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Hot topics on hot days in hot areas - we like to introduce Khalid Al-Muharraqi the COO of Muharraqi-Studios to you today.
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I saw some of your visualisations, they are hot. Is there any correlation between the temperature in Bahrain (right now Bahrain has temperatures of 40°C and more) and your work?

Very possibly so during the summer, it is just not possible to go out. While the temperature is technically somewhere in the forties (in the shade), the humidity can be anywhere from 50% to 80% which makes the apparent temperature somewhere in the fifties!!!

So, yes, I do tend to spend a lot of time indoors staring at my screens.

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You describe yourself as an artist and inspite of the pure mass of so called 'CG artists', I think you are a more classical one.

At the age of eleven you sold your first oil painting. Since you normally don't start with oil paintings and end up in computer graphics, tell us, how did this work out for you?

I recently gave a presentation entitled "Life evolves, so does art". For me, there is no beginning or end to art and I am a product of all of the influences in my life. It just so happens that I watched more movies and played more video games and just got more and more involved in using computers. In reality, I have been in advertising for the last 14 years and I only really started getting into 3D in the last year or so.

Khalid, you once said, you are pretty much influenced by your father Abdulla Al-Muharraqi, who is a well known artist in Arabia. You were educated in the US, were you influenced by this experience too? Did you experience any influence from European artists, I am thinking here about the classics, like Vincent van Gogh, or even Russian ones, like those suprematism people around Kasimir Severinovic Malevitch?

Well I got influence from my father mainly , but I love the art of Frank
Farazetta - Sorayama -, Many game companies like Konami - Capcom and
others.... I would say that the art is all around us we just have to look
carefully, it is in every product we have....

A Journey from Advertising to Visualisation

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Can you tell us a little about your company, Muharraqi Studios, its success, and the team?

I set up Muharraqi Studios when I left my advertising company a year ago. I had explored a number of options and ended up partnering with an old friend of mine, Rashad. He is a banker by profession, but was looking to do something more creative and I needed someone who could handle the organisational side of things. Together we make a good team because there is a lot of history between us; we each know where the other is coming from and feel the same way about things.  We also work closely with my brother Mohammed and other friends who participate in various projects and provide us with a strong network of support for whatever we are doing, whether it is writers, modellers, animators, software and hardware engineers, the list goes on and on. We would never be able to do what we do without all their help and dedication.

What is most important for us is to always have fun and do things that are interesting to us. Our long term objectives are to get into movie projects, but are working our way towards that slowly.

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Khalid, as I read in your interview with Ben Vost on Newtek Europe, you started using LightWave3D in 2002. And I know you are using infiniMap Pro, well, our current beta.... So you're one of five people who are using infiniMap Pro right now. The rest has to wait until the end of Oktober. What are your first experiences?

Since a lot of what we are doing right now are architectural visualisations for large developments, we have been facing a lot of capacity issues with the number of polygons on screen and the sizes of files.

Infinimap has been an excellent tool to enable us to work more efficiently and do things that we would not otherwise have been able to, basically I don't think we would have completed this project without the pust of Infinimap, it has proven stable and very easy to use even onto our render farm, we have rendered over 6 day continually and it was smooth!

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Using infiniMap - Waiting for his Highness

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In which projects did you use infiniMap Pro so far?

Muharraq Lagoon

What are you working on now?

We are building our own proprietary model of the Island.

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And we know that your are working on some wonderful architectural visualisations for the king we have got a teaser here and are waiting for the final shots to be published.:-)

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Are there any wishes concerning future features  and support?

Again I do think that one of the exciting things about the project, that I started on Mac and then it worked on PC, no problems!! The images lined up perfectly through infiniMap, I did not believe how easy it was to use.
Ideas? 64 bit? Well I cant wait for the 64 bit version of Infinimap .you have to start Michael, It's needed for sure. ;)

Thank you Khalid, for taking the time for us. We wish you all the best for the future and we hope you will use db&w products in the future, too.

Thank you Dagmar and Michael. I am very glad to know you and am very happy to consider you part of our network of contacts. I look forward to working with you for many years to come and hope to be able to use many more of your great products.

Copyrights: All pictures are owned by Muharraqi-Studios, Bahrain.