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Visual Design

Here Sonia Tiwari explains the importance of Visual Design in Children’s Education and how every successful learning tool has been created using strong visual design aesthetics.

“Let’s make learning fun for children!” has almost become a cliche for our generation of educators, children’s book authors, toy and game designers, children’s TV producers and anyone remotely related to children’s education. We cannot ignore the role of a strong visual design in creating any of the modern day learning tools, whether they are early learning apps like abcmouse.com, khanacademy.org/kids or educational toy robots like Cubetto, Dash & Dot, Botley or BeeBot.

From baby years, children are exposed to educational toys and games that heavily rely on cute characters, stimulating colours, patterns and textures for tactile learning. As children grow older, their learning expands to more mediums besides toys and into educational board games, puzzles, video games, television, online streaming services and many more. At school, they come across interactive learning games, or good old charts and posters on the walls of the classrooms.

They’re surrounded by beautifully illustrated educational children’s books at home and school. They belong to a generation where several startups and established companies are trying to design new and more effective educational products for children and several Learning Scientists are attempting to understand how learning occurs in different settings.

Guidelines for Visual Designers in the Children’s Education Space:

• Understand Curriculum and Context

Are your designs representing a topic in isolation or in a broader context of a curriculum? You might want to maintain a common design language for the entire curriculum around a topic, to support continuity/correlation visually.


• Understand Visual Memory

In an educational environment, Visual Memory consists of pictures, symbols, numbers, letters, and words. As designers, the more we rely on design elements that can be “memorable” for the target audience, the better it can support the subsequent educational content to be recalled later.

• Consider what counts as Developmentally Appropriate

The Age-range of the audience, their developmental milestones, complexity of visual information they can easily comprehend.


• Consider Situativity

Where will your educational designs be situated? What are the surrounding cultures, trends, locations, demographics etc. Are there certain design styles that may appeal to this audience?


• Consider the Gestalt Principles

Make sure the visuals are clear and denote the meanings you wish to communicate as an educator. Gestalt principles are a nice, quick way to review instructional art/educational illustrations for any “applied” meanings.

Creative Gaga - Issue 46 - Cover

Published in Issue 46

Designing for Kids! We all design for different audiences and always keep trying to figure out what they would need and how will they react to our designs? But, one audience who is the youngest of all and most difficult to predict is ‘Kids’. So, to get more clarity, we focused on animation design, an extensively used medium to influence these young ones. We interviewed and feature experts opinion from the industry leaders such as Suresh Eriyat, Dhimant Vyas and Vaibhav Kumaresh to ponder on the use of animation for early education. Our cover designer, Sonia Tiwari, an animator, and visual designer, shared her thoughts on ‘How to make learning fun again’. While Suresh Eriyat emphasises on using animation as an effective medium for education, on the other hand, Dhimant Vyas and Vaibhav gave advice on how to make content for the young ones. This issue is full of veterans advice and a lot of inspirations throughout for every creative soul.

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Suresh Eriyat - Animation in Education | Creative Gaga

The future of animation will be far beyond entertainment. Suresh Eriyat, the Indian animation legend, tells us how animation will change the education landscape for the better.

E very aspect of the world is transforming rapidly, right from art and culture to technology. Animation is slowly finding its way into different fields, and the aspect of education is no exception. This engaging medium has tremendous scope and possibilities in the learning environment. And in a world so high on technology, it makes sense to foresee future where the lines between education and animation are blurred.

01 Animation as a Tool for Simplification

Animation will most definitely be an integral part of education in the future. One vital function is simplification of concepts. For example, in the field of medicine, animation helps make the learning more demonstrative.

 

Now with the possibilities of augmented reality and virtual reality, there are so many possibilities to look forward to. Even in schools animation serves as a tool to understand the primary STEM subjects with more clarity.


02 Making Education Engaging and Fun

There is a need for the process of learning to occur in a more interesting manner. Children can get bored, especially with the rigid text book system followed now. It is important to adapt the education methods to suit children.

 

And animation is a great way to engage children and help them learn concepts better. It is better that a child internalises the concepts than mugging them up just to pass an examination and forget that forever afterwards.


03 The Need for Constant Updating

Knowledge keeps getting updated and changing with new findings. Unfortunately with text books these updates reflect barely once in 10 years or 5 years at best. But interactive mediums and the information on the internet keeps updating constantly. In an age where things and facts are changing so quickly, it makes sense for animation and usage of graphics to come in as a useful explanatory tool.


04 The Changing Learning Landscape

The world of education is evolving. Thus the methods and approaches will need to organically change as well. Today there are so many learning platforms like Khan’s academy and Byju’s, where animation and graphics are extensively used. It’s only a matter of time before animation becomes integral to education systems.


05 Invoicing

Be prompt about sending in your invoices as soon as the job is done. Most of the bigger companies have fixed billing cycles so if you are late and don’t send your invoices in by a certain time, it might take up to the next cycle to get paid.


06 Passive Income

It’s always great to supplement your commissions with passive income. This means that you can generate revenue with minimal effort, based on the work that you have already done. Examples of this would be Print on Demand (POD) services for prints, licensing; selling content like tutorial videos, brushes, and so on.06


07 Plan Downtime

Plan for the downtime and try to save up at least 3-6 months of your basic living expenses. When you start out keep your overheads low, embrace the frugality till you know you have saved up enough to not panic if the work dries up for a while.

Published in Issue 46

This issue is focused on, how to design for kids, bundled with articles full of inspirations, advice and unique point-of-views from the veterans of the animation industry, illustrators, photographers, artists and many more. So, order your copy or subscribe, before print copies run out and enjoy reading this issue!

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Juan Casini is a multidisciplinary designer juggling various mediums and keeping his passion alive by traveling and designing. He is a free spirit who loves to draw, travel and experience new things. Here, he talks about his journey and inspirations of becoming a designer.

The Snow Island.
SkyMath - Educational App
The Turtle Island.

CG: How did your tryst with design begin?

Juan: I started working as a 2D game artist for a video game company while I was in the early years of college. I learned a lot there and it was the perfect way to start exploring the video game industry and understand how such a complex product as a game is made. I found that I could really use my illustrations skills there so I focused entirely in the video game field and I worked in more than 50 game developments since then.

 

Today, design for mobile apps is my main area of expertise, collaborating in small-scale game development for indie studios to major developments and educational apps.

Hanuman.
Ishtar. A personal project to show how animals can be gods for many cultures, mythologies and religions across the world.

CG: Any role models who inspired you early in life?

Juan: My father used to draw with me when I was a child and I’ve always been supported to get involved in artistic studies. I am very lucky for the education I got at such an important time of formation of a person, as is the childhood. But the most important thing is that they always encouraged me to do what I love. So I can definitely say that my parents are my role models

Space Cantina Game

CG: What influences you for your artworks?

Juan: I really like Japanese anime and the way they handle expression and visual impact. I’ve watched a lot of series and movies, thus animation and Manga are a great influence for me. I also believe nature is art in its pure form, so I keep traveling and constantly learning by watching and living on this beautiful planet.

Travel
Mammoth in Istanbul. A personal project, done when Juan started the freelance journey
Anunnaki. A personal project to show how animals can be gods for many cultures, mythologies and religions across the world.
Cebolla in Tokyo. A collection of postcards of our nomad journey with Flor Bisagno.
Live Forever. Contribution to a t-shirt design contest for Backseries (Spain).

CG: What do you want to express through your artworks?

Juan: I always try to give the best of me in all the projects I get involved in, and that means not only putting your best energy on it but also try to create a powerful and stimulating experience for the user or audience. So I try to keep the level of expression very high, adding many details and playing a lot with the colour palette, so no matter what the product is about, the eyes of the viewer can be positively affected in a more subtle and deep visual experience.

The Thunder Island.
The Rain Island.

CG: How do you avoid creative burnout or what do you do incase you feel creatively exhausted?

Juan: Initially during the early days of my freelance career I found myself working for too many hours on too many projects at the same time. Eventually, I realised that organisation and discipline are essential but it’s also important to take days off, rest well, go out and explore nature to have refreshing and exciting experiences as much as possible. It’s imperative to find your own rhythm, but most important, finding what you love to do and stop seeing your job as an obligation. It takes time and a lot of energy to stay away from the comfort zone, but if you can accomplish that I promise that it can change your life completely. Nowadays, a creative burnout with this nomad journey is really rare, when you are constantly discovering new places and cultures! It is just the best for your mind and soul

Crypto Tower Game
Crypto Tower Game

Published in Issue 33

We all face it! But everyone has their own unique way to come out of it, in this issue we try to explore different ideas of handling the ‘Creative Burnout’. The most common of all was #travelling, through everyone do it in their own unique style. Like Luke Ritchie from South Africa finds the nature and mountains as the best source of inspiration while Sushant Ajnikar says riding his bike and meeting four-legged loyal friends, dogs, on the way is the best way to learn. So, pack your bags and don’t forget to subscribe your copy before you leave!

 

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Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Your childhood experiences, explorations and continued learning through life, greatly shapes the way we think and the career path we chart for ourselves. Veteran artist and animation film designer, Dhimant Vyas, is an example of this. He gives us a peek at his childhood and throws some light on the animation industry.

An alumnus of National Institute of Design (NID) and his previous work includes the title animation sequence for the highly acclaimed Hindi feature film ‘Taare Zameen Par‘, which was directed by Indian Film Industry superstar Aamir Khan.

 

During an earlier stint at Aardman Animation Ltd. Dhimant has worked as an animator on the Creature Comforts USA TV series. He has worked with brands like BBC, UNICEF, FCB ULKA, Zee TV, MTV, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon, to name just a few. His work for Taare Zameen Par, Happy Planet, Cute Bunny, Y-snore, MTV promos and his photography has won him several national and international awards.

Q: Your work is often related to the flora and fauna. Can you tell us how your childhood inspired the theme of your various work?

Dhimant. I grew up in a small town called ‘Dhrangadhra’ near Kutch, Gujarat. I spent a lot of time amidst nature, as my town is surrounded by rivers, lakes and farms. Most of my childhood involved playing with animals, bird watching, gardening, swimming in the river, and playing with the fish.

 

I used to collect clay from the riverbed to make toys and pluck grass to create handicrafts. We had no televisions or mobiles then. Even the race to get better marks in exams did not exist for us as children; this leads to spending most of our time in the lap of nature. And all my observations of nature now reflect in my work in some way.

Q: Please throw some light on the different animation techniques. Which of these is your favourite, and why?

Dhimant. There are a wide variety of techniques like 2D classical animation, 3D Computer generated animation, Stop motion, Cut out, Pixilation, and so many more.

 

I have used almost all styles of animation, but the way clay animation has evolved somehow reflects in most of my projects. I don’t restrict myself to clay animation though. I especially love the 2D classical animation style.

The style and technique always depend on the requirement of the story. For Amir Khan’s ‘Taare Zameen Par’ I used clay animation. The animation needed to seem like handmade toys created by children. There is an organic feel to the medium which cannot be achieved through computer-generated animation. Clay is something everyone relates to as it connects us all to our childhood.

 

In film making, storytelling decides the technique. The story needs to be executed in a manner where the audience completely engages with the story, instead of focusing on the technicality of the film. The style should seamlessly integrate with the story.

Q: The audience connects very strongly with your work, especially because it’s got heart and warmth. How do you bring in that feeling and emotional connection to your work?

Dhimant. Hard to tell. Perhaps because I put in my heart into my work or my childhood observations of nature reflect in my work. When one enjoys their work, the audience picks up on that, and they enjoy it too. While working, I don’t focus on the final product, instead, I put all my energy in the process of creation and learning.

Q: What role do you think animation can play in education? And how important is it?

Dhimant. Animation can play a significant role in education. I have worked on creating educational content, and have seen the impact myself.

 

A picture is worth a thousand words; now imagine the impact of thousands of moving images in animation! It is a limitless medium. Anything can be created through animation and this is what makes it a powerful educational tool.

Q: Which one of your projects is especially dear to you, and why?

Dhimant. My favourite projects are Rag Malhar (Promo for Music Asia Channel), Creature Comfort of Aardman, title animation of Aamir Khan’s film ‘Taare Zameen Par’, Purple & Brown, and Shaun the Sheep created with multiple Oscar winner Aardman animation studio, U.K.

Q: What are your words of wisdom for a budding animator?

Dhimant. Enjoy the process of making films, as your passion shows in the end. It’s important to do quality work and strive to create the best because this will bring in the money later. Always be observant and ready to learn and explore and share your knowledge. With all this it is equally important to show integrity and honour your deadlines

Creative Gaga - Issue 46 - Cover

Published in Issue 46

We all design for different audiences and always keep trying to figure out what they would need and how will they react to our designs? But, one audience who is the youngest of all and most difficult to predict is ‘Kids’. So, to get more clarity, we focused on animation design, an extensively used medium to influence these young ones. We interviewed and feature experts opinion from the industry leaders such as Suresh Eriyat, Dhimant Vyas and Vaibhav Kumaresh to ponder on the use of animation for early education… So, go ahead

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

Animated Explainer

The Internet is filled with free Animated Explainer Video Softwares that are easy to use. But you need the best for your brand! Which is why we’ve created a list of online tools to help you out.

The article was originally published on Studio Tale

It’s time to bid farewell to the written word. Brands all over the world have realized that consumers prefer video content over text. The industry is now reacting to this shift.

 

Today, the animated explainer video is dominating the marketing scene.

These video explainers are everywhere – Social Media, Product help pages, Landing pages of the brand’s website, you name it!

In this article, we’ve listed out the 10 best-animated explainer video software that will give you an edge over the competition.

 

Stop googling how to make an explainer video for free. These software are free and easy to use! And if you want to sign up for the full version of these products, we’ve added in the price range as well.

These explainer video software will help you create amazing explainer videos for your product or service and capture the attention of your viewers.

 

Ready? Let’s begin our countdown!

Rawshorts

Rawshorts is a brilliant online video animated explainer video maker for creating animations. It features a simple, user-friendly drag-and-drop interface, an amazing collection of explainer video templates, and a unique pricing structure.

 

Rawshorts is perfect if you want to convert slides into captivating animated videos. You can easily customize your video clips by adding audio, texts, and transitions.

 

However, keep in mind that this animated explainer video software needs a strong internet connection to work smoothly.

 

Full Version Pricing: $39 to $89 per month


Animaker

Create flashy and captivating explainer videos in minutes with this online explainer video maker.

 

Animaker brings together 3 different features in one place – Presentations, Graphic Design, and video editing.

 

Being a  DIY platform, it is extremely user-friendly and features the largest set of free explainer video templates in this list – including an improved whiteboard animation software.

 

Want to use data and stats in your video? Animaker allows you to create beautiful visuals for your numbers. You also have a plethora of animated characters who you can drag and drop into your explainer video.

 

Not to mention it features resonating sound effects that will help you add life to your video – something other animated explainer video makers haven’t quite got on point yet.

 

Full Version Pricing: $12 to $99 per month.


Powtoon

Know how to use PowerPoint? That’s how easy it is to use Powtoon!

 

This animated explainer video software features a wide variety of free explainer video templates and animated characters that you can use in your product presentation.

 

There is also a constant design upgrade that meets their clients’ high expectations.

 

Full Version Pricing: $16 to $197 per month.


Wideo

Wideo is a great animated explainer video software for creating all kinds of video content.

 

Easy to learn and user-friendly, Wideo features a drag and drop interface and has a large number of professional, free explainer video templates to choose from.

 

Other features include YouTube sharing, the ability to upload images and audio, and an extensive library of over 1000 in-built images at your disposal.

 

Wideo is available on Windows, Linux, Mac and is also available as cloud-based software.

 

Full Version Pricing: $19 to $199 per month  


Vyond

Formerly known as Goanimate, Vyond is a simple cloud-based video editing software.

 

Straightforward and intuitive, this animated explainer video software is simple for beginners to use and features beautiful in-built video templates.

 

Vyond features a simple drag and drop interface that allows you to create character-driven videos or compelling data visualizations.

 

It also has a large audio-visual library and is available on Android and iOS.

 

Full Version Pricing: $39 to $159 per month.


Viddyoze

Viddyoze is great if you need to create high-quality animated explainer videos in a short time-frame.

 

This cloud-based animated video software is really easy to use. It is the best explainer video maker for incorporating logos and text beautifully into your videos.

 

Viddyoze specializes in producing call to action videos and has over 700 templates to choose from.

 

And if you aren’t happy with the platform, there’s always a 100% money back guarantee!

 

Full Version Pricing: $77 or $97, one-time payment.


Biteable

Biteable has often been called “The World’s Simplest Video Maker”.

 

This explainer video maker’s tools are intuitive and easy to use. It has a great collection of pre-animated scenes to choose from.  It also features a high-quality audio library and has a great colour editing capability.

 

The result? You can create high quality animated explainer videos in minutes.

 

Full Version Pricing: $20 to $99 per month


Renderforest

Renderforest is a simple cloud-based explainer video maker that lets you create great videos in minutes.

 

Equipped with a comprehensive catalogue of animated explainer video templates to choose from, you can use it’s drag and drop interface to get the style and tone you need. It also allows you to upload images and videos, and play with colours and text in your video.

 

However, Renderforest has a higher pricing range than the other contenders on this list.

 

Full Version Pricing: $59 to $299 per month


Animoto

This animated explainer video software allows you to easily create beautiful animated explainer videos that can incorporate video clips and images.

 

It provides you with a selection of explainer templates to choose from and even has an in-built library of music for you to use. Animoto has also partnered with Getty Images to create a collection of over 1 million stock photos and videos that you can insert in your explainer video.

 

However, keep in mind that you cannot edit individual clips in this explainer video maker. Any changes or edits made will translate to the whole video.

 

Full Version Pricing: $9 to $94 per month


Moovly

This drag and drop style animated explainer video maker features an extensive library of over a million usable objects – be it stock images, videos or sounds.

 

Moovly also has in-built templates that you can use to create the right explainer video for you.

 

However, there have been complaints that this explainer video maker takes time to render the final product.

 

Full Version Pricing: $49 per month

And there you have it.

 

Those were our picks for the best-animated explainer video maker software on the internet today.

 

If you’re looking to create your own videos, these explainer video makers are going to give you some brilliant results!

The article was written by Koushik Marka and originally published on Studio Tale

CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

The animation industry in India has come a long way and has a long way to go. Renowned animation filmmaker, Suresh Eriyat, gives us the ground reality of the industry today, and where the future lies. In the process, he also teaches us a few things that make the animation world go round.

The Indian Animation Legend, E Suresh, has been a pioneer in storytelling and animation through films. He currently heads his animation studio Studio Eeksaurus. He was the first to launch clay animation commercials in India. A few feathers in his cap include creating Amaron battery advertisements, music video Bindu re Bindu, the Simpu series for Channel V, MTV Poga series, Johnny Bravo goes to Bollywood, Levis Slim vs. Slim, and so many more.

His short films, Fisherwoman and Tuk Tuk, and Tokri, both won National Film Award for Best Non-Feature Animation Film, apart from winning almost 60 national and International awards at various festivals with over 150 official selections globally.

CG. Where does animation stand today in India? Is there a gap in the understanding of what the animation industry encompasses?

Suresh. There are several gaps in the way animation is understood in India. Internationally ‘animation filmmaker’ and an ‘animator’ are similar. There the animator is synonymous to a filmmaker who uses animation to make his/her films bringing in a holistic process to the film making. In India that is not necessarily the case. Firstly, the animation is associated with cartoons in India. Beyond that, it is widely believed to simply be a technique. And this is used in the Indian animation industry mainly to provide a service, as a BPO format. Unfortunately here animation is seen as a skill set equivalent to learning software or a tool, and not as a conceptual ability of a person creating ideas to tell a story. It is not seen as the overall process.

Another misconception is that animation films don’t require direction/a director. These are all misnomers because it is not yet a popular medium here. The way it is taught or talked about by some of the academies in India, also adds to the confusion and misleading terms.

CG. What do you think it would take to change this perception in India?

Suresh. It would take more exposure to see these films, and gathering a better understanding of what animation is, for this change to occur. This will eventually lead to recognition for animation and its various forms. The evolution needs to happen where people become more aware of animation.

 

In the West, people have been with animation for many decades now, so they understand all that it encompasses. They understand that it is a tool to tell powerful stories. In India, the animation is still young. I am sure in another 10 years we will be where all these countries are in terms of understanding of the medium.

CG. When you are making your films, what sort of target audience are you looking at?

Suresh. I make both short films and advertising films. Both have different agendas. Advertisement films have a definite purpose, either to spread awareness about a brand or convey a message. In both cases, a behavioral change is desired. The brief and objective are very clear and the process involves a lot of research. We go by the design process where there is a defined problem, a defined target audience, and a very clear message to convey. The advertising films have a wider reach in that sense.

My short films, on the other hand, aren’t targeted to a market audience. Instead, they are targeted to a crowd who are artistically inclined and who appreciate the process. The films also target the festival audience, so that they see what India is capable of creating. It is important for Indians to not just be perceived as a service but also as great storytellers.

CG. Where does India stand on the global platform in the animation industry and film making?

Suresh. At the moment, we are not considered capable. Nobody thinks India will make good content. Right now, there are only a handful of companies that are known to create content in India. But the majority lot of animation professionals is complacent about creating something original. We need to tell more stories and make more films to be put on the map.

CG. In your work, how extensively do you use the design process?

Suresh. We often use the design process in the craft of film making. Through this process, we arrive at the most appropriate form and direction to convey the story in the best way possible. Different production houses are bracketed for making a certain type of content. It took us some time to establish ourselves without being labeled in that manner, and instead to be perceived as a design-driven production house.

We are known to work with any medium in order to make the idea stronger. I have directed and produced close to 500 films now, and I don’t consciously try to come up with a new medium, but somehow that has always happened. Each of my films has a unique look and feel to them. This is mainly the result of the design process that we use to strengthen the idea we want to convey.

CG. Creative professionals often begin to make the same kind of work, and then get stuck to that style. How did you escape that?

Suresh. While making films we first look at the story and then the form. We never begin by deciding the form. Many people tend to decide the form first thus stick to it. Sometimes clients go to them because they are known for a particular narrative style or a form that they specialize in.

Creating work with similar form is understandable because of our influences. We see things around us and try to include them in our work. But this is exactly why the design process is important. It diminishes the tendency of aping something or following a trend.

 

Our attempt has always been to push the form further than the predictable and strive to make it more cutting edge and niche.

CG. What makes a good story? What is good storytelling?

Suresh. No story is good or bad. It depends on how memorable a story is. And this depends on how engaging and captivating the audience is by it. And all this comes down to how the story is told. Majority stories have a similar pattern, the intro, the middle, the climax, the end, etc., but how you manage to tell the story in a captivating way is what counts. For example, the story of Ramayan and Mahabharat has essentially been the same. But the style of narration has changed with time. Every story can be told in many ways. Narrating it in a way relevant to the context is important.

CG. What is the importance of humour in storytelling?

Suresh. While narrating a story, the audience needs to feel good about it, and humour is a sure shot way to do that. It lightens up the mood and adds a twist to look at reality. Laughter is definitely a great ingredient.

CG. An example of great use of humour is the awareness campaign for Mumbai women that you had created. Can you tell us a little more about that, and how humour worked there?

Suresh. The Mumbai police claimed that in Mumbai, anywhere a woman is in distress, all she needs to do is call the hotline, and the police will reach her in within minutes. This was something they were proud of, but when I checked around, no one knew the number. So I decided to create a campaign to create awareness.

We did not want to go by the obvious approach of showing women morose or stressed ‘victims’, because that does not work at all. Through the communication we wanted women to feel empowered and get the courage to face the world. We wanted them to imagine the hotline was their weapon.

 

The beauty of this campaign is that the way it was executed, still makes it relevant. The form has a cartoon look, but artistic styling sets it apart.

CG. Many youngsters look forward to a career in animation. But Indian parents are very concerned about how lucrative this industry is. How would you respond to that?

Suresh. The animation is unlike mainstream fields like medicine, today in India. Instead, it leans towards art and culture, and these are essential elements of the fabric of society.

 

Another thing is, if you empower a student with animation, you are making him independent because animation films can be made single-handedly. It is like writing a novel. Just by investing time in it, sharpening your skills and exploring different mediums, a career can be made out of it.

If you are good at it, work will always come your way; because we are living in a time where the demand for entertainment is going to grow. Earlier the platforms were limited, but now there are so many non-linear avenues for accessing entertainment like Netflix and Prime. There is a lot of content that needs to be made available, because not it is turning into a library of content. In that sense, there will never be a dearth of work.

 

Apart from this, there are so many other emerging sectors connected with animation like the education sector, AR and VR experiential environments, simulations, etc. There is a tremendous scope and I don’t see parents regretting this in the future.

CG. Tell us why you see specialization as a danger today.

Suresh. Nowadays the younger generations are too focused on a specialization. It is necessary to know peripheral aspects that could influence art or the specific subject one is into. When you are thinking of a story or making a film it requires a certain sensibility towards what is going on politically, socially, and environmentally what is happening in the country and outside. Youngsters today find this irrelevant. They focus so much on their specialization that the ideas they give are no more holistic. When you are a specialist, the danger is not being aware of the bottom line issues.

There is always a contradiction between generalization and specialization. The organic path would be specialization after generalization. I am talking purely technically, but in life also, if you have a wider opinion on things, you have a much better view on a specific topic.

Creative Gaga - Issue 46 - Cover

Published in Issue 46

This issue is focused on, how to design for kids, bundled with articles full of inspirations, advice and unique point-of-views from the veterans of the animation industry, illustrators, photographers, artists and many more. So, order your copy or subscribe, before print copies run out and enjoy reading this issue!

 

Order Your Copy!
CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

The journey to a successful career in the animation can be thrilling and overwhelming. Renowned animation film maker, Vaibhav Kumaresh, tells us about the story behind his success and the establishment of Vaibhav Studios.

Lamput TV Series

Vaibhav Kumaresh has a unique unmatched style to his work. But Vaibhav traveled a long way before he met his success.

Animation
Lamput TV Series

Vaibhav completed his 10th grade, and then went on to pursue a 5-year graduation course in Fine Arts. In 1990 it was common to skip the 12th grade, and his parents were very supportive. Here he was introduced to drawing, sculpting, painting, printmaking, and photography; and specialised in Applied Arts. Later, Vaibhav joined NID where he explored and learned about the beautiful medium of animation.

Animation
Simpu for channel V

After NID, he joined Famous House of Animation in 1998. Animation legend, E. Suresh, was Vaibhav’s senior here and was assigned the task of setting up an animation studio at Famous. Together they produced several animation films. It was an exciting phase for Vaibhav.

In 2003 a lovely children’s film came Vaibhav’s way. He chose to take it, which meant he had to leave his job. Vaibhav confesses that it was the scariest yet happiest decision of his life. He joined forces with his wife, Suranjana, a product designer from NID, and Vaibhav Studios was formed. As projects kept flowing in, there was no looking back.

Animation
Nick Ident, Idli Song.

Vaibhav Studios broadly takes up two types of projects. First is commissioned work, primarily TV commercials where an advertising agency approaches them with a ready script. The Studio then interprets it in their own way, followed by direction and production. Second is when they build their own original IP and pitch those ideas and concepts to different clients. In the past 4 years, they have primarily worked on creating many original IP.

Animation
Buladi Horny Lovers

Vaibhav uses a variety of techniques and mediums to create films. He uses stop motion which is all physical materials – clay, wire, cloth, paper. For the traditional hand-drawn animation techniques, he uses paper, pencil, markers, erasers, correction pens, paints, and charcoal. Sometimes digital tools like Adobe Photoshop, Flash (now called Animate) to draw and animate are also used. For the digital 3D animation films Vaibhav uses Autodesk Maya and After Effects. At times his studio also shoots live action and mixes them with animated footage. Vaibhav believes the open source software, Blender, is soon emerging as an immensely powerful and artist-friendly tool for animation.

But Vaibhav adds that software is merely a tool. Using it does not guarantee one a good end product. The magic lies in the hands of the user of the tool.

Nick Ident. Mom And Brat.

Vaibhav recommends ‘Kampung Boy’ by Lat, as a great book with a beautifully illustrated story to read. He also recommends a few inspiring animation short film recommendations, namely, Madagascar – Carnet de Voyage by Bastien Dubois, Chick by Michal Socha, Father & Daughter by Michael Dudok de Wit

Creative Gaga - Issue 46 - Cover

Published in Issue 46

This issue is focused on, how to design for kids, bundled with articles full of inspirations, advice and unique point-of-views from the veterans of the animation industry, illustrators, photographers, artists and many more. So, order your copy or subscribe, before print copies run out and enjoy reading this issue!

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

In an exclusive interview with Creative Gaga, storyboard artist Sachin Tiwari has given tips and shared his insights about creating a storyboard.

Storyboarding
Storyboarding

CG. What was your inspiration to choose the field of animation as your career?

Sachin. Growing up watching animated series like He-man, Barba-papa and many others. Seeing the characters perform various actions like talk, laugh move and dance always fascinated me. I wondered how it all works. Loving to draw, I would copy those characters in my sketchbook or even on any surface where I could draw, and eventually it took-up as a profession by undergoing a formal training from a reputed animation production house. This marked the start of my professional journey as an Animation artist.

Storyboarding
Storyboarding
Storyboarding

CG. What is a storyboard and what is it’s importance in a project? What are the different fields where story boards are essential?

Sachin. Storyboard is a shot by shot sequence of any written script represented visually using graphics or illustrations. It explains how the video will unfold shot by shot or look like on screen just like a comic book. It is very important for a video/visual-based project to have a proper storyboard of the script being produced.

Storyboarding
Storyboarding

In our everyday lives, sometime we have to draw a rough sketch to explain our point of view to make it easy to understand. Similarly storybord is like a road-map to visualise something which otherwise is not easily understood only through written words of the script.

Visuals make people understand the whole thing better. Thus, a storyboard undoubtedly plays a significant role in video production when a director needs to make the production staff understand his vision and show how exactly the product is going to be mapped out.

Storyboarding

These days many industries, apart from the animation sector, such as advertisement, live-action films, business explainers, television production etc., use storyboarding for their productions. The art of storyboarding is a powerful tool to help communicate ideas, and when used properly it helps to avoid common mistakes like a broken storyline, mis-matched dialogue and playback timing issues and keeps the whole team aware of what is to be done.

CG. As stories are integral part of storyboarding. But how critical are the characters of the story?

Sachin. Our sense of curiosity engages us to see what will happen next. Stories capture attention and we are hardwired to respond to that. An artist while drawing the storyboard, aims at creating visuals that convey the right message and the storyline and are relatable too, by the people. For this, a character is must to imbue the emotions. A story/plot is always designed or said to give a message, but without a character or protagonist, it is not possible to create any storyboard.

CG. What are the different kinds of projects that you take up and how do you decide upon the concept of creating a storyline for your projects?

Sachin. Majority of the projects I work on are story-driven cartoon film productions which are either episodic or full-length films. To start a project, one needs to understand about a few things like references, layout, framing, layering and lastly finishing. Although boarding is a team-based activity and anyone can contribute, but in today’s scenario storyboarding artists have to create and complete a storyboard, more or less, individually and have it approved by the directors.

CG. What are the different mediums that you use for creating story-boards?

Sachin. I personally don’t find myself dependent on any particular medium to create a storyboard. Choosing the medium should be result oriented, whether you use pencil paper, or any kind of computer-based software. In general, I use a paper and a pencil to create rough basic thumbnails. They’re pretty much scribbled for my reference. When satisfied with my scribbled drawings, I start creating them digitally with Adobe Flash. After translating the thumbnails into fine drawings, I then add the sound to set the storyline and timings for the final output.

CG. Time frames are an essential requirement for any creative project. How does time framing make a difference to the final outcome? And how do you balance?

Sachin. Yes, time frames are always there, and I try to adhere to them as much as possible but not at the cost of compromising the quality of work. I pass on the final work to the client only after being satisfied with the desired quality. I don’t prefer taking up projects with unrealistic time frames or where it is difficult to provide satisfactory results.

CG. What are the important factors to be kept in mind while storyboarding for a project?

Sachin. I work as a freelance boarding artist. Freelance means that you don’t always have work but the upside of working freelance is that no two projects are the same. There is ample variety and it is exciting to work on animation projects of different styles.

But still there are some important factors or a checklist, which remain same for every project and should be kept in mind, like:

 

+ Have I read the whole script?


+ Do I know the storyline?


+ How am I going to execute the scene?


+ Do I know the essence of the scene?


+ Do I have the proper material such as character sheets, prop sheets, backgrounds, audio etc.?


+ Do I have proper references?


+ Is my scene in-sync with the style of the animation required and flow of the episode?


+ Are characters matching with the layouts’ perspective?


+ Do I know where to minimize my efforts without affecting the quality?


+ Am I doing something to make the simple scenes better?


+ Am I planning according to the time deadline?

Issue 45

Published in Issue 45

When celebrations are all around for the new year, everyone is curious about what this new year will bring. So, the rounds of looking back to the past year and trying to predict the new one starts. We started the same exploration through this issue by reaching various experts for their take on the trends for their respective fields. So, go ahead.

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

All of us watch online videos every day on our computers, smartphones and even on smart TVs. There is a surge in the rate at which video viewing is gaining momentum. Today, over 300 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and above 5 billion videos are watched on YouTube every single day. And that’s just for YouTube!

Here, Jaseem Thayal Shareef, the CEO of WowMakers Digital Media Studio explains the benefits of having an explainer video on your website.

As per Cisco trends analysis, the video is projected to take up 79% of all internet traffic by 2018 and companies should leverage the benefits of this online video boom as it is not going to slow down anytime soon.

In tune with this trend, using animated explainer videos has become an effective online marketing strategy. More and more companies (both big brands and small companies) are innovatively using videos to their advantage. Explainer videos became popular in the last few years mainly because of its affordability and effectiveness in enhancing your business. Though explainer videos bring a whole range of benefits but here are the top 10 benefits of using it.

01 Clearly Conveys Objective

Using text to convey the product objective is a little tricky as it can be interpreted in many different ways. Explainer videos minimize the guess works and clearly explain the usefulness and basic function of a product or service.

02 Generates Interest in Consumers

More and more businesses are using visuals options such as images and videos to generate interest in their product as it is found to be very effective.

03 Intensifies Conversion Rates

According to Video Rascal study, over 80% of consumers prefer to buy a product if it is accompanied by videos.

04 Improves Ranking on Google

Websites with endless pages of block text and images are normally ranked lower in Google search. According to the Spork Marketing study, websites with videos rank much higher in Google’s global searches.

05 Increases Web Traffic

Going “viral” is a term that is closely connected to YouTube. Though there are no predefined ways to make a video “viral”, but many products have gained greater visibility through viral videos.

06 Helps Recall Information

More than voice or text, people remember what they see in a visual format. The average person remembers only around 10% of what they hear or read, but they remember 50% of what they see as per the Wharton Research Center study.

07 Brings Engagement

A multipage PowerPoint slide or a brochure with detailed text and pie charts are not effective enough to engage the audience. On the other hand, a well-produced explainer video with an interesting script and impressive visuals engages the audience in a better way.

08 Grabs Attention

When traditional web content and all those cool ideas are shown in an impressive video format, not only gives your website a cleaner look but also improves the chance to engage a potential customer.

09 Establishes Brand Identity

The prime reason that makes a customer come back to you repeatedly is the brand identity. It is important that the customer connects to your brand identity to gain trust and to make that happen; using explainer video is the best option.

10 Easily Sharable

An explainer video has a wider reach and it is not limited to just your website. People show interest in sharing the links of the videos they like.

Companies all over the world are creating videos about everything right from cause awareness to reviews, which clearly underline the gaining popularity of videos in marketing strategy. The promising future of video is waiting for you.

Published in Issue 34

This is a rebranding special issue focused on finding the answers to some of the basic questions like what is the right time for re-branding? or what all needs changing and how exactly? We interviewed some of the best branding studios like Landor Mumbai, Elephant, VGC, Inchwork, and many more. If you are considering rebranding or want to learn more about the art of doing it then this issue is a must read. So, go ahead

 

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CURRENT ISSUE
Creative Gaga - Issue 48

 

A master piece is not just created by drawing a few lines and colouring the different areas formed. It indeed is a full package of detailing the model, the textures, the lights and the angles involved, just in the right amount, as Dushyant Bhardwaj explains us.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Lighting Doodles. A quick lighting doodle using basic shapes like boxes and spheres.

With a keen liking and special place for drawing and sketching in his heart as a kid, Dushyant Bhardwaj was inspired by the amazing sketches and art pieces that his cousin created on Lightbox. This got him learning in detail and depth what he really loved, sketching and expand his learning horizons to three-dimensional art. It even escalated his interest levels for the subject

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Wiring the Needles. A fun render experimenting with miniatures using 3DS Max, Photoshop and V-Ray.

An Artwork Without a Story is Like a Ship Without a Rudder!

This thought made Dushyant ponder about everything he saw around him. A picture with interesting lighting and gripping elements engrossed him and he in turn attached a story to it as this made it easier for him to put his thoughts on canvas while recreating the same scene.

 

Old, abandoned buildings and structures always caught his attention as they definitely had a story attached to them, which Dushyant tries narrating through his work.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Detective’s Desk. An apartment of 40-something detective while solving a crime committed in the city.

Detailing: The Key to Create Realistic Art!

Detailing depends on the kind of outcome that is wanted and also camera angles one works with. Adding details to a piece of art will definitely make it look real and believable, but if overdone can completely ruin it.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Little Radish. Based on the concept of Goro Fujita, a test scene to learn more about Arnold renderer engine.

While detailing a realistic image, it is important to keep in mind the overall view of the artwork while designing model and the intricacies of its textures. A stylised artwork would not require so much detailing as a realistic one would.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Abandoned Storeroom. The idea was to convey that libraries, books, newspapers, cycles and other old things are dying in the modern world.

An artwork with a closeup view would require one to focus first on the primary details like microelements, that will be in limelight, and then move on to the secondary details to be developed for the overall view.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
ISO Game Renders, Elvenar. Environments created for Innogames – Elvenar.

For instance, working on a texture which is rusty and has paint chipped off would require to concentrate on the area having the chipped paint, the formation of the cracks and the spreading of the rusted texture. Also, adding too much chipped off paint and rust may destroy it and take the life out of that asset.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Lighting Doodle. A quick lighting doodle using Maya and Arnold.

Lighting: A Creator or a Destroyer!

Lighting plays a crucial role in any scene. It can either can make a scene or break it. Deciding the lighting for the scene has to be a smart choice as it should be in tandem with the storyline and the subject of the scene as well as be successful in conveying the emotions attached, for the scene to be comprehensible for the viewer.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
ISO Baby Room. An experiment with the new render Fstorm to achieve a very soft mood with modelling, texturing and lighting.

Taking inspirations for lighting from Pinterest and other imagery for reference is always helpful. Dushyant Bhardwaj uses a mix of different digital softwares like 3DS Max, Maya, V-Ray, Photoshop, Arnold, to name a few, for the creation of his artwork pieces.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Junkbot. An experiment with substance painter to texture a junkbot modelled using 3DS Max.

Sailing in the Sea of Professionals!

Stepping into a market full of talented professionals has never been easy. For him to be successful, Dushyant Bhardwaj believed in the fact to create quality work rather than quantity. To be noticed and commissioned, he started putting out his portfolio on the digital and social media like YouTube, CGSociety forum and Artstation.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Room. Artwork inspired from the short film Alarm.

He suggests the same to budding and upcoming artists to thrive in the field they love. Also, as the saying goes, perseverance is the key to success.

Dushyant Bhardwaj
Silent Witness. A scene to study about cinematic lighting and storytelling in a still picture.