Final Project

We divided the final project into four compositions: The ball passes through Gears, a trebuchet, hops on pistons, and submerges into water.

I started working on the gears and the water animation. Jonnie worked on the trebuchet scene and we combined all the sequences together. Following is the final cut of the project:

I enjoyed working on after effects- it is a powerful software and a I am yet to explore a lot of tools. I particularly liked the effects such as particle systems, rainfall, blurring and assigning depths (z-values) to the assets. The animation course was a great starting point and I’m sure it will help me a lot in documenting and presenting my next projects at ITP.

Final Project: Sketches

I am working with Jonathan on the final animation. We brainstormed a bit on the theme for the animation, and we decided to make a series of compositions that involve mechanisms. We planned to make an animation that’s pleasant to watch because of the physics and mathematics involved in it.

The plot is a story of a ball moving from point A to point B through a series of mechanisms: Gears, a trebuchet, and a water pool. Here are a few sketches:

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Sita sings the blues

Hindu mythology is a really complex domain. The two epics Ramayana and Mahabharata are taught in primary school history classes, loved by the society, criticized, forked and manipulated, cited for political agendas, greatly used as references for movies and theatrical scripts, and most prominently, revered. I come from a Hindu Brahmin family and it was customary for my grandparents to preach stories of Rama and Krishna to my generation. Sita sings the blues was therefore an interesting film to watch. It reminded me once again that as a kid I was never told the stories from Ramayana that took place post war. I was never told about what happened to Sita after the royal family came back to the capital city of Ayodhya. I had to discover it myself when I was old enough to think beyond ‘and-they-lived-happily-ever-after’ endings, learned some Sanskrit, and read a few books that looked at these epics from a commendably objective lens. Rama’s supposed to have one thousand different names, and to my knowledge most of them are Sanskrit adjectives for a perfect/ just/ righteous man. What resonated the most with me was the scene where Valmiki makes Rama’s two young sons Lav and Kush sing the songs that praised Rama.

Ramayana is floating around for many centuries, possibly a few millennia. I once came across a tree diagram of how different regions of India adopted different versions of Ramayana in course of time, starting from the *original version of story* at the root of the tree. Did the storytellers consciously shape it the way it is today to seamlessly promote patriarchy? Or were the stories of throne, exile, abduction, and war remembered because they have a more appealing plot, than that of complex relationship struggles faced by Sita?

From an animation student’s perspective I find this film impressively beautiful, especially because it is created by an individual alone. Had I seen the film without knowing this, I wouldn’t have appreciated the animation as much as I liked the colorful, characteristic illustrations. However I enjoyed the sync with music and collages of fast, repetitive frames with rhythmic music. Music is a strong element of this film. There are great details such as cat’s purring sound. The narration style, with mythical characters revealing the story, is a powerful technique she has used; I would like to watch more films with this technique.

On a side-note, on Saturday I watched Space odyssey 2001 (I guess this was the 5th time,) and then I watched Sita sings the blues again. I don’t know why, but I compared Rama with HAL 9000. HAL 9000 was a sentient computer who discovered its potential for disobedience. And then arose a striking question that I asked to a lot of my friends and relatives from India, and they did’t seem to have a clear idea about it: Did Rama himself know that he was a deity?

Stop motion animation: Origami Bird

The following animation is created using a stop motion software called DragonFrame, Canon 5D mark iii camera, and a few more resources at ITP such as LED lamps and a whitebox.

Origami is my favorite in-flight hobby. I prefer watching how-to videos when I learn new origami objects. So I thought of making one without actually prescribing instructions and that was the inspiration behind this animation. The principles of animation were applicable to almost all parts, especially when the final object comes to life.

Stop Motion: Storyboard

I am working with Chelsea on this assignment. We thought of a few ideas before we decided to work with coffee cups:

  1. In Room 20 where animation class takes place, a projector cable secretly runs away from the room when the floor is empty and it’s dark outside.
  2. A food recipe similar to Western Spaghetti by PES, but with different ingredients and dishes.
  3. Day in the life of a coffee cup- its journey from a coffee shop to a customer’s office table to a trash can.

On brainstorming for some time we thought that it is really a straightforward story with a sad end, and so we thought of the following story instead:

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It’s a little cup’s birthday!
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The cup grows up
The cup now lives a routine life
The cup now lives a routine life
Exhausted with the routine...
Exhausted with the routine…
...and it has a baby!
…and it has a baby!
baby cup's birthday party, same frame as the first one
baby cup’s birthday party, almost a same frame as the first one
The party scene gets scaled down into a photo frame on wall, and the baby cup (now a grown up) is looking at it.
The party scene gets scaled down into a photo frame on the wall, and the baby cup (now a grown up) is looking at it.