Thursday, July 29, 2010

on a side note.

"The Domestic Abuse Helpline for Men and Women (DAHMW) is a volunteer directed national non profit agency that offers supportive services to and public awareness about under served victims of intimate partner violence.

We have submitted an idea to the Pepsi Refresh Project Pepsi is giving away millions to fund great ideas. Ideas are chosen for funding through public voting on submissions.

We are looking for volunteers to spread the word about our project idea and encourage people to vote for us daily(voting starts August 1st). Ideally you will enlist your social networking friends to vote daily for our idea as well. Voting begins August 1st and ends August 31st.

Skills: Social Networking: Must be creative and knowledgeable about social media sites, blogs and group lists.

Requirements: Access to a computer and the internet for at least one hour a day.
Contact: Jan Brown at"


Saturday, July 24, 2010

headed somewhere

So I've finally decided to make a 3D film for my next school project, thanks to a little encouragement from my professor. I was pretty hesitant about making the decision because I've no experience in rigging or cinematography. I can figure out ways to simplify texture and lighting, and even cinematography for that matter. But the thought of rigging makes me nervous.

I'm planning on a robotic, mechanical character to save time on rigging, but I still have very little knowledge on how I'd go about it. So I'm redoing this rigging assignment we did in class from the Modeling and Animation Handbook, and hoping I'll be able to figure things out.

Here's a little something I quickly doodled as "early concept art" while waiting for Final Cut Pro to render an edit I did for a small intern project. The mustache was a new addition to the character design I had in mind, but I don't know how I'd animate it quite yet. I've never worked with clusters and stuff.

I'm hoping I'll be able to learn something from one of my supervisors here at Humble. I finally got to meddle with some 3D stuff yesterday. I modeled this 2D paper cut-out-ish character using poly planes and used tools like the Sculpt Geometry tool, nonlinear deformers and a few others. It might be how South Park characters are modeled, I'm not sure. I read an article about it once. But I'm pretty sure I took a long round-about method because the texturing and stuff wasn't working as easily as it should've. Anyway, so this character has a mustache and I asked my supervisor if I could shadow him while he animates it. It probably won't get animated while I'm still here though.

Anyway, and here's another random thing I did in Flash while waiting to be assigned a project. It goes by a little faster than I wanted it to but didn't get the time to fix it. I wish these players would let you frame-by-frame the videos.

Also, I found a grey hair on my head today :( And I finally watched Despicable Me! It was awesome of course, except I felt like I missed out on a lot of gags at times cause sometimes there'd be so many going on at once, right after another, and there's a soundtrack playing practically all through out the film. But so entertaining and fun characters!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

people jumping off buildings

So just a quick note thingy about my amazing discovery while adventuring with my friends in Madison Square Park.

Statues of the same bare man on the roof of super-high-rise buildings standing super-close to the edge! It's hauntingly beautiful. Gives me the goose-bumps, and is a temporary installation work by the amazing sculptor Antony Gormley. It's a self-portrait I believe, and very effective in it's purpose, if you read the article:

The project name is called Event Horizon.

This guy has really awesome sculptures that focus on the human body, and some pretty intriguing drawings too. Check it out.

Friday, July 16, 2010

dabble dabble

Blah. Just playing around with the tablet.

I realized I like working with tangible things more. I prefer a pencil and paper over digital stuff.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I started experimenting with using my tablet and ToonBoom. This took me the entire day! The landing is kindof awkward, I know.

There's obviously a lot of cool features I haven't figured out yet, so it's fairly elementary. But I'm glad I got something done today while being put on hold by Verizon high speed internet agents the entire day and teaching a parent how to use a computer :D

Monday, July 12, 2010

the bong update

Just came back from a wonderful weekend at Atlantic City. Every year, Bengalis from all over North America get together for the North American Bengali Conference (NABC), also called the "Bongo Sommelon" in Bengali. This year, it was held at Atlantic City. It’s basically a huge get-together of Bongs from all over, with live performances from local and famous artists, cultural exhibitions, and super-expensive food. To be honest, I wasn’t too excited about it.

Yes, I’m a cultural person, and I love being a Bengali. But I never quite enjoyed Bengali music, film, literature, etc. I appreciated the fact that we Bengalis are an artistic lot, but never engaged myself in it. I was pretty much a Westernized child while I lived in Calcutta. And I liked Hindi films and music more than Bengali…

But now I’ve come back an almost-die-hard fan of percussionist, Bickram Ghosh (there’s something about live percussion performances that make you feel good about life), bought two of his albums, and a bunch of films by Bengali directors, Anjan Dutt and Aparna Sen. I even considered buying some translated Tagore and Satyajit Ray shorts, but they were pretty expensive compared to its original price in Rupees. But that’s what you get for leaving your country and wanting things from there! Definitely check Bickram Ghosh out though.

Speaking of Bengalis, last month’s 11 Second Club winner was a Bengali from my hometown! I took a look at his other entries and he has track record of high-rated submissions. It’s nice knowing that you don’t necessarily have to come all the way to the US, despite the slew of opportunities you get here, to be awesome at animation. In fact, there are so many opportunities now in India.. even in Calcutta.

And speaking of the 11 Second Club, I tried my hand at last month’s competition. I wasn’t too proud of what I did but it was my first time and just an attempt to make sure I keep at this animation thing. I think most people didn’t like it cause I didn’t have a creative scenario going on. I read all the instructions about how you shouldn’t spend too much time on the looks and modeling, and went ahead and assumed you can’t be creative with it, which was rather silly of me. But anyways…I made some changes to it. It’s still not perfect obviously. But I’ve a lot on my plate now, and I think I should start off with simpler exercises- like with body dynamics and stuff- before diving into dialogue and acting. I haven’t even formally learned how to lip-sync yet.

Redone Entry

I recently bought a tablet (Intuos4 Small) and downloaded a trial version of ToonBoom. There’s a lot I want to do in whatever’s left of Summer, but I don’t have too much time. Nevertheless, I’m going to try. I’ve never used a tablet before so I have to get used to sketching on that, and also, animating with it. I realized a few days back that I’m really not equipped to do any one thing. Yeah, I made a traditional hand drawn film that got a lot of recognition, but apart from drawing on paper, I really don’t know how to do much of anything else. I know bits of different things, but not comprehensively. The last few days I’ve been pretty demotivated about the skill-set RIT’s given me so far and about the fact that I haven’t really had much responsibility given to me at my internship because I don’t know anything extensively yet.

Train Doodles

I think I just need to get back to the workflow to start feeling good about myself again.

So, the past few weeks while I was rotoscoping mindlessly, I got myself hooked onto the Animation Podcasts, Spline Casts and Animation Mentor Webinars. While all the talk of CalArts being The Place to go for animation kinda got me disconcerted, I learned SO much about the industry just by listening to all these people speak. It’s awesome, really. Really inspiring.

Train Doodles II

Anyway, looong post! So the next few weeks, I really need to get started on translating footage. There’s about 160 Gigs of it that I got from the filmmaker last week. Now that my exam’s over, I can spend time on it. But at the same time, I also have to practice animating with a tablet, brainstorm viable ideas for my next film (and decide between 2D or 3D!) and complete at least ONE polished 3D animation exercise good enough for a reel. Because believe it or not, I’m already worrying about next Summer. I've already kindof started thumbnailing an idea, but I think the idea's still too ambitious right now.


And just so you know- if you ever have one of those days when you feel negative about your work and feel kindof worthless- donate to charity. Sounds clich├ęd, but at least you’re doing something. It really does make you feel good.

Enjoy the 100 degrees!!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

it was written

Slumdog Millionaire was on last night and I was in the mood for some quick doodles. I forgot how much I enjoyed the movie. And the music.


And here's a random Aunti-ji of course.

Happy 4th of July!