Wednesday, March 31, 2010


1) I'm a member of this recently created association of filmmakers called Student Filmmakers of India ( I uploaded two of my animated films on there and now I've been selected as Best Director of the Month for April 2010 for my film Trails. It's a small community right now so it isn't that competitive. But it still means something.

2) I have my first big interview day after tomorrow.

3)My parents moved back to America yesterday and I get to reunite with my dog this weekend after so many months.


(update: 04/27

I realized that the link for the Student Director of the Month won't be working after April 2010, so here are some screenshots from their website:

This is along with 2 other people, whose names are there when you scroll down. This is all that my window could fit!

And when you click on my name you get....!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Summore Tests!

And some more!! This is just me testing my animation and at the same time trying out different things with editing and composition and style and what not. I'll have more than just mirroring effects in the final piece, I promise.

So I tried animating with pastels and boy it's messy. I had my production class today where I showed my tests and people pretty much like it the way it is right now. I still want to try and go back and refine the lines a little with crayons, so they're not just of even thickness. Especially the stick figured characters.

So much more animating left to do!

And on a side note, I no longer have flu!! Yay.

Friday, March 19, 2010


So I guess I can say that I have officially started animating for this project. Am I happy with what I am animating? No. I've been really sick with some sort of viral flu for the past 4 or 5 days and now is not the time. People are out frolicking in the apparently warm weather and I am still parading around in my winter jacket.

I really hope that I develop a proper style quickly in the process of animating this. I can make beautiful individual abstract drawings of Bharata Natyam dancers, but once I start animating and get a couple of frames into it, the figures start to resemble "beautiful and abstract" less. It's one of the challenges I have to overcome for this project, I suppose.

I really like the drawing style I have in my Figure Drawing class, and it's probably because I'm using charcoal, and also maybe because I'm drawing big. I don't know if I would be able to animate with something like charcoal/pastels, but I really want to try. The thing is, I don't know if I have the time to experiment anymore. Right now, literally whatever I animate has to be in the final film. I guess this is one of the problems of making a complete film from pre- to post- production in 10 weeks. There is so much scope for learning, but not much for going back and perfecting from what you learn.

But anyway, what I have above is what I've done since the last update, quickly put together. It isn't exactly what the final film will look like, but it hints heavily at it.

We'll see..

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Hello Hello, Testing Testing...

I figured I'd start experimenting. It's better if I figure out potential problems with animating at this stage rather than later.

This is a quick AfterEffects test I did. It wasn't shot properly because I need someone to teach me how to use the scanner in our lab. The drawings I did today were supposed to be rough and for experimenting, but I might end up using it in the end. So I didn't want to risk batch scanning the papers without any training with the scanner and having it eat all the paper up.

Not sure how I feel about the animation though.

Will post more details about the project later.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


First times are the scariest. First week of school, first class, first big project, first time with a new language, firsts, firsts firsts.

So my first week is over. Relief? I'm not sure yet. Nine weeks left to finish my one-quarter project. Treatments and storyboards/visual displays due next week. Then the animation begins I suppose. It's scary to think that one week's gone from the 10 weeks we get. And it's technically not even 10 weeks. Because by weeks, what I really mean is weekends- how much can you get done during the weekday with classes? Films are due for screenings Friday of Week 10. So for all practical purposes, we get 9 weekends to work on this, one of which is almost over. 8 weekends. Heh.

But the ideating is the most important step (and the hardest step for me). I realized that. I struggle during the pre-planning stage. I set realistic goals after all that's done. But the planning bit gives me a heart attack, and it takes me a while to start believing in my idea. That's just the really self-critical side of me. I just need to make it a point to not make it self-deprecating.

I had figure drawing today, and I'm so glad I'm taking it. It's going to help me a lot with my gesture drawings for my project first of all, and secondly, it's relaxing.

We started out with quick poses and then went on to longer ones. The first 3 or 4 weeks will be mostly gesture drawing, so I'm really happy about that.

I have a really bad head ache. Paint fumes in the hallway. Blegh.

Blog entries look so awkward with pictures lined up like this =/

Friday, March 5, 2010

Warm Up

About time I did. It took me an hour to warm up, and another to stop feeling negative about my drawings. My proportions are so off today.

Models from Great source for artists.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

And Other Updates

Here's the product of many weeks of trial & error and meticulous work and rendering and re-rendering and burning and re-burning DVDs and this and that and other fun stuff :

Modeling Demo Reel from Shreyasi Das on Vimeo.

And here's my final project for my intro to 3D Animation class which I got a full score on! The sound quality is a little bad. It is taken from Singing in the Rain.

Monologue Acting from Shreyasi Das on Vimeo.

And my first 3D walk cycle:

3D Walk Cycle from Shreyasi Das on Vimeo.

Enjoy.. and more to come.

Classes I am taking next quarter:

Animation Production - that's where we spend the entire academic quarter making an independently produced animated film.

Audio Concepts for Animation - I am really really excited for this course, because I'm a physics lover and sound waves and motion are my favoritest topics!

Deaf Art and Cinema- this should be really interesting..

Beginner's American Sign Language - this will be scary but fun. The class is taught by a hard-of-hearing or completely deaf teacher without an interpreter so that we are forced to learn the language by struggling. I'm sure there is a specific pedagogic term for it, but you get my drift. It's intense learning, basically.

I'm also thinking of auditing a drawing course. The only reason I am "auditing" is because it might become a heavy course load. But drawing is something I want to be doing continuously and consistently under the guidance of a teacher.

Oh which reminds me, here's the final composition with typography (theme: self-portrait) I did for my 2D design class. I'm not too impressed with it, but the teacher really liked it.

Starry Eyed

Just got back to Rochester from my short vacation in L.A. And it was great! I was feeling rather guilty about it, thinking I'd be better off doing something productive during break, even though I am not really required to do anything productive.

I sent off all of my important summer internship applications before leaving. I guess it is sort of a weight off of my shoulders, but then there is the weight of waiting (ooh wordplay!).

So the whole idea of going to Santa Monica, LA was to tag along with my friend who will be graduating soon with an MFA. She attended a Documentary Workshop hosted by the International Documentary Association, and took me and another friend along with her.

And of course, since I was in L.A., I wanted to see everything. And by see everything, I mean, visit at least one animation production studio for the first time in my life. I contacted the studios a little too late, since I really had no time to prepare for the trip until right before our flight (which got canceled by the way due to distasteful Rochester weather. Had to take the bus to D.C. then fly out of Dulles instead.. 'Twas a bad bad day).

Anyway, I wasn't too hopeful about being able to visit the studios, and so I am more than grateful for having been able to visit Klasky Csupo, while walking aimlessly toward Hollywood, and getting to talk to Arlene Klasky and say hi to Gabor Csupo. I was starry eyed. Not because I was in Hollywood, but because I was in a studio. Talking to people passionate about what I am passionate about.

I also got to visit a small studio called Ring of Fire, a few 18 blocks away from the hostel we were staying in. Out of the 18 blocks, I ran 7, since buses were slowing down during the rush hour. It was an equally nice experience.

And the trip was worthwhile =) I even got a call from Nickelodeon agreeing to meet me for an informational meeting. But unfortunately, I had already left L.A.

Lesson learned: Plan ahead!! I knew that already, but we all need refreshers.

Now I need to plan ahead for my next quarter.