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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.

Published in Issue 43

With the changing weather comes the season of Interns, with fresh new energy everywhere and your talented creatives wanting to test their skills and knowledge in the real world of live creative briefs and super creative professional environment. This issue is a must-read for internees and fresh talents. Go ahead and order your copy here!

 

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Story-boarding is not just creating beautiful pieces of art. Instead it is presenting ideas and content in a strategical & comprehensible style. Saumin Patel tells us more.

Story-boarding

An illustrator at heart, Saumin started out professionally by joining an animation studio creating online cards. Eventually realizing his plus points, he decided to manage the backstage of animation, which is designing and illustrating for the animated projects, also known as story-boarding.

Story-boarding

What is story-boarding?

As the name suggests, it is a story told through multiple frames in a visual manner, defining an entire process in detail. Used for animated films or even shooting a scene in a movie, story-boards help the director in streamlining his vision and allow the team to align themselves with this vision to achieve the desired result.

Story-boarding

Story-boards are not just pretty pictures, they are the shots which supposed to evoke certain emotions and enhance the story, conveying an overall mood but could be subjective to each individuals’ interpretation.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Every element used in here becomes a character, be it fire, wind, trees, water or rocks, thus becoming a definitive source of information about what the scene is going to be like. In short, it is a manifestation of the creators’ thoughts through tangible elements.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Story-boarding puts forth the anticipated difficulties and helps in deriving solutions for the scene’s smooth-sailing.

 

The beauty of a story is that it can be expressed by different directors in their own unique style. So as a storyboard artist, it is essential to convey the essence of the director’s idea and vision in a clear-cut manner through these frames.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Story-boarding for advertisements is a bit different from that of films. Advertising is all about presenting to the client, hence the story-board needs to be completely finished and aesthetically appealing. Whereas for a film, it is about clear communication of ideas from the director to the entire team, showcasing the flow of the sequence to build the expressions and the mood. Beauty and aesthetics take a bit of a backseat in this case.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

An Artist’s Individual Style

Saumin’s style is mostly comic, giving a lot of details about layouts and backgrounds, thus making it simple and easy for the entire team to execute the shoot. For him, the excitement is more about brainstorming and presenting ideas and options to the directors rather than drawing the boards out. His style and work culture helped him carve a niche for himself in this sector and got him working for some of the reputed names in the film industry like Ashutosh Gowariker and Sriram Raghavan to name a few.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

Work-life

A big fan of director Sriram Raghavan, Saumin along with his friend created an original graphic novel for the promotion of Agent Vinod, published by Westland Publications Ltd.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding

For Raghavan’s Andhadhun, Saumin has worked on a few key sequences, creating boards in his own style to function as inspirations and concepts for the sequences. He has also created promo images for the Bollywood blockbuster Stree and has had the opportunity to storyboard a song and the climax sequence for Vikas Bahl’s Super 30.

Story-boarding

Words of Wisdom

There is learning at every stage.
Before story-boarding, it is necessary to study and understand films, television shows, comics, performing arts or any other subject that needs to explore. Reading fiction and non-fiction adds up to the knowledge base of an artist, thus helping him in expressing his work better.

Story-boarding
Story-boarding
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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A few of 2018’s still making it big and some new additions to the list, the trending trends of 2019 predicted by designers from different fields are put together here just for you.

It is said that change is the only constant and with each passing year graphic design trends prove this right. Be it packaging and illustrating for products or a promotional campaign for a brand, the design trends influencing each field have become a must-know today.

 

Will the previous years’ trends will be an influence on the upcoming years’ trends or will the two be complete opposites?

To get an answer, we have creatives from different sectors of the design industry enlightening us about the graphic design trends of 2018 and putting forth their predictions for 2019’s trends.

Anthony Lopez

Anthony Lopez
Award-winning designer, Anthony Lopez is the founder of Lopez Design.

Mira Malhotra

Mira Malhotra
A graphic designer, visual artist and the founder of Studio Kohl.

Design Stack

Design Stack
A Branding & Design firm that builds, strengthens and nurtures brands.

Sonia Tiwari

Sonia Tiwari
Pursuing a PhD in Learning Design and Technology from Penn State University.

Aaron Pinto

Aaron Pinto
Commonly known as Kidsquidy, is not only a graphic designer and illustrator but also the drummer for two Mumbai based metal bands, Providence and Gutslit.

WowMakers

WowMakers
A digital experience studio that provides from animated explainer videos, branding, documentaries and corporate video production to UI/UX design.

Anix

Anix
Anix has twelve years of experience in the world of graphics. He has worked with brands in India and abroad. He is creative director at Adaar.

To get a fair idea about what design will look like in the 19th year of the 21st century, read through!

BRANDING TRENDS

2018 Highlights

Brands are switching over to the social and digital media by cutting through the traditional medium of print to be used as their promotional and communication strategies.

According to Inderpreet Singh Seehra from Design Stack2018 saw simplification, strong colours and symbols that stood out in digital mediums as the key features for major branding projects. The brand identity of SBI (a complete case study here) created by them is an example.

SBI-Rebranding
New-Logo

The use of gradients, motion design and experimental typefaces was a ubiquity of 2018. The Identity for Fakultet for kunst, musikkog design, UiB, by Uniform, as a dynamic brand in motion; and Baboon by Sagmeister and Walsh, for its approach to colour and its humour logotypes showed the brands walking towards a more dynamic approach to differentiate themselves from the competition, says Mira Malhotra, the founder of Studio Kohl.

Design
Brand Identity for Baboon
Design

Not all changes are on the positive side. She has brought forth a noticeable change in the fashion industry to go for lifeless, characterless logotypes in the name of minimalism. Burberry was probably the most disappointing of them all.

This was a gist of 2018. It’s now time to leave the past behind and peep into the future and see what is going to be trending this year.

1. Ownership to Users and Personalisation

According to Anthony Lopez, branding systems are becoming very fluid and are designed to go beyond the logo. Branding has to be ambidextrous and the identity has to be able to adapt itself in multiple ways for different situations.

An example of the Partners’ Forum 2018, which was held in New Delhi. The identity takes on varied forms, manifesting in appropriate ways across collaterals. Further, we take the branding forward through products that reflect the identity, making it memorable for the future. The mission of the Forum stays with its participants, for a long time after.

Design

(The 3D Pipli logo animation was created by Studio Eeksaurus who collaborated with Lopez Design, celebrating the message of the Partners’ Forum.)

Talking of personalisation, brands will be seen as containers – people can put in what they want to express themselves through the brand. Eventually, the brand starts to become an extension of an individual.

Also, Anthony mentions that putting design in the hands of the customer and encouraging them to take ownership has led to people creating their own graphics besides photographs. For example, on Instagram, the user can add many icons and can also have a poll. Others provide stickers with a product to place it on anything the user wishes to put on.

Design

Design Stack highlights that people always relate to design or products that invoke positive feelings in them. For instance, a fortune cookie or a name on the bottle of coke is quite relatable to a consumer. Customising the logo with the name may or may not trend in 2019, but customising the logo with quotes, jokes, city names or graphic elements that people can relate to will continue to be used for a long time by designers.

2. Less is More 

The ‘less is more’ ideology has always been the underlying principle of design and will continue to play a vital role in the future too, says Design Stack. For an increased response on social networks and effective and aesthetical communication, brands will make use of simpler forms, clean shapes, bold colours, motion graphics and videos.

Not wanting to add unnecessary frills and fancies in a logotype has been an upward trend since Turner and Duckworth’s famous stripping down of the Coca Cola brand, says Mira Malhotra. Following the trend of less is more, there’s a chance one can go too far, cut out all frills and have a logo in a banal, forgettable neutral typeface, resulting in a sameness across brands and their identities.

 

But she’s also of the opinion that the trend of less is more can also work wonders for a brand’s visual identity differentiating it from the rest, if worked on smartly! Animated logotypes will be a resort for many.

According to Anthony Lopez, graphics is only one component of branding. The brands of the future need to be flexible across all aspects, influencing a user’s experience by drawing their attention to the brand’s character, behaviour, a tone of voice, influencers, associations and endorsements. Graphics, in such cases, is the mechanics used with adherence to the framework of the brand guidelines. When all this is done with precision, the concept of conveying ‘more with less’ becomes a possibility.

 

Motion graphics including multi-dimensional graphics will definitely become a lot more common in the future.

3. Typeface Experimenting – going back to the roots

Anthony Lopez voices the fact that a large part of branding is about strategy and delivery of content through various means, and typefaces are just one part of this contributing to the visual medium. For multi-device existence the typeface design will include the factor of scale-ability and the flexibility of the digital medium, in particular, will allow for easy and varied versions of the designed font including features like effects to type, highlighting, shading, colour options and animation.

According to Mira Malhotra, going beyond designing the logo for the brand and experimenting with typefaces to grant a uniqueness to the brand will be new in. With Google fonts and so many free quality typefaces infiltrating the mainstream, (when free, it becomes mainstream easily) people, especially clients will have a better taste in typefaces, hopefully implementing daring decisions by clients in terms of typefaces.

Design Stack points out that 2019 will be the year where the designers will want to strike a balance between the old and the new, recalling the importance of the roots and fusing them in with the trending styles. For this, the Indian type foundries are creating contemporary regional scripts which will play a big role in the coming age of Indian design. Versatile fonts that work well on both digital and traditional media will be sort after.

Bombay Brasserie - The Indian Culinary Expert
Design

4. Sophistication and Boldness

Design Stack predicts brands experimenting with logos and colour schemes. A bold yet sophisticated palette is what is intended as the yielded result.

Design

Mira Malhotra also foresees boldness in the upcoming year. Whether its bright colours, pastel neutrals, or just black and white, anything that stands out bold will make it to the brand collaterals across various mediums.

Anthony Lopez sees 2019 as a year of logos becoming more and more fluid, vibrant and versatile. Brands may launch sub-brands, but the prime brand logo is what will go across the face of the brand. Logos inherently need to be simple for high recall. However, within the face of the logo, more permutations and combinations will be observed. This allows the brand to cater to varying clientele and different platforms.

ANIMATION AND MOTION GRAPHICS

Highlights of 2018

Anix, the creative director of Adaar mentions that 2018 was a phenomenal year for animation and motion graphics witnessing trends like seamless transitions, liquid motion, digital-surrealism, isometric design, a combination of 2D and 3D, big, bold typography complicated visual effects, 3D pastels and photorealistic rendering to name a few.

Design
Design

2018 saw a refreshing visual representation of strong female leads with powerful accessories and expertise in a specialisation (vs the stereotypical princess/Damsel in distress) like Mrs Incredible from Incredibles, Mai from Next Gen, She-Ra from Netflix’s reboot of the popular 80s cartoon, and Shank from Wreck-it Ralph 2, says Sonia Tiwari.

Design
Mrs. Incredible from Incredibles
Design
Mai from Next Gen
Design
She-Ra
Design
Shank from Wreck-it Ralph 2

Sonia also observed interactive animations, in general, becoming subtle in action, pastel colour blocked and with cleaner backgrounds, a trend that originated from the iconic game Monument Valley 1 in 2014 and Monument Valley 2 in 2017. She cites INTURN’s webpage as an example to follow.

Design
INTURN

WowMakers describe 2018 as a year of rapidness. Videos had fast cuts and rapid edits, bright pop colours, neon moods and colour gradients. Vertical viewing and videos for the same rose in prominence as mobile platforms recorded the most screen time. An ‘In Your Face’ attitude permeated all forms of visual media far beyond animation and motion graphics, reeling the viewer in.

In an attempt to engage the viewers, the visual representation followed the ‘Bigger is Better’ or the ‘Go Big or Go Home’ philosophy. The text was bigger and bolder than ever, constantly changing and creating new text out of the shells of the old. 2018 saw the ‘Glitch effect’ gaining popularity. ‘Morphing’ that has been around for a while also topped the charts last year, creating magical illusions through seamless transitions.

Design

Anix explains that with media, connectivity and its scope of influence, availability and reachability, motion graphics is taking over the prevalence of still graphics. From commercials to product shots, marketing campaigns, sale presentations and game design, animated and motion graphics endow an astonishing display and communicate the product’s prowess in a way that would be impossible to communicate otherwise.

Samsung

Let’s take a look at what 2019 has in store:

1. Animating the Education

According to Sonia Tiwari, simple, iconic, vector-based motion graphics will overpower contemporary educational content, because of the large amount of content to be covered through the browser and mobile platforms that require optimised performance, seamless integration with Learning Management Systems (LMS) and keeping up with the refined design sensibilities of young millennials. A few good examples of this visual style and animation are Kurzgesat in a Nutshell series and Lumosity.

Design

2. Purpose Over Design

For Sonia Tiwari, the UX is like our brain or heart, built on the logic and feelings, and the UI is the face or skin, the outer layer that connects the user to the inner workings of a product. This distinction is important to understand that the trendy-animation and visual design must not be shallow or cosmetic, but really try to serve a purpose.

For example, a medical application that can use interactive animation to locate/define a problem through an interface – sounds useful. But interactive animations over a wireless setup app with buttons that liquid morph into new shapes sounds pointless.

 

WowMakers say that the shift from UI to UX is evident, and it is now time to cater to modern users with short attention spans and being bang on-point. ‘We don’t create a product and wait for customers to come. We create a product based on the customer’s wants and needs.’ Because not incorporating the market demand will result in a loss of clients.

For example, vertical videos have been the rage of late, and true to that, there has been an increase in requests for vertical videos or adaptable videos that could work well in both horizontal and vertical dimensions. Animation and motion graphics will have to adapt to multiple platforms without losing its core message.

3. VR & AR Carving Their Way

According to the team at WowMakers, animation and motion graphics in a VR and AR setting opens up a host of different possibilities and increases the scope for imaginative ideas that could work wonders on immersive platforms.

Design
Courtesy: Atlassian

As per Anix, the creative director of Adaar, the rise of Virtual Reality from being a gaming-focused ambitious fantasy in 2012 into an actual medium utilised by multi-national corporations and organisations around the world is in itself is a great example. Alternatively seen, purpose over design is now trending everywhere!

He also mentions that micro-interactions are subtle animations that enrich user experience and allow the user to engage with an interface in a single moment. Micro-interactions are possibly one of the biggest UX trends to date and are growing enormously. They are a focus point for the digi-sectors to up their game.

4. Fiction v/s Realism?

Fiction and Realism will both have their place in animated media, says Sonia Tiwari. The director’s vision, needs of the brand, likes of the audience, budget and timelines etc. will be the deciding factors for one of the two to surface at the top.

She has observed that the educational children’s media has had a very long history of fictional characters/plots to keep the narrative or moral of the story more relevant than realistic details of the characters like race, ethnicity, culture, religion etc. From Sesame Street to Curious George, fictional characters in children’s educational media are a “forever trend”.

 

While representing real issues like child labour, poverty and family health, she brings to notice that animated media uses some element of realism to keep the message focused or help establish a clear correlation with the narrative and content.

An example is Eeksaurus studio’s recent PSA for WHO that features Pipli art style human characters, which hits right in the middle of fiction and realistic spectrum, presenting real issues/human characters in a fantastical way.

The WowMakers’ team believes that with technology growing by leaps and bounds, magical realism can represent how technology interacts and changes human lives. At the same time, realism can be used to show the human face of technology.

5. Kinetic Typography

2019 will be a year enthralling the audience in a sober manner. WowMakers voice that the kinetics of type will be put in use, similar much to the process of animating characters or an object, like stretching, distorting, jumbling, twisting or making it disappear. Seamless transitions, much in fashion, will ensure a smooth video without jumpy transitions and cuts that can disorient the viewer.

Design

ILLUSTRATION TRENDS

With characters and entire backgrounds rendered by just a few lines and shapes, according to Aaron Pinto, Minimalism was one of the main themes for illustration in 2018. Also, the 90’s made a huge resurgence with retro, cyberpunk, glitch and neon colours being some of the mainstays of this style.

Design
Design
Design

The forecasted illustration styles surfacing 2019 will be following:

1. Raw and Unprocessed

These days the work shared online is very processed and digital, says Aaron Pinto. They are basically collages that are composited aesthetically for Instagram. But 2019 will see less processed and more organic designs being back in fashion. Hand-drawings and rough sketches are expected to take centre stage.

Design

2. God is in the Details

With a quantitative increase in the making of superhero movies and the release of a number of series, there has been a steady demand of comic book type illustrations. Also, detailed black and white inked illustrations are making a comeback. 2019 might just see it peak.

Design

3. Being the Attention-seeker

We live in a day and age, where there is an overload of content that is being consumed at an unprecedented pace.

 

To stand out from the crowd, a good visual is a great way of engaging or gaining the interest of the consumer while scrolling through the vast barrage of content being thrown at them. And more often than not a great illustration will do that job better than a photograph or even typography.

4. Complications Subjected to Simplifications

With monotones and monochromatic themes having showcased their presence in 2018, 2019 is sure to be a witness to these themes surfing the waves of illustration styles.

 

Aaron Pinto has mentioned that a lot of illustrators are trying to bring simplicity in their colour schemes as opposed to their normal saturated style.

Fluid shapes are catching on slowly. Geometric patterns and halftones seem like a good bet as well.

 

Also, simple seems to be a growing trend in general. So why not in illustrations!

Design
Illustration

Hope this article helped you to know and grab those key factors of graphic design that will be trending in 2019 to differentiate you from the rest.

Ever thought of your imagination coming to life, just the way you pictured it? Pankaj Gole, a concept artist and a character designer show how this is possible.

Characters
The Creature
Characters
The Creature Scary sound
Characters
The Creature
Characters
The Creature

With the belief that artists are free-spirited souls and the urge of always growing and improving, Pankaj took up everything as a challenge that came his way and started freelancing for wall paintings, tattoos, caricatures, portraits and storyboard developments.

Characters
Moon Light Hut, Morning Meditation
Characters
Monster Home

Pankaj feels that art without thought is just a decoration. The possibility of giving life to ones’ thoughts and imagination through visual design, empowered Pankaj to become a concept artist and master the art of character design. Pankaj has had a chance of designing characters and mascots for branding, advertisement, board games, 2D animations, video games and books and is currently designing for kids’ games.

Characters
Everyday work sometimes irritates people, makes them look nervous or tense. Its like something is missing.
Characters
First Kiss

Let’s create a character!

Merging the clients’ brief and his own imagination of the brief, Pankaj starts by visualizing the character in terms of its form, costumes, emotions, personality, attitude, gestures, age, expressions and background. This is followed by rough sketching and modifying it by varying the design styles. He gives importance to proportions as they help in creating visual interest among these imaginary beings. Target audience surely plays a significant role in character designing.

Characters
Smelly Cat
Characters
Smelly Cat Cuteness

Pankaj explains this process with an example of a character called ‘Creature’. Considering the target audience as kids and young people, he began personifying the character.

Characters
What if Obama could be this?
Characters
The Gladiator

The Creature is an active and healthy female living in a jungle. She is cute, innocent, emotional and scary looking with cute and expressive rounded blue eyes. The idea was to fuse all the forest elements together and so creature has the body like a turtle, face like a horse & horns resembling tree branches. It was a challenge to make creatures’ character look scary, cute, emotional and innocent all at the same time.

Characters
The Warrior
Characters
Concept Art

To create the storyline, he does about 6-8 rough sketches per frame to get an idea about the desired environment, composed of characters in different angles and actions and also other supporting elements. He then settles for one sketch, deciding upon the colour scheme, colouring style and lighting source which helps him render the three-dimensional character, keeping in mind the feel of the story.

Characters
Merry Christmas
Characters
Digital Portrait

Style develops knowledge and knowledge creates a style!

The challenge of coming up with different styles can be overcome by always being on the lookout for new things, ideas and concepts and being curious and experimental to achieve something different and unique. Designing the basic shape keeping in mind the characters proportion, structure, body shape gestures and simplicity makes all the difference. Being true to himself and his profession, Pankaj always creates new characters and never reuses the old ones.

Characters
Rat
Characters
Rhino

To create his style, Pankaj starts out with the traditional method of pencil sketching as it gives him the freedom of playing with lines, rhythms and basic shapes and then modifies it with the digital mediums as it gives the freedom and possibility to create unbelievable art!

Characters
Childhood Dreams
Characters
Caricature of Baba Ramdev

Keep pushing forward, the time and efforts put in will lead to success!

Pankaj encourages young enthusiasts to believe in the beauty that lies within and not to compare oneself with others as every artists’ style is unique and different! Being passionate definitely opens up doors and luck syncs’ in automatically.

Characters
Chinese Street Food Seller Making Process
Characters
Chinese Street Food Seller Table Service
Issue 42

Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst on the other hand, an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer! So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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Not everyone is able to look for the positives in the challenges and treat them as opportunities. Charuvi Agarwal was able to transform her challenges into strengths and carve a niche for her studio, Charuvi Design Labs.

The journey from the point of initiation to the present time of existence and functioning is a journey of learning and growth. We have with us, Charuvi from Charuvi Design Labs sharing the experiences of her journey.

Charuvi
Hanuman Suspended Sculpture of 26000 Bells, from “26000 bells of Light”.

CG. What was your inspiration to have your own setup and establish yourself as a brand in the design industry?

Charuvi. To go beyond what exists, to push boundaries and create a new level within the design space worked as an inspiration for us.

 

The idea behind CDL was to create high-quality animation and design work supported by installations, art in India and be recognized among the best in the world.

Charuvi
Hanuman Suspended Sculpture of 26000 Bells, from “26000 bells of Light”.

CG. How difficult or easy was it to give your dream of having your own set up a life in the form of Charuvi Design Labs?

Charuvi. The journey hasn’t been easy and never really is for any design studio!

 

In general, there are a few people (although now increasing) who appreciate high-quality content and are willing to patronize or support it. It was a struggle for us in the first few years, but as we learned more, we got better at what we were doing and found the right path.

Charuvi
Kavad - 16 feet Story book, from '26000 bells of Light'.

Today, we are a niche studio focusing on a unique stylised art-based animation, including AR and VR beside creating artwork worthy of homes, offices and museums.

Charuvi
A 3D animated musical film on Shri Hanuman Chalisa

CG. How did you manage to bring CDL to the point where it is today in spite of all the challenges that came your way?

Charuvi. The biggest challenge was to establish the right value in the mind of the clients for our quality of work.

 

The second challenge was to find and train talent. And the third was to find the right focus and clarity towards our work domains, be it 2D versus 3D animation or doing CG versus ad films.

Charuvi
A 3D animated musical film on Shri Hanuman Chalisa

I think as entrepreneurs and artists we need to be very clear about what it is that we wish to do and need to learn and evolve to do it better. At some point your client shall start valuing the expertise. And this has been our answer to these challenges.

Charuvi
Chotukool, Godrej. A still from a 3d animated film.

CG. What was the starting point for CDL to institute itself as a name in the market?

Charuvi. The starting point was our 3D animated short film ‘Shri Hanuman Chalisa’ which gave us the visibility of our work quality and design essence. The idea was to re-narrate a story in the most visually engaging manner.

Charuvi
ICRC’s Journey of Indian Soil, ICRC. A 2d animated film.

CG. According to you, what is marketing and its importance?

Charuvi. Marketing oneself is a combination of many things, starting with one’s overall quality of work, from honesty and ethical dealing with clients to being professional with your approach.

Charuvi
Sustainable Sugar-cane Initiative (SSI), GIZ. A still from a 3D animated film.

CG. What is that secret that still keeps you moving forward in the creation of CDL?

Charuvi. Wanting to create something new and better, exciting pieces of work which surpass the expectation of the client as well as satisfying for us is a major source of motivation to keep creating and growing.

Charuvi
Sustainable Sugar-cane Initiative (SSI), GIZ. A still from a 3D animated film.

Understanding what perseverance is and having a positive outlook in life definitely help in going a long way in ones’ journey.

Issue 44 - Creative Gaga

Published in Issue 44

Behind every successful studio, artist or designer there are stories of challenges, struggles and their unique solutions to these. With this issue, we interviewed many well-known names from the creative industry and found their different learnings and experiences behind making their own self as a brand. Though they all have a different take on this topic, still they all unanimously emphasise on focusing on their skills and quality delivery of the final outcome. So, if you are looking to establish yourself as a brand in the creative market or already in the process of it, this issue is a must read. Full of insights and inspirations from the best of the talents, this issue is waiting to reach your desks.

 

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Every profession and field of work have certain tips that one must know before jumping into it. Lavanya Naidu, a freelancer, illustrator and animator shares some of the tips, especially to manage finances, she has followed.

Freelancer
Dino Buddies

Before I started off as a freelancer, I had spoken to seniors in my field and thus had a brief idea of what to expect. It motivated me to discipline myself from the beginning. When you don’t have a strict schedule and work from home, it can sometimes be hard to have a routine.

 

Some of the key points that I like to keep in mind when taking on a new project are:

Freelancer
Kittu's very mad day

Keeping Deadlines

Aside from the client deadline, I usually create a personal deadline, a couple of days before the expected delivery. This gives me a small window, in case there are unforeseen hurdles during the project timeline.

Freelancer
Kittu's very mad day

Clear Communication

At the start, before taking on an assignment, I prefer putting everything on the table with my client; when to expect drafts leading up to the final files, fixing the budget, making sure to mention when I might be taking time off, and assuring completion in good time. Clear communication keeps everyone on the same page and helps avoid misunderstandings

Freelancer
Kittu's very mad day

Inspiring Work

I try to take on work that helps me grow and challenges me. As the years have gone by, I have become more selective about what I like to take on, but I am always up for trying something new! I find that I can be true to my work when it is something I can connect with.

Freelancer
Dino Buddies

A Clear System of Payments

Although hard, it is important to be able to assess your skill level, the scale of the project, due to deadlines and quote a budget accordingly. It is equally important to set up a clear system of payments, create necessary invoices, and maybe even think about setting up an advanced payment before you begin work, and/or signing of a contract, when you can. I have been lucky to have had clients who have been very good to me but to avoid miscommunication at a later stage as well as to save precious time on both sides, it might be worth planning ahead.

Freelancer

I have found in my personal experience, that having these little details worked out, allows me to fully immerse myself in the creative process.

Since most of us freelancers work project to project, giving a thought about savings or investing money when you can might be useful, even if in small amounts. I find that it gives you a sense of security and also helps out on a rainy day.

Freelancer
A Butterfly Smile

There are some of the things that have worked for me over the years, but everyone has their own formula that works for them. Putting all of the nitty-gritty aside, we are lucky to be doing what we really love to do, that’s half the job done already!

Freelancer
A Butterfly Smile
Issue 42

Published in Issue 42

Every designer wish to be independent and willing to jump into the word of freelance but most of them unaware of the fundamental challenges of the initial phase. So, we dedicated this issue to freelancers and interviewed some established and talented designers to dig deep for the expert advice. Kevin Roodhorst on the other hand, an experienced freelancer from Amsterdam, has recently shifted to be a full-timer with an Agency says “Freelancing is not all roses!” and shared the best way to survive as a freelancer! So, whether you are a freelancer or planning to be one, this issue is a must-read. Go ahead and order your copy here or subscribe to not miss any future issues!

 

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The VFX Company, Adaar, in association with Cheil India and Rocketscience Lab, creates a fun and engaging video that portrays the USPs of the Samsung Galaxy tab in an amusing way.

Samsung
Samsung

Brief / Challenge: 

Samsung required an engaging promotional video for their new Galaxy Tab. The video would need to talk about the various features of the product in an interesting and fun way to capture the young audience.

Samsung
Samsung

Solution: 

Adaar VFX, an award winning company worked with Cheil India, a renowned ad agency, and Rocketsciencelab, a film company, to create this fun promotional video for Samsung. The visual elements used are perfectly in sync as they jump up and dance to the beat of the music. The smooth movement and transition between the frames demonstrate the utter ease of the Galaxy Tab device. And through this synchronized movement the video talks about the various awesome features of the tablet.

 

It is laudable how in this video the device is not merely seen as another gadget, but as a lively extension of the user. The 3D objects in the backdrop create the setup of a miniature city, where the tablet is a larger than life entity that fits in to every scenario. The bright color palette of yellow, blue and green ties the video together in a playful vibe. Overall, the video is fun, zesty, with a catchy tune, that is hard to not watch it on repeat.

Samsung
Samsung

Credit:

Client: Samsung

Agency: Cheil India

 

Agency Creative:

Tarvinderjit Singh

Dalip Singh

Rishi Pande

Vaibhava Bhatnagar

Gurmeet Singh

 

Agency Account
Management:

Abhishek Sen

Ankur Gupta

Abhishek Advani

Sheifaly Saksena

Agency Planning:

Neha Chopra

Ranjan Saksena

 

Production House: 

Rocketscience Lab

 

Directors:

Vidya Sharma

Rajesh Thomas

 

Editor:

Mukesh

 

Music Director:

Suresh Peters

Purple Studios

 

VFX Creative: 

Adaar VFX

Creative Directors:

Anix

Vineeth TP

 

3D Lead Artist: 

Sajeev RP

 

3d Modeling Artist:

Jickson Joseph

 

3d Character
Animation: 

Rejaneesh SB

 

Executive Producer &
Render Supervision: 

Arun Devarajan

 

Business Head: 

Parvathy Narayan

The animation studio, Bandiguapo, worked on the game trailer and brought together a bizarrely fascinating concept.

Trailer For a Video Game

Brief/ Challenge:

Monster full Games required a cinematic trailer for their game, Fatty Diver.

 

The game provides two options to play from, ‘Fatty’ and ‘Donald’. Hence, the game would have two trailers with each of the protagonists. The trailers needed to aptly capture this bizarre premise in a fun and enthralling way.

Solution:

This was the first attempt at working for video games, for the Bandiguapo Studio. They were very excited to explore and understand the world of video games. This excitement can be distinctly seen in the final trailer. The textures, colours and lighting, all come together to emulate a very real poolside-relaxed-sunny-day mood. The rigging too encapsulates the fluid movement and feel of the game. The attention to detail cannot be missed, whether it is the carefree hopping on the diving board, or the wide eyed expression for the falling burger, it all surely makes for an enticing trailer.

The ‘Making Off’ video illustrates the painstaking research and exploration the studio went through to arrive at this trailer. It also provides an insightful peek for beginners to understand what it takes to make a video like this.

Trailer For a Video Game

Credit:

Production
Barbara Suardíaz

Direction
Ruben F Stremiz

Script
Jarett Smith

Storyboard
Martin Cochinan
Ruben F Stremiz

Animatic
Ruben F Stremiz

Art Direction
Ruben F Stremiz
Ganz Toll

Enviroment Design
Ganz Toll

Modeling
Ruben F Stremiz

Shading / Textures
Ruben F Stremiz

Lighting / Rendering
Ruben F Stremiz

Animation
Maximo Ponz
Ruben F Stremiz

Rigging
Maximo Ponz

Edition / Postproduction
Ruben F Stremiz

Audio / Folley
Ruben F Stremiz

Theme
Surf Medley / Junior_Brown

Client
Monsterfull Games

It’s interesting how all of us grow up with individual memories and experiences. It’s fascinating how transforming these memories to stories can create opportunities of telling unique tales that can emotionally connect to a universal audience. Animation filmmaker Balasubramanian explores his own memories and maps them to create engaging visuals and films.

KING SAGE. Part of an unreleased project. As the ruler
MYSTERIOUS SAGE. Part of an unreleased project. In his mystic world

Everybody is Somebody

All of us grow up in a certain environment, surrounded by visuals, which are unique in their own right. For an artist and storyteller, it’s imperative to go back to these memories to find figment of characters and stories. Everyone’s upbringing defines the visuals, mood, emotion, choice of colour, lighting etc. that one works with. One should be aware of it. After all, it’s always an emotional turmoil and an urge to communicate that makes one a creator. Be true to these feelings and you’ll end up creating engaging stories that will connect and speak to the audience.

RELIGIOUS SAGE. Part of an unreleased project. Performing a tantric ritual

The Story is the Key

The process of narration can begin with a story, or a character, or justa few visuals. Any which way, it all boils down to one core story which is what you are working on. And this depends on a lot of factors. Who are you talking to? Which cultural mindset do they adhere to? What is the lifestyle and belief set they dwell in? And many more such questions that need to be answered before you take it forward. Next up, the story gives way to the elements of the craft – design, look-&-feel, camera angles, colours, lights etc. The key is to keep your story simple. If struck right, it will never fail to hit the audience and move them from within.

Ideation for an Illustration
WARRIOR SAGE. Part of an unreleased project. The fearless warrior

For Your Eyes Firstly

A film is primarily a visual medium. Therefore, it makes sense to pay extra attention to what you are sketching. The visuals should be appealing enough to keep the audience glued and be attentive to the narration. While the story dictates the visuals, it is usually the choice of colours that define the mood. And to top it, use a careful arrangement of lights to heighten the drama and movement of the frame.

THOUGHTFUL SAGE. Part of an unreleased project. Glimpse of his incredible brain
FIGHTING SAGE. Part of an unreleased project. The magnificent warrior

Normal is Boring

There is no fun in being normal. As filmmakers, our job is to blow up proportions of a character or a story that turns it into dramatic, engaging and moving. Exaggerating characters and elements is, therefore, one of the most prominent tools. Caricaturing is an age-old phenomenon. Therefore, the idea of exaggeration brings with it lots of challenges and opportunities at the same time.

POWERFUL SAGE. Part of an unreleased project. Displaying supernatural power
FURIOUS SAGE. Part of an unreleased project. The indestructible force

Hold on to Your Thought

There are umpteen visuals, sounds and incidents happening around you that hold seeds of stories. Keep your eyes, ears and mind open and grasp everything that you can. You never know what is going to strike you, when and where. And once you have got the thought, hold on to it. Spend time with that streak of an idea and develop it into something that becomes a part of yourself, in a true and honest manner. That’s how you become a storyteller that’s uniquely you. Hit upon an idea, form a story and then leave it to your instincts to do the rest.

RIDING SAGE. Part of an unreleased project. On an incredible journey

Published in Issue 13

Coming from a country of stories and storytellers, Indian animation professionals are sitting on a gold reserve. Yet, we are miles behind the Western world. We spoke to few leading names to find out the reason and understand the Indian animator’s sensibilities and practices The house unanimously opined that we need to develop more original ideas and also create exclusive stories for animation, rather than going the other way round…

 

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