Friday, October 19, 2007

Promo of Roadside Romeo released


Roadside Romeo is a forthcoming Bollywood animated film that will have Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor lend their voices to dogs for the first time.

Written and directed by debutante Jugal Hansraj who acted in films like Mohabbatein (2000) and Salaam Namaste (2005), this will be the first animated film that will be co-produced with the alliance of Yash Raj Films and Walt Disney Studios. The film will utilize state-of-the-art computer animation technology done entirely in India and will feature music, dances, songs and romance just like any other Yashraj Film so far. The film will be produced by Aditya Chopra and Yash Chopra under Yash Raj Films and is looking at a release in the summer of 2008.
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Having some fun with Live Action

Created this video some three years ago (2004) while in Bangalore at our workplace.

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Inspired by a lovely song 'kal rahe ya na rahe' by KK (video was created some five years ago)

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Feels great to be a part of the 'National Award' winning team

Tata Elxsi's VCL division wins National Award for Anniyan

Commenting on the award, Pankaj Khandpur, creative director, VCL, Tata Elxsi said, " Winning the National Award is no mean feat and we are extremely honored to have the nation's most prestigious award bestowed upon us. Aaniyan has some interesting visual effects and animation work by Tata Elxsi's VCL. About 6 minutes of SFX was delivered, executed by a visual effects team of five, and an animation team of 15, over a period of 3 months."

I got to create the 'Tunnel-way to hell' sequence when the Hero logs onto www.anniyan.com As I had a motion-graphics background, I teamed up with my colleague Rushi to create the sequence.

Interviewing AM Founders for cgTantra

Thanks to Bobby Beck and Carlos Baena for such a great interview with cgTantra. I am sure those character animation demo reel tips will help a lot to those wanting to learn about what goes into a reel.

Also, thanks to Rochelle Winters and Molly (AM) for co-ordinating with cgTantra to make this happen.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Visit to Pixar Animation Studios


(Nikhil and myself at the gates of Pixar, me with Mike Wazoski, my fav' buddy from Monsters Inc and then Sully, Mike and me)


(with the Finding Nemo figures and Apurva, with the Incredibles family and from right to left, Nik, Apurva Shah, Chand and myself)

I have got to thank Apurva Shah, VFX Supervisor, Pixar Animation Studios for helping us with a visit to Pixar and also to Chand and Nikhil for initiating this trip to SFO. For many animators, Pixar is a dream studio and being in its campus one can feel the strong vibes of high-quality animation. This place was really huge and the atrium hall had some awesome life-sized maquettes from famous Pixar movies and the walls had original artwork of their latest release 'Ratatouille'. It was inspiring to see rough sketches done by animators and the notes they would write next to the drawings. Also, it was great to see the super cool room where the 'dailies' take place.

This truly was an unbelievable experience. Wow!

AnimationMentor Graduation and The Party Afterwards


The G-Day banner, the Founders and Elaine Wu (AM classmate and award winner at the ceremony)


(AM mascot Spike and me sharing love and warmth, at the stage with Carlos after receiving the degree, Nikhil, Keerthi (Man, thanks a lot for all the help for being the local San Diego guy, thanks to your wife for the wonderful dinner, you are one crazy talented programmer-turned-animator I know and your paintings rock!) and Chand the guy clicking the picture, these were the shoulders I leaned on when I broke down missing my wife like crazy after getting the degree)



(Some crazy cool classmates who are now working on some soon-to-be released feature films)



(Sharing space with Mike Belzer, Animation Supervisor, 'Meet The Robinson's', Bryan Engram, Animation Supervisor, ReelFX Studios and Cathleen Hodgson from AnimationMentor.com, Carlos Baena, Animator, Pixar and co-founder of AM, guy with some insane amount of energy, he really showed his emotional side at the ceremony)

Monday, August 6th, 2007

This by far was the single most important day of my life as an animator. It ended up being an immensely intense and emotional moment sitting there in the hall on the graduation day. It was HUGE in so many ways, it meant achieving a dream I set out with all the support and strength my family could give.

It meant my wife and kid (I was blessed with a sibling for my son, a sister for him in the last term of AM, so yay! I am a proud father and a part of the AM Babies thread in the AM forums, ah! I miss it all now) sacrificing their weekends for me for 18 long months so I could work on my Assignments. I am pretty sure I am one of those lucky guys with a spouse really wanting you to have fun all the time while studying AM. Right from the beginning she showed great interest in AM and would always give valuable feedback on my assignments. She really has a great eye for detail and animation.

While shooting video reference for my assignments, my son Yash too would imitate me and deliver those dialogues acting things out. haha!

Thanks to Mom (she always would say looking at Bishop, the official AM character, on my computer screen, 'What? You are still working on that guy with the huge head? You work really slow.... :) , Dad for believing in me and supporting me to study further and my brother and his family for all the encouragement.

AM ROCKS!!!

Visit to Sony Pictures Imageworks, Culver City

While at Siggraph, I got immensely lucky to meetup with Mr. Barry Weiss, Senior Vice President of Animation Production for Sony Pictures Imageworks at their booth. He was more than kind to give me an opportunity to meet-up with Mr. Robin Linn, Director of Animation Production at their Culver City studio in LA.

It was extremely inspiring to breathe the same air as the animators at SPI do. Awesomeness!

And for making it all happen I whole-heartedly want to thank Rochelle Winters for making it all happen.

(This picture is of Rochelle and me at the AnimationMentor after-graduation party)


Los Angeles

Los Angeles was another great time. Good friend and colleague Adi Shayan was super kind to accommodate me in his 'humble abode' for three awesome days.

Adi has been VCL's Business Dev Manager and Producer and has been based in LA, Burbank for more than 3 years now. (Prior to that, in Bangalore he was very closely responsible for setting up VCL.) He is also very popular amongst the Deli's in the Burbank area. There was a time when I was pretty much lost in that area and I entered an Indian hotel there and asked them to dial 'Adi's number'. The owner instantly recognised Adi by his name and dialed his number without even taking it from me. Wow!

He also introduced me to his good friend Vinod who is working as a programmer at Walt Disney feature film studios. My taste-buds were treated to some much needed Indian food.

(Here I am with Adi having dinner at Mel's Inn in Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood)

Some great times around in San Fransisco & Vegas




While in the US, I got to be around in LA, San Fransisco, San Diego & Vegas. All of the 15 hours in SFO was an awesome experience. Simply great weather, good Mexican food, great walking experience through the Piers and watching the Seals swim in ice cold water. The entire stretch was very picturesque.

Vegas had some crazy amount of lighting going on in the streets. My hotel Circus-Circus was at one end 'of the strip' and is a great family place to stay, especially if you have kids. Vegas also had some really amazing and lavish architecture, sculptures, bikes and cars. Loads of talented shows happening everywhere that you end up getting entertained for free. It was awesome to see a sculptor create on-the-spot scultpures of tourists. Very inspiring!

(That is Nikhil getting a face-lit from Chand)


Siggraph 2007 Experience


(getting my reel reviewed by Bobby Beck at the AM Cafe booth)


(me trying out the PhaseSpace mo-cap setup, alongwith Siggraph SV buddies, some Rugby sportsmen at the exhibition floor)



(iron animator event 'FJORG!", a cool-looking sculpture at the Gnomon booth, the backdrop of the convention centre)


This year was the first time I got to be at the event and it was a very special one for me. Especially as my Graduation Ceremony with AnimationMentor.com was to be at the same place. The convention centre was really huge (someone said this time the place is smaller than usual, wow!) and had a wonderful backdrop of the beach with lots of Yachts parked by the bay. Being a Student Volunteer, I had access to pretty much the entire exhibition floor whenever not on-shift. As an SV, it was the first time in years I was working on anything but computer graphics. It was surely a very very unique experience interacting with students from different countries and backgrounds.

I enjoyed being around the Emerging Technologies gallery and the Art gallery, the Guerrilla Studio and watching the Shrekology and Ratatouille sessions. There was so much to absorb everywhere.

The PhaseSpace motion-capture setup was fun and impressive. I was setup in less than 2 minutes and was ready to go and the results looked pretty impressive. It will be interesting to see how performance capture takes shape in India.

(This is me trying out some mo-cap)
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San Diego and me doing some Voodoo

I got lucky in being selected as one of the 400+ student volunteers for Siggraph this year, and all the more fortunate to be provided housing for the event.

San Diego -
One of my first opinions about that place was that it was like a 'walking-talking museum'. Everything was so beautiful, calm and serene. I am sure anybody who has lived in Mumbai will feel that way. There was a sense of being inside a huge Film City Studio where the streets and buildings of San Diego where like life-size sets. At least that is how i felt with very very few people around.

While I was provided housing by Siggraph, I pretty much stayed with Chand (admin and co-founder of cgTantra.com and TD at Ettamina Studios) and Nikhil (Creative Director of Ettamina Studios) at their hotel. I made an offer to them they couldn't refuse. I was a carrying a bagful of Indian food which I was willing to share and they readily agreed to give up some room space for me. Earlier it was just for a day, but as things kept getting busier and busier I ended up staying with them through out the Siggraph days. It was a blast hanging out together.

While walking down the 'Gas Lamp Quarter' street on the second day in San Diego, I bumped into 'the animation ninjas' at a restaurant - It was an exhilarating moment seeing all three together for the first time.
(Shawn Kelly, me, Bobby Beck and Carlos Baena)




(Here I am 'showing off' my skills as a amateur Mentalist at Keerthi's house in San Diego)
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Man, what a beautiful and spacious house he's got. The walls are adored by some really cool paintings by Keerthi himself. We were treated to some awesome Indian food, all credit to Keerthi's wife.

The Beginning!

After hovering around various blogs and seeing what goes into it, here I am all set in attempting to create one for myself. Being a part of some exciting recent activities, I feel this is a good time to put one up.