Ever since the second Blender Conference in 2003, the Suzanne Awards are given to artists using Blender, to inspire, encourage and realise their outstanding artwork. This year, Girgit Studio’s Muskaan has won the best short award at Suzzane Film Festival.
The Blender Foundation is an independent non-profit public benefit corporation. Blender being an open source software the foundation maintains and improves the current Blender product via a public accessible source code system under the GNU General Public License. Artists and studios are encouraged to submit their best work. The Festival board reviews the highest rated submission and places it into one of three categories for nomination- best animation, best design, best short.
The most voted submission on each category gets nominated. These nominations are screened at the Conference during the animation festival in Amsterdam. Conference attendees vote, and the winners are announced at the Suzanne Awards ceremony.
“As a design studio, we try and achieve content, story, and visual styles based on the requirements of the project and its target audience,” said Girgit Studios director Swarup Deb. “We mix and match and merge many animation techniques and mediums to achieve the desired art. This also requires our production pipeline to be extremely agile and flexible. So we always keep looking beyond standard tools and software. It doesn’t make much sense for us to invest in expensive software serving standard production pipelines.”
Deb feels that Blender is at par with, and in certain aspects even better than other 3D software. It offers them flexibility and serves their creative requirements. “We never felt any limitation in the tool while executing our 3D projects. It doesn’t demand any different workflow as compared to other standard 3D softwares. In short – like we Girgits (meaning chameleons in Hindi) adapt to the requirement of the project, Blender adapts to our requirements!”
The team at Girgit Studios uses Blender for all 3D animation projects having mastered it technically and artistically. Apart from the two short films, the team has used the open source 3D creation suite for over 15 animation projects ranging from TVCs, brand films, explainer videos and more.
“Blender is easy to understand and because of this, even new members of the team need very short training after which they don’t find any difficulties adapting to it,” Deb shared.
But every project and software comes with its technical and creative challenges. “We were exploring cloth physics, fire and rain dynamics in Blender for the first time during Muskaan. That took us sometime to figure out and achieve the output we desired. But we had fun figuring it out,” he revealed.
Talking about submitting Muskaan for Suzzane Awards, Deb exclaimed, “Funny thing was that we entered our film into the awards and completely forgot about it. We ourselves never voted our film for nomination. So we were extremely overwhelmed to see complete strangers showing their love for the film by voting it to nomination.”
Sadly however, the nominations were declared two days prior to the event so the team could not make it personally to the awards. “We are all elated to receive this international appreciation for Muskaan, a film we made with our heart and soul,” he exclaimed with joy.