Continuation of Day 3 coverage of Anifest India 2016
Post the lunch break, the attendees were still hungry for the sessions to come.
Life-cycle of a Gaming Asset
Next in the schedule were Zynga’s proficient gentlemen, principal concept artist, Shyam Deshpande and senior character artist, Arnab Roy. The character design artist on Zynga’s Empires and Allies, Shyam Deshpande left the audience pretty much awestruck with his personal art creations. He explained how a piece of art consumes enormous amount of time and tremendous hard work, while sharing his experience about his journey from scratch. Eventually, he showcased a character design the duo had prepared especially for the fest. They named the character ‘Athena’, a sword-wielding, battle-scarred lady warrior from another planet. He explained step by step the process on how he came up with the character. He said, “Look for character references by searching for similar characteristics in real life people depending on where the character comes from. While creating multiple characters, if one wants to see if they are distinguishable from one another, see their silhouette version as that will help one get a clearer picture to gauge if that character is unique from the rest.”
Soon, he passed on the baton to Arnab Roy and everyone attending the show was in for a treat. He informed us that he was currently working on Farmville 2, an IP which dominated the social gaming scene at its peak. He spoke about the various steps involved while designing a character; from concept , sculpting, retopology / low poly modeling, baking, PBR maps, lighting to the final output. When an enthusiastic member of the audience asked him about the difference between the previous and the current version of Farmville, he explained by saying that they have turned a 2D game into 3D. The camera has been modified for a better and smoother experience with more brightly coloured farms including character animation which are “not too tony, not too realistic”.
Speaking about the character creation for FarmVille 2, Roy added, “Attention was paid more to the eyes as they are the main attraction in any character and attractive colours added to the visual appeal. The light thrown was from above and everything was painted on texture with no effects. Though low polygon and texture was used in the creation of these characters (for smoother gameplay as it’s a social game), they are still distinguishable from each other.”
Finally, he explained and displayed the process on how he sculpted the model of ‘Athena’ from the sketches that Deshpande had earlier mentioned and the end result was pretty amazing.
In the end Deshpande urged the students to ‘pay attention to the basics’, hinting at the fact that aspiring students looking forward to join the industry must hone their skills over physical canvas before venturing into the virtual ones.
Student short film showcase and making of ‘Chhaya’
What is ‘THE’ story that you want to tell? If given just one chance to express yourself, what will be the idea that you would want to portray? Debanjan Nandy, a student of National Film and Television School, asked himself this question and thus directed the award winning animated film Chhaya which gives a reverberating message through a powerful story.
“It is a story that you want to tell people. It’s your idea so don’t copy, find something original and connect it with yourself. Before starting the production, try to know the heart of the film,” claimed Nandy as he explained that the process of filmmaking begins with an idea and the basic story. Once the core essence of the story is set, the other aspects like medium of storytelling, script, production, sets, sound design and packaging follow. He also believed that filmmaking is a team process and it is only teamwork that helps to make a good film, as every artist brings his best to the table and thus contributes to make the film successful.
Survival is the most difficult yet a paramount aspect of life. To let go of the past is not easy as the past does not let you go too; it keeps haunting you time and again. Chhaya gives out an inspiring message to let go of the past, accept reality, move on and survive in life ahead. Nandy explained various aspects of the film like miniature life sets; mix medium of animation used to bring the animated short to life – 3D animation, glass painting animation and background made up of oil painted canvas; canvas texture given to the 3D characters; and music composition. In his parting words, while making any film he urged the audience to constantly ask themselves – Why are you making this film? What do you want to tell?
A storyboarding contest was also held which was judged by Animagic’s directors Gayatri Rao and Chetan Sharma. Three winners were chosen who received graphic tablets by Wacom. As mentioned earlier the Bad Cat film India premier had to be cancelled due to some technical glitch, the organisers opened the festival for the audience for a Q&A / feedback session with Ranjit ‘Tony’ Singh, Vaibhav Kumaresh, Gayatri Rao and Chetan Sharma.
Anifest India 2016 witnessed the screening of animated films like Death Sails, light animation film Rippled for AIR and light animation film commercials based on festivals like Diwali, Christmas and New Year crafted by Ranjit ‘Tony’ Singh.