Sunday, 23 July 2017

The Power Of Print Media

In our today’s blog we will discuss the power of print media.

The world is facilitated by information exchange.



Be it in the form of news, opinions and gossip, interviews, film and television shows, books or any other medium, this sort of knowledge interchange is what enriches, and provides direction and structure to our life.

Media determines our actions to a large extent, and often we become sources of information as well.

This sort of proliferation of media is the basic root of advertisement, which is the promotion or publicizing of a product, service or event.

Branding is a crucial aspect as well, because if one does not have a distinguishable name, they have no way to stand out in the media pool.

While society as a whole is going digital, the most trusted form of media still remains print media. By print media, we mean physical, tangible sources of information such as newspapers, magazines and leaflets.

While digital advertising and media promotion is becoming quite popular, let us focus on the classic mode of print media advertisement.

Print media advertising uses such physically printed forms of media in order to reach consumers, businesses, customers and other prospective audiences.

There are several different types of print media that brands can use to promote themselves:

Periodicals: These refer to newspapers and magazines. There are over 1 lakh periodicals registered with the government of India as of 2015.


Most of them are in the Hindi language (around 39,000) and English (around 13,000). Advertisers can choose from a large selection of newspaper formats, such as local, regional or national titles published daily, in the evenings, weekly, or even Sunday editions.

Newspapers target different readerships with a mix of various categories of content like sports, entertainment, business, fashion, politics, and/or opinion pieces, in addition to local, national and international news.



Magazines are in a book format and offer advertisers extensive choices of readership and frequency of publication.



These typically cover a wide range of interests, like sport, hobbies, fashion, health, current affairs (such as trade and commerce, business, etc.) and local topics.

Advertisers can buy different sizes of advertising space, from small classifieds ads which have only text, to larger ads that can include text, photographs, illustrations and graphics in sizes that range up to a full page or even a double-page spread.

Major papers by circulation include Dainik Jagran, Dainik Bhaskar, Amar Ujala, The Times of India, Hindustan Times, and Ananda Bazar Patrika.

India Today, Economic Times, Champak, Anandamela, Femina, Reader’s Digest and Sarita are among the most popular magazines.

Billboards and Posters: If you live in the city, chances are that you see at least five billboards every day.



If you don’t know what billboards are, they are what we commonly call hoardings.

These and posters are put up on various street corners and feature advertisements about different products, services or events.

They are the easiest method to reach a huge and varied audience.

In fact, there are so many billboards in our country that movements have started in several cities to motivate the authorities to regulate them and prevent defacing of public property.

Sometimes, instead of pasting posters on walls or lamp posts, pamphlets and flyers are handed out to pedestrians.

Direct Mail or Post: Some advertisers use the postal system to spread their sales message.



In this kind of print media, printed content is posted directly to the consumer’s home.

These advertisers usually have a mailing list of people who will be sent their media. Magazines like Reader’s Digest India use this system to promote their secondary publications and sweepstakes events, which are also tactics to turn the casual reader into a subscriber.

Door To Door Drop: Have you ever found an advertisement pamphlet tucked away in the morning paper or with the other letters in your postbox? That is the door to door drop system.



Catalogues: A catalogue is a type of magazine that contains a list of products or services.



They are typically used by stores to provide customers with a comprehensive collection of their available products and inspire them to make purchases, and are even found in planes for passengers to browse and order on the go.

Now that we have an idea of the different types of print media, let us look at the plus points of print media advertising.

Print Media is a sensory medium, unlike its digital counterpart.



While moving content to the internet has drastically improved the reach of advertising, the virtual world does not offer tangibility.

Feeling paper in one’s hands makes the advertisement seem more real, and establishes its existence in the physical world.

It’s not just touch: printed paper triggers more senses than seeing something on a screen, and therefore has a stronger impact on the reader.

Research has shown that engaging more than three senses can increase the effectiveness of an advertisement by upto 70%!

Further, print offers less distraction than the internet which leads to longer durations of engagement with a particular content.

This means that content leaves a more profound effect on the reader.



Print is also extremely flexible, as different categories of information can be targeted to specific audiences through different formats, as we saw in the types of print media.

These days, a lot of these print media advertisements are being converted to a digital format.

News providers, periodicals, and other advertisers are expanding to an internet presence in order to reach a wider audience and make current content available at all times.

They include advertisements for their content on other websites as well by purchasing what is known as ‘digital real estate’, or ad-space.

Event traditional print media ads include QR codes linking to the advertiser’s digital presence and bridging the gap between print and virtual.

This digital content is accessible across mobile as well as desktop platforms, increasing the capability of the media.

At MAAC Kolkata, you can harness the power of this fast-growing world through courses tailored to teach you about graphic and web design, branding and advertising and give you a head start for your advertising career and print media industry.



Thursday, 20 July 2017

3D PRINTING: THE FUTURE OF TECHNOLOGY

3D Printing (also called additive manufacturing) refers to a number of techniques and processes used to create a three-dimensional object.

These objects can be of a huge range of shapes, sizes and geometry types, and are controlled by a computer that is fed 3D object data in what is termed as an AMF or Additive Manufacturing File.
 



Unlike the traditional machining processes where material is removed from a stock, 3D printing or AM builds a three-dimensional object layer by layer using the information fed to it via a computer-aided design (CAD) or AMF file.

Originally, the process known as 3D printing involved depositing a binder material layer by layer onto a powder bed using inkjet printer heads. It was associated with polymer or plastic technologies, whereas additive manufacturing or AM was used for metalwork and other such production contexts.

‘Additive manufacturing’ emerged as an umbrella term in the early 2000s, while ‘3D printing’ gained traction among the masses due to its use by consumer-oriented producers.

Lower-end machines (either in terms of capability or price) have been historically associated with it, and AM is the preferred term in formal or industrial manufacture, due to the basic nature of the process: sequential layer addition to create a 3D object under computer control.


The earliest additive manufacturing technologies, materials, and equipment were developed in Japan in 1981.

Hideo Kodama invented a method for fabricating three-dimensional models using a light and temperature-sensitive polymer with the area of exposure being controlled by a mask pattern to give the object proper shape.

In 1986, Chuck Hull of 3D Systems in the USA patented his process of stereo lithography, which is a type of 3D printing technology that uses light-sensitive (photopolymerisation).

His technology is used even today for digital slicing of CAD models and infill strategies to construct the physical object.


He is also the mastermind behind the STL (Stereolithography) file format in printers that use the photopolymerisation technique.

In 1988, S. Scott Crump of Stratasys developed the plastic extrusion technique of fused deposition modelling (FDM), and the first machine to employ this method was available for sale in 1992.

3D printing in the sense of powder beds being shaped by polymers was first invented at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the USA and commercialised by the products of Z Corporation in 1993.

In the same year, Solidscape introduced a high-precision polymer jet fabrication system with a ‘dot-on-dot’ system of soluble support structures for the model being printed.

In this period, AM for metal structures was done through automation, but using (as they came to be called in recent times) subtractive or non-additive methods such as sintering, casting, fabrication, melting.



These were known by their own names, such as direct metal laser sintering, or selective laser melting).

The concept of a tool head moving to generate a shape layer as per one’s desire was associated in the metalwork industry with processes that removed metal rather than used it.

By the mid 1990s, this was being challenged through developments at educational institutes in the USA such as Stanford University and Carnegie Mellon University where engineering techniques like micro casting and spraying were being developed.

Sacrificial or support materials were also becoming more common, thereby enabling the design of new, complex kinds of geometry.

However, it was in the 2010s that such metal casting was done. Car parts like engine brackets and large nuts were created though additive manufacturing rather than being machined from stock, and major manufacturers like the Swedish company Koenigsegg have used 3D printed parts in their cars (notably the Koenigsegg One:1, a supercar).



3D printing is also used extensively in the medical field for producing custom casts and prosthetics.

3D models for printing may be made using computer aided design, or by 3D scanning.

The advantage that CAD has is that the modeller has complete control over the output and models can be made with a very high degree of accuracy.

Further, if there are any errors of intersection, face normal, or noise shells causing problems when the models is sliced for printing, they can be easily adjusted.

On the other hand, 3D scanning collects digital data on the shape of an existing object and renders a digital model based on that data.

As 3D scanning is dependent on point-to-point data collected by the camera, these errors are more likely to occur when reconstructed in a digital geometry.

After the model is complete, the data is converted to the STL file format, and then digitally sliced the model into ultra-thin layers in a G-code file, using which the printer does its work.

Printers are available in different resolutions, and this factor defines  printing ability and price of the machine.

Typical layer thickness is around 100µm (around 250 dots per inch), with some printers capable of printing 16µm (about 1600 dots per inch). XY resolution is comparable to that of laser printers, with an average range of 100-300 DPI.

In three dimensions, the 3D particles of the objects are typically 50-100µm (510-250 dots per inch) in diameter.

Construction of a model can take anywhere between a few minutes to several days, depending on the size and complexity of the object being printed, the type of machine used, and the number of models being printed simultaneously.

The most significant advantage that additive manufacturing holds over traditional engineering methods like injection moulding is the reduction in the time taken to produce a finished product.

Recently, MAAC Chowringhee, Kankurgachi, Rashbehari had organized a seminar for students on 3D printing.


It was an interesting and educational experience, and the students got to see a small model of (?) being printed during the session.

3D printing Maac Kolkata3D printing Maac Kolkata.



An FDM type printer was used, and the speaker explained that these are more common due to the versatility of thermopolymers, which is the material used in most lower and mid-range printers: they can be shaped easily through the use of heat and the printer head can produce models of great precision and complexity.


The students were also shown other models that the speaker’s company had made, along with a presentation highlighting the different applications of 3D printing.

In addition to engineering, scientific and medical applications, they are also used for previewing conceptual prototypes before actual production, as it is less expensive than producing a product directly.

The bottom line: 3D printing is the future of design, and there great potential for development.

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

EK, ANEK AUR EKTA: SOWING THE ROOTS OF ANIMATION IN INDIA

When we think of animation – irrespective of whether it is 2D or 3D – the first name that comes to mind is Disney, and not without reason.

Walt Disney Animation Studios, popularly referred to simply as ‘Disney’, has been in existence for nearly a century and has established itself as a pioneer in the world of animation.

Many of the techniques, concepts and principles used in making animation films today were made known to the mainstream by their successful use by Disney in their films.

In 1956, the Films Division of India invited an animator from Disney to help establish our country’s first animation studio and train animators to work on native productions.

As a result, the Films Division’s Cartoon Unit was born and the first animated production, The Banyan Deer, was completed in 1957 by the core team trained by Disney’s animator. It took a while for animation to take off, however.



The breakthrough came in 1974, with a traditionally animated short film that was produced by the National Council of Educational Research and Training (then known as the Centre for Education Technology). That landmark film was Ek, Anek Aur Ekta.

Also known as Ek Chidiya, Anek Chidiya, the film was created as an educational initiative by NCERT along the theme of ‘Unity in Diversity’ and aims to teach the value of teamwork to children.

In the aftermath of the Indo-Pakistan war of 1971 and the subsequent influx of refugees from East Bengal (now Bangladesh), and the political unrest during those years, the country was in a great state of turmoil.

As an initiative to educate children about the need for unity and the positive nature of diversity in a population, Ek, Anek Aur Ekta came to light.



The title of the film means ‘One, Many and Unity’.

It was directed by Vijaya Mulay, with the design and animation in the hands of Bhimsain Khurana and the two assisted by S.M. Hasan, Mahesh Taavre and Girish Rao.

The music was by Vasant Desai, and the theme song ‘Ek Chidiya, Anek Chidiya’ was sung by popular singer Sadhana Sargam.

The film begins with a young boy trying to pluck mangoes, while his sister sings about hopes.

The boy, abandoning the mangoes, asks his sister what she means by ‘many’, and the sister responds by explaining the concept of unity through a narration of a short story about a group of sparrows who united in order to escape from a bird catcher and then formed an alliance with a group of mice to free themselves from the hunter’s net that their legs were still entangled in.

As the boy’s sister shares the story, other children who were playing in the park come by to listen to the tale.



After hearing the boy’s sister’s story, the children discuss more examples of one and many: moon and sun (one) against stars in the sky (many), flowers in a garden (many) and flowers that make up a mala or garland (one).

The moral of the story is that by working together with people from different walks of life, one can be stronger and do more in their lives.

The film sends a message to all Indians, that by being united despite cultural differences, we will be indivisible.



This seven-minute traditional (hand-drawn) 2D animation film features a very sparse and minimalistic look and feel. The characters are of simple design with flat colouring.

Characters are designed to be white, while the flowers, rodents and birds are in varying shades of red and yellow.

The designs are simple, outlines with a solid colour fill, and backgrounds are flat original images as far as the eye can see.

For some introductory sequences for the characters, the background is kept simple so that the attention of the viewers is drawn to the characters and their actions – be it human, bird or rodent.

The designs are quintessentially Indian – motifs and scene designs in the backgrounds draw inspiration from mythology.

The garden scene where the boy’s sisters is telling her story is reminiscent of depictions of Lord Krishna as a child, trying to steal curd from the matkas hanging overhead and going to his mother for advice.

The scenes with the birds and animals have a distinct visual flavour of classic cartoons from abroad, such as Tom and Jerry, Popeye the Sailor Man, or Mickey Mouse.



The overall presentation is neat and simple, and caught the attention of children and adults alike, all across India.

The theme song of the film remains a favourite from that generation as well as later ones Ek. Anek Aur Ekta was first broadcast on Doordarshan, and has won major awards including the National Film Award in the category of Best Educational Film.



It is today considered to be among the finest example of story-telling through animation in India, and is remembered by kids from those generations with much fondness.




Sunday, 16 July 2017

VIRTUAL REALITY KITS: GATEWAY TO NEW EXPERIENCES

If you haven’t heard of virtual reality, you must have been living under a rock for the past few years as far as technology is concerned.

But there’s always time for learning, so if you’re in the dark about VR – as it is popularly known – you can understand what it means by the name itself.

Virtual means ‘near’, and reality is our experience of our surroundings. Therefore, it follows that virtual reality is a computer-generated environment that enables you to experience a different reality.



This reality could be anything, from another room somewhere else, a jungle or desert, the bottom of the ocean, or even the inside of your organs! The possibilities are literally endless.

This is a device that fits around the head over your eyes and visually separates you from your actual physical environment.In order to experience virtual reality, you need to have a virtual reality kit (which is also called a virtual reality headset).

Then, images and media from another device (a computer, gaming console, or handheld device like a mobile phone) can be viewed through the lenses on the headset.

Now, we experience and understand the world through our five senses of sight, touch, smell, hearing and taste.

Our brain processes the inputs from these senses by comparing them to what we already know to make sense of what we know as reality.

Due to this, when you replace your physical surroundings with a virtual one by changing what you see, you trick your brain into accepting an alternate reality.

And with the sizeable amount of high-quality content available these days, it is easy to get immersed in the virtual world – which has contributed to the popularity of the VR kit as a gadget of choice for our generation of wanting more and better.

Not even the Uncanny Valley – which is when something mimics reality, but doesn’t quite get it right because of missing or misplaced details – is much of a problem these days, but synchronicity of sensory, hardware and software inputs is a must for a good VR experience.

With a VR kit, you can tour exotic foreign locations, experience a film as though you are part of the action, immerse yourself in the environment of a video game, or even design spaces from the comfort of your living room sofa.

As with most products, there are different kinds of virtual reality kits to cater to the needs of different users.

In general, though, there are two types of virtual reality kits based on mobility: mobile ones that allow for free movement, and tethered ones which need to be plugged in to an external device to draw power and content.

Let us take a look at VR kits on the basis of features available.

Back to the Basics: This kind of virtual reality kit simply has a slot for your mobile phone, two lenses to view content through, and a band to hold the headset in place around your head.
Google’s Cardboard headset is a prime example of a basic virtual reality kit.

It consists of a cardboard box with an opening for a mobile device, two lenses, a cut-out for the user’s nose and a headband.

And the best part?

The user gets to fold up the cardboard sheet before the first use.

Its simple and efficient in that it gets the job done as far as a virtual reality experience is concerned, and captures the minimum design requirements of a VR headset.

There are several applications that are Cardboard-friendly (most notably the online video giant, YouTube), and one can download VR-friendly media players that have their own content as well as can play the user’s content from device storage.

Games are difficult to play as basic VR headsets do not have motion tracking systems or controllers.

They are, however, very portable as they are not dependent on an unwieldy external source for content or power supply.

Other brands of basic virtual reality kits include Samsung’s Gear VR, VR Box and Procus.




The Gaming-Friendly: If you move past the basics, virtual reality kits at the higher end of the price and power spectrum have features like advanced motion tracking, a dedicated display in the headset, external tracking cameras or laser systems, and some draw power and content from gaming consoles or personal computers, leaving the headset free for richer quality of content experience.
The inbuilt display supports high-definition resolutions that allow for more engrossing game play.

The popularity of virtual reality kits for immersive gaming is indisputable.

Sony, the makers of the PlayStation series of gaming consoles, has designed a dedicated virtual reality kit for PS users. HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are other popular virtual reality kits as far as gaming is concerned.

The Vive is the more expensive of the two, and both come with top of the line motion tracking sensors for superior control during game play.

With the headset and motion tracking working in conjunction with each other, and good game design, you can look around and interact with objects in the virtual space quite seamlessly.

These headsets even come with some games pre-installed, and support the Steam platform for further expansion.



Specialty kits: VR kits are also used in the medical field for trainee surgeons to practice with. Microsoft has been said to be designing a mixed reality VR prototype that will integrate with the Windows operating system and take business productivity one step farther.
The featurette shows the kit being used for holographic communication and virtual 3D design.

All in all, virtual reality is an up and coming trend in the media world.



Today and you can make the most of it by trying out a VR kit yourself.

Or, if you’re more a behind the scenes person, by taking advantage of the courses at Maac Kolkata centres and developing your knowledge of how the content that goes into VR is made. Either way, the (virtual) world is yours!

Thursday, 13 July 2017

DIGITAL MAKEUP IN THE MUMMY: MAKING THE UNREAL REAL

If you ask the next person you meet on the street about what they want, chances are they’ll have something or the other to tell you about… meaning they want more. Better. These ideas of ‘more’ and ‘better’ – of enhancement – are what keep us as a race moving forward and developing. This holds true of every field – including one that is often overlooked by us when we watch those big, effects-intensive blockbuster films: makeup.

While going gaga over spectacular cinematography, VFX or animation, we often forget to realise the effort that goes into making the actors fit the look that is demanded by their role.

As actor Andy Serkis said, actors’ performances in films are enhanced in a million different ways, down to the choice of camera shot by the director – whether it’s in slow motion or whether it’s quick cut – or… the choice of music behind the close-up or the costume that you’re wearing or the makeup.

Makeup defines the final look of a character, and doesn’t merely include the face and cosmetics – outfits and character design also play a major role.

Like many other aspects of filmmaking, makeup too has gone the digital route and much is being done through computer-generated imagery and visual effects.

People don’t generally associate makeup with cutting-edge disciplines, but with technology expanding the way it is, the truth is quite far from this perception.

The breakthrough as far as digital makeup is concerned came in 1999, with the release of The Mummy.




If you go by the dictionary definition, digital makeup is a compositing technique by which the appearance of actors are changed onscreen.

The reality of the situation is more complex, because of the myriad techniques that go into capturing information and creating the virtual prosthetics for the final compositing.

While traditional makeup prepares actors for photography (or, in the case of stage performers, live performances), preparations for digital makeup typically involve the application of reflective tracking dots onto the actor so that motion information recorded can be used for tracking and placing the digital prosthetics and effects on the actor during compositing.

For a project as ambitious as Universal Studios’ The Mummy, the visual effects were supervised by John Berton of Industrial Light & Magic (ILM). The first step in any kind of effect for film is to decide on the look and feel of the character(s).

For the titular mummy, Imhotep, this process took around three months to complete, as the team had to not only design the character, but plan out how the designs would be implemented.

Twenty years ago, computers weren’t as advanced as they are today, so every last detail had to be meticulously hammered out so that the project could move into production.



The main challenge was the fact that the mummy, while looking decidedly inhuman, would have to seem believably human so that the transition from his desiccated state to human form would not be trapped in the uncanny valley.

The key to this was maintaining realism, and Berton felt that this could be best achieved through motion capture.

Imhotep is a menacing character, an embodiment of good turned evil, but at the same time he is (or, rather, was) human.

Motion capture, therefore, was key to making him realistic – everyone knows what human motions look like, and while the technique didn’t allow for much transference of expressions at the time, realistic motion could be achieved with a lot less time and effort than 3D designing would take.

Simple observation and photography of Arnold Vosloo, who played the character, helped the VFX artists by giving references for his gait and style of movement.

There were several stages of decay for the mummy, and while the early stages were completely digital, later stages where mummy begins to look more human used a combination of prosthetics and digital effects.




ILM, which had previously worked on films such as Star Wars, The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day, Jurassic Park, is intimately familiar with the complexity of realistic effects, and this knowledge was channeled quite effectively for The Mummy.

Once the digital assets were ready, the time had come for texture painting – which could make or break the final product.

So, to create complexity in the shading for the mummy, the texture artists created hundreds – even thousands – of textures, depth maps and transparency maps from different angles so that the creature would appear organic and maintain the quality of output needed for a film of this scale.

Berton, in an interview, said that the real modelers for the film were the texture artists, as their work was used to make the models into what we saw in the film and capture the gooey, fluid nature of a rotting mummy’s body.

There were numerous layers of colour, opacity information, depth and bump information and dynamic simulation all coming together into one cohesive character.

And the best scene to prove it, according to Berton, was the one where a scarab beetle climbs into a hole on the almost-regenerated Imhotep’s cheek and he eats it.

Performance capture has also been used to transfer emotions and facial expressions of characters onto CGI creatures, as in The Polar Express (2004), Avatar (2009), Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011), or The Adventures of Tintin: Secret of the Unicorn (2011).

Today, digital makeup and performance enhancement is an accepted part of filmmaking and has been used in films abroad and in India.

We have characters like the Terminator from Terminator: Rose of the Machines (2003), Benjamin Button in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Davy Jones and Captain Salazar in the Pirates of the Carribean films, Ahmanet in The Mummy (2017) from foreign films, and Gaurav from Fan (2016) or Lingesan in I (2015) from Indian films as notable examples of digital enhancement of practical makeup effects. It’s not just film – TV shows like The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones or Doctor Who are using such technology to great effect.

With more and more media forms demanding such effects being made every day, there is a lot left to be seen in the growth of digital makeup techniques and application in the years to come.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Just Few Tips To Cack Down Animation Or Vfx Job Interview

The days of getting a degree of engineering and get a job instantly are over. Indian job market has grown exponentially. With the increase in population jobs are getting scarce. Today in our Blog we will discuss the effective ways to crack down  Animation Or Vfx Job Interview.



And following one person to the most widely hunted jobs like a flock of sheep are totally unintelligent and a falsely idolized way to be successful and a handsome earner.

Getting to know your passion and deliver your life to something that will provide for you ever after is the only sensible way to be successful both mentally and physically.

As Chinese philosopher Confucius said “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life. ”

VFX and the world of cinematic effects have out grown its possibilities since the last decade. Great companies have been leading the world to a generation where everything is possible; From the showing new planes across unknown galaxies to new creatures both friendly and dangerous.

VFX has done it all, the world owes a lot to the emergence of VFX. As there has been a victory march to success for VFX on motion pictures and all other departments as advertisements, news, short films, so has the opportunity of jobs spread all across the globe?

Trainees, interns and freelancers they all have fondles with this huge industry.

The number of movies in India using solely VFX to intrigues its audience into the mesmerising world of CGI  has increased steadily from 15 movies from 2000-2009 to 39 movies from 2010-2017 alone  and yes it does take time to produce a movie solely dependent on CGI, be it 3D animation or VFX. And as it is increasing movie numbers the job openings are increasing too. Which is an interesting news for all artists ro show off their unmatched skill in the real world.

Preparing for any job feels like a cut throat affairs for any fresher or even any experienced person. Job interviews have been intense to limit as there has been a struggle to get the job since recent generations. There are different stages where you give interviews, both alone with the authorities or as a Group Discussion with other participant, oh and god help you if u are introvert or socially awkward in front of so many people. So here we are today to ease off that stress and get you ready to crack that job you dreamt of.



There are some few steps which if you follow is guranteed to help you succeed in a job interview in any firm or studio hiring VFX or animation artist :-

Understanding the job requirement – Now a days people apply for jobs very randomly. Having a job is a necessity, yes; but you have to be prepared and worthy to get that job. Years and months of hard work take into actions to get prepared for the job.think of it as you are a master of Microsoft office but you apply for a job in studio which is only looking for 3D artists, then you are bound to fail the interview, because you are not prepared. You need to be fluent in every software in the field you are aiming to get the job in. For VFX you need to have knowledge in software’s like Nuke, Fusion, After Effect, Mocha, Autodesk Max or even Maya many more. For 3D side of the job you need Maya, Max, Mudbox, Zbrush, Photoshop etc. So be prepared to indulge your knowledge rather than diving into the job without knowing anything and hoping to learn while in the job.



Knowing what you are good at – You can have everything, but certainly not everything at once.for this field of job, you cant be doing everything the production needs, because it would be too much for a single person. So people specialise their preparation into a single aspect of the job, like Modelling & Texturing, Lighting & Compositing, Animation, Rigging, Tracking, Chroma and wire Removal, Matte Painting and numerous divisions. The pipeline of a productions requires every aspect to be equally hard working and deliver the best work. So you need to keep an updated CV ready, would be an added benefit if you have a Show Reel ready. So take time beforehand and decide whole heartedly what you want to do in production.


Making a good Show-reel – A showreel is a short videotape containing examples of an actor’s or director’s work for showing to potential employers. For ones looking for jobs in tis field of production they have a fairly same but different way of making a showreel where you compile your works to impress your employer. Makuta co-founder Pete draper shared in one workshop how to make a good showreel. He said “ 1. Keep your best works in the showreel, 2. Keep it short and to make it interesting make something different, 3. Start your showreel with the best work, and finally 4. Roll out with the credits. In short keep it simple and keep it real but never fabricate .



Be honest and respectful to your employers – in and interview its necessary for the employee to be honest. But you should even never argue back with your employers. If they are wrong about something then tell them politely, because no one likes a smart ass. If asked about your salary expectations then never hike up your expectations to wierd values, it might make the employers think you aren’t serious about the job and u just changing the job for money. Do research about salary expectations. You could also research what are the probable questions that might be asked to you in the interview, this helps a lot, ask your friends who are currently doing a job in the same field or just look it up in the internet. Also never ditch a company just after getting hired, it sends a tremendous bad impression, and you might even get black listed for this. And at the end of the interview always ask for a feedback and pointers to how you performed, makes the organisation think you are optimistic and okay to accept what they have to say.



Overcome your fear of rejection – sitting in you room and fearing you will not get the job will never get you the job, if you are even remotely good at something you should be self-confidant and optimistic that you are going to get this job. Lower self-confidence leads to low self-esteem, which intern ruins your working capability which will harm your career. If you dont get one job there are millions of other studios waiting to hire you because entertainment never stops this era. There is always a silver lining. Take pride in what you do and answer with honesty and dedication, because that is how you convince your employer that this job means a lot to you.



Breathe in and chant this mantra every day to get into shape for your first job interview, because “A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step” – Confusions.

Sunday, 9 July 2017

HISTORY Of MOBILE GAMING

The history of digital gaming has been widely celebrated from all generation. Although video games would not reach mainstream pop-culture in mid 1970’s as arcade games, video game consoles or even computer games to the general public,  the mobile gaming started way later in the year 1994.

It was unimaginable to anyone that any game was possible on such a small device such mobile phones back then, where NOKIA just revolutionized mono-colored bar phones.



Even phones were not available to all people as they were high end electronic devices and were deadly costly. The first mobile game was the famous TETRIS in the Hagenuk MT-2000 device in the year 1994.

From 2 bit snake on NOKIA sets to modern day VR game on the fastest running smart phones, there has been considerable range of upgrade.

With increasing demand on making games to look more real, developers have worked hard and successfully kept all our dreams come true.

Towards the end of the 20th century, owning a mobile phone became omnipresent in the industrialized world – due to the rapid expansions of different companies, and along with it the price of handset also decreased considerably.

Outcome of which led to this huge change, technological up gradation by handset developers became more frequent and fast.

With these advancements in technology, mobile phone games also got sophisticated with each iteration, taking the upper hand to exponentially improve display, processing, memory management, look and feel, network coverage and refined operating systems.

With the arrival of featured phones AKA camera phones in the market, more hardware power became obtainable even in low price-range devices. Coloured display, multi-channel audio and most importantly the means to download and save new applications paved a new direction for commercial mobile game publishing.



Originally games were pre-installed in the mobile phones that were bought and only were limited to that phase until 1999 Japan took it to a level above and introduced to the world the first downloadable mobile phone games on the NTT’s DoCoMo’s I-Mod platform. Amazing isn’t it?

It was the marketed and commercialized throughout Asia, Europe and North of America by 2000, and then gradually to other nations. In the present day, Japan is standing strong as the world’s largest market for producing and revenuing mobile games.

In Europe, downloadable mobile game contents were established by “Les Games” portal at Orange France, owned by In-fusio, in the year 2000.

Before mobile games were commonly provided directly by handset builders, now along with them mobile operators started distributing games.

But handling hundreds of one or two person team of developers was a tedious job, so mobile aggregators and publishers started to act as a bridge between operators and developers that in turn reduced the revenue share received by the developers.

It was a hard blow and not so good news to developers back then.

2003 gave us android Operating system but back then it was still glitchy and bugged, unlike not where it reigns with equal competition with the Apple OS.

In 2008 Steve Jobs pioneered his greatest creation, the i-Phone app store which entirely changed the market.

Firstly it widened the users options to choose from where to download apps; the application store on the device.

The Apple users, however, are only restricted to use the Apple App Store, since Apple forbids the distribution of apps via any other distribution channel.

Secondly, mobile developers can upload applications directly to the App Store without the typically lengthy negotiations with publishers and operators.

Lastly the tight integration of the App Store with the device itself intrigued many consumers to try out apps, and the games market received a considerable boost. It was booming with new games in the market.



History has given us a lot of games, and we cannot stop talking about it.

So let’s see some of the best games found on any platform based on the number of download and play time.

If you haven’t played any of these games you should give it a try.

Clash Of Clans – A multiplayer game by SUPERCELL studio where you create a village and you go to war with your clan members.
This is the highest downloaded game from the day of its release in 2012 till 2017.



Minecraft – This addictive 8 bit sandbox edition 3D game from 4J Studios and has a world of its own. With free roam ability character also gets to change its environment and create new adventures each day as they please.

Monument Valley – This is a strategy game from USTWO Games studio which tells a very interesting short story about our protagonist who deals with paradoxical puzzles and have to overcome them save the world. This game was first released in apple platform then on android.



Badlands – Frogmind studios gave us this strategy Mobile gaming where a flying creature named Clony goes flying through different puzzles through the course of dawn, noon, dusk and night. Is is beautiful to play this game. The look and feel of this Mobile gaming is stunning and soothing.

Plant Vs. Zombie – Developed by PopCap Games this is an addictive Mobile gaming where you defend your backyard from a terrorising wave of zombies, but the plants are not inferior to the zombies. This game tells us nature has an interesting way of bringing everything back to normal.

Candy Crush Saga – Perhaps the most inglorious and overrated game of all time is Candy Crush. Developed by KING studios this is a tetris based game where you complete a stage with the given amount of steps and move on to the next, but damn this game gets hard at times.


Limbo – This piece of art comes from the Playdead Studios. This  Mobile gaming is about a little boy lost in a forest and has to escape the dreadful scenario, overcoming giant spiders, bear-traps, and go through a factory while almost drowning him and find his love.


It reminds you of the dreadful nightmares you saw as a kid and how to overcome them. this one way 2D game has a beautiful look and feel and background sound.



Ryan North’s To Be or Not To Be – Ryan North is a Novelist and Game developer who made a game from his novel where you get to chose your destiny in the famous Shakespeare novel the Hamlet. The rich graphics and pop touch makes the game really very interesting.


Lifeline – An interesting decision making game where our main character Taylor is marooned in an unknown planet and has to find out a way to return back to earth. The user has to guide him in real-time and providing accurate scientific information to rescue him. This game is developed by Three Minute Games.

The Room series – With a successful release of The Room in 2012, Fireproof Games have given us two more parts. This game instills fear of fight or light in the players hear as you have to escape a room filled with deadly terrors lurking in any corner by solving ghastly and unimaginable puzzles.
With the advent of VR mobile gaming in the market, gaming sees no bound in near future.

Although new, this technology has a interesting future. Mobile gaming is expected to continue its rapid growth through 2018 and beyond.

In the year 2015 mobile gaming beat console gaming by a long margin. So however uncertain you may think the future is but its definitely a bright one.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

BEYOND BORDERS: INDIA AS AN ANIMATION & VFX HUB

Visual effects (VFX) and animation are today synonymous with films, and there are numerous techniques that have been developed and are in use to make the output more attractive and easier to create.

We have moved from relying solely on practical and physical effects to seamlessly integrating computer generated imagery (CGI) to create the extraordinary.

When we think of VFX or animation, the first name that comes to mind is Hollywood.

This is not without reason with names like Disney (the first major player in the animation film world), Pixar (which produced thse first computer based 3D animation feature film, Toy Story), Rhythm & Hues (the name behind the VFX for The Golden Compass and Life of Pi, both of which won awards for visual effects).

Moving Picture Company (recent and upcoming VFX work in Alien: Covenant, Passengers, Pirates of the Carribean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, Transformers: The Last Knight). But what might surprise you is that a lot of the work that you see in these films was, in fact, done by Indians in India!

Most of us never see the credits list at the end of a film, but if you have, you will know what we are talking about. This is because of the trend of outsourcing, or obtaining goods and/or services from an external supplier that is gaining traction in the entertainment industry lately.

 

Let us take a look at the reasons why India is a prime choice for outsourcing animation work from Hollywood.

Strong technical background: It is certainly not without reason that India has established itself as a breeding ground for capable workers in technical fields like engineering and the sciences.
Historically, there has been a mentality that one should ‘be a doctor or engineer to be successful’ and it can even be said that us Indians have a knack for the technical in our genes.
As far as creativity goes, too, we are not lacking. In the film world, the Indian film industry produces near about a thousand films every year, and most of these (the numbers stand at around 75%) use VFX in some capacity or the other.

There are also a number of production houses that are well equipped with the kind of hardware needed to deliver high quality work; while most are domestic as far as the source of work goes, some are being targeted by international filmmakers who want their work to be done well.
The computer and digital content creation is the medium of choice for most studios these days, and with the recent political push towards internet based content consumption, and institutes of repute like MAAC Kolkata (Chowringhee | Rashbehari | Kakurgachi) to teach aspirants, there is a huge potential to tap from.

English-speaking workforce: With several billion speakers, English is possibly the most global language in today’s world. Also, it is the language of choice as far as computers, visual effects and animation are concerned.

This has a twofold impact – not only does it provide an advantage in the market by making content accessible to a worldwide audience, but it ensures that the people involved in creating visual effects and animation have as little difficulty as possible when using software to aid their work.
With its sizeable proportion of educated population coupled with the fact that English is one of the official languages used in the country, India has one of the largest populations of English speakers across the globe, and this gives us an edge over other countries that are hubs for outsourcing animation to.

Cost effectiveness: Level of skill and communication ability aside, the other important player that draws foreign productions to India is the relatively low cost of completing a production in our country.

To put things in perspective, animators and visual effects artists and studios in India require (on average) one fifth of the production cost that would be required for the same project to be completed in its home country.

Considering the market oriented nature of the world nowadays, this combination of low cost and high efficiency makes India a natural and top choice for foreign producers who want affordable and polished work in their productions.



Over the past few decades, animation and visual effects has slowly and steadily integrated itself into mainstream media – not only film, but also in television (most notably, cartoon programs), the advertisement industry (on the web, broadcast and print platforms) and the internet (through the advent of video on-demand services such as Amazon Prime and Netflix).

More and more major international players in the VFX and animation world are expanding their borders to either open a branch office for work in India (for example, Moving Picture Company or MPC, which most recently worked on the VFX for Disney’s live action feature of The Jungle Book, sourced most of its work through the Bengaluru office) or to start an Indian division (The Walt Disney Company, Dreamworks, Technicolor).

These are, for the most part, faring well with a favorable job outlook for aspirants to the world of animation and VFX.



As we learnt at the MAAC Manifest held recently at the Academy of Fine Arts, Kolkata, the visual effects and animation industry in India is booming like never before.

With the recent global proliferation of media content that uses intensive visual effects and animation, and socioeconomic measures in the country sending more and more people towards digital content; it is more and more imperative that we provide a high quality output. MAAC Chowringhee | Rashbehari | Kakurgachi can help you make the most of this trend by gaining you access to the requisite knowledge as well as placements in these studios.

In past years, our students have been successfully placed at major studios of international repute such as Prime Focus, Prana, NY VFXWALLA, Dreamworks, Technicolor, Disney, MPC, Rhythm & Hues and Pixar, in positions both of VFX and animation.

They have worked on blockbuster Hollywood films such as Life of Pi, Godzilla, Avengers and more. If working for one of these famous studios is your dream, then walk in to your nearest MAAC Kolkata centre today and get started on building your career today!

And remember… at the end of the day in the world of media, the only thing limiting you is your own imagination.