Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Making of Zubaan Pe Lagaam by Nupur Bhargava

Making of Zubaan Pe Lagaam by Nupur Bhargava

Nupur Bhargava has been working with MTV, India as a supervising producer and director. She did her graduation from the National Institute of Design, India in Animation film design. She has a string of popular and award winning animated works to her credit. For her, each idea and story is treated as a new opportunity to experiment with new styles and media. The biggest high for her has been that her work is truly accessible and popular. She wants to work on projects where she can push her creative limits.

Brief introduction

I was born and brought up in Delhi. At that time, Potli Baba Ki and Pingoo were very popular on television and I used to be glued to the TV whenever they were on air. And I realized soon enough that story-telling fascinated me. And the medium of animation almost seemed magical to my eyes.

It was many years later in NID that I first understood the magic behind this art. Once exposed to the medium, I knew that this was what I had always wanted to do. I graduated in Animation film design from NID.

For the past 5years I have been working on several animation based projects as a director, designer and animator including a string of popular and award winning animated commercials, campaigns and television promos. I take each idea and story as a new opportunity to experiment with new styles and mediums. As such I draw inspiration from international aesthetics as well as Indian narratives.

For me, it is extremely important that my work is not just popular but truly accessible at the same time. And hence, I want to work on interesting & challenging projects that cut across borders, religions and languages.

Zubaan Pe Lagaam

Piyush Raghani the Ex-Associate VP,MTV India with the MTV Ad sales and creative team pitched.this idea to the client around the brand’s campaign called "Zubaan pe Lagaam. We wanted to break.away from the clutter on Indian television today and create virals that were not just visually appealing but also had superior entertainment quality. Since animation is young, vibrant and an animation property. lasts forever, we thought this was the best way to go about it. In the ZBL campaign, we take topicsthat are currently in news so that the audience can easily associate with it. We first pitched a 15-sec animatic of Rakhi Sawant for the client and they loved it. Thereafter, we began the ZPL journey.

I was given the freedom to create the character style. I wanted to make caricatures that would be fun to animate and look funny at the same time.

We finalized on 2d flash as a medium in order to push the bar up in the quality of storytelling and animation. Our 2d animation was animated in a way that when the characters moved their head s ,it would give an illusion of 3d movement. The backgrounds most of the time needed to be authentic if we were spoofing a specific show like the ‘Mach Mach ka Samna.’

Each film edit was different. Like in the saas-bahu film, we kept in mind the typical soap opera style and had the swish pans, lighting effects, zoom-ins etc. Hence, even in a 15-second film, the viewer would easily associate with the characters and the style.

All the films are character driven .Most of the films were of 15sec duration out of which story duration was only 9sec. As such, the biggest challenge was to establish these 1-6characters in a short span of 9sec and still keep the entertainment quotient high. Also, all films needed to have an ascending emotional curve in the film so that the concept of "zubaan pe lagaam" works. This came in through the script as well as the sound. All things put together successfully managed to tickle the viewer in the right places.

We had initially thought of doing it in 3d but since we needed at least 2films per month and the deadlines were bound to become tighter we didn’t want to do 3d. So we went with 2d flash as we didn’t want to compromise on the quality of work.

Flash is faster to animate and since it is vector- based, it looks very clean. However we made a conscious effort to keep away from the limited animation in flash that most TV series adapt. Moreover, I think a medium should never over-power a story. The idea/story should decide the medium and not vice versa.

All scripts ideas & scripts were written by MTV. The possible ideas are first shared with client.
From the chosen ideas we write scripts that are funny but also have a strong concept behind them.
From concept to execution each film takes approx. 25days to finish. We always have 2-3films overlapping at various stages.

The possible ideas are first shared with the client. From the chosen ideas we write scripts that are funny but also have a strong concept behind them. Once the script is approved we record the VO (voice over). Finding the right VO for our characters is one of the most important factors in making the film a success. Sometimes we used amateur Voiceovers as they fit the bill perfectly.

Before we record the Voices, we gather references, videos, images to understand mannerisms for each character. Each character has a different personality hence the way they will act in our films also needs to be different. Small details like mouth-shapes, eye-blinks and body language is taken into consideration in designing and animation of the characters.

Once the VOs are done, I design the caricatures, expressions and storyboard. Small things in designing become important. For example: when we made the first Bakhi Sawanth film (2008), her make-up, hair, body languages were in a certain way. However when we made the "Bakhi ka Swayambar"(2009), she had a completely different styling and talking style which we incorporated in the new film accordingly. A storyboard in an animation film is also the edit of the film, which we need to finalize before we start with animation.

Once the storyboard and designs are approved, we start the animation. Apart from the video reference available.For any animated viral, I first act out each character so that it is used as a video reference. This helps us in character acting and lip sync while animating.

Post production:
Once the animation is done, we get the music, sound mix and sound effects done. Each film has their characteristic sound and music. After final colour correction and brand logo integration, the final film is presented to the client.

"This animation series was made possible with the creative guidance of Ashish Patil (Ex-GM ,MTV India), Dipankar Bose(head of On-air Promos) and Perfetti." To check all the 23 films kindly click on this link :

Monday, June 7, 2010

Dhimant Vyas - Clay Animator

Dhimant Vyas - Animation Film Designer and Clay Animator

Dhimant Vyas always knew he would have a career in the world of art. Even as a child he believed he was destined to bring the beautiful images in his mind to life. However, the piece in the puzzle he didn't see as a child was that he would make a living by making those images move. "Art was my favorite subject in school and I knew I would end up doing something art based.” He was just a school boy then, it all started with an animated short that He saw. He just got fascinated by this beautiful medium. And went on to do his fine arts at Vallabh Vidyanagar and, and his faculty who were aware of his interest in animation, informed him about the animation course at NID Ahemdabad

After completing his Five years Diploma in Applied Arts from Kala Kendra College of Fine Arts, he went for his Advance Diploma in Communication Design with specialization in Animation film Design from National Institute of Design. He feels lucky to have senior faculty people like Nina Binita, R L Mistry, Barry Parker, Joan Ashworth and Cathy as his guides and seniors.

Here he learned the traditional skills of an animator, working as he says, mainly with pencil and paper. He remembers those first years at the NID, learning and experimenting with the medium. It seemed weird that it took so much time to create animation. It's so labor intensive. But the quicker you worked, the quicker you could see your character move on the pencil test machine. And once you've seen something move, even though it flashes by quickly, you want to rush back and do all that again, simply because it is so amazing to give something life."

His journey in the field of stop motion started when Proff. Joan Ashworth (Head of The Animation Department, Royal college of Arts UK) And Catherine Greenhalgh conducted a stop motion workshop at NID (1988). He got a chance to attend the workshop. This was the beginning of stop motion in India. And he was on the right path, which he was in search of. Because of his love towards stop motion he got a chance to do projects in that medium wherever he worked.

Dhimant is an Animation Director and has vast experience in creating animation in various mediums and he has Recently Finished working on ‘Creature Comfort USA”, TV series for USA, (stop motion animation) Company- Aardman animation Ltd, UK Aardman Studios is an Academy Award winning animation studio based in Bristol, United Kingdom. Before that he was involved in BBC’s Stop motion animation series called ‘On the Air’ with Joel Simon, Flicker pix animation studio, Belfast, UK.

Dhimant Vyas is a veteran Animation Film Designer. He is currently working with the leading Academy Award winning Animation Studio - Aardaman Animation Ltd U.K. Dhimant Vyas is an alumnus of the National Institute of Design (NID) His previous work includes the title animation sequence for the highly acclaimed Hindi feature film 'Taare Zameen Par', which was directed by Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan. During an earlier stint at Aardman Animation Ltd. Dhimant has worked as an animator on the Creature Comforts USA TV series. He has worked with brands like BBC, UNICEF, FCB ULKA, Zee TV, MTV, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, to name just a few. His work for Taare Zameen Par, Happy Planet, Cute Bunny, Y-snore, MTV promos and his photography have won him several national and international awards.
He has a vast experience in creating animation using various techniques like Stop Motion, 2D Classical, Cut Out, Material, Sand, Pixilation and Flash

Dhimant Filmography

2007 ‘Happy Planet’, Short film, (stop motion animation) Involved as a Director and Animator
Company- Tata Interactive System, Mumbai

2006 ‘Creature Comfort USA”, TV series for USA, (stop motion animation) Involved as an Animator
Company- Aardman animation Ltd, UK

2006 ‘On the Air”, TV series for BBC, (stop motion animation)
Company- Flickerpix animation Ltd, UK
Involved as an Animator

2005 ‘Coke Manno bhabhi”, opening title for TV commercial, (Clay-animation) Client- Black magic movies, India

2005 ‘Amul Chocozoo”, TV commercial, (2D animation) Client- FCB Ulka, India

2004 ‘Nick AH….HA….HA”, promos for Nickelodeon Channel (2D animation) Client- Nick, India

2003 ‘Stress Busters”, 2 promos for MTV (2D animation) Client- MTV, India

2003 ‘Cute Bunny”, 3 minutes short film (Stop motion) Client- Toonz Animation, India

2002 ‘Water pump project”, 5 minutes short film
(Stopmotion, 3D and 2D Animation), Client- UNICEF, USA

2002 ‘The Week Magazine”, 4 TV Commercials (classical animation)
Client- Malyalam Manorama, Cochin, India

2000 ‘WIPRO’, TV Commercial for FCB Ulka Advertising Agency, Bombay, India

1999 “FEBER CASTELL”, TV Commercial for
FCB Ulka Advertising Agency, Bombay, India

1998 `Y- Snore’, TV Commercial for MUDRA Communication Ltd. Hyderabad, India

1997 `Rag Malhar’, Animated Promotional Film for
Music Asia TV channel, Bombay, India

Making of Taare Zameen Par title animation

Taare Zameen Par (Translation: Star on Earth) is a 2007 award winning feature film Directed by Aamir Khan and produced by Aamir Khan Productions.It is the first time Clay animation was been used in Bollywood film industry. The film was great successes all around the globe.It won best title animation award from CNBC TV 18 in 2008
About title animation:- Dreams pave our way into the unknown world. It is this world that our children live in to understand their surroundings. Painting pictures, the children see the colours flowing generously, until they are told that the line's the limit. The Dream of Ishaan gives us a peek into the world of a child dreaming away without any bounds. It symbolises the freedom of thought that every child is entitled to, for all times.

Other Work Experiences

2006 Working for feature film `Cat Burglar' Director Steve Box, Aardman Animation studio UK. An activity involves concept art and storyboards for the film.
2005 Worked for film `Anji' Produce by Shyam prasad reddy, Hyderabad,India.
Activities involved Concept art for the feature film
Subsequently this film won the 52nd Indian National Film Award for Visual Effects.

2003 Worked for film `Arimpara' Directed by Murli Nair filmmaker, UK
Activities involved making Wart. (The story was based on Wart) Subsequently this film selected at Cans Film Festival.

1990 Titling and post-production for film ‘TOTANAMA’
Directed by Chandita Mukharjee, Film Maker.
Subsequently this film won prestigious `Presidents Award'.
National Institute of Design, India

Awards and other Achievements

Special Jury award for Children short film ”Cute Bunny”

Vatavaran Environment & Wildlife Film Festival (KAFI), 2005

  • Gold Award for Children short film ”Cute Bunny”

Kalamazoo Animation Film Festival (KAFI), 2003

  • Award for best Animated film for children to ”Cute Bunny”

Zevs Animation Film Festival-Bimini, Latvia 2003

  • Pro-Max Award for MTV Spot ”HORROR”

Singapore, 2000

  • Gold Award for BIONA-Y-SNORE, (TV commercial)

Regional Advertising Award, Bang lore, INDIA.
For Storyline and Technical excellence. Client-MUDRA COMUNICATIONS.LTD.1998

  • Prize in ‘The Hindustan Times’ Caricature and Cartoon competition 1997,Delhi, India

  • Gold medal in the 55th International Photographic Salon of Japan 1995-96


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Gnomon Workshop - Introduction to Animal Anatomy

The Gnomon Workshop - Introduction to Animal Anatomy

This comprehensive introduction to animal anatomy is for artists who want to draw authentic-looking animals from their imagination. Marshall demonstrates that the core of this skill is in knowing animal bones and muscles, constructing them as three-dimensional forms, and practicing these disciplines until they become easy enough to let your impulses take over. He uses hundreds of drawings to show the major components of various animals, how their anatomy works, and how to draw them so that they look anatomically authentic, solid and alive. 3D artists looking to enhance their understanding of basic animal form and motion will also benefit from Marshall's presentation.

Topics Covered:

* The Solid Approach to Drawing
* Bones, Muscles, Forms, and Process
* Anatomy of the Torso, Hindlegs, Forelegs, Neck & Head Structure
* Faces, Features, and the Secret of Comparisons.
* Resources


1. Introduction to Animal Anatomy
2. Muscles
3. Foreshortening
4. The Torso
5. Hindlegs
6. Forelegs
7. Necks and Heads
8. Anatomy of the Skull
9. Animal Faces
10. Animals as People
11. Additional Resources