist behind these digital marvels. Davies shared the fascinating story of how he brought Ogundiji’s mansion and other artificial elements in the movie to life using CGI and animations.
He explained that his passion for the creative arts began in childhood and that his career choice as an artist was heavily influenced by his father, who is also an artist. For more details on his remarkable work,
“I originate from Ibadan, Oyo State, and I belong to a family of four, which includes a younger sibling. My contemplative nature has been with me since childhood. I’ve always leaned towards observation and deep thought rather than constant chatter. This inherent disposition has molded me into someone who values keen observation over incessant talking. Interestingly, my father’s background as a visual artist played a significant role in shaping my career as a CG Artist.”
Davies David’s journey into becoming an artist took an unconventional path. Initially, he intended to pursue a law degree at the University of Lagos, but he later had a change of heart. He approached his parents with the request to switch to fine and creative arts, a decision that led to three years of hiatus at home.
He stood firm and refused to proceed with a law degree until he was granted the opportunity to enroll in the fine arts program.
Davies David shared with Naijalegit,
“My educational journey has taken me through various schools, adding a touch of humor to my experiences. During my upbringing, I attended three different primary schools and went on to switch schools three times during my secondary education. After completing my secondary schooling, I initially aspired to pursue a career in law. I diligently prepared for exams, including the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) exams, and achieved commendable results. However, there came a moment when I was scheduled for an interview at the University of Lagos (UNILAG). Close to that day, I candidly told my parents, ‘I don’t want to study law; I want to pursue fine art and become an artist.’ Those were my exact words. Although this decision led to an additional three years at home, I remained unwavering in my choice, willing to endure the delay to follow my passion. Eventually, I gained admission to study fine arts and design at the Polytechnic Ibadan. I am immensely grateful for this opportunity, as it has brought me to where I am today. Without taking this crucial step, I wouldn’t have discovered my true potential and passion for art.”
Davies’ journey into the world of CGI is a fascinating one.
Surprisingly, he didn’t initially set out to become a CGI artist and didn’t pursue formal education in this field. While he did complete an 8-month course in graphic design, most of his expertise is self-taught, beginning as early as 2016.
He explained, “I didn’t formally study CGI. My journey started as a hobby, growing from my innate talent. I had a knack for bringing my imaginative creations to life, crafting characters and stories through drawings.
Even during my nursery and primary school years, I would sketch comic characters, narrate stories about them to my friends during breaks, and they eagerly anticipated these tales. My father, a traditional artist skilled in various mediums, served as an early inspiration, although I didn’t fully grasp my future path then.
I would often experiment with his artistic tools, sometimes earning myself a stern scolding. As I grew older, I discovered cartoons, mostly at friends’ homes, and became enthralled by their animated movements. I would enthusiastically discuss these animated characters with anyone who would listen. My fascination deepened during junior high and remained a constant throughout my high school years.”
Davies embarked on his journey as a CGI artist for movies when he decided to pursue formal training in graphic design.
“He recalled his beginnings, stating, “In 2016, I initiated my professional drawing journey, even though it was challenging due to being self-taught. Despite searching for local art schools in Nigeria, most were financially out of reach for my family. Consequently, I relied heavily on online resources and books to refine my skills. It was during this period that my aspiration to create art for films and animations began to take shape, though not entirely clear. A friend recommended Andrew Loomis’ books, which played a pivotal role in building my foundational drawing skills. In 2017, I took a significant step by enrolling in an 8-month professional graphic design course at a media academy in Lagos. This experience proved to be incredibly beneficial.”
Rewy Davies shared his dedication to learning and improving his craft, relying on online tutorials, observing others, and trying new techniques. He highlighted how his time at Anthill Studios and hands-on project experience shaped his growth. Despite lacking formal education in CG art, he expressed eagerness to pursue it someday.
Davies received a remarkable opportunity to contribute to the post-production of Jagun Jagun, an experience that would forever stay etched in his memory.
He had always harbored the belief that someday, he would leave his mark on a major film. Speaking to Naijalegit, Davies expressed his excitement, saying,
“Working on Jagun Jagun was like a dream come true. My role was primarily behind the scenes, focused on post-production work using computers. I’ve always aspired to be part of projects where I could bring someone’s vision to life, and I’m grateful for the chance to do so with Jagun Jagun.”
Certainly, while working on “Jagun Jagun,” Davies encountered several challenges in his role as a computer artist.
One of the major hurdles was the need for extensive research to ensure that the art created for the film appeared authentic. Specifically, he faced the following challenges:
Creating CG Assets: Davies had to work closely with the VFX team at Anthill Studios, led by Mr. Niyi Akinmolayan. His primary responsibility was to generate many of the computer-generated (CG) assets used in the film, which was a demanding task in itself.
Designing Ogundiji’s Mansion: Designing Ogundiji’s mansion was a significant challenge. This mansion had to be unique and reflective of the era depicted in the film, making it a complex and time-consuming endeavor. Davies aimed to make it believable enough to convince the audience that such a mansion could have existed during that historical period.
These challenges underscored the meticulous effort and attention to detail required in Davies’ role as a computer artist for “Jagun Jagun,” especially when crafting assets as crucial as Ogundiji’s mansion.
Davies played a pivotal role in crafting elements for the movie Jagun Jagun, beyond just designing Ogundiji’s renowned mansion.
He mentioned to Naijalegit ,
“I designed the coffin that was submerged in the water, containing Gbotija. Following my design, Eri Umusu, the lead animator at Anthill Studios, executed the impressive animation. I also fabricated the weapon crates placed inside Ogundiji’s palace during the scene where he received gifts from Westerners. Moreover, I created Ogundiji’s 3D war axe and a palace pillar, which were used in the scene where the axe magically returned to Ogundiji’s hand after severing Jigan’s (Odunlade Adekola) hand. Bukky Awomolo, the senior animator at Anthill, handled the animation, and it turned out seamlessly. Many viewers may not have realized that these were all CGI creations.”