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June 2013

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Ray Harryhausen : 1920-2013


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June 2013

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CONTENTS

Centre News 4 Rewind 5 Interview: Ray Harryhausen 6-11 Junkyard 12-15 Student Oscar Winner 16-19 Children of the World 20-21 Usha Janome 22-25 The Age of Lions Preview 26-29 Interview: Debjani (Mukherjee) Bandyopadhyay 30-32 Poster - Iron Man 3 33-36 Vaishaak 38-41 FMX Review 42-45 Sketchbook - Mrinal Roy 46-51 Comic Serial: Pandavas 5 52-56 Standalone Art 57 Sketchbook - Sani Mani 58-61 Making of A. R. Rahman 62-63 Making of Modest Home Library 64-67 Job Watch 68

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Editorial Office: Font & Pixel Media Pvt. Ltd. 105 Sanjay Appa Chambers, 82 Guru Hargobindraiji Marg, Andheri-JB Nagar Link Road, Andheri East, Mumbai 400 093 Editorial Coordinator: Joyce Lemos joycel@fontandpixel.com

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Correspondent: Roxanne Mehta roxannem@fontandpixel.com Design: Suresh N. Tendulkar Subscription/Marketing/ Advertising: Leena Sawant leenas@fontandpixel.com

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Head Office: Font & Pixel Media Pvt. Ltd. 61 Strand Road, Kolkata-700 006. CIRCULATION: 11,000 (Pictures in the magazine are used only for journalistic and editorial purposes and the copyright belongs to their owners)

Poster: Iron Man 3 Walt Disney Ray Harryhausen images courtesy Getty Images

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Printed and published by Font & Pixel Media Pvt. Ltd under licence from Maya Entertainment Limited, the owner under PRB Act. Printed at Magna Graphics (India) Ltd. 101-C&D Govt. Industrial Estate, Hindustan Naka, Kandivali (West), Mumbai-400 067. Published at 105 Sanjay Appa Chambers, 82, Guru Hargobindji Marg, Andheri-JB Nagar Link Road, Andheri(E) Mumbai-400 093. REGN. NO. 97427; MAHENG/2008/24870.


BEEHIVE


Centre News

MAAC’s Hyderabad Hat-trick

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC) launched its third centre at Hi-Tech City in Hyderabad. The centre is equipped with state-ofthe-art infrastructure to train students in the latest in 3D animation and VFX techniques. The launch was inaugurated by Guest of Honour Rajiv Chilakha, Founder & Director of Green Gold Animation, and Bollywood starlet Sneha Ullal.

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Aware of the quality and quantity of visual effects used in movies today, MAAC has recalibrated their VFX programs to make them job oriented. Apart from the regular courses offered, a two year career program in VFX will also be introduced at the centre. At the inauguration of the new centre, Shajan Samuel, Sr. VP, MAAC said, “We are proud to announce the inauguration of our new MAAC centre at Hi-tech city in Hyderabad. The 3D animation and VFX industry is growing at an exhilarating pace. Especially, since India has already started adopting co-production model and looks forward to showcase its creativity on global platform. We are optimistic that our new centre would empower students to encompass the strategic areas of this industry and excel in their careers.” With global production houses such as DreamWorks, Rhythm

& Hues, Green Gold Animation and others set up in the city, Hyderabad holds tremendous potential for the entertainment industry to prosper. In recent years, many small and mid-sized production houses have mushroomed,

executing enormous outsourcing work. Against this back drop, the new centre launch will prove immensely beneficial to aspiring students and educate them with advanced courses and updated technology.


Rewind

Game On

Touch and go Coming out of their shells Nickelodeon has partnered with Toy Triangle to bring Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Toys for the first time in India. The all time favourite reptilian brothers will be seen in a new look and catchphrase and it will mark Nickelodeon’s TMNT action toys range in the Indian market in association with Toy Triangle. Adding a new spin to the TNMT toys, each figure will have an acute level of detailing, with their own personalised Ninja weapon.

Wacom has announced that it is bringing touch control to its Cintiq 22HD interactive pen display. Combining multi-touch with Wacom’s renowned pen technology, the new Cintiq 22HD touch offers an immersive on-screen experience and a more intuitive and natural way to work. Additional features including a 21.5 inch full HD display, an ergonomic rotating stand and 16 customisable ExpressKeys, make the Cintiq 22HD touch ideal for creative professionals such as graphic designers, animators and game developers.

Reliance Games’ Popular Reel Steel HD is now available on the Mac App Store: Reel Steel HD takes place in a secret world where boxing is high tech in the not-so-distant future. The very popular downloaded game has a very high replay value including new tournament and survival modes. The game is available for $6.99 on the Mac App Store.

More to play Reliance Entertainment Digital’s Zapak Mobile Games has launched a new mobile game, ‘Brainbots vs. Zombies’. The game is set in a post apocalyptic future and is a casual arcade game, mainly targeted at children.

Chhota Bheem, Maha Hit Chhota Bheem and The Throne of Bali has been well received by the Indian audience. The movie did well in its first week and collected `2,00,00,000 in the first four days of release. The much awaited film has been immensely appreciated by kids and adults alike and marks a significant new high for Indian animation.

Reliance Animation’s Krishna aur Kans, India’s first stereoscopic animated feature, bagged the prestigious ‘Dadasaheb Phalke Film Festival 2013’ for Best Animated Feature Film. It also won the Audience Choice Award for Best Animated Feature Film at Lucknow CMS Children’s International Film Festival and Best Animated Feature Film at Bhopal International Film Festival.

Coming soon Disney has announced Big Hero 6, an animated feature film based on a Marvel Comics property. The film takes place in a shiny, moody city and is being described as a comedic adventure. It is set to release in November next year.

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Honour upon honour

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Cover Story

A Ray of

Ray Harryhausen is a name synonymous with groundbreaking cinematic innovation. His contribution to the development of stopmotion animation is incredible and unforgettable, which is why his passing on May 7th at the age of 92 sent waves of despair across his legion of fans. In an old interview with Roxanne Mehta, Harryhausen talks about his vision and passion that inspired generations 6


Light

Cover Story

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ith mighty dinosaurs, sword wielding skeletons and sheer ingenuity, Ray Harryhausen took the leaps and bounds for the special effects industry at a time when hardware and software were unheard of. He single-handedly revolutionised the way stop-motion films were made in the 1950s with his unique technique called “Dynamation”. It allowed Harryhausen to combine his amazing stopmotion creatures into the live action frame of a film. The staggering results were something Hollywood had never seen, and instantly sparked inspiration in generations of filmmakers and artists. Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, James Cameron, George Lucas and Tim Burton all credit their blockbusters to this man regarded as the “Father of Stop-Motion Animation”. Born in Los Angeles to Frederick and Martha Harryhausen, Americans of German ancestry, Raymond Harryhausen harboured a fascination for prehistoric animals, fantasy fiction, movies and art. It was at the L.A County Museum where he came across the murals of prehistoric creatures of Charles R. Knight. These dinosaurs particularly inspired a young Harryhausen and augmented his curiosity and wonder. His parents encouraged his interest in these models and ancient animals, egging him on to watch films and go the distance to quench his thirst for a medium he would revolutionise forever.

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Five-year-old Harryhausen was impressed with The Lost World (1925) but his real life defining experience came at the age of 13 courtesy King Kong (1933). The film left an indelible impression on his young mind that was now brimming with questions. He harnessed his curiosity with perseverance to learn more about a medium that he was so irresistibly drawn to. He embarked on a solitary self education and found answers in his own reconstruction of the images in King Kong using marionettes. He browsed and deliberated on articles which led him on to something known as ‘stop-motion animation’. A visit to an

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Cover Story exhibition at the L.A County Museum on the techniques used to make The Lost World and King Kong gave him better clarity. This encouraged him to create his own models. He began with wooden armatures but they came with their own set of problems since they were unable to maintain their pose. With a lot of experimenting and struggling, experience became Harryhausen’s best teacher. An avid photographer, he borrowed a 16mm Victor camera and began shooting short experimental films using his wooden articulated models. He taught himself photography and the nuances that come with it, using his parents’ garden and garage as his lab. At 18, Harryhausen began his most ambitious project titled Evolution of the World. He constructed and designed several models and began experimenting with mattes. However, the project

never saw the light of day. Whilst working on it, he got the opportunity to meet Willis O’Brien, the brain behind the dinosaurs in The Lost World and King Kong. He showed O’Brien some of his creations – including a stegosaurus that had won him the first prize at the L.A County Museum. Describing the creature’s legs as “wrinkled sausages”, O’Brien suggested Harryhausen add more character to it and study anatomy. Harryhausen took this criticism positively and used it to hone his skills. He took art and anatomy night classes at Los Angeles City College and later attended night classes at University of Southern California where he studied art direction, editing and photography. After graduation, he worked on George Pal’s series of animated Puppetoons films. During WWII Harryhausen worked for the Special Services Division under

director Frank Capra. He worked on many propaganda films. After the war, he made some stop motion versions of nursery rhymes known as ‘The Mother Goose Stories’ (1946) followed by the ‘Fairy Tale’ series which he distributed to schools and libraries. These were very popular and successful. Harryhausen finally began his movie career in 1949 with Mighty Joe Young, where O’Brien was Chief Technician. He helped create the ape in the film which earned O’Brien an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects. In 1953, Harryhausen was put in charge of the special effects for Beast from 20,000 Fathoms. It became the first film for which he employed his cutting-edge split-screen technique called Dynamation. This allowed him to introduce creatures into the live action backgrounds – a cinematic first and visual delight.

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Illustration for an unidentified Ray Harryhausen film showing a group of cavemen attacking a dinosaur with spears (1965)

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Cover Story

Film illustration showing a dinosaur attacking a group of cavemen outside a tent (1965) Harryhausen soon met producer Charles H. Schneer and began work on It Came From Beneath the Sea (1955). Together they made 12 memorable films such as 20 Million Miles to Earth (1957) The 7th Voyage of Sinbad (1958), The Three Worlds of Gulliver (1960), Mysterious Island (1961), Jason and the Argonauts (1963), First Men in the Moon (1964), The Valley of Gwangi (1969), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974), Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger (1977) and Clash of the Titans (1981)

A lot of Harryhausen’s work was left unfinished owing to budgetary constraints or failure to see the untapped brilliance in what he had to offer. He retired in 1984 and occasionally worked on projects such as the UK television documentary Working With Dinosaurs (1999). One of his half-finished works from his 1950s ‘Mother Goose’ shorts was finally completed in 2002 by two young animators under Harryhausen’s direction. ‘The Story of the Tortoise and

the Hare’ was made using several original models that he had kept in storage for fifty years. Harryhausen’s innovations were honoured in 1992 with a career Academy Award for Technical Achievement. He was awarded a special BAFTA in 2010 and a Lifetime Achievement award by the Visual Effects Society in 2011. He even has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. When did you know that you wanted to be an animator? I didn’t really know until I saw King Kong at the age of thirteen and I decided that I’d like to investigate the art. I didn’t know how it was done and in years I gradually discovered how it was done. According to you, what is the most significant change that has taken place in this medium over the years? I don’t know. It’s still the same process as it was in the seventies; one frame at a time. Only we used dimensional models instead of drawings.

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Harryhausen didn’t just relegate himself to work on the animation and special effects aspects of his films but was proactive in churning out original ideas (20 Million Miles to Earth was his story), scouting locations, and investing himself in cinematography and post-production. He was a behindthe-scenes star. He continued to make films using his Dynamation technique throughout the seventies. This was a time when films started taking on new and complex avatars using computer graphics but Harryhausen stuck to his

technique. His final project was Clash of The Titans. Harryhausen is possibly best remembered for animating the seven skeletons who come to life in Jason and the Argonauts, a sequence which took him three months to film; and for the Medusa who turned men to stone in Clash of the Titans. These models were painstakingly made by hand and shot frame by frame to create some of the best-known animated sequences in Hollywood. His brilliance lay in infusing life to these models, giving them character and vigour and making them stars in their own right.

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Cover Story

Illustration showing a winged dinosaur dragging away a caveman while a group of cavemen attack with spears (1965)

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Cartoons are done by drawings and that’s why we tried to invent a new word for it called ‘Dynamation’. When the critics saw our films in the fifties, they’d say there was animation in the film and then they assumed that it’s a cartoon. We wanted to distinguish it completely from a cartoon which uses the same process of one frame at a time. Charles Schneer had a Buic called Dynaflow and he thought if we put the word ‘Dyna’ and ‘animation’ together we could have a new name. So ‘Dynamation’ was invented for that.

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How did you infuse life into your characters and make them icons? It’s just the way I look at things. I think most of it is due to observation. A lot of people look but they don’t see. That’s what our art teacher in my early days in high school said. People don’t analyse what they’re looking at. They just look at it, see a vision and interpret it their way. This is the way I saw Greek mythology – it’s like the remake the Clash of The Titans. Some see Greek

mythology as a comic book or comic strip. But I see it as a classic. And we tried to formulate a classic version of the legend of Clash of the Titans. Which characters do you think were most taxing for you to create? I had a lot of difficult sequences in the films like animating seven skeletons all at once; that means five appendages on each skeleton like in Jason and the Argonauts and Clash of the Titans. It required a lot of concentration. It was a very slow process because you had to animate seven skeletons when they were on the screen all at once. They have two arms, two legs and a head that has to be considered – movement, you know. The Hydra had seven heads; one head going forward, another going backwards because they couldn’t all move forward at the same time. What goes through your mind when you see your characters? Is there anything you wish you had added or not added to them?

I had to use what was available at the time and I am grateful that they lasted three to four generations. And it looks like they will last for more generations to come because it was done with a great deal of love and we put a lot of thought into it for our films. Charles Schneer was my producer and we formulated the scripts. Schneer, a writer and myself with my drawings, would formulate the script. We were the auteurs so to speak. If you had to create a sci-fi character today what would it look like? I have no idea. It wouldn’t be a dinosaur because Charles R. Knight was the illustrator at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and he was the authority at that time on what dinosaurs may have looked because he worked with the paleontologists with the skeletons of dinosaurs. He was one of the first artists to put flesh on the bones. So we assumed that our dinosaurs would look like his. Today they have a different point of view; they say the dinosaurs’ tails were up in the air. I don’t


Cover Story

Ray Harryhausen with some of his ‘creatures’ at the Edinburgh International Film Festvial (2008) ic magazine and was very popular. Many of your films remained unfinished. Would you like to see them completed today? Well, it depends. They may begin it today. It is hard to tell. We ran into certain problems and then abandoned them in some cases, like we abandoned Sinbad Goes to Mars. Somebody wanted to remake it today. But they found out there are a lot of problems. Things like that cause one to hesitate making a certain type of film. Today they spend millions of dollars and pounds on filmmaking. But we were always on a very

tight budget. Our first film in colour was The 7th Voyage of Sinbad and it only cost $750,000. Today it would cost $750,000,000! Today filmmaking is very expensive. In the past, we were able to keep our costs down because I was the only one doing the animation. How does it feel to have inspired generations of artists? Well, I’m delighted our films inspired people. There are so many films made today that I think would depress people. I’m just grateful that people t have found our films inspiring.

Animation Reporter w June 2013

believe that because crocodiles’ tails are not up in the air. When they walk, they don’t leave a trail; sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. The monitor lizards on the island of Komodo walked with their tails up a little off the ground, sometimes they dragged them. It depends. Somebody will come up and say that dinosaurs never had their tails up in the air. But today they seem to think that dinosaurs carried their tails higher up in the air. It makes them look peculiar to me. I prefer the illustrations of Charles Knight. He did some marvelous illustrations for the National Geograph-

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Feature

Junkyard

Director Hisko Hulsing’s ‘Junkyard’ gives us a glimpse into the perils that loom large in the dark world of drugs. The film has been produced by Il Luster Films and coproduced by CinéTé

Animation Reporter w June 2013

By Roxanne Mehta

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isko Hulsing is deeply affected by the films he sees, the books he reads and the music he listens to. He wants people to feel the same way about his own work. And his recent film ‘Junkyard’ does just that. The seventeen-minute animated short has made audiences sit up and take notice as the film depicts a man robbed and stabbed by a junkie. In his final moments, he remembers an old friend who fell

into the clutches of a drug dealer and which led to the eventual demise of their friendship. The film combines fictional elements with two episodes from Hulsing’s very own life. As a child, he saw some of his best friends being neglected by

their parents which catapulted them into difficulty. He saw their lives taking a turn for the worse; how their “wild and exciting” ways soon turned into juvenile delinquent behaviour. “Some have become junkies, criminals or mentally ill. In hindsight, I find it tragic that I could see it coming when I was


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a child myself,” says Hulsing. Another incident that influenced him was when he started smoking marijuana at 12 and life turned to mayhem. “It nearly made me psychotic,” he says. “I dropped out of school, became apathetic and confused.”

Hulsing painted 120 big background paintings using oil paint on canvas and photographed them. “I wanted a realistic but slightly rough look because of the subject matter. That’s why I paint-

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Thirteen versions of the script were prepared before the final one was written. Hulsing got some funding to make a storyboard. Even during film-making, he made several revisions to the storyboard till the storytelling was compelling enough. “I put a lot of effort into the storyboard because I wanted to make sure that the story worked and that it would convince commissions to support the film,” he says. This then became his biggest challenge. “Contrary to live action films, it is not really possible to edit afterwards. Everything has to be planned carefully in advance.”

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Feature and Glass Harmonica for the trippy effects. Hulsing didn’t want to have any samples or synthesizers in his film. Everything was recorded with click tracks, so they could overdub the 18 piece orchestra and make it sound as big as a symphony orchestra. Sound editing and Foley were done by Bob Kommer Studio’s in The Netherlands.

ed a la prima. You can see the brush strokes of oil paint.” To ensure that the flatly coloured drawings would fit into the background paintings, he digitally painted all the shadows on top of the characters in TVPaint. That process alone took two years. All the shots with actors and children were filmed to use as a reference for the animation. Hulsing made clay models of the heads of all the animated characters in TVPaint as references for the faces. So part of it was rotoscoped but the faces, heads, hair and expressions were all animated. At times, the movements had to be exaggerated. In this way, about 25,000 drawings were made.

Animation Reporter w June 2013

The film uses both 2D and 3D animation techniques but Hulsing prefers 2D over 3D. “I like to see drawings and paintings but objects like cars and trains

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are very hard to animate in 2D, especially in this style. So I asked the animators at Polder Animation to project my paintings onto their 3D models so they look like my paintings. Stefan Vermeulen and some interns animated the whole film in TVPaint. Background paintings were sometimes altered in Photoshop. The 3D animation was done with Maya and the film was finally edited in Premiere. The most complex scene was the one in which a giant man on fire is seen approaching the (fisheye) camera walking over the junkyard. “All cars, stones, lanterns and buildings crumble and start flying towards him and around him. This was challenging for everyone involved – the 3D animators from Polder Animation, interns Jan-Jaap Schraverus and Aimee de Jongh who animated the flames and for me – keeping it all in my style. It worked out pretty beautifully,” says Hulsing. The film’s music was composed by Hulsing using Avid Sibelius. It took him six weeks to come up with it. His wife, a professional violinist, corrected the score and got a wonderful orchestra together. Hulsing also approached famous instrumentalist Thomas Bloch, who has worked with Tom Waits, Radiohead, Olivier Messiaen and Pierre Boulez. He came over from Paris to Amsterdam to play water instruments like the Cristal Baschet, Waterphone

The film’s initial title was ‘Tales from the Junkyard’ but it finally boiled down to just one tale. So a short and simple ‘Junkyard’ was eventually used. While working on this film, Hulsing was also busy drawing commercial storyboards for over 100 advertisement companies. He ended up spending six full years to make this film at a cost of $230,000. Hulsing loves the attention and awards that his film has received. He worked very hard to finish the film just in time for it to make a debut at Annecy last year. When the film didn’t pick up any award, he worried that the film would fade from festival circuits. However, worry was put to rest when ‘Junkyard’ bagged the Grand Prize for Best Animated Short at the Ottawa International Animation Festival. Propelled into the limelight it went on to win 15 awards having recently bagged the Stuttgart SWR Audience Award. Hulsing has also been invited by Disney, DreamWorks and Blue Sky Studio’s to showcase ‘Junkyard’ and give lectures. Hulsing says ‘Junkyard’ isn’t a very sentimental film and that there’s a certain roughness to it. “People told me they were deeply moved by it; felt it in their stomachs. That for me is a compliment. It means I did a good job telling the story and conveying certain emotions that come with friendship, abandonment, loneliness and regret. It’s not my intent to give an anti-drugs statement, although I don’t like the western drug culture. It’s not wrong to show the harsh reality about certain drugs and the “junk” of our society, the waste, and the people that fall out of the system all bet cause of bad luck.”


Feature Director’s bio

Hisko Hulsing

www.hiskohulsing.com

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Hisko Hulsing began drawing, painting and making music at a very young age. He majored in painting and animation at the Art Academy of Rotterdam in 1995. Animation being such a laborious craft took up most of his time. During his internship at the Bratri v Triku Studios in Prague he began his first film ‘Harry Rents a Room’ which was programmed in regular Dutch and Czech cinemas in 1999. His second film ‘Seventeen’ (2004) was not only written and animated by him but it was also the first time he composed a classical score for a chamber orchestra. This film also did well on the festival circuit winning some awards. He has also made illustrations and storyboards for over 100 advertising and production companies such as Saatchi & Saatchi and Czar. He has directed and animated television leaders for MTV and Dutch broadcasting companies. His comics have also been featured in well known publications. Apart from composing, painting, writing and animating, he also makes commercial storyboards and illustrations at least one day a week. Art seems to run in his family; his brother, Milan Hulsing, is also a comic artist. Hisko is currently painting about 80 background paintings with oil paint on canvas for the animated portions of a documentary about Somalian pirates called ‘The Last Hijack‘ by Tommy Pallotta and Femke Wolting. Tommy was also the producer of feature animated films like Waking Life and A Scanner Darkly.

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Celebrating The Dead 16

Bringing out the beauty and thought behind a much misunderstood holiday that celebrates the dead, the animated short ‘Dia de los Muertos’ has won hearts and a Student Academy Award as well

By Roxanne Mehta

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n many cultures, death isn’t about mourning the loss of someone but a celebration of the soul’s release from its earthly bonds. Dia de los Muertos (Spanish for “Day of the Dead”) is a two day Mexican holiday that celebrates the lives of people who have passed on. Every year on November 1st and 2nd, people in Mexico and other Latin

countries honour their loved ones who are no more with large celebrations and parades. Three students from Ringling College of Art and Design decided to focus the theme of their graduation film on the essence of this day. Lindsey St. Pierre, Ashley Graham and Katherine Reynolds worked together to make a three-minute animated short film titled ‘Dia de los Muertos’. It tells the story of


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a young girl who has lost her mother but who learns the true meaning of this Day of the Dead. She learns not to grieve but to rejoice and cherish the lives of loved ones who have made it to the afterlife. The animated short recently picked up a Student Academy Award and will be formally felicitated at the upcoming 40th Student Academy Awards.

They worked on this film for a year and a half with the help and guidance of their instructors. They began in their junior year spring semester and finished the film a month before they graduated. In their first semester, they had to pitch two original story ideas to work on for their senior thesis. Within those four months, they honed and toned the story whilst designing characters and environments for each one.

Once everything was finalised, the faculty voted for one of the stories. The one that was selected was the one they then began working on in their senior year. In the first semester, they modeled everything into 3D, set up the cameras and environments, and animated everything. They contacted composer Corey Wallace to do the musical score,

Animation Reporter w June 2013

It was Graham who proposed the concept of working on a story that revolved around this Mexican holiday to her team members, St. Pierre and Reynolds. “The story I pitched to them was completely different. It really wasn’t that enjoyable but they liked the idea of the holiday. So we all sat down and created what we have now,” she says. The story was altered several times retaining the original idea of a motherless girl who later recognises the thoughtfulness behind this holiday. “We wanted the viewers to understand this misunderstood holiday and enjoy its beauty with a story that everyone at some point in time can relate to,” says Graham.

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Animation Reporter w June 2013

and sound designer Mauricio d’Orey to bring their film to life. When they returned for the second semester, the girls textured the characters and environments, lit each scene, finished any animations that they had missed, and composited the final shots, music and sound effects to make the final film.

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Ringling College of Art and Design is dedicated to giving its students access to the most up-to-date software. The creative team worked on HP workstations, Wacom Intuos 3 tablets and sometimes Cintiqs, all provided by the school. ‘Dia de los Muertos’ was made in 3D because it is a requirement set by Ringling. All the 3D work – modeling, rigging, layout, animating and lighting was done in Maya 2013. Pixar’s Renderman was used for all the rendering, Nuke for compositing and Photoshop to create all the development art, storyboards and textures. Everything was finally put together using Premiere. They followed The Twelve Basic Principles of Animation. “It’s a traditional set of rules that help any animation, from hand drawn to 3D, to feel like it’s really coming to life. Without these principles the animation can feel dead

or robotic. By applying the principles to even a one-second shot, you can make the character feel real, appealing, and relatable to the viewer. These rules were introduced to us since the first day we started animating at Ringling and they will never leave us,” says Graham. They had to face their share of technical difficulties. The first thing that comes to St. Pierre’s mind is dealing with the cloth. None of them had ever worked with cloth but almost every character in their film had to wear a dress! They consulted many online tutorials to teach themselves how to use Maya nCloth. “There was a lot of trial and error involved, except we didn’t have time for error. But in the end, I think we figured it out pretty well,” says St. Pierre. Some very geometry-heavy scenes, like the graveyard scenes with grass and flowers, were a struggle to render. They took a lot of wrangling to get to work and Reynolds was able to pull it off. St. Pierre found a certain ‘bun shot’ very hard to work with. “Ashley did the lighting for this shot, and I think she’d agree with me. The little girl gets handed a plate that starts piling up with Mexican sweet bread buns. It’s a long, elaborate

shot with some pretty complex camera moves. Getting the camera and everything to move smoothly was enough of a challenge in itself but that wasn’t the end of it. Making the buns stack up required inventing a pretty complex rig — the fanciest I’d ever done as a student. I felt so triumphant when it finally worked,” she says. Staying true to the spirit of the holiday, they decided to use holiday’s name for their film title as well. “We really couldn’t think of a more appropriate title. We discussed translating it into English and titling the film ‘Day of the Dead’ but decided against it so as to keep it more authentic,” says Reynolds. The film cost around $2500. That money was used to pay for the musical score and sound effects. To raise the money they started a campaign on Kickstarter, the world’s largest funding platform for creative projects. This turned out to be a huge success with the girls reaching hundred percent of their goal within the first 48 hours! Their Student Academy Award has come as a big surprise. “I honestly just feel so grateful that people like our


Feature film. It’s an incredible honour to get this award but the best part is just the assurance that this film we’ve spent so much time making — all our energy for the last year and a half — was worth it, because we made something that people really enjoy and connect to,” says St. Pierre. It took time for Graham to understand the gravity of their success. “When I heard the news, I really didn’t react until I started getting e-mails and people calling to congratulate me. I’m ecstatic for this wonderful opportunity.” Reynolds was rendered speechless by the honour. “I don’t think any of us expected this. We just wanted to tell a meaningful story, and to know that we succeeded is one of the greatest feelings life has bestowed. I am just so appreciative of the award and the wonderful feedback that we have got from people. Words can’t express!” t

Directors’ bio Ashley Graham is a passionate person who loves life, people and animation. She was born and raised in Southern California. At the age of four she told her parents, “When I grow up, Ashley Graham I’m going to be doing cartoons.” And as she got older she made sure she never lost sight of that goal. After graduating from Redlands East Valley High School, she attended Pasadena City College in L.A to complete her Liberal Arts. Two years later, she transferred to Ringling College of Art and Design where she graduated with a Bachelors in Computer Animation. She’s currently busy with a summer internship at Falcon’s Treehouse. “I’m quite excited to be working for this company where I will be able to gain experience and apply what I learned at Ringling College of Art and Design in the animation industry. I’m excited to be doing what I love because I can’t see myself doing anything else,” she says. For more of her work check out www.ashley-graham.com

Carrying a sketchbook wherever she went as a kid, Lindsey St. Pierre is a born artist. She grew up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. She was home schooled Lindsey St. by her mother for Pierre most of her early childhood, which exposed her to books and ample free time that set her creative wheels in motion. “I was lucky that my parents invested in private art lessons for me. By the time I got to high school, I had a wide variety of academic interests. I almost went to college to study physics, or Latin, but suddenly decided that my future was in the arts and applied to Ringling’s Computer Animation program instead. Four years and one Student Academy Award later, I’m pretty glad I did.” She is currently looking for full time work spending her free time on smaller project and commissions. Find out more about her work on gloryfeet.blogspot.com

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Katherine Reynolds attributes her artistic inclinations to her family’s constant moving. “We never stayed in one place longer than four years. I really think that’s what got me into Kate Reynolds art. With the constant moving and having to make new friends each time, I turned to the Internet for friends, and discovered a vast art community. I was able to learn art from professionals online from an early age.” She’d never heard of Ringling till a fellow classmate attended the school. She realised that this is where she had to be. Unfortunately, she missed their deadline for the computer animation major and could only apply to other majors. But that wasn’t going to stop her. Determined to be part of their world famous animation program, she took a year to save money and hone her artistic skills. She’s currently busy doing freelance work for a local school and looking for the right job. For more visit her website www.kletterl.wix.com/berf

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Preview

The time has come for Indian anime to roar on the small screen. Taking a bold and ambitious step is ‘The Age of Lions’, a fantastic anime television series in the making by Anitracks Studios


Preview Dasgupta and anime artist Homavazir. ‘The Age of Lions’ is a historical fantasy told from the perspective of two teenage warriors against the backdrop of a civil war. It involves a power struggle between the crown prince Sushima and the Governor of Ujjaini Ashoka Circa 273 B.C. A coming of age story, the two teenagers have to master their craft in the ever changing landscape while coming to terms with their adolescence. Choudhari set-up Anitracks Media and joined hands with like-minded artists with similar goals. Stating the fact that India currently holds the largest young mobile population in the world, animation is yet to get hold of its youth like it has in Japan and America. He says, “After going through various papers and studies and understanding the market gap in terms of value and skills, I concurred it was possible to establish a product based animation studio in India. Limited but still substantial success of comic industry in the last five years allowed me to trend the organic path that was followed in the American and Japanese industries before the advent of their respective animation industries.”

A

nitracks Studios is gearing up to bring a Mauryan historical anime fantasy to the small screen with ‘The Age of Lions’. Collaborating with anime heavy hitters Rudra Matsa Enter-

tainment (RME) and Jazyl Homavazir, the TV series promises the essential elements that make a good anime. Conceptualized by Sudeep Choudhari, CEO of Anitracks Studios, the story was a collaborative effort between Choudhari, comic book writer Shamik

Homavazir admits that one of his main goals is to bring anime awareness in India and he is happy to be doing it with ‘The Age of Lions’. For the series, he has tried to incorporate the elements

Animation Reporter w June 2013

By Joyce Lemos

Homavazir who got famous with his manga web comic ‘The Beast Legion’ was roped in to take on the role as Art Director and Animation Supervisor for the series. The characters and their designs were finalized after six months of thorough research. For him, designing the characters of Prakhar and Drishti were easy but several iterations had to be done for the characters of Sushima, Ashoka and Shome. The creative team wanted to stay true to the historical design and at the same time tried to make it look globally appealing. A big time anime fan and passionate anime art lover, it has been a deeply rewarding experience for the Art Director.

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Animation Reporter w June 2013

Preview

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of the anime style and fuse it with Indian aesthetics to make it look and feel unique. He says, “Trust me when I say this story is going to be something that has never been attempted here in India. We have a long form story spread out with tons of characters; an amazing world that has yet to be explored. Apart from that, it will have a lot of fantasy elements that will make this series a ton of fun to watch. It will cover every tone of storytelling by the time the first season ends.�


Preview “‘The Age of Lions’ is themed as a very mature and multilayer storytelling which should be game for anyone who appreciates a good story. Character identification plays a very important role for such complex stories to appeal to the masses. So from a character design perspective, our styles needed to be anatomically accurate unlike highly stylized work that happens in the Indian industry today. This was the major reason why we opted for anime style content for our product,” says Choudhari. The creative team has worked hard to make sure the series hits the right chords with its target audience. They hope that it connects with viewers instantly and that it is not viewed as just another cartoon. Homavazir says, “That mentality is the only obstacle which once crossed will open up a new way for animation. We have recently taken measures to make sure we maintain the best possible quality, not just related to animation but also voice acting and post-production. I’m very positive that this will be a first of its kind animated series to hit Indian television and hopefully screens abroad as well.” The TV series is still in its production stages and the scripts are complete for the first two episodes. They strategically approached the market in a phased manner to establish investors for Anitracks and gauge the interest of the market towards the concept. Fortunately they have been successful in this endeavour and hopefully the series will hit TV screens by the end of this year or early 2014.

Choudhari believes that there is always a market for a well told story and anime as a medium is very effective to tell a multilayer story such as ‘The Age of Lions’. He says, ““My expectations from “The Age of Lions” are that it succeeds in entertaining Indian youth and brings to life a new genre of entertainment. I would like story based entertainment in India to turn over a t new leaf and hope anime is here to stay.”

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Anitracks unveiled their comics brand ‘Yali’ at the Bangalore Comic Con this month with the launch of their action horror comic ‘The Caravan’. On the anime front, Anitracks has plans for another fantasy product ‘The Dynast’ which they hope to bring out as their second venture. They also intend to create ‘2096’ a science fiction concept in the near future.

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Interview

BOL and the beautiful

An interview with Debjani (Mukherjee) Bandyopadhyay and I am an animation film-maker. We worked with children and experimented with different art forms as learning media and the children gave us this new dream, to listen to what they have to say to learn from them. To put it in a metaphor, BOL is like holding up a microphone to the children, gently giving them the stage, the podium, the pulpit, like holding up a lens as they paint the world with colours only they can create.

Animation Reporter w June 2013

A not for profit organization, BOL has made its presence felt from remote Indian villages to city schools and international film festivals. In an interview with JOYCE LEMOS Debjani (Mukherjee) Bandyopadhyay shares how BOL has made its voice heard through the creative expressions of children

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What is BOL and how was it formed? What was the inspiration behind this? BOL is the voice and language, or shall we say the voices and languages, the dreams and aspirations, opinions and expressions of children. We are a not for profit group and we work with children. We learn with children as they express themselves through the animations they create, the films they produce, the camera, toys, pop-up books, sand animation and so forth. Allowing them to lead and design their own learning makes it stick a lot more and is more effective. You have to be there to see how joyous the learning can be. The co-director of BOL Sayak Bandyopadhyay is a singer/music composer

Who are the core team members of BOL? The children are the ‘core team’, wherever they may be. Sayak and I live in Delhi now; friends and family who are joining the BOL family are from all over, including friends on Facebook from Cairo, UK and Egypt. We really love to share the happiness, get involved and make friends on the journey. As an animation professional, what made you choose the path of being of service to children? As a student of Animation, I have been groomed to think creatively, rely on visual storytelling and think out of the box. This has really helped me grow as a person and as an artist. It has also had positive effects on my behaviour. Realizing this fact, I have tried to interact through these creative learning methods with children from various strata of our society with more than satisfying results. They have made beautiful paintings, created powerful films and touching music and most importantly expressed what they wanted to successfully. This was true for every child whether in villages or in cities or even special children. I realized that if I could share my experiences with children and they could think creatively and apply that to their own lives and on others, we could have a tremendous positive impact on


Interview them were busy discussing something. When we asked them, they said there was a solution to the water crisis but most people were not aware. It was a hilly area and they came up with the idea of a localised system of terrace farming which could really hold the water for months after the little rains they had. We thought this was a very relevant theme for the film. We asked the children to weave the story of deforestation in their own village and how they saved it. You can watch the film ‘Van-de Mataram’ via this link: www.youtube.com/ watch?v=8YE8NvezvuE

the future. In that sense, we don’t serve. Everyone enjoys the workshops and are given a chance to express their opinions and share the happiness. How many places has BOL travelled to? What is the goal of BOL? BOL has travelled to remote villages in Jharkhand, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kashmir, West Bengal as well as to cities like Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Bangalore and Bhuvaneshwar. BOL has also travelled to schools and to international film festivals in South Korea, Egypt, UK and Scotland.

What kind of workshops does BOL conduct? Based on its innovative creative approach, BOL has crafted modules and workshops involving mental audio-visual exercises, activity based learning, storytelling, music, theatre, film-making, designing, Illustration, etc.

We were in a remote village in Madhya Pradesh called Neemkhenda; a place where water is a luxury and every year people lose their lives without it. During the BOL workshop at Samaj Pragati Sahyog, while we were interacting with the children, two or three of

What is most challenging while working with the young artists? Engaging them for 3-4 hours every day and trying to keep them focused during the workshop. Children are usually easily excited, sometimes they do not want to concentrate on one task. This is what boring adults think adults

Animation Reporter w June 2013

BOL aims to develop innovative and creative educational content and continue to inspire children to learn and express through creative media like films, music, art , theatre, designing and storytelling. And during this exciting journey, BOL wishes to start alternative schools which teach children through an evolving and creative learning system.

How do you select the topic or story ideas for the films to be made? We do not. It is tempting sometimes. We have learned to refrain from thinking on behalf of the children not because we are wise but because a. BOL is the language of children and b. adults are no match for children. Trust me, humble pie is not a tasty dish! You will be amazed by what, how and where children dream up themes.

With regards to the animation, how do you decide on the medium? We have found through our research that stop-motion animation is best suited for children and such open ended 7-8 day workshops. They are easy to understand and apply, and we can keep to the time allotted while we accomplish what we intended to. Other media would add variety, but take more time and complex production designing. We prefer to use stop-motion techniques varying the output. It could be cutouts, sand, pixillation, etc.

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Interview don’t do. Children love to be treated with respect. They love attention but hate overdoing it. We like to give them almost complete creative freedom. How have these experiences enriched your life as an artist? Well, there’s so much to learn from kids really! Whenever BOL is conducting workshops, we are very excited because we get to learn simple but effective things from children. It’s basically an unaffected perspective that the children have. They are also full of spontaneity and don’t ponder over things for too long. They find solutions and move on. Its only when they grow up, they develop limitations in imagination and ways of fulfilling dreams because they are overwhelmed by practicalities. It is this spontaneity and limitless imagination that I try to learn from the children which positively affects me and enriches me as an artist.

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What is most rewarding for you and your team while working with children? The openness, total lack of inhibitions, the spontaneity and creative bursts. These things are what we love while working, we never feel that we are working.

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What next should we look forward to from BOL? BOL is working with underprivileged children in Delhi where we have workshops with creative exercises. We are preparing children so that they can join school next year. They may be growing up in challenged economic and social conditions, however we will do our best to see they are able to continue being

educated. PVR Nest, the CSR wing of PVR Cinemas are supporting us on this year long project. We worked with international schools, foreign consulates, remote village schools and with a host of NGOs last year. BOL has come up with unique projects for underprivileged and privileged children showcasing their creative power and how it can be harnessed. Children are producing powerful and inspiring films. Films on social issues, child rights, women empowerment, education, environmental issues and so much more. We have received warm responses for the films that BOL has facilitated for the children and social tools have helped in promoting them. These films have also extended perspectives and vision of adults and professionals and we are lucky to be invited to collaborate with schools, NGOs, the media and with other organisations. A lot is yet to be achieved in terms of outreach, impact and funding. Nevertheless, BOL

is happy to have caught on with the children. They deserve to be enriched and encouraged with limitless creativity because they are the future. In the words of Walt Disney, “The only problem with this world today, is that it has too many adults.” To take a quick peep into the beautiful world of the children visit www. bol.org.in. To know more visit www. facebook.com/Bol.workshops and to join click on www.facebook.com/ t groups/517469948266786/


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Animation Reporter w June 2013

Preview

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Rudra Matsa Entertainment is ready to spread its wings and soar in anime skies with their upcoming title ‘Vishaak - The Eagle Boy’. Rudra Matsa gives us a preview of this awaited non mythological action adventure anime feature By Joyce Lemos

R

udra Matsa Entertainment established itself in the anime scene with their anime series ‘Pandavas 5’. Moving on from mythology they are now gearing to take off on a fantasy adventure flight with their new title

Vishaak-The Eagle Boy


Preview ‘Vishaak - The Eagle Boy’. Anime fans can rejoice as ‘Vishaak’ has a high dosage of anime look and feel not just by design but by treatment as well. CEO and Founder of RME, Rudra Matsa says, “After ‘Pandavas 5’ with Disney, we wanted to do something fresh and different with fantasy and adventure elements embedded into the story seamlessly. Also, we wanted to produce an IP in the non-mythology area as well. ‘Vishaak’ fits the bill, as it has huge scope to become an action adventure title with fictional elements.” RME is known for its trademark character styles. The characters are thoroughly vetted before nailing the final designs. The first sets of characters in ‘Vaishaak’ were rejected after the colouring stage although they looked highly pleasing. Matsa was in favour of a rich anime look with fantastical elements of a city and a fantasy land, both integral to the story. The characters were redesigned till they matched their expectations and in the end they got what they wanted Matsa says, “Realistic anime, has not been explored by Indian studios yet. Now, Chibi styling has been picked up by other studios. We wanted to do something more anime, that suits and syncs with the Vishaak storyline. Chibi was definitely not an option for this title, as there is lot of conviction and seriousness involved in the story. This made us select this style.”

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Vishaak’s story juggles between two contrasting worlds. This challenged the creative team to undertake a story like Vaishaak and project it happening in two different times. ‘Vishaak’ being a nonmythological action and adventure title with heavy anime look and feel called for writers who understood this aspect clearly. Finding writers with an anime/ manga understanding was one of the biggest challenges. On the story front, extensive research was done to balance the plot with convincing characters.

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Preview Mumbai is one of the key places in ‘Vaishaak’. The place acts like a character in its own right and to stay true to its settings, the creative team planned the story in way that it absorbed the urban look with its characters and locations. Several layouts of key locations were developed to achieve that particular look. To capture the essence of the contemporary city look, the team used photographs of locations in Mumbai as references. A semi realistic background style was adopted to complement on the look and feel factor in this aspect.

Animation Reporter w June 2013

A major hurdle was to gather a team of like-minded artists who could design and animate anime characters. The initial designs looked promising but lacked the anime touch. All the assets were redesigned to achieve the desirable anime look and feel. The team was built slowly and steadily with two teams operating in India and Manila, The Philippines. The Indian team managed and created the assets for characters and background styling while the Manila counterpart replicated more assets in line with inputs provided by the Indian core production team. This strategy paid off.

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Matsa says, “Most of the Indian animators and character designers are inspired by the American animation style of technique and storytelling. When you ask them to do Anime, they won’t be able to deliver the look and feel of Anime. It took quite some time to figure out the structure to achieve this. Also, you need to understand the importance of camera play and compositing when it comes to Anime. If you don’t get it right there, you won’t get it at all.” Traditional and digital paperless animations were explored for this project. With their expertise in Harmony, certain parts were done using rig based animation in Harmony. Some scenes were digitally animated with traditional techniques of in-betweens and clean ups. Matsa points out that they did not use paper for this. “Working on digital assets would help us churn out footage


Preview faster. That’s the main reason behind choosing Harmony rig and paperless animation for this project,” he says. Harmony did not come to their rescue for all of the scenes as the action and fight scenes were as demanding as they sound. “Fight sequences are tough to execute as characters are semi realistic with many props. We faced many challenges in that area. With dynamic posing and a good sense of timing with dynamic camera angles, we managed to resolve this problem. For the fight sequences, we worked on paperless animation where all keys and in-betweens were drawn on the computer,” says Matsa. RME is producing the 75 minute nonmythological action adventure feature with another international broadcaster in India. ‘Vaishaak’ is nestling in its animation stages at the moment. Sixty percent of the movie has been completed and the producers are aiming for a 2013 release in Hindi, Telugu and Tamil across India. While we wait for the eagle boy to land on our television screens, brewing in the RME is pipeline is also ‘Chotu Pandav’, a Chibi based prequel to P5 with plenty of humour and gags which is expected to roll out this year. RME has also delivered is ‘Keymon Ache’ episodes on Harmony platform in partnership with DQE and created of an exclusive teaser for ‘The Age of Lions’ with Anitracks Media. t

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Vishaak team at RME

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Fmx Review

A lean, smart and agile FMX 2013

Animation Reporter w June 2013

The famed FMX Conference this year kickstarted on April 23 in Stuttgart, Germany and has become one of the best FMX Conferences ever

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By A Staff Correspondent

F

MX is the annual animation, effects, games and transmedia conference held at the Haus der Wirtschaftin and organized by the Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg.

This year FMX saw over 3500 attendees that included students, industry professionals, enthusiasts and heavy hitters from industry giants like Pixar, Autodesk, Walt Disney and Ubisoft. They participated in various workshops with the focus on the recent developments, trends and risks of the digital

age in line with this year’s theme ‘Lean, Smart and Agile’. The four day conference witnessed active participation from 46 countries. According to Niels Rinke, Managing Director at FMX, this year’s conference was an ideal platform to bring industry,


Fmx Review education and research together and it successfully represented the current changes in the media industry. The conference included highly anticipated keynotes by renowned author Cornelia Funke, this year’s most soughtafter interview guest. She focused on using technology as a companion to traditional methods of storytelling. Funke presented the Mirrorworld app which she compared to a travel guide that could be used if the user wanted to gather more information on the world beyond a mirror. Several other celebrated panelists spoke on the structural change of the animation and VFX industries as well as the expanded games and transmedia series with a focus on Indie Games and World Building. Saschka Unseld, Director and Scriptwriter of Pixar’s short film, ‘The Blue Umbrella’ previewed the movie to a packed audience and was undoubtedly the greatest crowd pleaser at this year’s FMX. Other animation highlights included Epic, The Croods and stop-motion animation Frankenweenie, Disney’s Wreck-it Ralph and the highly anticipated Despicable Me 2. The mainstay of FMX is its wide breadth of presentations on visual effects. This year’s conference included presentations about concept design on Pacific Rim (William Cheng, Set Designer), Cloud Atlas (RISE), Life of Pi (Rhythm & Hues), Framestore’s Galaxy Audrey Hepburn spot, The Mill on their Guinness TVC, Framestore again on the Skyfall opener, Iron Man 3 (Trixter, Weta Digital), Warm Bodies (Look Effects), Oz (Imageworks), Oblivion (Pixomondo) and Wolfblood (Trixter). Animation Reporter w June 2013

An area of interest was the Marketplace that increased interaction with attendees. The Marketplace assembled 26 industry partners and research departments. FMX 2013 saw an amazing rise in the number of attendees thanks to the mixture of traditional company booths, interactive sessions and an exciting exchange of innovative project ideas. The workshops more often than

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Fmx Review

not were fully booked. 289 speakers from 23 countries offered 292 presentations, workshops and participated in various panel discussions.

Animation Reporter w June 2013

There were two interactive student projects — Digital Forest and Tesla Arcade. The Concept Art exhibition displayed 30 pieces of art from more than 15 international digital artists. The recruiting hub included big global players. Christopher Hery, Senior Scientist at Pixar Animation Studios saw FMX as a great opportunity for students and professionals to get exposure to new ideas and bring about innovative developmental changes in their related fields. Students and artists spoke first-hand to

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companies like Framestore, Method Studios, Axis Animation, TOPALSSON, Traffix Entertainment, Walt Disney Animation Studios, MPC, Mackevision Medien Design, Double Negative, LIGA 01, The Mill and LUXX Studios

who also presented on their studios. 21 Workshops by industry leaders such as Adobe and Autodesk - that were fully booked up - Masterclasses such as Ed Hooks’ “Acting for Animators” and Doerthe Eickelberg’s


Fmx Review

“Improvising Animators” as well as a Company Suite by Autodesk with Workshops and live-demonstrations complemented this year’s forum.

A major highlight of FMX was Rhythm and Hues’ Compositing Supervisor Chris Kenny’s fascinating presentation on the making of the “unfilmable” Oscar winning movie Life of Pi. One conference highlight was the preview of the latest Marvel comic adaptation Iron Man 3. It was the concluding event of this years VFX series

that covered case studies, concept art, concept design, VFX in commercials and pre as well as postproduction. Kim Libreri, Chief Strategy Officer at Lucasfilm, was one of this year’s most interesting speakers. Libreri, who was responsible for the creation of VFX for the three Matrix films, was interviewed by Visual Effects Society Executive Director Eric Roth as part of the “VES Specials” series. This year’s FMX was one of the most successful ones ever conducted which can be credited to the high quality of presentations and the great opportunity for students to talk and interact with industry professionals. FMX highlighted the changing and inspiring trends taking place across the world due to the advent of regional and cultural influences. t

Animation Reporter w June 2013

The main focus this year was the ongoing paradigm shift and debate on the state of the industry in the aftermath of the Academy Awards and the financial and complex working conditions that struck a chord with panelists and attendees alike. Several eminent professionals, one of them being Ed Ullbrich, CEO at Digital Domain discussed the consequences, present situation and challenges of the ever increasing demand for flexibility and adaptation for digital media creation, distribution and financing well attended panels, keynotes and presentations. The conference also included several interesting talks from Games for Change Europe,

an organisation that aims at creating and distributing games that serve as an educational tool, and cover topics such as ecology and human rights by engaging players through game mechanics and simultaneously informing and changing behaviour. Munich-Los Angeles based Trixter presented a visual effects case study for its entertaining digital character animation work on the “metal” suits for Iron Man 3.

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Sketchbook

S K E T C H Animation Reporter w June 2013

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O O K

OF

MRINAL ROY


Sketchbook

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Sketchbook

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Sketchbook

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Sketchbook

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Sketchbook Artist’s bio

Mrinal Roy Mrinal Sushil Roy has a B.F.A degree in Applied Arts from Sir J.J. Institute of Applied Arts. He is currently working at Quintessential Studios as a junior concept artist. While he was a junior illustrator at Paperboat Animation, he worked as a background artist for episode 24 of ‘Shaktimaan: The Animated Series’. As a freelance illustrator for Yash Raj Films, he was given the task of illustrating layouts for the film Ishaqzaade. A pre-production artist at Animizm Studios, Mrinal took on the role of a background artist for 2 episodes of ‘Amar Chitra Katha - The Animated Series’. His aim is to be successful in the animation and manga/comics industry. He can be reached at roymrinal5588@gmail.com. To view more of his works visit his blog: http://roymrinal.blogspot.in/ Animation Reporter w June 2013

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Comic Serial

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Comic Serial

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Animation Reporter w June 2013

Comic Serial

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Comic Serial

Animation Reporter w June 2013

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Animation Reporter w June 2013

Comic Serial

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Standalone Art Gitanjali Pathak Gitanjali Pathak gitanjali.pathak@ymail.com

gitanjali.pathak@ymail.com

Animation Reporter w June 2013

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Sketchbook

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Sketchbook of

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S a n i M a n i


Sketchbook

Animation Reporter w June 2013

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Animation Reporter w June 2013

Sketchbook

BOOK COVER

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Sketchbook

Artist’s bio

He has worked as a UX designer for leading brands like Photoshop Elements and Photoshop Express for the media giant Adobe.

Hailing from Chembuchira in Kerala, Sani Mani has worked as a professional artist for over 11 years.

Check out more of his work at www.sanimani.com

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Sani Mani

He was selected as a judge from India for the GUI design contest held by Blackberry and NewWebPick Magazine. His design from the poster Sanimani campaign conducted against the use of Endosulfan – a very dangerous pesticide – was used as a badge. He holds the distinction of being selected as the Inspirational Designer in Artzmania Magazine. He has worked as a User Experience Designer and for Photoshop Elements, Photoshop Express and Leanprint software. He is currently working as a senior UX designer at Flamingo Nation.

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Tutorial [Figure 1] [Final Image]

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Making of

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A. R. Rahman By V. Sai Swaroop

[Figure 2] V. Sai Swaroop created this A.R. Rahman digital painting using custom brushes and used it to smudge the painting. This painting took 27 working hours to complete. He began by blocking the colours for this painting followed by smudge work to add more details. He found the entire experience of creating this digital painting quite informative. He also realized that creating a digital painting requires good observational skills which helps in creating a digital painting. The steps to create this digital painting are as follows:

[Figure 3]


Tutorial [Figure 4]

[Figure 5]

Artist’s bio

[Figure 6]

[Figure 7]

V Sai Swaroop V. Sai Swaroop is currently pursuing a BA Degree from Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC), in Rajouri, Delhi. He takes special interest in pencil sketching and life drawings which inspired him to join MAAC where he developed an interest in Digital Painting. [Figure 8]

[Figure 9] He looks forward to working in an animation studio to gain more experience. He can be reached at saiswaroop1973@gmail.com.

of the skin on the cheek and jaw. Also achieved basic figure blocking for the lips. [Figure 7] painting and smudging) I painted the basic details of the eye and the nose. [Figure 4]

Basic blocking for hair followed. [Figure 2]

I then did a basic smudge to follow the softness of the skin and painted the eye. [Figure 5]

I worked on the shadows at the eye and nose. Nothing too fancy, just basic blocking. [Figure 3] Using the mixer brush tool (the same can be achieved by traditional

I worked on the shadows and a little bit more on the detailing of the eye [Figure 6] I then paid attention to the detail

I painted the background and the clothes. It was easy painting as they don’t have much detailing [Figure 8] I added the final spots of the beard and also painted and smudged little detailing in the hair. [Figure 9] This is the final Digital Painting! [Figure 10] I still feel that I could have got more detailing in the neck portions as it apt pears a little smudgy.

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Basic colour blocking to establish shadow, midtone and highlights. [Figure 1]

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Tutorial

f o g n i k a M E M O H ST

[Final Image]

E D MO RARYBy Romi Kalathiya LIB

Animation Reporter w June 2013

[Figure 1]

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Romi Kalathiya is an animation and visual effects student from MAAC Satellite Road (Ahmedabad). Here he explains his latest work - Modest Home Library. I took a reference image for this interior


Tutorial [Figure 2]

[Figure 3]

ter googling I found a modern library scene that was pretty interesting. The interior was modern and simple but the main items were the books. I also

paid attention to individual elements of the interior such as sofas, chairs and the overall look and feel of the scene. [Figure 1]

Animation Reporter w June 2013

from Google. ‘Modest Home Library’ is a modern living room library for book lovers. Before creating this interior I first decided what I had to create. Af-

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Tutorial [Figure 5] [Figure 4]

I used 3ds Max 2012 to model, texture and light the scene. Modeling Modeling wasn’t very difficult for this scene. I started by making walls for a simple rectangular shaped living room with two floors and bookshelves on its left wall. To make a modern sphere shaped chair, I used Hemisphere, and all the sofas in the scene were made by using chamfer box with editable poly and FFD box modifier. [Figure 2] For the props, i.e. for the lamp, I used a another Hemisphere and made it an editable poly. I then just removed all the polygons from the bottom of the hemisphere and put a shell modifier on it to add some thickness to it.

Animation Reporter w June 2013

For the books, I used a simple trick. I made just one book and then cloned it in different sizes according to the scene preferences and put them on the shelves. I used the line tool to make its cover page and a simple box for the pages then it was all a texture game. [Figure 3]

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Texturing For Texturing, I used simple Bitmap images and used some alpha maps for the trees outside the windows. For the books, I used about 50 different cover pages and a simple page texture for side views. The glass was made with Arch and Design materials and I had also used mirror from architectural textures for the lamp. [Figure 4]


Tutorial Lighting [Figure 6]

For Lighting it was very important to get a realistic look. I first enabled the Gamma and LUT settings from the rendering rollout with the input and output Gamma at 2.2. After that I used Daylight as my key light on the scenes and changed the sunlight and skylight to Mental Ray (MR) Sun and Mental Ray (MR) Sky, and increased the shadow softness to 50 for the soft shadows in the interior. I also used MR Sky portal as fill light to add some brightness to the interior. [Figure 5] Now in the Environment and Effect panel, I just changed the Exposure Control to Mental Ray (MR) Photographic exposure Control, and inside it I changed the Exposure Control value to 12 that I found perfect for the scene. [Figure 6]

Artist’s bio

Romi Kalathiya Animation Reporter w June 2013

After completing his B. Tech in Electronics and Communication from Pacific Institute of Technology, Romi joined an animation and VFX course at Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC), Satellite Road in Ahmedabad. He likes to give life to his imaginations. He can be reached at romikalathiya@ gmail.com. To view more of his works, visit his blog www.romikalathiya.blogspot.in

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Job Watch Krayon Pictures Pune

Ottimo Studios Mumbai

Roto Artist, Clean Up Artist, Compositor, Matt Painter, Lighting Artist, Production Coordinator

3D Animator, Compositor and Motion Graphics Artist

Krayon Pictures is looking for talented and experienced artists to work with an award winning director on a VFX project. The artist’s task will be to create stunning visual effects and hyper realistic backgrounds. Requirements: Minimum 2 years experience. Fresher’s may apply with their showreel. Send your resume to careers@ krayonpictures.com, hr@krayonpictures.com. Or call 020-30582337. Website: www.krayonpictures.com Motion Makers Mumbai

Motion Makers is looking for some talented artists to make their studio even better.

Compositing (Senior & Mid-Level)

Requirements: Minimum experience of 2 years in CG compositing and experience of VFX compositing will be an added advantage. The candidate should be well versed in Eyeon Fusion, Nuke, After Effects, Photoshop, Word and Excel.

Animation (Senior & Mid-Level)

Requirements: Minimum experience of 2 Years in CG animation and experience in VFX will be an added advantage. The candidate should be well versed with Maya.

Animation Reporter w June 2013

Lighting (Mid-Level)

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Requirements: Minimum experience of 2 years in CG lighting and experience in VFX will be an added advantage. The candidate should have thorough knowledge of Maya, Max and Bakery Relight. Mail your resume along with your demo reel link to the following address: Centre Plaza, Lower Ground Floor, Malad (E), Mumbai – 400097. Email: info@ motionmakersstudio.com Contact No: – 022-28885056. Website:–www. motionmakersstudio.com

Candidates must be proficient in modeling, texturing, lighting and rendering. The job requires creation of 3D models and animation. Candidates having the ability to reproduce real imagery with great care to details and having strong hands-on knowledge in 3ds Max, 3D Maya, compositing software and Flash and willing to work in a flexible schedule should apply.

2D/Storyboard Artist

Candidates must be proficient in listening to the director’s descriptions of the scene and then sketching it accordingly to the storyboard to capture the activity and the emotion of the scene. Should efficiently organize and manage timelines and be capable to do concepts for objects and architecture. Candidates must have excellent digital or traditional painting and drawing skills, knowledge of camera, a good sense of composition and an understanding of different output requirements. Having good design sense, matt painting skills, character design and development will be an added advantage to acquire the position. Company address: 82, Sharma Garden, Behind Swadesh Hotel, J P Road, Andheri West, Mumbai 400053. Email: jobs.ottimo@gmail.com Gameshastra Hyderabad

Rigger

The applicant should have an experience of 3 years and should have thorough understanding of Maya rigging tools and the knowledge to create cartoony and realistic rig, sound knowledge of game engines, should be able to create custom corrective blend shapes, should be able to deliver a feature level facial rig.

Level Designer (senior)

The applicant should be experienced in using major 3D modeling tools, 3D

Studio Max or Maya. Knowledge of the fundamentals of architecture, interior decoration and landscaping. Pluses: Bachelor’s degree in Design or Applied Behavioral Psychology, experience as a professional single and multiplayer level game designer for console/ smartphone action games, familiar with scripting languages, knowledge of cultures, climates, topography, study of visual design, human psychology, computer programming and ludology. Mail your resume to careers@gameshastra.com Talwaniya Labs Design Production Jaipur

2D/3D Graphic artist (Mobile Games)

Candidate should have good knowledge of Photoshop, Flash, Illustrator, experience in mobile game development is a plus but not an essential, familiarity with 3D software’s- Maya, Max or Zbrush. Contact: jobs@talwaniyalabs.com Toonkaar Pvt Ltd Udaipur Toonkaar is looking for artists to work on a major TV series project. They are on the lookout for:

Flash Animators:

Candidates having 2-5 years of experience of working on TV series projects with strong knowledge of 2D traditional animation or belongs to fine art background can apply.

Compositor/VFX Artist:

Candidates having 2-4 years of experience of working on TV series projects with sound knowledge in the composition of 2D animation and other with VFX can apply. This is a permanent job so only apply if you can relocate to Udaipur. If you are interested, please email you resume and show reel to career@toonkaar. com. Website: www.toonkaar.com


CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS Digital Art | CG Research | Animation | Technological Innovations | Post Production | Interactive Applications | Mobile Graphics | Industry Trends Present your creative achievements, innovations and stellar technical research. Review program guidelines, plan your schedule and submit your best work. Technical Papers Courses Symposium on Mobile Graphics and Interactive Applications Art Gallery Emerging Technologies Computer Animation Festival Posters Technical Briefs

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For complete details, visit sa2013.siggraph.org/submitters.

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FESTIVAL 10th — 15th JUNE

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