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Read about what's happening at Trace, including interviews with staff and overviews of some of our latest work.

Looking back at 5 years of Trace.

May 5, 2016

It’s hard to imagine it’s been 5 years since we first opened our doors. This post is an inside look how we’ve become the world’s leader in VFX outsourcing.

With staff in New York, London, Los Angeles and Mumbai, Trace provides the best, most consistent VFX outsourcing to the world’s top companies. Over the course of our five-year history, we’ve become a consistent and responsible partner for the world’s VFX industry.

“From day one, our goal has been to help studios bridge the gaps in their production schedule,” said Trace’s CTO Matt Herman. “Today, we empower studios to meet the challenging demands of high-quality visual effects today.”

In honor of our 5-year milestone, we’re looking back on how far we’ve come – and looking ahead to continued growth.


The past


Trace’s co-founders at the first Puja. From left to right: Varun Parange, Matthew Herman, Jon Mason.

Founded in 2010 by former staff from The Mill, Trace set out to create a western style VFX operation in Mumbai. Initially, our focus was on rotoscoping. Before we knew it, our breadth of services grew to include paint, tracking, 3D and pipeline development.

“As we expanded, our unrelenting focus on quality became the central pillar of our culture,” said Trace’s CEO Jon Mason. “It allowed us to build strong, trusted, relationships with our clients, and it’s the bedrock for our future growth.”

Our founders posing with the original team of 7.

Our founders posing with the original team of 7.

When we first opened our doors, we had a team of 7. Since then, our staff has grown to over 400! “It’s been an incredible journey seeing Trace grow from a ragtag gang artists to the incredible team of over 400 we have today,” said Mason. “Our high-quality work is the result of nurturing the best people – in fact, Trace was recently named the number one VFX company to work for in India.”

When we first opened our doors, we did so in a 900 square foot office – a cozy size for our initial team of 7. Needless to say, squeezing our current group of 400 into that space would be a fire hazard. Thankfully, we’re thrilled to boast a 10,000 square foot HQ in Mumbai. “It’s amazing to look back at the staff who joined us when we were working out of a small carpenter’s workshop,” said Trace’s COO Varun Parange. “But those same people trusted our mission and worked tirelessly for our goals – and we’re greatly indebted to their hard work through the years.”


A glimpse into the construction of our office.

With a range of services, a robust team and an expansive office, we’re able to produce quality work at a tremendous rate. In fact, our monthly capacity has grown from a 2–3 projects to 130 jobs – and we’ve delivered 35,000 shots over the past 5 years! “Trace has thrived due to the quality of our work and the skill of our team,” said Parange. “Building our reputation has taken blood, sweat and a couple of tears, but today we stand as the best at what we do.”


The future


Our roto and tracking work in action.

The past 5 years have been incredible, but we’re not the type to get comfortable. Looking ahead, we’re starting to use virtual reality for VFX and enter the realm of asset creation for 3D. Mason nicely summed up Trace’s forward-facing outlook. “We have a saying at Trace: we may not do everything, but when we chose to do something we’re going to be the best at it. Expanding into VR and asset creation brings much excitement – but we look forward to doing a whole lot more.”