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Dhimant Vyas
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Animation is for everyone! Dhimant Vyas, the veteran artist and animation film designer, throws light on the future of animation and the role it plays in education.

Animation is a versatile medium that caters to a wide range of audiences. But with this versatility comes the grave responsibility of creating relevant content. The right content will not only increase the popularity of animation but also have a healthy impact on children.

Challenges of Making for all Ages

The animation is for all ages! It is a powerful and universal communication medium. The beauty of animation is that it can tell a story even without the need for dialogues. Some good examples are Tom & Jerry, Shaun the Sheep and Minuscule. Charging a below-par rate is going to hurt you, over time. Talk to your peers and know the general rates. Sources like ArtPact, Glassdoor, etc. help find out the hourly and per piece rates for illustrations and such.

Shaun and Sheep - Animation -Dhimant Vyas

The real challenge though is faced at the pre-production stages like scripting and storyboarding. It requires careful planning to convey a story without dialogues. Everyone has a child within them, and animation is a great way to bring out this child. But this is possible only by bringing out perfect emotions, mood and actions through different mediums of animation.

Animation -Dhimant Vyas

The Future of Animation in India

The animation industry in India has changed drastically in the last 20 years. There was a time where only a handful of people knew the meaning of animation. Very few individuals were involved in this field, the animation studios were small and sparse, and the institutes themselves weren’t that many.

Today this industry has gained quite a bit of popularity. The growth is slow, but I am very hopeful about the future. We need a wider audience to be interested in animation like in Japan. In Japan, animation and comics are far more popular than live-action films.

One advantage of the digital age is that knowledge and learning are just a click away. Earlier our avenues of learning were limited to animation books, VHS cassettes, and a few movies that played in the theatres. Today the possibilities are unlimited.

For a better future, we all need to work together, especially youngsters. Instead of looking for the easy way out, they should focus on quality, creativity, innovative ideas, new styles, and above all a better storytelling.

Roles of Animation in Learning

The animation is most watched by children. Hence, we have a responsibility to create good content. Children are impressionable and the learning at that age leaves a great impact. Television channels need to be careful about the content they air. Even parents need to be aware of the different consequences of being exposed to different content and thus ensure children watch only the right material.

We often find shows with extreme violence that could negatively impact children. It is important for creators of animation to take responsibility and create positive content, to help nurture the children’s minds.

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. 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.

 

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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.

Animation -Dhimant Vyas

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.

Shaun and Sheep - Animation -Dhimant Vyas

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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