Thursday, December 24, 2009

Business and Resolutions

Here's my preliminary idea for my business card. Using two of my gesture drawings:

New Year's Resolutions:

Read more animation blogs and maybe start networking so I actually have some followers :P
Draw more.
Reduce stress level by 1%.
Make awesome films.

Let's see how that goes. It's a relatively modest list to an outsider. For the past I don't know how many years, I had gain weight on my list. Yes gain weight. I'm still 45kgs. Since I don't know how many years ago.

I need to feel better. And get some work done.

3D Animation Update

So here's what I've done so far in my intro to 3D animation class.

Ball Bounce:

I am currently in India for Winter vacation, and it is exhausting. Still sick from the long flight and jetlagged of course. It is severely getting in the way of all the work I have to do.

Summer internship search in process. So hard to do with such slow internet here.

I have more stuff. More updates later.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Milo's Book

Here's my final animatic for my first animation pre-production class:

Milo's Book- Animatic from Shreyasi Das on Vimeo.

Not too happy with the sounds, even though it's a scratch track and even though it expresses the moods and ideas well, and even though the teacher loved it.

It's probably because I still can't grasp the notion of rough, unfinished sound. Sound is just so important to me.

It's all hand drawn, because I still haven't learned to use After Effects (that's next quarter) but I put together a layered animation in there - really quickly done - using Final Cut, Photoshop, and the drawings on my index cards :)

Gesture drawings to come soon!

Maya Update Cont'd

And here's a lab assignment that our professor didn't really stress too much on- just wanted us to complete it. It was a tutorial for Maya 6.0. But but but, it was doing it a really complicated manner and ended up with n-gons and more than 6 edges converging to a point, which were left unaddressed. I had a copy of the book with the tutorial CD, and when I opened up their finished work sample, I was thoroughly disappointed. The feet looked like octopodi, the fingers were not knuckle-y..Just...The whole body they modeled looked unrealistic. And unlike other stylized projects, this was meant to be realistic. So I tried to follow as much of the tutorial as possible, but deviated from it often when it started leading to redundant and complicated geometry. I don't know how efficiently I did it, but... here it is.

Anyway, the body I modeled is probably not the most perfect body in the world, but I'm satisfied with it, having done in just a week and a half with the machine project at hand. I wish I had a wireframed image with me right now. I'll have to get one when I get back to school.

And here he is, no longer beheaded!! The head too was a quick assignment. The purpose was to make us learn to model a body through extrusions. The method, not the accuracy. A preparation for our final character project, which would have to be accurate. But of course, it was to be stylized.

Well! I think that's all the modeling I have for now!!

Maya Update!

So here is all the other modeling work that I promised.

The bedroom project was our first "major project". We had a choice between a bedroom and a living room. I chose to make a little girl's stylized bedroom. And by stylized, I mean using less realistic proportions, to show that it's a little girl's world in a normal sized room. I'm really proud of this work. Of course, the light from the lamp could be perfected and made conical. Also, the lighting could have been better done to make a better circular composition- perhaps show less of the ceiling? Turn off the fan light and put in a night light on the the right so there's only the moonlight, the lamplight, and the nightlight?

Perhaps fix the curtain rings, and lessen the scale of the curtain rail?

One of the critiques I had was that the ceiling was too high. It was supposed to be like that, like in Britain? But I can see how it might look odd.

Here's a jpeg showing off my moonlight, which took a long time to reach his stage. Of course, it could always be perfected...

Again, here, the night light on the right would've made it look better, and drawn the eye around the composition.

Here are some random snapshots I took for myself-- not composed.

AND HERE is my second project- the machine project!!

It's an ancient, wonky, sanskrit typewriter. This jpeg here is a little messed up. A lot actually. I spent a lot of time on the modeling and texturing, and then, for some reason, my Maya file got corrupted and the shadows were rendering awfully or not rendering at all. The highlights are speckly, and all sorts of things. Basically, my textures weren't rendering true.

It was my problem partly. I'm not too happy with my texturing. Yes, it gives the old ancient look to it. But firstly, it isn't accurately what I envisioned. Secondly, it's just too much texturing.
I'm pretty sure most people will not know without me telling them that the main body is made out of rusty bronze and not wood. The textures on the two sides, and the modeling of the lever on the top doesn't look too good to me either. All in all, I'm not happy with this particular rendering.

Here's another one... With the wonkiness more clear! I'm quite pleased with the keys and the sankrit script, and the typebars on top with the subtle wonkiness to them.

And THAT is my favoritest image! :D I like the way the paper fold along the paper feed, how you can see the scale on the platen, the wonky look of the typebars... The ribbon spools look a little out of place and "unrealistic" here though..

Anyhow, it was all well received in class and by the teacher. And I got an overall score of 99% in the class!!!

More to come!!

In India now, and extremely exhausted.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


Almost done with the quarter.

So here's what I've been spending a lot of time on and finally finished. Well not finished. You never finish. As someone once said- (artworks) aren't finished, they're just abandoned.

Anyways. I've been devoting equally great amounts of time to all my projects in class, but considering the number of renders I've had to do until finally getting the lighting almost right and solving unexpected merged vertices problems in sneaky corners of the mouths making it look like there's a tiny hourglass lodged in there...and all that great stuff, this deserves to be put up first. Woo.

It's a pretty simple looking character. The clothing is not so elaborate. But I chose to design it that way because I knew the face, the rough look of the hair and the hands would easily take up the time allotted for the assignment (1 week, excluding designing the character) plus a little bit more :)

Here's the stuff I drew in prep for it (I have some satisfactory looking gesture drawings of Anya too but don't have them scanned with me so will post later): I modeled the head separately from the body, which is why the heads aren't so accurate in the first set of turnaround drawings. I realized issues with drawing the front view of a nose based on the side view and vice versa. And getting 3 dimensional eye sockets to work from two 2D drawings. Heh.

I'm still not entirely happy with the backlight. It makes the sleeves look really exposed and washed out during parts of the turnaround,

So her name is Anya. I don't know why her name is Anya. But I felt it was fitting. It's not even a British name, I don't think. But anyway, she's a British schoolgirl. Lofty yet mysterious. Rather, mysterious yet lofty. Yes, there's a difference. She's sort of based on a character (with a few major and a few minor differences of course) in a movie I want to make at some point in my life. The younger version of an older woman if you will. But anyway. I have a background story for Anya. I'm just not in a state of mind (aka. state of awakeness) to pen it down now.

And something I got out of playblast by mistake. But here it is anyway.

Good night.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

and once again.

I figured since I have time now, I'll get the gesture drawing stuff up here as well. I LOVE gesture drawing!!!

And environments!

3D Update

It's been a while since I updated my 3D modeling stuff. So THAT up there is my final still life composition. 'Twas received well. But my exposure's too high. You can't see all the texture of the fruits I worked so hard on :S

The helicopter and pig were tutorials.. They'd probably be better if I didn't have to follow the tutorial. But I learnt processes, which was the main aim I think.

And THIS over here is the start of a major project we just started. We had to choose to model either a bedroom or living room. I'm doing a little girl's bedroom. You know, the kind with white wood detailed furniture and linen and all that lacey stuff. I'm excited about it- we have to put in walls and ceiling and windows and doors. I still have to model a dresser, a chest, a bed table and pillows, along with the walls and things. Then texturing and lighting! I don't know if I'm off to a good start or not- there's so much left to do!! It's due Tuesday after next. I think I may have focused on too much detail than I should've from the start. I had to work on the chair more than once. I've been having unlucky days. I'm just hoping when I go to texture everything the modeling doesn't go haywire. I feel like it'll happen anyway. wood wood wood.

I've started working on storyboards for Milo, the Firefighter. The teacher liked my first draft. I have to go over it and refine things now. I don't think it visually tells the story without me explaining it yet. The thought of making a scratch track for it is worrying me..

Anyway, apple picking time.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Milo, the Firefighter

So for my animation pre-production class, I'll be making the animatic for Milo, the Firefighter. It's about the imaginations of a 4 year old boy who aspires to be a firefighter.

This is my first time doing character sketches. These are just preliminary sketches I'm doing ahead of time. I'm not too satisfied with them, but they're up for comparison with later sketches and model sheets.

The main character is Milo.
The secondary ones are Dan (big bro), Tiffany (big bro's annoying girlfriend), Ella (Mom) and James (Dad). I really like the sketch of James with Milo on his lap. I don't know why, but I just felt like drawing it.

I still feel woozy and flu-y, but it's getting better. Touchwood.

More art stuff to come!

Sunday, September 20, 2009


I've been sick all of yesterday and most of today :( Now is not the time for it!! Not when I have to do that for homework! I was in the 3D Lab from 10 in the morning to 6.30 in the evening, and it'd have been far more easier had my eyes and ears not been burning and had I not been shivering constantly.

Oh well. The one on top is my final composition, due Tuesday by noon. I think I'm gonna have to tweak it a little Monday night. That's the problem with finishing work early. You want to go back to it and do more.

Anyway, here are the other random snapshots I took to get closer looks of the modeling and texture and all that...

Okay for a beginner right? The glass bowl seems a little...unglassy to me though.


I hate being sick.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


I'm starting to get the hang of gesture drawing! And even if I can't do it right until a couple of hours into practicing, I love it! And I've actually gained the courage to draw as life happens, instead of wishing to pause life for me.

It's an awesome feeling! I wish I had gesture drawing classes more than once a week.

As for 3D modeling, I'm getting the hang of it too, I think. But it's too soon to say. I modeled a candle on a candle stand (with wax and all!) and then a bowl of fruit. I did the candle twice. First time I did it, I felt satisfied with it. But after days of thinking over it, I realized it probably wasn't the most "efficient" candle. If you clicked on it, you'd get a heart-attack with the number of isoparms and CVs (it feels so good to know what those words are!! >.<

I'm reading The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby. It's... for lack of better words- sad. And the thoughts he has are thoughts I can relate to, even if anything that drastic has never ever happened to me, and hopefully never will. But being able to recognize what he means, the small things that come up in his mind, made me moist-eyed. It's just the way I am- I know emotional complexities without ever experiencing them. My scriptwriting teacher told me I have an "ability of delving into the human condition in a way that is older than my years". I'm not showing off, just saying.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dog Dilemma

Waaiiiit. I'm starting to doubt my notion that dog's can't scratch themselves with their hind legs without sitting down. I feel like I've seen dogs scratch themselves standing. Anyhow, HOW is this related? (if you don't know what I'm talking about, read the previous post)

Anyway. So courses I'm taking this quarter:

Intro to 3D Modeling: All so new and Greek to me. It's so hard to read instructions for a software when you haven't actually used it. Defies the purpose of instructions. Cause almost all the authors have this background knowledge lurking in their minds when they write the tutorials/instructions. NOW I know how hard it is for my mom to decipher the iTunes tutorials I write out for her, no matter how hard I try to simplify it for her. Anyway. Let's hope I can learn Maya faster than my mom can learn iTunes. =) i miss her.

Gesture Drawing for Animators: Haven't started drawing in class yet, but tried dabbling with it a few days ago (wait, what did I do all of summer??) and I don't think I'll ever feel like I'll get it right. Once again. When you're drawing the scribbles, you KNOW what you're drawing. The knowledge lurks in your mind. But does someone else who wasn't there when you were looking and drawing know what you were looking at? I can tell what action my drawings are doing, but can others? Thank god for school and critiques, although it hasn't started yet. Anyway! I get to read Drawn to Life, for freeee! Except it's not called Drawn to Life.

Fine Arts Visual Arts: A helpful course to have. But erm..

Animation Pre-Production: haven't had the class yet, but Yikes!

Wellness Course- Stress Management: No comment..... Except that it was the only wellness course fitting my schedule!!!! Everything else was either full or conflicting with my classes. I wanted to take Yoga but... See, my logic is this. In this class, I don't just learn Yoga, but also massage therapy and breathing techniques and everything. So it's an all encompassing course. Instead of taking Yoga separately and Massage Therapy separately. It's justified! It's just the course name that makes me uncomfy! Trust me! My stress is not debilitating!


Monday, September 7, 2009

Small Things.

First day of classes of sophomore year and I'm already overwhelmed! But it all looks like fun...

What did I learn in school today?

That I should take down notes wherever and whenever I realize something random and obvious yet important for animating. Watching daily life. A seemingly unimportant epiphany!

So here's mine for today:

When dogs scratch themselves with either of their hind legs, they can't do so without sitting down. I think...


Sunday, August 9, 2009

Posing Paints

So I was practicing quick sketches a few days ago from pictures of people posing, and thought, why not use paint? At first, I wanted them to look like the gesture drawings people do with paint- quick strokes representing so much dynamics.

But you know what it's like with paint. You may not actually be good at it at all (as in my case), but it won't stop you from painting on and on. So that's what happened here- I didn't want to stop with just lines, although maybe I should've and asked others if I did a satisfactory job with the "gesture drawing". Or "action drawing". I need to fix my definitions. But instead, I wanted to go ahead and do something different with it. It was difficult to stop. And it's so easy to make mistakes with paint, at least for me. I always tried to avoid working with paint, and even in my Foundation Drawing class (which, to be honest, was my first ever proper art course, unless you count the stuff in junior and middle school, where we weren't really taught anything. So, really, my first drawing course was in college. It's a frightening truth, but I wish people would disagree to it)... Anyway, even in the drawing class, when the teacher would ask us to do "loose paintings" of teddy bears and porcelain dolls, I'd be so hesitant. "It's supposed to look loose and quick". But you can never resist concentrating on details, slowing down the brush strokes, keeping a tight grip over your paintbrush. The teacher liked what I did, but I honestly didn't get what was so appealing. Same goes here, I tried loose, but I honestly don't know- is it good? Is it even loose? I probably spent 5 minutes on each.

And the result is this. Some of them I don't like- especially the ones which are just outlines and colored in, like a coloring book. It didn't start out like that, I had subtle shading and stuff, but again, I was trying to be loose! :S I wish I had viewers to tell me what they think of them, to critique and things. That's why I love school. I want to make the most of it. And once again, the same ol' argument- life is so short! Anyway, I did a few quick action sketches (or maybe not so quick- I need to work on that. Probably took a minute or so, but I'll get better), using reference videos. Mostly random YouTube stuff- Eadward Muybridge videos, sports videos, Charlie Chaplin videos, etc., etc. What I did was pause the video every few frames or so and quickly sketch the motion, and then repeat. Is there a better way? I don't know, I just randomly started doing it. I'll post those later. I don't know if it's a good way of keeping track of my progress or not, but I'll post them anyway.

Monday, August 3, 2009

In Color!

Yay! Finally finished it!! @ 24 fps, on twos. The quality here after uploading is terrible! Grr. I'm not too satisfied with it obviously. It's too stiff...And the head does nothing interesting.But I'm happy with the frills, it's my first time doing details like that in an animation.

I was watching the Dick Van Dyke show yesterday (after I Love Lucy!), and here's a quote I really liked from it: "You can draw a heart with a pen and paper, but you can't measure one"


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Tale of the Boy and the Butterflies

Hah. A lazy summer day. My attempt at a children's poem.


There once was a little boy of marvelous skill
He could conjure pretty butterflies by the strength of his will
Other little boys teased of his unboyish charm
While silly, girly girls squealed in alarm.

Before an unwanted trip to school, every day
Father chewing his breakfast would spray,
“Son, what is this foolish play?
No more butterflies from you, I say!
The neighbors point, the teachers complain;
No more butterflies from you today!”

Little boy with his head held low
Cried to Mother and begged to know,
“Why, oh why, do they not let me show,
Who I am, and what I do?
Daddy is cross and only says no,
Tell me, oh Mommy, do you hate me too?”

Mother said, “Hush now, go to school!
Nobody hates you, you are not a fool!”

Nobody understood how he felt
All they did was scold and yell.
So little boy, still feeling low
Walked to school, upset and alone.

And as he walked he thought of the unfairness
Bitter thoughts had made him restless
He stomped along, so much rage!
And as he did, the insects scurried away.

His anger was so frightening
The butterflies stopped fluttering
Oh the disaster that a heartbreak brings!
His fury took away the power from their wings

Everywhere the wings of butterflies crumbled
But somewhere close by, something tinkled
Out came a fairy from the bushes
She seemed the kind to grant children’s wishes

“I am the queen of the falling butterflies,” she sang
“You’re hurting my family, you’re hurting my clan.
I know what it is that is hurting you child,
You mustn’t let your sadness drive you wild!”

“Look around you, look what you have done
Your disbelief has caused so much harm!”
Little boy sobbed and said to the Queen,
“Everybody hates the butterflies I bring!”

“You are a special boy my child
Use your magic to wipe away their dislike!
Show them what beautiful things you can do
Show them what the butterflies mean to you!”

“Now run quick to school and do your magic
You can do it if you really, truly wish it!
In yourself you must believe
Use your will, all the troubles will leave!”

Little boy cheered up and thanked the Queen
He ran to school and to his teacher he beamed.
The teacher, however, didn’t look too happy
She sent him to the back, where he wouldn’t be distracting.

He sat in a corner facing the wall
Shut his eyes real tight and quietly called
To the flowers, the fruits, the rivers, the bees,
To summon the butterflies from the tallest trees.

And into the classroom, the butterflies flew
Yellow and green and shades of blue
Never before were so many seen
So many colors, the room now gleamed!

With colorful wings and magical things
The butterflies enchanted every being
The children leaped and the teacher cried
Gleeful cries of wonder and surprise

And one by one, as the butterflies came
Little boy no longer felt his shame
Word had spread and wiped all dread
Everywhere everyone called his name.

Such is the will of a little child
Unusual though he was, he didn’t mind
Everyone was delighted and will never forget
Every little boy and girl is of a special kind!


Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Boggle-dy Boogle-dy!

Ahh, here is my choicest photo from our weekend trip to St. Louis, MO. I love bathrooms and mind-boggling optics :)

I just watched the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy movie, and I am thoroughly disappointed with every second of it. The images in my brain are absolutely, completely different from those in the movie. Which is why I absolutely, completely hate the fact that I've failed to do my little set of HGTTG illustrations. Sad face.

I've been feeling irrevocably down lately. There's so much I wish I could say.

Monday, July 20, 2009

she's a laydayy!

With all the in-betweens for the legs. Now on to more! I'm gonna fix the feet now, then add the arms.

Again, excuse the quality. :S


I did the arms and shoes!

Sunday, July 19, 2009


I started working on a new walk cycle today. This time, I'm following the rules- one body part done accurately at a time. And I hope to add in details later on too. And color for fun.

It's not as feminine as I wanted, and I think it's because I gave her too much up and down movement on the pass pos and extremes. I was trying not to, but I guess even a little bit is too much. There's more leg movement than required too. I'm hoping, when I add the in betweens, and frills it'll look more feminine.

This is the key frames test. (done with my webcam by balancing my lightbox on my chest in front of the computer, so excuse the quality and the shakiness)


I bought Christopher Hart's How to Draw Animation a few days ago. Started reading it, and it felt like an easy read. It is an easy read. But then I started drawing with reference to it. And realized I have a long long way to go.

Maybe I just haven't been motivated enough recently.

Face angles:
(it took me a while to get the face-up and face-down positions right. I need more practice)

I've been getting countless brochures from SCAD since I applied there last to last winter, and I keep wondering whether I'm in the right place- I like it at RIT, I feel rather comfortable now, and switching over would be a great expense. I just don't know if I'll be able to live up to my own wishes or not. So far, I've been doing well at school- but is that enough?

I need some morale boosting. And maybe some time away from guilt. Of spending so much of my parents money on this.

I'm so scared.

Monday, July 6, 2009

polar plans

I've been doing some sketches of polar bears from pictures, evidently. Been trying to get the realistic feel before I make a more creative (or less realistic) character from them. But I realized they're just a bunch of circles and ovals. I mean, yes, I know, all drawings can be broken down into those basic shapes, but the polar bear is seriously amazingly all circles. I'm having a hard time making them look more than just basic!

Also realized they're bodies' are made of rings- so there's more than just two circles for their main bodies.

I had fits while drawing these- they're so adorable!!

Ooh, and almost done with The Animator's Survival Kit. Yay!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

provoke, evoke.

So my mum discovered Big Cinemas yesterday- a cinema hall that shows Hindi movies in the appropriate release dates =P. So we went to watch the newly released New York movie (although I rather would have watched My Sister's Keeper, or Transformers). So anyway, I had a lot to say and discuss about it yesterday, but the movie ended at 2 am and the thoughts I have thereafter usually escape me quickly =/

Anyway, it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. I mean, John Abraham is okay; Katrina Kaif, I felt, was more of a model than an actress, and the Neil Nitin Mukesh dude was new, and I have a habit of underestimating newcomers in Bollywood =)

But no, they weren't so bad actually. I mean, at first, even when they were gallivanting around New York State University showing off all the happiness and friendship in the world to background music (or song rather) and showcasing how prettily they can smile and laugh in slow motion, I was only slightly put off by it - which is amazing because I give up on Bollywood movies easily these days.

Okay, so back to the point (wait, what point?). The movie was actually enjoyable while I watched it- it wasn't a full on suspense/thriller with exaggerated twists (like in Race, for example...blegh)- but it was sufficiently engaging (in comparison). But I realized after the movie that I was pretty confused. I mean, this seemed to be a movie that would end with a moral, or at least hint on one. Okay, maybe "moral" isn't the right word. More like a message that "things are not the way you think they are", or "things will always be the same". But it gave out mixed messages. Ok, first of all, here's what the movie was about (let me try to google it to save the trouble of writing a synopsis)- ok here's one-

""New York" is a contemporary story of friendship set against the larger than life backdrop of a city often described as the centre of the world. For most of us, larger events in the world are just headlines in the newspapers but these events can change our lives... forever. "New York" is one such story of 3 young friends whose beautiful lives are turned upside down by larger events beyond their control."

"The large event beyond their control" is 9/11. One of the friends, Omar, who lost touch with the other 2 friends (Maya and Sam, who're a couple) due to love triangle issues (again, thank god- it wasn't greatly dramatized) is brought back into their friendship by the FBI because they suspect Sam is a terrorist (which is true) and they want Omar to spy on him while remaining their friend.

Anyway, I'm not gonna rant with the details of the movie, but back to the mixed messages- sometimes they say that foreign nationals are still looked upon dubiously, owing to 9/11 and terrorist attacks and such; other times they say that foreign nationals/brown-skinned people are incorporated as equals in the US and given as much importance as US nationals.

I mean, maybe both is true, but then it was weird because the mixed message was coming out of the same Muslim figure who, I suppose in this case, represented the whole of the FBI. Actually, he was pretty steadfast in his thinking- he was a Muslim representing the FBI in trying to capture Sam, the terrorist, except, he wanted to prevent him from doing what he was going to do instead of hold him in detention again and torture him again (the first time, Sam was tortured because he was suspected as a terrorist when he actually wasn't- they did vile things, and this is actually true- urinate on their faces covered with cloth and keeping the cloth on their faces the rest of the day with their hands tied, tying them up with a dog leash, stripping them naked and hanging them from the ceiling- you wouldn't expect these things in America, but they happened, to innocent victims, and it turned them vile and against the Americans. They were creating their own enemies). The fact that he was a Muslim and he was put on this case gave him faith on equality and human rights and what not. But at the same time, they were the people who put innocent people on detention and they were the ones willing to kill him off at the first chance they got.

It's interesting that the movie is being allowed to play here.

But anyway, if this was supposed to be an open-ended film, it still leaves a strange after-taste.
I don't know how I feel about it myself. I mean, I've had extra security checks in airports compared to other people standing in the same line. And it probably is justified. But at the same time, it's not like that at all. It's so confusing.

Maybe that's why I couldn't interpret the movie properly. I wish there were critiques on these movies to help me find a train of thought. Or maybe I'm still an amateur at these things.

But hey, I cannot deny, there were a couple of continuity errors and technical errors in there- even my mom noticed!

I think, this movie draws a few elements from Crash. It even borrowed on the police-officer-feeling-up-a-foreign-lady-passenger scene. In fact, on looking back, that scene was what triggered the rest of the plots in the movie. It angered the man who was driving the car, who was not yet a terrorist, but put through the same torture as suspected terrorists were put through before. He killed the police officer, and there you go- there's your threat. And that's how everything else started.

It kinda goes in a full circle. Which is why the closure of GuantanĂ¡mo Bay helps. It should break the circle.