Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Height of laziness

I feel very sorry for not posting in one of the longest breaks. I have the lamest excuse to give, I was lazy. But I should tell that there was more to it. I did not feel motivated enough. After doing a very bad performance in last quarter (I got B in all 3 courses), I figured out that I have lost my focus and my motivation. Human mind plays tricks all the time to get you out of focus. Mine does a lot. Before the end of quarter I had decided to do a lot in this 1.5 month break time to cover my lost in the last quarter. But eventually I ended up passing my time on my laptop and movies and working on projects to earn money. I was so confused and frustrated thinking that I was wasting a lot of time. Finally I decided to take a full break from all my study and goal thinking. I just want to chill for a while without any worries of how I will reach my goals. I have decided that once my quarter starts I want to forget all worries and focus on my study real hard. I am already excited since I am going to start doing hand drawn animation and may be a character rigging class. I have also decided to manage my time well in next quarter to give enough time for my sweetheart and food (to be healthy enough to do all things). I am planning to post some of my work from the last quarter, but I dont have any work scanned or ready to post. Once I have them ready I will definitely post them.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More on failure

Success or Failure

Kumar made a very good and important point about failure.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Fear of failure

Why do we afraid of failure so much? It seems that one of the greatest fear on earth is the fear of failure. My drawing professors always say that do not be afraid to make mistakes. I totally understand it why. But sometimes I just can't help it but feel that fear for a while. I know that it does not help at all and by taking failure as a milestone for success I can become better. Life is really challenging this way; even if you know something is good or bad, you sometimes can't just do what you know you should do. It is very true that the person who can control his/her mind can do anything in this world.

My Fall quarter has started and there are lots of things happening. As usual the pressure of performing well has started to build up. I dont know if it is my own expectation or not. One more thing I realize is that we are afraid of what people would think about us or what impression would we make if we do something. Sometimes we really become conscious and concerned about our impression on others that we start feeling that fear, we start feeling the pressure. It lies in person's strength to take failure as a part of success, as a part of the journey and not the destination. This challenge will keep coming in one or the other form. I want to be free from thinking of my impression on others and my own expectations. I want to be fearless.

Friday, August 31, 2007

More drawings from sketchclub




Sunday, August 19, 2007

Life & Partner

Life is really important and so is the partner one chooses to spend the entire life with. Life is about sharing and caring. To me life does not make sense if we do not share and care. Life partner or soul mate is the person to whom one opens up his/her heart fully. And that is when the power of sharing and caring grows more and more. That is why soul mate holds a very important place and role in life.

On 14th of August I got engaged to a sweet caring girl who is my best friend, my inspiration and my heart, Ami :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Second Master Copy

This is one more master copy assignment, I don't have any details of the master artist but the work was really amazing. I am really happy with my final output in this assignment. I guess I am better with white charcoal on black paper than my skills with black on gray paper. This is actually huge, 36"x58". we did master copy on this big size to study all the details easily. I had to stick the paper to the wall to work on it. Photo quality is not good, there is a reflection on the bottom right corner :sigh:

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Self portrait 1

Not completely happy with it, but still I was happy that I could get the likeliness. I chose a little odd pose. But since this was my first time drawing from mirror, I made some silly measuring mistakes. That's why some features look skewed.

Plater Cast Rendering

Third life drawing assignment, where we had to copy the plaster cast model to study head. I could not get the likeliness of the model really well, but still I enjoyed the rendering. His hair was a really painful task though. I also found that using white & black charcoal over a gray paper works really well and gives a wide range of values and possibilities for rendering.

First Drapery Study

First assignment of life drawing class. And I was really intimidated initially since I had never worked on drapery before and this was the first fine rendering project of the class. Anyway I realize that if I was less afraid of failing I could have done better.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Tales from Earthsea

It's a Ghibli movie, so despite getting not so good review I wanted to watch it desperately. And I finally did. Even though it could not create the same magic as the previous ghibli movies, I think the feel and style of the movie is the same. I love all the landscapes so much, and each background was like an amazing piece of art. The colors and compositions were really beautiful. I watched the movie again just to watch the landscapes. Really beautiful! Animation is again really nice and with so amazing details. I actually liked the story and concept behind the story. The story is actually adapted from the book with same title name. Soundtracks are mind blowing too. I love the main song (which Therru sings in the movie) so much. Somehow I felt that the soundtracks were mixtures of many different kinds. I also felt that music on violin was near to Indian feel at some points. Overall I loved the movie, especially I enjoy the artwork so much, it's breathtaking. The farm and house of Tenar was really beautiful. I wish to have a house and a farm like that.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

"Flight" comic book series

Anybody who loves comics should read these books. They are really awesome. All the stories and characters and everything is superb. The great thing about these books is that many talented artists have put their own comic stories in each book so you can see a lot of variety in terms of style, characters and stories. Totally cool, I have got Flight 2 and 3, when I will have some extra money I really want the other two.

http://www.boltcity.com/?article=248

Check out this blog and artist's work. I really love it.

A little twist to "Pudla"

When I came back home from class I was tired and was in no mood to make the full fledge meal. So I got an idea of making pudla. But I always want to experiment and push the creativity a little further. I added cilantro, 2 green chillies and some wheat flour along with chickpea (besan) flour. I like the idea of adding cilantro into the batter. And now I am planning to make thepla with finely chopped cilantro into the dough. New experiments are always exciting so can't wait to try that. I am sorry I dont have a pic, but if possible I will post it later.

Some old sketchbook pages

Assignment 1 (Master copy)

This was my first life drawing assignment. We had to do a master copy as part of learning head drawings. I used white charcoal on black paper. This is not the latest one, in which I have increased the height of the forehead.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Naruto

I was so addicted to this series that I would sleep few hours less to watch it. This is one more Ninja series with so much fun and cool fights. It revolves around main characters in the series, but mainly Naruto Uzumaki. He is the hyperactive knucklehead ninja of the hidden leaf village. At times he can be funny and sometimes annoying, he can be stupid and sometimes heroic, he can be smart in battles and sometimes just dumb. But he possesses a good kind heart inside him. Even if he is the main hero of Naruto series, he is a common kid (except that he has a nine tail fox inside him). He lived a very sad childhood, being rejected by people and no good friends except iruka sensei, his teacher in high school. I think Naruto is a really inspirational character not because he is the hero, but because of his characteristics. A normal kid pushing himself more and more to achieve his goals to prove that he can do it. He does not give up even if he falls. He is eager to learn new techniques and works harder than a donkey. He protects his friends no matter what. One more similar and very inspirational character would be Rock Lee, a guy who does not have any natural talent for ninjutsu, gengutsu or any other kind of non-contact fight techniques. So he keeps himself pushing in taijutsu which is hand to hand combat style. And he pushes himself to the extremes. And he becomes inspiration for Naruto as well.

All the characters are well defined and you don't find it difficult to understand after sometime. All the plots are exciting and adventurous and not to mention funny as hell. I love the way expressions are animated in this series, like sometiems face completely distorts or simplifies to the least details but retains the funny expression. Sometimes jaw just becomes so flat and eyes just become weired. It makes the whole scene really funny along with those funny sounds. I like the way Sakura's internel feelings are shown in form of animation of only outline coming out from inside as if her second personality is speaking. And all the fights are animated really really well. I think they are not easy if you consider all different kinds of fighting techniques, styles used in fights and also dynamic angles to show them. I am really impressed by those animations.

I have finished 157 episodes so far and now all episodes are fillers until 201 (or the Shippuden series starts).

Logic vs Creativity (Left vs Right Brain)

One fundamental question that has been raised many times is can creativity be learned or practiced? Even I had this question and doubt since long time. I was worried after my first CEED result if I am creative enough or not. If I am not, I cannot move into animation or any creative field. Even today I struggle to find creative ideas, but now I understand where do they come from and I know that I can be creative, in fact anyone can be creative.

I got a kick on this thought when we were doing thumbnail studies for color theory assignment. What we had to do was to design a single motif which eventually would create a pattern. I started off with excitement since I had so many ideas, but I got only few thumbnails on my page. I was worried and thinking what to do. Our professor told us that while exploring ideas do not think of how a motif would look in the pattern or how it would fit in the pattern, whatever comes to the mind just translate it into a thumbnail. And later on after exploring ideas we can see if a particular motif will work or not and may be modify later. At once it clicked to me that what I was doing was wrong, I was going into more of logical aspects of ideas like how details will look and how they will connect and how can I literally translate my idea of fish in the net. I was more focused on details and not the whole idea. Whatever new ideas came were rejected by left brain in doing more of analysis or logical explanation. So I realized that I was not letting my right side of the brain take control.

Left and right sides of the brain have individual and separate functions. They each process different kinds of information and outputs different kinds of results. This link shows which side of the brain handles what. So simple fact is that a person who uses left side of the brain more tends to be more logical and technical, while the person using the right side of the brain more tends to be more creative and artistic. All the intuitive and random ideas come from the right side of the brain. Many times even if we get some really good ideas they do not come out because of the interference of the left side of the brain. So for people who wants to be more creative has to make their right side of the brain function more efficiently and be careful in not to let left side of the brain interfere. The book "Drawing on right side of the brain" by Betty Edwards is based on the same theory and in a way she revolutionized the way people learn drawing with this book.

So the trick is to do exercises that make your right side of the brain more active. The above book itself has many good exercises (which I have not done, but I know it has). One basic exercise I know of is to draw something without looking at it. The first drawing always comes out very ugly and you may hardly recognize it sometimes, but with practice you can get unbelievable results. Well sounds like there is a really simple solution to be more creative right? Well in my experience it's really difficult, because of the human nature and because left brain always keep coming if you already have that dominant. For me since I am coming from a computer engineering background and being a person who likes to invent algorithms, it's a really a tough job. But sometimes it really helps and it works as well. It's just that you have to be aware of it when left brain starts interfering. So whenever next time you are looking for ideas, first stop your left brain and just draw thumbnails of anything that pops in your mind. Later on you do all the analysis of ideas to see which works and which does not. So here are the steps to do something creative (IMO):
1. Explore ideas(Let the right side of the brain rock) (DONT think if a idea will work or not)
2. After gathering ideas analyze them and discuss them.
3. Find best 3 ideas out of them and compare them (more detailed analysis)
4. Select the best idea and modify if required.
5. Move to the first execution step.

For art analysis would be in terms of design principles like composition, shapes and forms, rhythm etc.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Cooking Spree

I am becoming so passionate about cooking. I love it not just for the sake of eating, but it's somehow a creative process and I love anything I find to engage creatively. It's kind of a mixture of science and art. You have to know how things cook like what item boils what time or which one will cook faster, how the quantity will affect the cooking. And you have to be creative and artistic in mixing spices and other items to come up with different tests.

My recent and most tasty adventure was cooking Ragda Pattise. It took me really long (2.5+ hrs), but was worthy. I learned a lot of things as well. Here is the pic :)

Some more items from past, I have not taken pictures of many new items I had tried. I wish I had taken bharva bhindi's picture, my fav :)

More character scribbles

Just felt like drawing some funny faces. The second character in the top image is probably going to be one of the characters I want to use for animation.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

More

Monday, June 04, 2007

Digital scribbles

I was just practicing drawing with my old tablet. I wish I could work with colors better.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Character scribbleing






I just love to scribble and come up with characters from different shapes. I have improved within my spring quarter, I feel more confident now. Hopefully I will come up with more.

Spring semester is over!!!

Yuhoo... After so many sleepless nights and with a low average of sleeping hours, finally this exhausting quarter is over. I really enjoyed the quarter despite all the sleepless nights. Drawing for storyboarding was simply amazing and color theory made me love every color in the palette. I will be posting my projects soon when I have them photographed.

Next quarter I will be taking life drawing and I am so much looking forward to it, since I have the same professor form my storyboarding class and I am hoping to learn a lot from that class.

I also have to start working on my short film for which I need to plan really well to manage my timings. I am really ambitious about this short film and that's where I am worried, but I was thinking to make it a collaborative project on CGSociety where I could work with some really great people and learn a lot. If it does not work out I will have to shift to another short film and do this later one (by the way film is called "Battle of Backyard") . Let's see what happens :)

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Great Advice

http://www.poopinmymouth.com/tutorial/money_mouth.htm

This is something all dream catchers should understand and put into action! (found it from here)

Sunday, April 08, 2007

If you dream...

It's not the smartest person who endures the battle and becomes a winner, but the person who stands throughout the whole journey and never gives up on his/her dreams. It's not the extra ordinary talent but the extra ordinary perseverance that takes a person to his/her dream. And one more important thing is that you have to believe in yourself. Determination and believing yourself are interwoven so I think you have to have both, one helps the other to grow . Many times I wonder what is it that makes a person shoot into the life and makes person reach goals or dreams, not everybody becomes for example Bill Gates or may be Dr.A.P.J. Kalam or Walt Disney. I question why people did not take a course to reach his/her dream! I have heard people telling this, be aware that not everybody's dreams come true. I think what they are trying to say is that you quit, you are not one of those who can succeed. It could be shocky at times, but mind of a dreamer has to be stronger than steel, firmed and determined to face anything, even failures of reaching dream. I know we humans have social life and we have responsibilities, we cant take risks. But think what if this were told to Gandhiji and he had stopped his mission or Thomas Alva Edison and he had stopped? Life goes nowhere without taking risks, life itself is risky whether you take risk or not. So why to worry about risks?

In the end I just want to say that if you dream about a goal, dream it so hard that it runs in your blood. Your veins pump the passion of your dream. And you become so strong that all the winds in the world change to your direction. You may fall but never give up on rising. It's your determination and belief in yourself that takes you till the gate. It's not an easy path for sure, but if are determined enough, nothing can stop you. (watch "October Sky" and you will know it)

October Sky (1999)

This is one of those inspiring movies who can provide you with enough magic spinach to workout your brain and heart muscles. I really liked this movie and for the fact that it was based on a true story, that proves that it CAN happen. I really loved it because it's real and many situations, like most of the people opposing your idea or your passion because it's new, are faced by the hero, but he still has burning desire. A son of a coal miner becomes a Nasa Astronaut! Recommended watch.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

My first charcoal still life

This is the first still life I did in charcoal. It was really fun, though messy. But I love the feel of charcoal and also because they can do really dark values.

I met a guy...

Being in a good college has some really good advantages. Our college arranges job fair every year bringing some of the most reputed companies and studios in the world. This time we had Blue Sky Studios, ILM, Digital Domain, Lucasarts and list goes on. I was really excited to be in the job fair, so I got ready (I used gel to keep my long hairs stick together and keep them under the ears). I knew even if I could not do anything I just wanted to talk to one studio, and that was Blue Sky studios. Wow! I was pretty excited. But when I went there, there was a long queue (of course I should expect that). But looking around other people's work and portfolios my little portfolio felt uncomfortable and so did I. But I had to talk to that lady who was sitting on the desk of Blue Sky Studios. So I kept waiting in the queue. Suddenly a boy from behind the girl who was behind me (pardon my long confusing line) told me that there is a little caterpillar on my shirt's collar. Well that was the second time I saw a similar guy on my shirt (first time it was in the morning). I guess few of them got on my backpack while was waiting for the bus in the morning. Ok so I told that boy to take it off and put it on a paper I was holding, and he did that for me. I told him to hold my place and I went out on rescue mission (that boy in the row used the word 'rescue'). And that's it, thank God that little guy got saved.

But wait! This is not about that little guy. I kept waiting in the line, few people took only few minutes few more, but now the person on the desk had changed. This person was a guy who was wearing cool shirt. (Ok I am cutting it short) Then my turn came and I shook hand with the guy and we just started talking. I took only few minutes but it was fun and I enjoyed it. So that was the story all about (boring hah?) . I met a guy from "Blue Sky Studios"! Yuhoo! :)

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Books

I really love books that contains artworks or picture stories. I also love comics but when I will have extra money I will buy them.

Even though our library is amazing, it does not have some amazing books I need/want. I bought 2 such books from Amazon. I remember how eagerly I was waiting for them to arrive and how excited I was. Here are those books:

Being a great fan of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, I had to buy these 2 books. And I really really love them for highly rich contents. I love all drawings and paintings and movie stills they contain and once I open the book, I keep looking at scenes for long time. Reading and watching these books is an amazing experience.

For more on these books and other related material, you can visit following website.

Job in Jen Library

I got an on-campus job in our college's library for a week. It's really fun, but tiring as I have also started going to gym. My all body muscles are in sweet pain. But walking around book racks and rearranging books has its own fun and benefits. I get to see all the parts in library and see what kind of books are in which racks. As our library is really huge (3 storey and long floors), it's not likely that I will be visiting the every section and rack of the library. But with this job, I will visit all the sections. I have already found many interesting sections, I found a section where India and Bollywood related books are situated. I also found children storybooks section, Leonardo da vinci related books section and collection/archive of many different magazines. And some of them are full of amazing material. I want to read so many things, but unfortunately I have so many things on my todo list. So right now trying to stick to my priority list.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Children of Heavens

This film just got into my favourite movies list. Brilliantly made! I really love the story and most of all, small details and expressions even in comman activities which are captured amzingly. For example, when the other girl (whom Zahra follows) knocks her house and while waiting for door to be opened she keeps jumping. That shows how children are eager to enter the home after school. I was really amazed at how details and emotions are captured. It is interesting that filming was kept secret most of the time. So that actions captured are natural. And it showed all the time in the movie. All the actions look so natural that movie looked live. And I love all the sweet things they did and reminded me of my own childhood. When they are washing the shoes and start making bubbles out of foam was nostalgic and I really loved that scene. And end is so beautiful, and one of the best scenes in the movie. Overall amazing film.

Mostly my best friend Ami posts film reviews on her blog. And let me tell you she is really talented in writing (Recommended reading :). But I really loved this movie and wanted to write my feelings about it, so just poured out :)

Oh I forgot to thank her for telling me about this film! Thanks you very much :)

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Public Speaking Class: Discussion

I really enjoy this class a lot. It's not just because it's fun, but also because it's really providing me a platform to meet people, know them, discuss with them many things from around the world. For all the speeches we do or exercises we do, we get to have a small session for comments/discussion. And I really appreciate that short period of time because I get to learn a lot and besides I can speak my voice as well. I am really impressed with the ability of US people to discuss any issue openly without getting into a fight. And important respecting others views as well. Especially I feel this from what I have seen in our class. I cannot imagine having such an open discussion in India, no matter what the topic is. We tend to loose our patience so fast, most of the time discussions result in nowhere. One of the boys persuaded us to vote and he did it really well. One main point that struck to me from his speech was that he mentioned that we the people are branch of government and we are falling behind. Now how many 1st year college kids in India would speak like that? Well just after that boy another speech followed on voting and she specifically persuaded to do better for US by voting for Barack Obama. She had already read the books by him and also done enough research that she was really confident in what she was saying.

Well I just wanted to say 2 main points,

-how active Indian youth is in thinking about Country's prospects or for that matter anything other than individual goals. How much Indian youth is thinking about India's political future?

-And how open minded are we in talking about issues or discussing them?

Certainly from my own little experience I know that our Netas(leaders) are really not powerful enough to lead a diverse country like India. Because when they start discussing they end up with either face to face quarrels or fights in parliament. And worst, fighting with chairs and speaking slang and offensive language. We are really poor in discussing issues and that's why we never come to a good conclusion (edit: Not really a general statement, some people do discuss really well, but not Netas). And that's because everybody thinks his/her alphabet is right and that of others are wrong. That's why sometimes even a common interest cannot come to any conclusion. Well I remember myself in college days and I know I had similar attitude at that time, so I would really not keep myself open to others ideas. I don't think it's general because I was that way, but because I see a lot of difference in discussions in US and in India. I think what we lack the most is the skill of listening. We are so ready to overthrow some body's point of view that sometimes we never realize what other person is talking about. And that can be one of the reasons creative fields are really not given respect they deserve. One more thing I really like in US people is that while discussing, people just do not bashing others' views, but they also appreciate any strong points in others' views. Can we really imagine in India, people appreciating your positive views or any small idea? We don't make it to the appreciation or applause until it's something "Very extra special" (we have our own definition for this and I don't like it). I now realize that in order to build a big dream, one needs to start with smaller ones. DON'T neglect the small things, each tiny bit counts in forming the large piece.

Our country is where it was, in terms of social issues, no matter what political party is elected. But we need to ask this question to ourselves, what major things we did last decade in terms of improving our country? I know my knowledge is really poor, but still I would have known. Politicians may show some statistics and yes statistics help, but don't always rely on them, esp if our netas are quoting them. I know that to run more than billion people with so many diverse people on a land size of India is not really easy. I really appreciate all the efforts went into holding it together till date, but that does not mean we have nothing to do. We have tons of issues by which our country, our people are suffering from. We should thank God or Nature for what we have and we should think about our own personal responsibilities like giving vote to a proper person, or be disciplined and honest in what we do.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Being an Artist

Some people might be waiting to see an update in my blog, so pardon me for not updating this blog for a long time. Life is on a rollercoaster lately and may be this is the first time I have faced so many new things simultaneously. And for few I was not quite ready. But anyways I just wanted to pour out how I feel about my new student life and on a way to become an artist.

People usually have misconception about animation. Many people dont see artistic side of animation and forget that an animator is ultimately an artist. And art is just not about drawing or design or animating, there is more to it. Back in India (Esp in my state Guajart) art education is something which comes lower than engineering and commerce stream and people take art when they have low %. People dont show that respect to an artist that they show to people with non-art qualification, and I really feel bad for it. Well that's the way things are setup so it's eventually nobody's fault. But I wish something can be done about it. I am no good at sensing artistic value in all kind of artwork, but I see how people put effort in their work to CREATE a piece of art. I believe art can help a person understand things about life, about people. It gives a new vision to see different and see life with new perspective.

Being an artist I feel good, I want to see life with every angle possible. I am learning that one cannot always be standing, one may fall. That's really a part of life and it's easy to accept once you know it's natural. It's possible that a person can be standing for a very long time, hit the bull's eye for so many times consicutively, but still that person has to be open minded to survive the fall. Once a person learns this art nothing can beat him/her. A person who can rise from any fall can do anything in life. I got this example from a friend (who heard this from his friend), when a cat is running after a mouse and if cat does not catch that mouse it seats down. But then it does not seat forever or change its mind. Cat will get up soon and start running after a mouse again. An artist generates an amazing piece of work, and sometimes he feels he cannt make it. This is so typical in this field that once in a while this feeling comes to almost everybody where one thinks that he/she does not feel motivated or inspired enough to come up with creative work. I have still to see and face many things, but I have made a note of this. So I will try to improve when my time comes.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

New Destination

Many things have happen, or should I say my life has comepletely changed since I last wrote in here. In my journey of becoming an animator, I have reached to the most important goal, I have reached to US to attend animation school. I am really close to my dream now, I feel it in my belly. Though this came with some price, I know ultimately I will get things working and reach where I want to. It's difficult adjusting to new lifestyle here, but it's just the matter of time I know. So time has again very important role here. I miss my family and friends so much, I miss every corner of India. But I hope once my college starts, I will find myself working hard and forget temporary issues I have. God has been really kind to me in many things and I cant hank enough. I will do my best to become a good human being and reach my ultimate goal.