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Arena Chandigarh Students check out State-of-the-Art VFX (Visual Effects) Equipment on their campus
Students checking out the State of the Art VFX Equiment

Students checking out the State of the Art VFX Equiment

Arena Chandigarh Students check out State-of-the-Art VFX (Visual Effects) Equipment on their campus following “Learn The Secrets of becoming a VFX Pro!!” a Seminar by VFX Artist, and Specialist Aayush Chopra (Masters Degree in VFX from Bournemoth Universty, UK).

They were able to see and handle the high-end Video Stablizer one of it’s kind in North India (not even available with professional studios in North India). Only select studios across India have this equipment have this kind of equipment. Hence even most vfx professionals in India have not seen one!

The saw the imported Green Screen, Softbox lights with the highest possible illumination. They also saw the full body suits used in motion capture, follow focus, as well as the ubiquitious clap.

State-of-the-art VFX Equipment at VirtualSoft Studio

State-of-the-art VFX Equipment at VirtualSoft Studio

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Learn The Secrets of becoming a VFX Pro!!
Learn the Secrets of becoming a VFX Pro!!

Learn the Secrets of becoming a VFX Pro!!

“Learn The Secrets of becoming a VFX Pro!!” A Seminar was held today at Arena Animation Academy, Sec 17, Chandigarh, by VFX Artist, and Specialist Aayush Chopra (Masters Degree in VFX from Bournemoth Universty, UK), on the path to becoming a VFX Professional and the learnings required to become one. Being privy to the latest happenings internationally, Aayush was in an excellent position to share the secrets of the professionals.

He demonstrated the entire VFX Pipeline to the hall chock-a-block eager students. Going through the pipeline step by step he uncovered each step and the various measures taken at each step to ensure that reality of the scene is not compromised. He also dwelled on the major savings in cost by the intelligent use of VFX quelling the myth that VFX is a costly option. In fact he showed why it is cheap to opt for VFX than go for a live constructed scene.

Trained in the Art of VFX by eminent VFX artists from the world over during his Masters at Bournemoth University, UK, Aayush shared various tips given by the experts to avoid costly equipment and the way simple utility items could achieve the same end result.

Arena Chandigarh also later demostrated state-of-the-art VFX Equipment directly imported from UK by their Studio VirtualSoft.

Learn The Secrets of becoming a VFX Pro!!!

Learn The Secrets of becoming a VFX Pro!!!

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VFX_seminar_13various tips given by the experts to avoid costly equipment and the way simple utility items could achieve the same end result.

Alumnus Interaction – Bhanu Sharma

Bhanu Sharma, our Alumnus of Multimedia Program from 1997-1998 came visiting the campus to interact with the students and faculty on 28 Dec 2011. He spent some time interacting with the students sharing his experiences and answered their queries. He’s currently working in Ericcson as a Product Design Head and is located in the US. He recapped his long journey that started at Arena and through many different positions at Wanadu, Macromedia, Adobe and his own startups and upto the current position. He guided students on various aspects of tackling career issues and taking career decisions.

He gave away Awards to some Arena Toppers.

Best Performance Award

Alumnus Interaction – Avi Arora
Avi Arora, Alumnus, Arena Chandigarh visits campus

Avi Arora, Alumnus, Arena Chandigarh visits campus

Avi Arora, our Alumnus of BSc 2005-2008 came visiting the campus to interact with the students and faculty on 5 June 2012. She spent some time interacting with the students sharing her expertise and knowledge and answered their queries. She’s currently settled in Canada and has worked in the VFX on many leading hollywood films including the Harry Potter.  She had completed her Masters in VFX from Seneca, Canada. Another Alumnus Anurag Bhateja from the same batch also visited the campus on the same day.

Workshop on 3D Stereoscopy


A workshop on 3D Stereoscopy was held at Arena Chandigarh. Narinder Singh, 3D Faculty engaged the students in creating 3D Stereoscopy based graphics while teaching the technique to the students through live examples and graphics manipulation.

They dwelt on the aspects on 3.5D and 4D and the fine differences that separates the real stereoscopy from the fake (3.5D). The use of simple software like photoshop to fake 3D surprised the students. And the knowledge of the use of high end software like Maya to create real 3D wowed them. The students created many pieces that lead them to understand the process of stereoscopic creation.

The use of Stereoscopy has increased tremendously in recent years with almost every leading feature film being made in Stereoscopy.  Indian films like RA-One followed in the footsteps on earlier creations like Chhota Chetan and Shiva Ka Insaf made aeons ago. Soon to follow is India’s first 3D based Stereoscopic movie “Delhi Safari”. Notably the makers of Delhi Safari had chosen to unveil the secrets and techniques of 3d film making before the Arena Chandigarh students recently (17 May 2012).

Arena Chandigarh starts Degree Enrollments with Unique Offer
Tentative Design of India's First 3D Brochure for Animation Degree created by Faculty and Students

Tentative Design of India's First 3D Brochure for Animation Degree created by Faculty and Students. Use 3D Goggles to view this, or get one from our Centre Free of Cost.

Arena Animation, Sector 17, Chandigarh, has declared open admissions for Bachelors Degree in Animation and VFX offered through Mahatma Gandhi University, Meghalaya.

The limited seat based offer, open only till June 2012 was envisioned keeping in mind the increased cost incurred by parents after enrollment into procuring a suitable computer for their wards. Arena Animation, Sector 17, Chandigarh is going to offer MacBook Pro 313 FREE to it’s new Degree Students enrolling before 30 June 2012. This is probably the first time in India for Animation students. The actual terms can be had from the counselling desk and the scheme can be closed earlier on the filling of seats available under this offer. Also, the students shall be offered FREE 4 months of classes in Drawing and Sketching covering most pre-production aspects. This is to ensure that the students are able to compete at the international level where most Degrees would include it as part of their 4 year curriculum. Also, to top it, students excelling in the criterion given stand a chance to qualify for a visit to an Indian/ International Studio at their own cost. Alternatively they may be given a FREE Workshop by an Indian/ International Animation Expert.

At the end of 4 months, the students shall be assessed on their sketching skills (portfolio), personal interview and a creative aptitude test. Based on a merit list drawn each student shall be given a scholarship offer to enrol for a specialized training in 2D Animation alongside their Degree. The aim is to create a student who is eligible to apply in some of the best studios of the world (those who have entry barriers for students without the classical animation skills).

The Chandigarh Sector 17 Centre has recently been selected as the 3rd Best Centre across India in 2011-12 for Systems Implementation. Earlier they’ve won Awards for Academic Excellence for the 3rd time in a row. Similarly, the chandigarh sector 17 centre has also earlier won awards for overall Growth, Billing and Collections for 2009.

A fullday Hotline has been setup for outstation Degree Applicants – they can call +91-9872546753 to discuss their options and get Free career advice. Local candidates can walk in for a Free Career Counselling Session. You can call  +91-172-2712812 to take a Free Appointment with the Career Counsellor.

The Joyride – Animation as a Career
Sheikh Chilli - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

Sheikh Chilli - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

The world started seeing moving pictures through animation and not as live movies as per the popular notion. Sets of sequential pictures have been seen all over the world in different cultures. All Buddhist stupas have the entire storyboard of Buddha’s life left for us in accurate detail. Good enough for you to make out his life and transform into a movie or an animation.

Human beings learn maximum when the essence is delivered in terms of a story. This is especially in case of conceptual learning. To tell a story we have to put together a crew. Now sometimes our story becomes too difficult to tell when the setting is a fantasy, or if the risk involved is too much (like acting with a lion – over come in Narnia). And most of the folklore which build our character are fantasies of one’s mind. So it became important that man was able to create such imagery and animation became important.

Since the animators have to deal with such complex decisions. Art decisions are the toughest decisions and no computer has reached the point where it can take artistic decisions yet. Hence animation and storytelling require people who are artists by heart and willing to experiment and toil till they find the right answer.

Typically an animator is a person who is full of patience and reads voraciously (bookworm for the less initiated) and love literature and languages. The animator would usually be good at drawing and/ or painting. Some of them are good at acting or love to perform on stage in form of dancing. A few of these even write stories or poems. In short they are dreamers and usually can be expected to learn disciplines which give wings to their dreams. They do not care about money and are more likely to lend money on hunch than an engineer since they are emotional. This empathy is what makes them achieve emotion of screen.

Mouse Character - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

Mouse Character - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

To make a good career in animation you must start working on your drawing and there are some good books like “Drawing from the right side of brain” (Betty Edwards) which claim that anyone can learn drawing within 5 days. There are other experts too who claim similarly that drawing is a skill that can be acquired.

Parallely you could be working on your drama or literary skills as well. Being able to develop communication skills like these would anyway serve you all your life so do not hesitate just because your education board doesn’t know how to rate these skills and they go missing from your marksheet. I must state here that there are much more subjects you need to learn in your life that are not there on your high school marksheet than those that are on it. It can easily be stated that a little less knowledge of mathematics would not be so detrimental as a small lack of confidence that the stage can give.

Now once you’re ready to learn, there are 2 kinds of paths that you can take. One is the path of self learning that the best take (people like Gandhi, Chaplin, Einstein, Disney, Ghalib, Steve Jobs, CV Raman, Kabir, etc fall in this category). This is no way a safe path and more people fail than succeed in this path. The other is the path for lesser mortals. There are more chances of a safe career but consequently lesser chances of astounding success. However, it ensures that you go through structured learning within a reasonable time frame. However, this method is not able to keep pace with rare/ exceptional people, but is the best for the rest. Anyway not to confuse you further, mostly this path would be apt for you. Now you must choose a curriculum or an institute. If you are very clear about what you want to do, choose a curriculum and enroll for it. If you want to create a solid base go for an institute you like. Nothing but your innermost talent and passion should lead you to the course and the institute you choose. Go speak to people over there and see if you like their philosophy and they change your perspective. Try their website for more details. Typically go for a school which offers all the information including faculty on their website if all other things are the same.

The leading institutes in this field in the world are CalArts, USFCA, Sheridan, Vanarts, Seneca, Gobelins, George Mieles, Animation Mentor, Gnomon, Ringling, Savannah, USCLA, etc. Closer home in India some of the best would include IIT-IDC, NID etc. Then there’re the Arena, MAAC franchises (always research which centres are the good ones). There’re even some new colleges that are coming up and it would take some time before a college stands out from others in terms of quality.

Typically you must try to learn both the art of 2D as well as 3D animation to start with. Later on in life you may opt for one of these once you’re surer on what works best for you. Also, there’d be many options in 3D like lighting, rendering, texturing, modeling, rigging, blend shapes, animating etc. Similarly in 2D, like background artist, key animator, in betweener, in and paint artist, key compositor. There are some common areas too, like storyboarding, character design, background design, art research, compositing. There are some periphery areas too like sound design, voice artist, actors, story writers, screenplay writers etc. In fact, similarly there are many techniques of animation that you can work in – like clay animation, paper animation, light animation, sand animation, paint animation, jib jab animation, puppetry animation, pixilation etc besides the usual ones like flash animation, 2d animation, and 3d animation. There’re even periphery and neo-animation areas like Visual Effects, Motion Graphics, Web Design, Graphic Design, Matchmoving, Motion Capture, Stereography, etc.

While you are learning the art of animation do also work alongside on other creative areas like film making, photography, clay modeling, drawing, theatre, etc. Get reviews by knowledgeable people and take feedback without responding emotionally to it. Keep on visiting art galleries and improving your art appreciation ability. This would develop your creative eye and judgment. All this is immensely useful in creative decision making. Do also attend all workshops in your college and also take up paid workshop if a good expert is visiting. These workshops would help build your perspective. Try to find a faculty you resonate with and if you feel confident about the faculty do take suggestion and mentoring from him/ her. Do remember that faculty can change and do not respond personally to it, try to adapt yourself to change in environment and take everything in the right spirit. Also learn life skills by working with people you don’t personally like, when they are in your teams, especially if their skill set is good. Do also take faculty help in identifying good books and make it a habit to read a minimum of one page per day. You can mail me for a list of books if you like at virtualciti@yahoo.com

Scene Setup - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

Scene Setup - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

Finally once you’re ready to step out of college, do build your portfolio to the desired level even if it delays your start. You can also go for an internship before going into the real market. This would help develop your skill to the next higher level. You can also form a group with some of your likeminded friends and work on a personal movie. A good movie can kick start your career like nothing. Also, if the movie wins a prestigious award you can expect to grow exponentially as the studios would not like to miss out of talent. For e.g. two of the students of gobelins school production “oktapodi” were hired for good sums and send to india to rhythm and hues to work on Hollywood films.

And when in doubt and short of answers, you can mail me. I shall try my best to solve your queries. 9872546753. www.arenaanimationacademy.com, www.alumniarena.com

 

Seminar of Director of the superhit TV serial Parvarish
Meesha explaining a technical point in using the camera

Meesha explaining a technical point in using the camera

Arena Animation, Sector 17, Chandigarh students got an opportunity of spending a few days with leading TV Serial Director of the hit serial Parvarish. Meesha Gautam visited the Campus and spent a few hours teaching the students the basics of film making. The students were highly charged with the new practical information they got regarding the placement and language of the camera directly from the master himself.

Meesha Gautam has been making TV serials for many years and is a leading creative director on TV serials on Sony India. The latest serial under his direction – Parvarish has taken the nation by the storm. The values being propagated in the serial has touched the hearts of the middle class struggling with day to day problems with their values while raising their kids.

5 Day Workshop in Sand and Light Animation

Leading Animation Designer, Prosenjit Ganguly held a Workshop in Sand and Light Animation. The students learnt to create their own musical pieces under the initial instruction. The discovery of this talent lead to spouting of an enthusiasm that burst forth in the next few days and culminating in a huge collection of myriad animation videos created by these students.

The students learn Sand, Clay and Light animation creating small clips along the way. Finally they started working on the storyboards of what would be their final work. Short of time with only 1.5 days left for production the students went all out and worked their hearts out and finally they were ready on schedule with their art.

The Movies were beyond their own expectation and allowed them to discover the energy they never believed they had. Prosenjit has done it once again with Arena Chandigarh! Besides the work above the other works can be seen at light animations  and sand animations

The event was also covered by leading Animation eNewsletter AnimationXpress!!

Match Moving

Match moving is primarily used to track the movements of a camera through a shot so that an identical virtual camera move can be produced in a 3D animation program. When new animated elements are composited back into the original live action shot they will appear in perfectly matched perspective and therefore appears seamless.

Match moving allows the insertion of computer graphics into live action footage with correct position, scale, orientation, and motion relative to photographed objects in the shot. The term is used loosely to refer to several ways of extracting motion information from a motion picture, particularly camera movement.

The process of tracking can be broken down into two steps.

1. The first step is identifying and tracking features. A feature is a specific point in an image that a tracking algorithm can lock onto and follow through multiple frames. Often features are selected because they are bright or dark spots, edges or corners, depending on the particular tracking algorithm. What is important is that each feature represents a specific point on a surface of a real object. As a feature is tracked it becomes a series of two dimensional co-ordinates that represent the position of the feature across a series of frames. This series is referred to as track. Once tracks have been created they can be used immediately for 2d motion tracking or then be used to calculate the 3D information.

2. The second step involves solving for 3D motion. The process attempts to drive the motion of the camera by solving the inverse projection of the 2D paths for the position of the camera. This process is referred to as a calibration. When a point on the surface of a three dimensional object is photographed its position in the 2D frame can be calculated by a 3D projection function. We can consider the camera to be an abstraction that holds all the parameters necessary to model a camera in a real or virtual word. Therefore a camera is a vector that includes as it elements the position of the camera its orientation, focal length and other possible parameters that defines how the camera focuses light onto the film plane. These parameters help in generating a huge bunch of points in a 3D environment, according to the position of the objects in the footage. These bunch of points are sometimes referred to as point clouds.

Match Moving in PF Track

Example of Match Moving in PF Track

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Example of 2D Tracking in After Effects

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