Tuesday, September 21, 2010

More 2D animation pencil test

Super excited to be starting this quarter because I am working in 2D animation again. This is the first pencil test of the quarter, Mushu(dragon from Mulan) head turn assignment. This obviously needs some fixes and I will fix it because the assignment isn't due till Wednesday.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Background almost finished

So in my last blog post you guys saw the ultra sketchy photoshop piece which I used as a reference layer in flash to work on this. I have spent a lot of time on tiny little details. I hope the professor likes this.

Friday, June 25, 2010

First week of Summer Quarter


I have wanted to write about a bunch of things over the last couple of days but I have not been very diligent about sparing some time for my blog. But after the last week of classes, I have found myself working on something so exciting that I cannot NOT share this with you.

One of my classes this quarter is Digicel 1 with John Webber. It is an introductory flash animation class. Our first assignment is to design a background. I was really excited to do this background that I imagined would be used in a story I have had in my mind for a really long time now. Won't reveal the plot yet, but it is a bathroom scene. My family would probably find this piece familiar because the inspiration was the bathroom in my house in my hometown, Akola.

So this is the quick photoshop thumbnail/rough sketch with the color scheme(s). I applied some effects to this to convey a sense of heat and disorientation.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

I Wonder what ingesting dry-erase board cleaning fluid does to you

I just got back from a tiring day at work. I smell like dry-erase cleaning fluid and I can still taste it in my mouth. There are easily over 20 whiteboards in Montgomery hall and I spent 5 hours cleaning them. I inhaled maybe not fatal but definitely alarming amount of the cleaning fluid mist. Yes, being employed at the Cage during summer breaks means you're a glorified janitor. But wait, I am not ranting or complaining…yet.

During this brain-dead task of spray on-wipe off, I was thinking of two things. One, this blog post; and the two, pun…oh well… something personal and a little explicit which I don't intend on discussing here, so lets just forget that.

This is my second time working at the cage during the break. The last time I cleaned the whiteboards, I left a simple (and I thought funny,) message on my facebook wall: "Next time you see a pristine, white, dry-erase board and feel the urge to defile it, please don't." I had seen stuff on the boards which I found amusing,(then again, I have a weird sense of humor) but the parents visiting the building probably didn't. I just felt it painted students and the college in an undesirable light. So I was sharing my harrowing experience of having to try and clean these boards with my peers. People, at least ones from my generation are more likely to listen to stuff that hasn't come down by an authority figure. Through the facebook dialogue, some of my friends realized that using non dry-erase markers on these dry-erase boards or not cleaning it off in time in the end results in permanent degradation of the equipment over a relatively short period of time.

This time some dry-erase boards looked much worse. One in particular seemed like somebody used sandpaper to try and erase it. I was dreading walking into the 321 classroom because I remembered what it looked like from the last week of classes there. Caricatures and cartoons of all sorts occupied every inch of the board. As expected, even after spending a really long time on it, we couldn't get it entirely clean. But it is not always the students either. One board had notes written by a professor in some ink that upon spraying with the cleaning fluid was re-liquefied and started spreading and staining all over.

Seems like some people need to be educated a little on all this. This reminded me of my English composition class fall quarter. The professor had set aside one class for the representative from the writing center in the library to come and talk to the students. It was very informative and we found out stuff that I think personally, I wouldn't have ever found out by myself.

Actually, Prof. Ashwin Inamdar had just come into the cage a couple weeks ago proposing that a cage representative talk to the class about the facilities, rules, policies, best practices, etc. I think that could do a lot of good to everybody involved. But things like this take time to get implemented in a place as big as SCAD.

So I am not holding my breath. I just wanted to get that off my head, go play some tennis and get to bed, because tomorrow's another long day at work.

P.S. And hope I don't die from all the fluid that I ingested.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

In-Class Storyboard Drawings

For his Drawing for Storyboarding class, Prof. Benjamin R Phillips shows us a still from a different movie every class and has us sketch it out in 15 minutes. It involves studying the principles of storyboarding like composition, framing, staging, contrast, etc. Here are two examples from the last two classes.

First is from the movie "The Ghoul" and second(both) from Freaks. Lately we've been dealing with old black and white films that were shot in a different aspect ratio than today's cinema widescreen. So that's what the letterboxing on the right is.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Waking Sleeping Beauty

You know how the internet is… Some trend catches on like wild fire and creates a buzz for a while. Then it dies down and everyone forgets about it. Waking sleeping beauty is a documentary film by Don Hahn that was originally screened back in september 09 at Telluride film festival. It was talked about on all animation and movie review blogs. Eventually, people would stop talking about it.

But I got to watch the movie earlier this quarter at SCAD and had to write a field trip report for Charles DaCosta's class. Here is my paper which I finished last week.


I remember I first heard about Waking Sleeping Beauty on Mark Mayerson’s Blog when it screened at the Toronto international film Festival. It quickly left my mind as I finished my fall quarter finals and went on vacation. Early spring quarter, we got assigned our field trip which was to go watch Waking Sleeping Beauty at the Trustee’s Theater at SCAD. As all the great things I’d read about it on animation blogs started coming back to me, I got very excited that we would get to see this documentary.
I knew I had heard Don Hahn’s name before, and I realized I own the book he compiled from Walt Stanchfield’s lectures on figure drawing. He has also worked at Disney with Professor Troy G. And his page on IMDB page is full of fond names from mine and many of my peers’ childhood. This documentary is his debut as a feature director. Waking Sleeping beauty is a documentary about the revival of animation at Disney from 1980s to 1990s. He would also answer questions after the screening.
The theater was jam packed with students, all animation junkies I presume. This was much bigger turnout than I had expected. I arrived a little late and quietly found myself a seat towards the end of the theater. And I was gripped by the movie from the get go. Being the animation nerd that I am also helped I am sure. The movie only used archived video interviews on screen. Interviews specifically conducted for the film were played as voice overs while funny and captivating imagery was played on screen.
The story started off by talking about the time when Disney was in shambles. None of the movies were the success everyone hoped they’d be. The animators were beginning to lose hope and thought their days at Disney were numbered. Through home video footage we see animators staging a zombie apocalypse enactment in the studio. It was a nightmare scenario for these animators who were ripped apart from their ‘home’ their old studio and put in a new facility, uncertain of their fate.
But the magic was returned through the hands of the talented people like Eisner and katzenberg who were brought in at what was the lowest point of the company’s history. With a slew of successes from The Great Mouse Detective and Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Disney animation era jump started again. Audiences were coming back to the theaters in hordes, the movies were making more and more money and the studio was prospering. However, all was not well.
Animators still had a very stressful life. They worked long hours as Disney resolved to release one new feature length movie each year. They hardly had time to go home. Animators spent days and nights in the studio, never saw their family and kids. This was what everyone had always told me what working in the animation industry is like. The animators made the most of what they had. The studio became their second home, their co-workers became family. They had margarita nights where they let loose.
The focus of the film shifted from the animators to the executives. The politics higher up in the company played an important role in the creative decisions of the studio. However, they did not seem to capture my interest. But it does serve as a lesson that the fate of a company can change drastically in the lack of good leadership. Also that good leaders need to keep their personal differences aside and work towards the greater good.

Friday, May 07, 2010

SCAD president's chat

Today, I believe Savannah College of Art and Design did something that had the potential of being HUGE! They had an open forum for students, faculty and staff to ask questions directly in front(or in the online presense) of President Paula Wallace. I was at work in Montgomery Hall cage and my friend Vijay Prabhakar who works at SCAD in Keys Hall reminded me that this was going on. And I decided to participate. I am copy pasting my question and answers I got.
Yash Gupta: The SCAD site is very information heavy, but still does not provide me with an idea of what other students are creating and doing. I would love for scad to provide a forum/gallery where students can put up their work and interact with peers. I am sure this is something that would also appeal to prospective students. What are your views about such an offering?
Paula Wallace: I am encouraging each chair to present lively, relevant information on each department's Web site.  I believe recent past projects, guest speakers, awards, and facilities should be highlighted. We are very proud of our esteemed faculty, alumni, and students.  I would like to see each department's Web site more effectively communicate its life and essence.

This, to me was a very unsatisfying answer. I really suggested something more open. Even if they were to come down to a level where each professor was displaying their students' works on a section of the SCAD website, it would mean more student works get exposure.

Then Jason Parker responded with the following:

Hi Yash, I'm SCAD's social media manager. We have a number of program-specific groups and pages on Facebook where students are encouraged to interact with each other. You can find a comprehensive list on SCAD's Facebook page at http://facebook.com/scad.edu under the ''Connect'' tab.

I feel this doesn't get us anywhere either. There are already better forums like conceptart.org and deviantart and blogger blogs where people can display their work. But the problem is exposure. When put under an umbrella of SCAD, the students are bound to get more focussed traffic and response and appreciation. I have a facebook fan page of my work that only has 17 fans at the moment.

Anyways, the fun didn't stop there. More after the jump break.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

More Beanbag Animation

I am very glad I did not post my flag animation here. While going through everyone's flag animation in class and hearing what Troy had to say to most of them about things they needed to fix, I inherently figured out that my animation was a piece of crap and will need to be fixed a LOT if I am to get a decent grade. I guess that's what you get when you finish your work last minute.

So I will be redoing the flag. In the mean time, I wanted to get going on the assignment I enjoy more, the Bean bag. I had shown my angry jab to Aradhana and she said it just seemed like he was poking or touching something. I decided to work some other actions into it. Like he may start off with a heavy exhale like a puff and go at the poor victim. Then he turns around in another grunt when he notices something that shocks him. That's where I am at. I cannot decide on which 'fear' emotion I want to work with. the duck? cower? retreat?


And actually just typing about this, I figured I might need more of a finger wagging than a jabbing action for my bean bag. I don't quite feel up for it tonight. My throat's got me down. So until next time folks!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Bean Bag Animation

Pulled the first honest complete all nighter this quarter. Finished my flag animation, but here's something a little more intertaining (interesting+entertaining- that's my sleep deprived brain for you)
I call this Angry Jab. The first emotion my bean bag is going to act out. The entire animation has to be atleast 4 seconds with 3 distinct emotions. I mapped it out to anger the first second, then transition(shock) and 2nd emotion(fear) for the rest.

Gotta go catch the bus now.

Thursday, April 08, 2010

If I had seen this last night, I wouldn't have gone home.

The backstory goes something like this... I came to Montgomery hoping to get some kick-ass (my ass kicking) work done over the course of the night. I animated a few frames of the flag and shot it and it was extremely disappointing. Not just disappointing, it was actually terribly demotivating. I was not enjoying it at all. I knew very little to try to apply to the assignment I was working on. I had been there for only about two and a half hours. So I decided to plough through for a little bit more.

I switched gears and started working on the bean bag animation. I was enjoying this much more. But still the terribly stiff and jumpy flag was poking me in the back of my mind. So rather than dealing with it, I decided to go home. Caught the last Silver B bus back to the terrace and slept it off.

But this morning when I got here, the bad taste of the flag animation was long gone. I captured my keys and looked at my little bean bag guy aggressively jab, jump back and finally get sad. It was such an exciting moment for me that I could not Not share it with you all. And I just wish I didn't have to go to the class now so that I could continue working on this guy.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

What I've been working on at this hour...

The entire room is deserted. So very peaceful up in here. Just wish my music was with me. I just finished animating the bouncing ball. All 74 frames of it. or 27 drawings. I had some from my previous session. Doing the rest, along with making some changes to the previous drawings took me about one and a half hour tonight. This time I uploaded the video on youtube and am embedding that here because youtube gives you the option of seeing it bigger.




I removed one frame from before the first hit to make the ball seem like it was coming down faster and not sticking to the ground. I tried applying the same idea to the second bounce, and changed the frames 21(22) and 23(24) to be a little higher. I suppose this drawing will help explain some things.
 All critiques welcome.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bouncing Tennis Ball Test01

 
Here is the result of about 45 minutes of planning/roughing/thumbnailing and animating. My first bouncing ball assignment. Done solely on the observation of a tennis ball bouncing and the few guidelines on spacing and timing given to us by Professor Troy Gustafson
I noticed that the ball lingers around the ground a little too long on the first bounce. I will fix it so that it immediately zooms back up. There's also more bounces to be animated. All that should be done this Sunday.

As for life drawings, I have been doodling in class and will scan them as and when I get the time.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I think I found my Favourite black pencil!

This is a page of studies done from Stephen Silver's Passion for life sketchbook. Stephen Silver has a style of deforming the human figure which appeals to me a lot! But as I tried to loosely copy the drawings, I lost track of the structure and thus my studies look like absolute crap!

But on the bright side, I was workin in black pencil, which i rarely do lately. But this was a new pencil I got as a sample from a workshop at SCAD last quarter. And despite my very loose light hand, the marks came out very dark. And I like that about it. Bolder marks have something of a commitment and confidence to them. Anyways, That's all for now. Off to my Drawing for Storyboarding class with Benjamin Phillips!

Digital form space and lighting class

The second one is a render from a work in progress stage. The final renders are in a tif format and I cannot convert them to jpeg just yet. Consider this as a teaser and wait for the final images sometime this week.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Finally got time to post some more


Yay! The quarter ended! These are from a few weeks ago. But I promise more recent stuff is coming soon.

Monday, March 08, 2010

Bohemian Bullshit

"You gotta learn to bullshit; Talk like a bohemian." he said.

The more I read, the more I am convinced I have no talent whatsoever with words, sentences and narratives. So I cannot, try as I might, make this any more interesting as it already is. Let me just give you some background.

The 'wise guy' who proclaimed the above is in my Survey of western art 2 class. We finally got our grades today. I always just thought to myself in that class, "I don't see it", "I don't get it" or sometimes even I don't agree. I constantly tried to analyze everything we read, watched and heard. Which would lead to me being overwhelmed by just how complex it all is. So much more involved than just memorizing dates and names like we did in survey 1. Thus, my final grade came as a complete surprise to me.

Walking out of the classroom, I casually asked him how he did in the class, and then remarked with a "good job!" when he started:

"Well, I was getting a C in this class, and I was scared I might go down to a D."
"oh..."
"But you know, you just gotta know how to bullshit. Learn to talk like a bohemian." he said while making grand gesture with his arm...
"uh... sure..."
I had, at that point, stopped paying attention.

Ever since 10th grade board exams, we have been told stuff like "Just make it look like you wrote a lot, nobody reads those essays anyways." or "Just throw big words in there". There were also tales of those who wrote plots of movies in their math papers and still passed. (I personally cannot verify that last one was true.) However, I considered that very unfair and never ever attempted such a thing. That is why finding a place where teachers actually take the time to read and remark on your college level papers with all their incoherence and grammatical errors was a reason for much joy.

I don't think I would have scored 100% on this class by bullshitting on the papers. I think it was my critical thinking and judging and analyzing that got me this mark. I am extremely happy about this.

I wish I could have been a little bit of a jerk that one time and told it to him to his face. Oh well, that's what I get for being a nice guy.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

The right mouse button

I have been enjoying my maya project more than I thought I would. The credit for that goes to my friend Ali who helped me out tremendously over the last two weeks to teach me some really amazing techniques and to walk me through the process. He offered to come sit with me at Montgomery late at night and show me his way of doing things. I was thoroughly impressed by his speed and thus proclaimed him the God of Maya. His secret? knowing all the keyboard shortcuts, mouse gestures and combination of both.

I was surprised that I couldn't find many resources on the internet that listed these hidden shortcuts in Maya. So I thought I would take it upon myself to write about it, to help out other newbies and intermediate users of Maya. Now I use 2010 but these should work in atleast a couple versions going back.(*unverified)

Almost everyone knows holding down the right mouse button over an object in maya will give you the mini menu to go to object mode, planes, vertices, edges(for polygons) and so on and so forth. But what really makes this shine is that Maya is trained to understand gestures. For polygons, pressing the right mouse button and dragging the mouse upwards and releasing will immediately go to edge mode. Cuts down the time it takes to press right mouse button, wait for menu, then mouse over edge and release. Memorize that down is face, left is vertices.

Now lets take the RMB a step further. Shift+RMB will give you a context sensitive mini menu that will give you access to various modeling tools with much less effort than the spacebar hotbox or the toolbox or shelf. Again, these are gesture enabled. So shift+RMB+down gesture will give you extrude edge or face.

There is another context sensitive mini menu that pops up with ctrl+RMB. hold down control and right mouse button gives you options like converting selection to faces, edges or vertices for polygons. Try this out to discover all that this has to offer.

Finally, lets again go back to something that is probably the first thing everyone learns when they are taught Maya. The hotbox, which I mentioned earlier is accessed by pressing and holding the spacebar. But what most people do not know is that there are more right mouse button options available when the hotbox is on screen. Press RMB on the "maya" (center of the hotbox) and you get options to go to the different views available. Perspective, top, front, side. Again gesture enabled like you'd probably expect by now. So go ahead, amaze everyone with these new tricks up your sleeve.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Gesture again

This one is from the first 2 week of classes. Before Jan 21st is the best I can do with date. It was done using brush pen on 24x36 newsprint pad. Selected by Sherran Deems.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Changing gears

This is a longer drawing done over the course of two weeks. Two models posed separately and had to be incorporated in one finished piece. The end result was surprising even to me.
I did a rather big drawing of the female lying down in portrait orientation. This because last time, I had done a smaller full figure drawing of the standing female in this piece and ended up with quite a lot of negative space.
But I had not anticipated the model for the next week to be on the bigger side. I was now faced with a challenge of how much of her do I want to incorporate, and where. I went ahead with what you see here, mostly disappointed with the result the first half of the session. I was encouraged by a classmate Lisa. And I walked out of the class feeling like I had succeeded in pulling this one out of the gutter in the end.

The result, Sherran Deems said looked like something Philip Pearlstein would paint.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Two more

I am posting two more gestures to compensate for yesterday, the day I missed.
This second drawing is actually in the correct orientation. The model did this hand stand kind of thing where his whole body was resting on his feet and palm. supercool.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Leaning on the stick

Another one that the figure drawing teacher picked out. I'm not too fond of it tho.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Bounce back

Yes, I have just bounced back from a bout of cold. Shouldn't have gotten wet in the rain. Nevermind.

I shall now start posting more gestures from the weekend homework assignment.
I took my little sketchbook to open model session on Friday. And these drawings were the ones selected by Sherran Deems.

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Run for it

Done from a bus as I saw another student running to catch the bus. I look at it and go it does not look very exaggerated like a running cartoon.
I think I know why. The student was also carrying a backpack that probably weighed him down a little and prevented him from running a little more actively.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Horizontal Brush Pen technique


I read about using a brush pen like a conte instead of like a brush to draw gestures and this was one of my first attempts. The wide horizontal surface of the brush ended up giving the drawing a little lumpy feel as my lines were not as thin and streamlined.

Saturday, January 16, 2010