Masterclass by Debasis Nayak shares meaningful insights about the craft of sculpting

In partnership with Cosmos Maya Animation Academy, Animation Xpress launched a sculpting masterclass conducted by Studio V Synch VFX and CG supervisor Debasis Nayak who took the attendees through the process of creating models and sculptures through clay and digitally replicating that on tools like Z-brush and Maya.

Cosmos Maya Animation Academy has been providing a full scale animation course with varied specialization in every stage of the production. Addressing the lacuna in the Indian AVGC education space, the academy has been effectively training budding artists in every aspect of the craft of animation and computer graphics.

Sculpting being the crucial aspect of the creative business especially in the modelling department, the workshop emerged as an insightful source of knowledge for attendees. Explaining the fundamentals of sculpting with the basics of drawing, sketching, anatomy and character design, he shared, ”I belong to the fine arts discipline. I studied anatomy, sketching and drawing. I trained myself in this discipline in those times when there was not much material to learn from. I started doing animation and I see that the technology has advanced a lot. In Z-brush, it is almost like you are sculpting in real life which can be seen in angles.”

Nayak who has spent 20 years in CGI and VFX and worked upon multiple international and Indian projects illustrated the craft of sculpting and leveraging the digital medium to enhance the model. Speaking about the co-relation between physical and digital, he dived into the tools available at our disposal in software like Maya and Z-brush which have taken the potential of artists to another level.

“The digital format offers you a variety of tools that fine arts doesn’t allow us. Multiple tools increase our excitement and curiosity too,” he expounded.

Sharing as to what it takes to strike it big in the animation industry, he noted, “If you want to be successful in this field, you need to enjoy this work. Grasp all the aspects from story to sculpting to modelling etc. The necessity is that one needs to be educated on the nuances of anatomy and using references.”

According to him, what is essential to scale up as an artist is the potent combination of aesthetic sense, volume, anatomy, space; positive space and negative space along with the active knowledge of the technicalities of these current tools and software.

While explaining various aspects of 3D modelling, he delved into the process through the video clip of him fashioning a clay model into a finished character to usher in a better understanding of the stages. The masterclass concluded on a high note with him encouraging artists to not be afraid of picking up the tools and starting to bring their imagination to life.