Creating Independent Animated Short Films is becoming a trend these days!!
Talking about one such latest Clay Animated and CGI short film is Vasanth Kumar’s 5minuter 10 second short titled ‘Tran’s Mission’.
Directed and Produced by Vasanth Kumar and targeted at audiences of all age groups, TRAN’S MISSION, is a scientific comedy revolving around an inventor named Tran, who is gadget geek and engrossed in his experiments. The short film starts showing a graphic background having voice over introduction of Tran, which says that Tran is an engineering student, who is engaged in an electronic project.
In this short film ,Tran is always experimenting with electronics and the film progresses showing different consequences and how the efforts of TRAN constantly get interrupted by silly antics, unaware interferences in his work by a cute bird family, which live nearby his home.
Vasanth is a Bachelor of Fine Art [Applied Art] from CAVA Mysore University and has also done internship from Vaibhav Studios .A true fan of Classical and Stop motion mediums of animation, he is inspired by the works of Disney and DreamWorks’s, and has always aimed to create something fresh and different!!
During the internship days at Vaibhav Studios, Vasanth got introduced to the process of traditional animation and ideation, which helped him to enhance himself more into Animation studies.
Speaking to Animationxpress.com’s Zeenia Boatwala about Trans Mission, Vasanth Kumar, Director of the movie, says, “With Tran’s Mission, I wanted to show the cycle of problems and solutions and portray the way a human mind works towards solving various problems.”
It has taken 2 ½ years for Vasanth to complete this short film with dedicating 3 months towards finalizing the script and story boarding For making a flawless story board, Vasanth prepared three varied storyboard drafts which included Basic Storyboard, Detailed Storyboard and the Final Storyboard. To give the short film an appealing look and feel, Vasanth has watched and studied varied aspects of animation, look and feel, effects, editing, sound and music design from Hollywood animated movies Coraline, Wallace and Gromit Series and Cloudy with the Chance of Meat Balls.
Adds more, “According to me, for any project, preparing Animatics is an extremely crucial aspect as it gives a rough idea of a film’s duration and animation. For Tran’s Mission, I’ve prepared color scripting to get the final look and feel of the film.”
Vasanth loves to work on a combination of numerous animation mediums and for animating Tran’s Mission he has used mixed animation medium blend including Stop Motion and CGI. Initially, Vasanth had taught of creating the movie completely in Stop Motion Animation but later he finalized on creating the Interiors shots of the movie with clay animation whereas the outdoor shots with CGI.
Expresses more, “Stop Motion was my first preference for Transmission. But, due to the minimal resources, time and budget constraints, I couldn’t create the birds in clay animation and hence decided to go ahead with a combination of Stop motion and CGI animation.”
Mix blend of animation, according to Vasanth is a tricky task to handle when it comes to creating an animated short film. After the completion of pre-production, he has taken about a month to complete the stop motion production for the short film. Also, matching CGI and Stop Motion Lighting was a challenge for Vasanth.
The characters designs of the puppet / the character’s armature are made using aluminum wires, which acts like a skeleton, helping in frame by frame movement. Tran, scientist of this short film, is made using thermocol and clay and clothed with real fabric. For giving flexible mouth movements to Tran, Vasanth has created replaceable jaws.
Vasanth has taken around a month to create the backgrounds and animate Tran. He has completed post-production for stop motion and pre-production of CGI within a year’s time with working four months for the creation of CG environment and birds in the short film.
Talking more about the favorite aspect of the short film, Vasanth highlights, “I think my favorite aspect are the talking bubbles, which appear when Tran hears radio signals!! I feel such graphics are a good support for portraying a character’s thoughts.”
Story telling for this film was the toughest aspect for Vasanth as the movie does not have any dialogues.
Shares more, “Many a times, I’ve re-edited, deleted a couple of shots and also tried various ways to communicate the story by adding some text with the help of a comic book.”
It sometimes happens that an artist loses his patience while working on a single project for a longer time and this is exactly what happened with Vasanth as he thought to delete his project at one point of time, but dedication won it all!
“I thought of deleting my project especially when, for around 8 months, I was searching fora good artist to work for the short film’s sound design and music, but even in these conditions the only thing that kept me going was my dream to complete this project.” concludes, Vasanth
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