Thursday, 31 August 2017

Multimedia – An Important Career Option

In our today’s blog, we will be discussing Multimedia and how is it an important career option.

A multimedia is a form of a content type for human communication through computer vision.

It is used to visualize and understand information from one to another. Multimedia is the way of communicating through text, graphics, audio, and video.

The most important element of Multimedia is the computer, without a computer, the coordination with visuals and audio can’t be possible.

Multimedia is a part of the Animation field.

The Animation & Multimedia industry has matured in India and has moved on from being just an outsourcing facility to a creator of indigenous intellectual property as well.

There are more than 300 Animation studios that came up about three to four years back only.

Multimedia is required in every field nowadays, whether it be an online presentation or a business conference.

Multimedia plays the most vital role in advertising.

It required in print as well as electronic media.

Firstly, they are prepared in computers using software and then it is shown to the ultimate audience.

Multimedia is used in print media like journals, magazines, newspaper etc.

Nowadays, we not only see text but photographs too in newspapers. Multimedia is also used in the field of education.

In the last ten years, we have seen a vast growth in the usage of computers in schools.

Computers make studies more interesting.

There are different visuals and pictures used to incorporate the study matter in a child’s mind.

It is scientifically proven that it is easier to understand something when we see it visually.

In many companies, presenting information to business professionals is a required form of communication.

Applications are already available for creating great-looking presentations, and through multimedia, these applications will become even better and more effective.

There is a vast scope of career options in the field of multimedia.

MAAC KOLKATA offers such courses which help you to master multimedia and it makes you ready to take up multimedia in any required field.

Multimedia is present everywhere, the phones we use, the T.V. we watch, the newspaper we read, the games we play.

Multimedia is required everywhere. The games in our mobile phones also contain multimedia.

There are different career options related to multimedia, some of them are:

Advertising manager, Creative Director, Media director, Web Designer/Developer, Multimedia Designer, Animator, Game Programmer , Game Tester, Photographer.

 Lately, there were no such scholastic courses in multimedia but nowadays many big colleges in the country offer degree courses in multimedia.

There are courses like a Diploma course, Bachelors Degree in Multimedia etc. Many software companies are offering for many types of software.

These professionals are also recruited in film companies, schools, universities, business companies etc.

Multimedia professionals generally work on creating digital images for the purpose of Animation, creating digital images for the purpose of Animation.

Multimedia can be pursued with any stream. A commerce student can also opt for this in college as well as the students of other streams.

The Multimedia specialists design and create information technology based multimedia products such as websites, DVDs as well.

Some key skills that are most importantly required to be in multimedia professional are:

A good eye for Design, Layout, and detail imagination and Creativity, Time management skills, Organizational skills.

The companies/agencies that employ professionals as:

Advertising agencies

Local authorities


Software/multimedia houses

IT consultancies

Computer games companies



Educational Organisations

The average pay for a these professional in this country, India is about 3,90,000 per year.

There are not that much of a promotion scheme when it comes to Multimedia, that is why people are generally not promoted to other designations but they do get the bonus.

This is very valid too, as when it comes to multimedia, it becomes very different from other jobs.

Multimedia is maybe the only field and the only job that requires creativity, unlike the other jobs.

Once your creative power is lost (which happens very rarely with creative people) you cannot do anything, not even a promotion or an extra pay can help you save your livelihood.

Usually, the salary in this field  depends upon the skill and knowledge of the respective person.

The contract can be temporary like a one or two month’s contract. It can also be a contract that requires only the fulfillment of only one project.

For example, there are companies that hire professionals to work on their product design and once the product design is done, the work and the interest of the company in the professionals are also over.

It is very useful and advantageous for multimedia professionals as they can work with different companies at the same time.

It is also useful for the young and budding media students who wish to gain experience as they can work with some small startup companies on a temporary basis.

It is a very good Career option and also good way to have some extra earnings and part time jobs for people who are more interested in some other field than Multimedia.

After gaining experience in this field one can start up his or her own Business and work independently.

Maac Kolkata is one of oldest and renowned Academy in India for providing training in Animation, Vfx and multimedia.

MAAC Kolkata provides a comprehensive, 360 degree learning opportunity for extensive job-oriented training in responsive web design, 2D Animation & print.

You will be introduced to the latest trends in the web & publishing industry like digital publication, augmented reality, mobile apps & interactive web content.

So it is a great career option for young aspirants who aspire to be successful and keep their creative mind alive at the same time.

People who do not wish to get a job and work 9 hours a day and feel like robots, multimedia is the perfect option for such people.

Tuesday, 29 August 2017


Animation as a genre of film traces its roots to the twentieth century, when it was pioneered by The Walt Disney Company.

As the decades passed and Disney’s procedures of animation were adopted by filmmakers around the world, two of the company’s animators’, Ollie Johnston and Frank Thomas, published a book discussing the twelve principles of animation.

This book has since been referred to as the Bible of animation, and these principles adopted by studios worldwide.

In addition to guidelines for producing realistic and aesthetically pleasing animations, the principles also deal with abstract aspects such as timing to evoke emotion, and character appeal.

Stretch and Squash: Adding stretch and squash in an object highlights its weight and flexibility.
When an object has an impact with any surface or substance, or reaches the peak of movement in a particular direction before starting to move in the opposite direction, there is a squash or squeezing effect.

Conversely, during movement and rebound, there is a stretching effect.

It is important to note that for realistic animation, the volume of the object remains unchanged in both cases; if the height reduces, width must increase proportionally and vice versa.

This principle is seen in real life when one undertakes a jumping movement, or by a horse when it is galloping.

Anticipation: Before an action begins, an object or character usually takes some preparatory steps.
For instance, to type on a keyboard, a person raises their finger above the key that will be struck.

This is anticipation, and it serves to signal the viewer that and action is about to take place.

A football player, for example, moves his foot backwards to gain force for the actual action of the kick.

It is also used in less physical ways, such as changing the direction of focus of a character off the scene in the frame to signal the arrival of a new character.

Typically, the movement of anticipation occurs in the opposite direction of that of the action that it anticipates in order to create contrast.

Staging: Staging means the placement of characters and objects in a manner that ensures that the action, mood and personality traits are clear to the viewer.
As a rule of thumb, in classical animated films, characters and objects are posed in a way that the action can be understood even if it was in silhouette.

This ensures that the audience’s focus stays on what is relevant or, can serve to draw attention away from other aspects of the action.

Straight-Ahead and Pose-to-Pose: Moving on to the actual animation, there are two techniques used.
In the straight-ahead method, a scene is drawn out (or, in the case of 3D animation, poses are set) frame by frame as the action will occur.

While the technique creates more fluid, realistic motion if done properly, it is difficult to maintain proportion and create strong poses along the way. In the pose-to-pose method, the main or key poses of an action are blocked (or drawn) after which in-between movements connecting one pose to another are made.

This method works better for dramatic scenes where composition has an important role.

Follow-through and Ooverlapping action: Going back to the earlier example of a galloping horse, imagine what would happen if the rider urged to horse to halt.
It would slow down and stop running, but the mane and tail will move forward some more before settling in their normal position.

This is called follow-through and overlap; in more technical terms, it is a representation of the laws of physics – most significantly those of drag and inertia.

When the horse is in motion, the tail and mane follow behind it due to drag and after the horse comes to a stop, they continue the motion due to inertia.

The additional distance they cover before settling is the overlap. Follow through and overlap occur wherever there is a flexible or jointed body in motion.

Slow-in and Slow-out: Most objects tend to need some time to reach full speed of action, and then decelerate when the action is coming to an end.
This is the purpose of adding a slow-out at the start of the action to show acceleration, and a slow-in at the end of an action.

To show impacts and bounce (for example a ball bouncing off the floor) we use fast-in and fast-out. In both cases, there are more poses at the start and end of the action than in the middle.

Arc of Motion: Typically, movement occurs along arced paths rather than truly straight ones.
This is emphasized in animation by creating all movements in fluid arcs.

Faster actions use wider and flatter arcs, while slower movements can follow sharper arcs. Any action that does not follow an arc tends to appear erratic or jerky.

Secondary Aactions: When we walk, we usually tend to swing our hands, or look around. As our thoughts change, so do our expressions.

The mane and tail of the galloping horse follow the up and down movement of the body with some delay. All these add to an action and make it seem more realistic and lively.

Timing: Simply put, timing is the number of frames allotted for a certain action.
If an action is timed correctly, it will appear to follow the laws of physics and be believable.

Timing, therefore, is a crucial aspect for establishing the subtle moods or background of an action.

10. Exaggeration: This involves depicting actions in a more extreme manner because completely realistic animation can seem dull and static.

In addition to making actions more interesting to the audience, exaggeration also ensures that the viewer can understand what is happening.

In addition to simply making actions more extreme, exaggeration can also include surreal or supernatural changes in a character or object.

It is important not to overdo it, however, in order to avoid a negative reaction from the viewer.

11.Solid Drawing: Solid – or Proper: Drawing involves making sure that objects have a three-dimensional weight and space in the scene.

In the early days of animation, animators would take thorough training in art before attempting animation.

With the advent of computer animation, this kind of intensive drawing is no longer a necessity.

12.Appeal: Character Design – the way a character looks, acts, moves, speaks and behaves plays a large role in how appealing they will be to an audience.

Similarly, colours and used in the background elements affect the level of appeal a scene will have.

Villains, monsters, scary places – they can all be appealing if the viewer feels that they are real or interesting.

One-note characters, totally symmetrical-looking (twinned) characters or staging, or predictable background design does not create appeal.

Sunday, 27 August 2017


In our today’s blog we will discuss about ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR BEING USED FOR LOGO DESIGNING.

Adobe was started by John Warnock in 1982 in California, USA.

It has much graphic software like PHOTOSHOP, INDESIGN, and ILLUSTRATOR etc.

Adobe Illustrator is one of the most widely used software for graphic designing.

The latest version of Adobe Illustrator is CC 2017. It was initially developed for Apple Macintosh.

The latest version the, CREATIVE CLOUD i.e. CC brought some new changes in the software, for example improvements in colour.

Font and program settings syncing, saving documents to the cloud, and integration with Behance (a creative collaborative network), as well as other features such as a new touch-compatible type tool, images in brushes, CSS extraction, and files packaging.

Adobe Illustrator is vector software used to create vector images.

Vector softwares are used to create graphic art of high quality which can be scaled to any value.

They are not made of grid of pixels but are made of paths which can be scaled infinitely.

Designers are intimidated by these advanced features, the program also has an unique ability to draw next-level shapes and then save them as a vector files.

Adobe Illustrator is better when compared with Adobe Photoshop since it can create images that can be as small as a stamp on an envelope and as big as a hoarding on a wall.

In Adobe Photoshop, the designer has to be very careful with the resolution of image he is creating and what size will it be printed.

So, Adobe Illustrator is best suitable for print media and 2D printing.

A logo represents a brand, company and business entity to the mass and hence, it is extremely important to use the best resources to design a logo.

An effective Logo can inspire new customers and business people to work with ones business.

A professional logo will convey that one is good at what he/she does and will build a trust upon the people.

But a sloppy logo can convey the message that the business enterprise doesn’t know professionalism.

The graphic designers will need to understand and analyse the true structure of the company they are designing a logo for so that they can create a logo that resembles and connects to the company’s name or idea.

Nowadays, due to so much of competition people are generally not ready to compromise with their work very easily.

So, they consult a professional designer who has a proper knowledge of how the logo should look and where can the logo be used efficiently without any problems with the designs.

Adobe Illustrator is famously used for creating logos.

A graphic designer mostly uses Adobe Illustrator for logo designing. Photoshop is not the best software for (professional) logo design. Illustrator provides great tools for gradients and effects.

One great tool for example is the Gradient mesh tool. Because of the wide uses of your logo from print to digital its better to have a vector icon that can scale.

The graphics in Adobe Photoshop can sometimes look a little jagged since raster images are made up of individual coloured squares, known as pixels.

Photoshop is primarily a pixel based program better for image editing.

Also file sizes in and vector based program is smaller than psd’s.  Logos are designed in Adobe Illustrator as a logo is used:

In paper printing, i.e. business cards and informational flyers/brochures.
Website page design.
TV or Multi-media work
Business building signage.
Car infographics
Clothing & cloth printing such as tote bags.
And that is why Adobe Illustrator is a LOGO’s best friend!

It is very easy to design layouts, create design elements and even put raster images from Photoshop.

There is an dartboard workspace which gives the opportunity to experiment and sketch up your ideas before finalising anything.

Adobe Photoshop is build up of lines, curves and Bezier angles of which the coordinates and properties are saved in your file, meaning however you change the resolution your lines will be recalculated.

Illustrator files are not large in size in general, which means logo design artists can work on a project incorporating lots of elements without facing system slowdown.

Illustrator comes with a number of effects and filters and using them, a designer can make logos eye catching.

In Adobe Illustrator you are given the chance to freely illustrate your ideas.

The logos have an isolated background which makes it convenient to use it anywhere.

In printing, there are times when colour separations are needed.

The output from Adobe Illustrator can work well with colour separations. Hence, there are no troubles when it comes to printing a logo as well.

There are times that no matter how great a design is, it would have some trouble for the output as it is not as good as it was expected.

But with Illustrator, the output would still look great even in print.

Adobe Illustrator can actually be used for just about anything pertaining to design.

If the designer print signs or vinyl graphics, they would need to save it as EPS, too. Another advantage of using Adobe Illustrator is the ability to save the file as EPS.

EPS files make it easy to print sharp outputs.

Here are some steps on how to design a logo in Adobe Illustrator given in brief:


You can use an image to use for reference as well.


You can combine shapes like rectangles and triangles to build up a complex artwork.


You can always beautify your logo with different colours from the colour palette.


Logos often contain texts so, you can add text to your logo as well.


Just check everything and change the position of the shapes if necessary.


Save it for further printing and other stuff.

At initial stages, the graphic designers may find Adobe Illustrator to be very complex as software but when they become familiar with the software they will realize that there is no other software better than Adobe Illustrator for logo designing.

There a million of Examples available on the internet on Logo Designing in Adobe Illustrator, the young graphic designers can just surf through the examples to know how convenient and easy is Logo designing in this software.

It is user friendly and is used for designing Business cards, brochures, book covers, cartoons, charts, illustrations and packet covers as well.

We, here at Maac Kolkata offer Courses which specializes on ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR and many other 2D Graphic Designing Software’s.

Thursday, 24 August 2017

How Maac Kolkata Helps Its Students To Crack Down Animation OR VFX Job Interview

Preparing for a job interview is very essential. Today we will discuss few more tips only at Maac Kolkata to crack animation or vfx interview.

You need to be fully prepared to get recruited. Interviews have been a nerve wrecking situation.

It isn’t that easy to impress and secure the dream job.

Nervousness, has it’s own place, among the candidates.


Preparing yourself for the interviews requires a lot of efforts, both for the fresher’s and the experienced ones.

Ease out your stress and prepare yourself for the interview.

Keep it in mind, there are many other people applying for the same job you have applied for.

So you need to control your nerves and DON’T PANIC, rather be chilled and confident.

If you are aspiring a career in Animation or visual effects and want to soar high in this field, you surely need world class training by experts, which you will get undoubtedly in Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics – Maac Kolkata.

You need to enhance your creative talent and prepare yourself mentally to get what you deserve.

Maac Kolkata helps its students to prepare themselves for their future and also prepares them for all type of challenges they need to face in their career.

Facing an interview and cracking it is the first challenge for which the students are prepared during their course.

VFX and Animation industry is a blooming one. The demand for visual effects and other type of cinematic effects has increased greatly.

This increase in demand is a good news as more and more artists are being hired and getting their deserved recognition in this field.

If you are really talented and have the required skills then you have the chance to show off the world your ability.

Here, interview is the way to judge or analyse your skills as claimed by you in your resume and showreel.

There are few techniques you should follow and a few things you show keep in mind for securing your dream job in this world of Animation and VFX.


The first and foremost thing, based on which you are called for the interview, is your showreel.

For an animator or a VFX artist it is very important to prepare a good showreel containing your best works.

What a CV is to the people of other fields, a showreel is to the animators and VFX artists.

It is the first thing on the basis of which you are judged. A short yet impactful showreel is what you must prepare to impress your employer.

A carefully edited video with a subtle music and obviously, comprising your best works are the things you need to make your showreel worthy to be selected.

Please, make sure, you do not mess up your showreel, by adding works which are not required for the job you are applying for.

If you are applying for a job of Matte Painter, there is no need to add motion graphics work, instead focus on creating magnificent matte paintings and add them in your showreel.


You should think and take your time beforehand, to introspect.

You must know you key skills. You must know your area of excellence and should know your forte.

Obviously, you can do many things but you have to focus on your specialised skill and work out on that. From a diverse range of aspects, like Modelling and Texturing, Lighting, Compositing, Animation, Matte Painting, Tracking, Rigging, etc, you need to choose one.

In a production house there are different departments and each department is expected to give their best output.

So you need to prepare yourself in that way. Suppose you are very good in Modelling and Texturing, prepare yourself to become the best 3d artist.

If you belong to Maac Kolkata, you need not worry about choosing your specialisation, as they know it best and know how to bring it out in an individual seeking a career in this field.


People have the necessity to secure a job and establish themselves.

But do not apply for a job randomly, just because you need one. You need to be very clear about the job you are applying for.

Do some basic homework and research about the job.

Suppose you are very good in motion graphics, go for that job, and do not opt for any other specialisation, as you won’t be able to give your best in that.

Also you need to understand the requirements.

As an animator or a VFX artist you need to be very fluent in every software, that is required in that specific area.

If you are applying for the job of animator, you must possess good knowledge of the Animation Principle; Aesthetic n software’s required in it, like AutoDesk Maya, AutoDesk Max etc. You need to work harder and polish your skills.

You need to have enough knowledge so that when you are asked about it, you can answer promptly.

Also keep yourself updated with the changing needs and requirements so that you never seem backdated to your employer.

As a student of Maac Kolkata, you get the opportunity to understand the job requirements better as you get the opportunity to interact with highly professional faculty and industry experts.


You need to be honest about your skills and achievements to your prospective employer.

In the interview do not boast about your skills. You should not seem over confident or know-it-all, as it would only put a bad impression on your interviewer.

Always answer back politely. And never ever start a heated argument with the interviewer.

They may say things of different opinion and wait to see your reaction, so it might be their tactics to see how you handle your seniors and how much you are capable of working under them.

“Smile, give a firm handshake and stay calm.” Remind yourself to give a firm handshake and a big smile.

A smile will boost your happiness and show your eagerness. Also, remind yourself to make solid eye contact with the interviewer.

All of these body language cues will lead the interviewer to see you as a more approachable candidate.


In the interview, when you are asked about your salary expectations, don’t say a random amount.

You should do a research of salary expectations for the post you are applying for.

Saying a weird value on being asked your salary expectations will let the interviewer doubt your knowledge about this field.

Try to do a thorough research in the internet and also you may ask people from the field to provide their knowledge of salary expectations.


It is very obvious to get nervous in the interview process.

Everyone knows how difficult it is to get selected. It is really a hard thing to have the ability to impress others.

You might be very talented in your field but the FEAR would be a great hindrance in the path of you securing a job.

The fear of getting rejected or facing the interviewers is a major drawback. You must know to overcome it.

As an animator you might possess required skill and knowledge but lack of confidence in yourself and having the fear of rejection wouldn’t be good for you.

Try to handle stress in a calm way. Do not get panicked.

Just chill and focus on your skills. Have faith in yourself and believe your ability.

Noteworthy, the faculty of Maac Kolkata knows how to help you to overcome your fear.

They will help you to boost your confidence with thorough counselling.

Appraisals and recognition’s are the things you need to overcome your lack of confidence, which you will get in Maac Kolkata.

They leave no stone upturned to inspire you and motivate you and help you build your career.

Now that you have got some good tips, gear up for your career and be confident enough to crack the interview with ease.

“I can do this” are the words that will boost your confidence.

The last thing you want to do is go into the interview already thinking you’re not going to get the job.

Never set yourself up for a loss when you can always set yourself up for success.

Don’t think of the interview as the top of the mountain.

Instead, think of it as a stepping stone on your way to the top. This will ease off some of the pressure you may be feeling.

Think beyond the interview and look at your future.

How is this interview helping you get to where you want to be?

Go ahead and give your best in the interview.


Tuesday, 22 August 2017


In our blog we will discuss the visual storytelling as a multimedia trend.

Human beings have been fascinated by the idea of stories being represented in a visual form since time immemorial.

Any and every history book attests to this fact, telling us about people from prehistoric times recording their lives and stories in the form of cave paintings, of ancient Egyptians with their pictograms (hieroglyphs).

Papyrus scrolls, or Europe with the vast number of art pieces inspired by oral and written storytelling traditions, or even sculptures and carvings in temples or stained glass window paintings in churches.

These visual depictions of stories have endured through the years, and to this day there are people who study them to try and understand the story behind the art.

Despite being rooted in the fine arts, this trend has evolved in the past few centuries into more obvious formats such as the motion picture, while traditional hand drawings on paper or canvas have transitioned onto their digital counterparts in the field of multimedia.

Before we delve into the digital world, however, let us understand what visual storytelling is.

As noted earlier, visual storytelling is the representation of a story or narrative through some form of visual media and multimedia.

Also known as narrative storytelling or a photo story, it ignites imagination, inspires emotion and encourages the development of aspirations in the viewer.

While the concept has existed for centuries, the term is relatively new and has gained traction in the past decade or so with the advent of digital and new media.

Visual storytelling often includes a series of images or a video in order to portray the core message.

In today’s context, visual storytelling is a term most commonly found in the marketing and communications world.

Can be described as a marketing strategy that communicates powerful ideas in an interactive and immersive manner by means of a compelling story arc that will appeal to the potential customer.

The key points here are interactivity and customer (or consumer) immersion, and an underlying narrative to the presentation that enforces the central idea behind the product or service.

The main goal of visual storytelling today is to create profitable customer engagement for the marketer. The reasons for this are manifold:

Population boom, leading to demand for more content.
Dramatic increase in content production, as a result.
Decrease in human attention span, due the increase in engaging content.
Faster processing of visual image-based input in the human brain; research shows that images are processed several thousand times faster than      text.
Information presented in the form of a story is more appealing to the human mind.

People today are more interested in experiences, rather than simply products or services.

Take a moment and think of your smart phone.

It’s the easiest example of a product that gives you an experience: from communicating with family, friends, or colleagues, playing that latest game, surfing the internet.

Keeping up with the news, watching films and television shows, taking photographs, navigating the roads and exploring new places.

All of it is possible on that pocket-sized device.

So that urge you feel to change your smart phone when a newer, more ‘feature-rich’ model is released is because of that driving quest that we post-modern humans have for new and pleasurable experiences.

Another good example is VR gaming.

Virtual reality allows the user to step into a different world, so to speak, by ‘changing’ their surroundings into whatever is being projected into the headset view.

Game developers have taken this to the next level by integrating motion capture technology into game controllers, allowing the player to experience the game as though they are a part of the environment.

To better understand how it works, you can read our recent article on VR kits.

For the marketer, all of this means that the challenge lies in creating content across all multimedia platforms (digital, as well as print and broadcast) that will engage and satisfy the needs of the potential customer.

Companies today are shifting more aggressively to audience-oriented policies of action.

Since the thirst for an impactful story has remained ingrained in our nature for thousands of years that is the road to take.

In addition to simply telling a story, including elements of social change and positive environmental influence create vulnerability and highlight the humane side of a business, which boosts the image of the marketer to a great degree by inspiring trust and empathy in the audience.

For successfully telling a visual story, it is absolutely necessary that proper planning is undertaken.

From the message that needs to be delivered to the viewer, to the presentation of the content, every step needs to be planned properly keeping in mind the goals of both the medium and the marketer.

Inspire emotion and invoke trust in order to create a connection, and then cater to the audience’s needs through the product or service being marketed.

The internet serves as the most prolific platform for information exchange in the world today.

As a result, marketers are experiencing the need to keep up with the flow and transition to the digital world.

Most of the multimedia like print media, electronic, educational institutes, hospitals and other product and service providers has a digital presence in addition to their physical one.

A lot of businesses operate almost entirely on digital platforms, and many are devoted to establishing digital presences for others.

This global transition to the digital space in the past few decades has created a need for different forms of digital content, also known as multimedia.

This includes text-based communication, audio-based media such as music and radio broadcasts, as well as visual media like photographs, advertisements, motion pictures and video and virtual reality.

The global community thrives on such content on a daily basis, and the very nature of visual media ensures that it will have an effect on people across all sorts of cultures and through time and generations.

For more information on multimedia and how you can use it for visual storytelling, do check out Maac Kolkata’s comprehensive courses covering graphic and web design, multimedia trends and more.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

8 Effective Time Management Trick For Animators & VFX Artists

In today’s fast paced world, the importance of time simply cannot be overestimated. In our blog we will discuss 8 effective time management tricks for animators & vfx artists.

It is a matter of performing the greatest amount of quality work possible in a given number of work hours, or conversely speaking, performing a given amount of quality work in the shortest time possible.

This is especially true in the computer oriented world of animation and visual effects.

In an industry that has very specific production processes (which are called pipelines), it is essential for an artist to perform his task in the allotted time so that none of the other steps fall behind schedule.

That being said, what exactly should an aspiring student in this line be doing to increase work efficiency? We at Maac Kolkata might be able to give a few helpful pointers on that.
1. Go in Order: As we’ve mentioned before, everything moves through the production pipeline, and a single faulty step can make the rest of the process unnecessarily hard.

In terms of 3d animation, it’s painfully hard to work with a faulty rig; by extension, rigging and skinning a model with poor topology is difficult, if not impossible in certain cases.

Modelling is also something that is essential to VFX. With that in mind, here are some basic tips on fast and efficient modelling.

ii) Get reference images. Google is your friend. If you’re modeling a real life object or a realistic character, public domain images are a must so that the model is accurate.
Having a front, side and back view image to work with makes things easier, and is something even experienced artists use.

iii) Model the basic shape first. Get the overall volume and curves right. Whether you’re using box or edge modeling, this principle doesn’t change.

Start with less geometry, only using as much as is needed to set up the basic shape.  Later animators and vfx artists can add more detail later.

Just imagine adding a bunch of extra edges and then realizing the shape is all wrong. It might take an hour just to drag all the vertexes into the right position.

iii) Learn topology and use it effectively.

For inorganic hard surfaced modeling, that means keeping your geometry as simple as possible while getting the right shape.

For organic modeling, that means having enough loops in all the right places and going in all the right directions to deform the model during animation.

Quads are the optimum solution in most cases, and you will want to make sure that your models are composed of quads as far as possible.

They are ideal for most cases of deformation, and also give ideal shapes when smoothed.

However, don’t be afraid of triangles, or even the dreaded Ngons. Both have their uses. Hint: Triangles are often used in areas on the model that don’t deform, such as fingertips.

Animators and vfx artists should research more about where these non-quads are used, and learn to integrate them into your modeling to speed up your workflow!

iv) Simple is generally better. No matter how perfectly you model the muscles on your superhero character, they’re no use if the model cannot be animated.

As a rule, around four or five edge loops running all the way around are ideal for bendable body parts, with at least three being the minimum.

For more realistic models, one might need other specific kinds of loops.

While adding insets or loops for definition make sure you don’t break or divert the loops needed for animation.

Simple is best, and if you can use the absolute barest topology to build a good looking character, then you’re doing fine.

No need to add unnecessary loops.

v) Perfect a modeling workflow. Some artists prefer to place all the major loops first before filling in the empty spaces by extruding or bridging edges.

Tip: Use the Edit Poly modifier if you’re working in 3DS Max. It can be layered on top of other Edit Poly modifiers to continually work on the model, and also provides a convenient way to correct mistakes simply by deleting the modifier.

After all, it’s quicker than pressing the undo shortcut a million times.

2. Build a good rig: It’s hard for animators to work with a rig that’s unnecessarily complicated. Keep the rig simple; keep the underlying mechanisms out of the way and the controls easy to use.

A well skinned model looks great and is the difference between a stylish production and an average one.

3. Block out the key poses first: The same principles as modeling apply in animation for animators. Big picture first, details later.

The body moves as a whole, and working for too long on a single part might cause you to lose the flow of the overall movement, creating an unnatural and uneven animation. Instead,  an animators  should do all the main movements at first, getting the rough poses right, before tweaking the fine adjustments.

4. Copy key frames and re-use good animations and models: It makes absolutely no sense for a good model or a good run or walk cycle to go to waste.

Keep them and re-use them on future projects to save valuable time. Slight adjustments according to character by animators and vfx artists can be made in both models and walk or run cycles to keep the whole production true to the story.

Similarly, copy and paste animation keys whenever possible.

5. Everything that should be handled in production should be handled in production: VFX artists know well that not everything can be fixed in post production, nor should the attempt be made to do so.

When going from 3D software to compositing software, it is ideal to handle the entirety of the CG work, and whatever else is possible, in the 3D software itself.

As the name itself makes clear, compositing software is for exactly that: compositing.

By now, you would have gotten some idea of how to improve your workflow. But does time management for a student end there?

Here are some of the things you absolutely should be doing to maximize your efficiency.

6.Take breaks. Yes, we know it sounds insane, but they’re necessary. An overworked artist cannot fully express their ability.

Make sure to take some breaks, especially since most of your day is spend sitting in front of a computer screen. Give the eyes some time away from the monitor.

7.Stay up-to-date with the latest industry news. Hardware, software, techniques, stays informed on them. There are a number of great YouTube channels one can follow for this purpose.

Spend some time doing other stuff. Recreation is important.

8.And finally, stay inspired. Watch a movie, read a comic, play a game. Check out some of your favorite artists. Remind yourself why you started doing this in the first place.

And if you’re really serious, come check us out at Maac Kolkata, where we have great, and industry oriented courses for aspiring 3D modelers, animators and VFX artists.

Thursday, 17 August 2017


In our blog today we will be discussing the mind blowing After Effects done in star wars.

Star Wars is a renowned film franchise begun by the American director George Lucas with his 1977 film of the same name.

At the time, the film became the highest-grossing in the world (and remains among the highest grosser today as well) and proved to be a landmark in terms of the stunning imagery and effects put to use.

Following the critical and commercial success of the 1977 film, there have been seven more releases (marketed as a prequel trilogy, the original trilogy, and a continuation sequel trilogy), with the eighth and ninth film in the series slated for release in the coming years.

In addition, there are several spin-off films, books, video games, comics and other media and merchandise that have established the series as an icon of popular culture.

Coming to the heart of the matter, the series is an epic space opera involving intergalactic struggles between forces of good and evil.

There are alien planets and creatures abound, as well as futuristic technology and weaponry.

Naturally, visual effects and computer generated imagery have been invaluable additions to the production process over the years, Industrial Light and Magic (ILM) has handled the visual augmentation for all the films since the beginning.

Motion graphics and rotoscopy in particular have been made simpler with digital support through software such as Adobe After Effects.

After Effects is a powerful layer-based visual effects, compositing and motion graphics tool, which is commonly used in film and television in the post-production pipeline.

It can be used for chroma keying, motion tracking, compositing as well as animation, and serves as a basic non-linear audio-visual editor and media transcoder (or in layman’s terms, converter).

It has played a role in the post-production of films like Sin City, Iron Man, and Stranger Than Fiction, and is far more widely used to create introduction title and closing credit sequences due to its very capable motion graphics creation tools.

It is also used in animation films, advertising industry and television industry.

In our discussion today, we will focus on two aspects of the Star Wars films: the introductory title sequence, and weapon effects.

Star Wars Title Crawl:

The introduction sequence of the Star Wars films is one of the most recognisable elements of the franchise.

It features three parts: a static slide with the text ‘A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…’ in blue, followed by the stylised words ‘STAR WARS’ shrinking into the frame against a star field background, which is followed by the episode number and subtitle and a (typically three paragraph) passage that delves into the back-story for the film in a prologue format.

This text crawls through the screen in a perspective view rather than the more common frontal view.

After this text crawls out of the frame, the camera tilts downwards and the film begins.

The initial release of the first film did not include the episode number, but subsequent films and the re-release did.

For the original trilogy (1977-1983), this title sequence was filmed using huge 2ft x 6ft models with the camera painstakingly manoeuvred to capture the scrolling effect smoothly.

The prequel trilogy (1999-2005) made use of computer generated text and imagery to achieve the same effect, making the process faster and much easier to control and modify if needed.

The original format of the title crawl was preserved, however. In subsequent years, the original films, too, were re-released with a digital version of the introductory title crawl.

The ongoing sequel trilogy, which began with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens in 2015, has the title crawl designed digitally like the prequel trilogy.

Weapon effects:

There are two weapons that we see throughout the series: lightsabers, and blasters.

The lightsaber, as the name suggests, is a sword-like weapon that consists of a plasma blade powered by a kyber crystal, which was emitted as a beam of light from the hilt (usually constructed out of metal or a specific type of wood).

It is used primarily by Jedis and Siths, who are users of the Force (a mystical energy form in the films) and requires a great deal of training and skill to be handled properly.

They are of different kinds, most commonly single-bladed, but also double bladed like a staff, and these blades have different colours depending on the affiliation of the user.

Blasters are more common; they are gun-like devices that fire bullets of plasma, and are typically used by the Stormtroopers, mercenaries and rebels who do not have access to the Force.

During shooting, for the original trilogy, white blades were used.

These were subsequently rotoscoped by hand and a glow and colour was added to make them distinctive: blue and green for the Jedi, and red for the Sith.

In the prequel trilogy in the later 1990s, this design process was done digitally.

With the addition of a new character in Mace Windu (played by Samuel L. Jackson), we even find a new colour of lightsaber, purple.

Software like After Effects made the rotoscopy process faster and less cumbersome than the older manual technique, allowing for creative expansion of the mythos of the series.

Lightsabers have also been seen in white and (rarer) black across other media in the franchise.

Blasters are considered more generic weapons, and they fire bullets that resemble white streaks of laser light.

These bullet fires, too, are now created digitally and added to the live action during the compositing process.

This serves not only for faster and cost-effective production, but also reduces any potential risk of actors getting injured by malfunctioning props.

These are just a few examples of the creative power of After Effects.

If you want to learn for yourself how it can be used to create these wonderful and cool effects, do stop by your nearest Maac Kolkata centre and enrol yourself for free class and amazing career options.

For all you know, you could end up working for upcoming films in the Star Wars franchise!