Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wee Hours

Trails from Shreyasi Das on Vimeo.

It is DONE! Finished it in less than a week. I agree that it's kind of slow, and too long. And I also just noticed that the flower got scaled up somewhere in the process so it's really close to the edges of the frames. So I have to go back and fix that, and a few other things.

But this is what it looks like right now, and I am really, really tired. Froot Loops for dinner. 2 consecutive days. Looking forward to lunch right now.

And also very nervous about showing this in class today. I'm not afraid of critiquing. It's just that... everyone else's is 30 seconds. :S

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Froot Loops for dinner!

Quick post about my amazing amazing discovery. I went to the library again today. This time for my 2D design class- to look at old artwork or archival photographs for our next project.

And... I found... a mini world of animation. One whole shelf dedicated to the brilliance of Hanna Barbera, Disney, Tex Avery, Chuck Jones, Pixar stuff... There were books ranging from Illusion of Life to books that were just lists of good animated films to watch. All they did was list out short films in small print for a good 200 or so pages. There was a book dedicated to listing out all the "uncensored" animated films that have been made. Books about the animation style of the 50's. It was lovely. I was a happy child huddled in front of the stacks of books. And inevitably, my 2D design project will be heavily influenced by it. (Although I did spend a considerable amount of time browsing through a book about old French poster artists).

It was time well spent.

And I returned with a book on Chuck Jones : A Flurry of Drawings. And a book about the silent live-action (with a little animation mixed in) films made by Disney, especially the Alice comedies. And a book about the previz art of Disney animated films. They are amazing.

And I am definitely going back to the library and going through more of this once I have more breathing space.

P.S. I'm starting to hate living right across the "social lounge" in the dorms.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Dare I say Inspired?

Third assignment from Intro to 3d Modeling- Standing and waving. And the reference video for it.

I've had a million thoughts going through my head. A million disconnected thoughts. Euphoric, skeptic, relentless, homesick, etc. etc.

(It's still hard to fathom that those I love are oceans away from me. It's not a depressing thought or anything. Just sometimes overwhelming. I miss my dog.)

Anyways. As far as I, as an artist, am concerned, I am sorry to say that my challenge with myself of making one drawing everyday has to be modified a little. :P There just isn't the time. With all the school work, dealing with my parents' mails that are now forwarded to my school address, and general college stuff. When I do get the free time, I need to work on my internship applications. And if not, get some sleep. Or take some time out to eat... you

But it's still in the back of my head. Creative outlet. Must happen.

So, my new crush - AfterEffects!! I'm working on a film made entirely in AfterEffects right now. It's our first assignment using the software in my 2D Computer Animation class, and it is, dare I say, coming out quite nicely! Of course, having just come out of 5 weeks of work on Flash, I can't help but be hesitant and nervous that something absurd will happen to my animation and I will feel like hiding under my covers. But so far so good. Knock on wood! And I'm excited that it is going to be an actual film. Not making a character dance across the screen without its limbs flying in the opposite direction (that's Flash for you! Or for me rather). Those assignments are nice. But I've felt so...deprived... not having made a proper film in a long long time. Since last Spring actually.

It's the time of the quarter when the syllabi wrench your lungs (ok, maybe I'm exaggerating), but honestly honestly- I have a lot to get accomplished this week.

I'm thinking of concentrating in American Sign Language now. Before it was Archaeology. And before that it was Writing Studies. And way before that it was Mathematics.

=) SO many opportunities in college.

Oh! And my typewriter from modeling class is actually going to be in a film! In a senior thesis! I don't know how much screenspace my lovely sanskrit typewriter (although I'm pretty sure they'll change the sanskrit trait of it) will get in the movie, but it is exciting enough for me that it will exist in real time. =)

Okay. Ethics and then good night.

Until then, gaze at the main character of my soon to be finished AfterEffects film:

Tuesday, January 12, 2010


This was when I let my hand do whatever it wanted with the pen.

This was when I came back to my room from class and wanted to fly a kite.

I love sharpies.

Monday, January 11, 2010


So I've decided that from now on, I'm going to do at least ONE drawing everyday. Quick, laborious, colored, not colored, between classes, before bed, whatever. Whatever comes to my mind. Just has to be something NOT for class.

I might not be able to post them everyday, but I'll draw it.

So, this is my first...

Inky Pinky Ponky

Finally, the gesture drawings I promised myself I would put up:

And doggies!... The first one and some of the second are of Joey, my 2 year old Pomeranian. The rest are my teacher's dogs.
I did some while I was in Kolkata, in preparation for what would potentially be my one-quarter project here at R.I.T. I've yet to scan them. I really want to do something gestural and cultural. Going back to India twice in 3 months might've been a driving force :P

My original idea was to have the animations on a hand-made paper texture... All traditional. But as I think more about it, I want to do more to it... Add backgrounds with watercolors, etc... I went to the souvenir shop in Kolkata, because I wanted to take back memories of my city, no matter how tourist-y that seems. And I found beautiful postcard collections of watercolor and ink paintings of just ordinary scenes of Kolkata. It was called Portraits of Kolkata and the paintings were by Samir Biswas. They were really inspiring in their simpicity. It wasn't displaying the (stereotypical) "rich culture" of India to tourists- with colors and well-known festivals or anything like that. I'm not denying India has a rich culture or is monochromatic or anything. But sometimes one needs to stop and look. At the chai shops propped under a Banyan tree. The little hand-made mandirs on the side of the road.

I'm trying to find some website reference to his work as I type this. It's amazing how little known some great illustrators are. Samir Biswas probably isn't that obscure, at least not in Kolkata. I just found out he did the drawing for the restaurant, Oh Calcutta!

Speaking of which, I bought a few beginner's Bengali books from Kolkata for my friend who wants to learn to write Bengali script. It had little drawings next to the alphabets.. Like in an English book you would have the drawing of a cat next to the letter "C". And we were both talking about how these illustrators are overlooked. They're just so amazing and simple and expressive. You should walk into a crowded book fair in the fields one day and step into the children's educational book stalls. Awesome. I wish I appreciated all this before when I had such easy access to them.

Here are some stuff.. Not exactly what I'm talking about, but stuff I find to be great nonetheless:

Some of them (not these ones in particular) remind me of the John and Faith Hubley styles...And I absolutely love their works. I watched The Tender Game today on CartoonBrew and it made me tremendously happy.

Anyway, I'm going off on tangents. My point is, looking at those paintings by Samir Biswas, I want my film to have similar backgrounds. There's too much inspiration around me to let me settle with one idea and be satisfied with it. I guess my ideas are still amorphous at the moment.

Another one of my inspirations was a short film called Madagascar, carnet de voyage, which we saw in the Animation Show of Shows conducted by Ron Diamond at our school last quarter. I absolutely fell in love with it.

Speaking of inspiration, I finally decided to motivate myself to find time to start reading again. I went to the library today after class and got a book. Jhumpa Lahiri's Unaccustomed Earth. It's a collection of short stories. Might be a little too serious/deep seeing as what I really wanted was light reading. But I'm gonna do this. Finish it before it's due.

I should go back to studying Ethics now.