Wednesday, January 25, 2023


Worked with artist Archit Vaze and 20 students on this project over the last few weeks. Essentially a 10day crash course in Blender that led to a finished 3min short. We will be screening it on 2 days at physical locations this month and then will do an online launch eventually. More updates including screening dates will be here and on the project's instagram page .

The Process:

Archit had been working on this for a while, and had done a colossal amount of the preproduction by the time he showed it to me.

So by the time we were discussing it, it was clear that we just needed to get into production mode. Srishti has what is called an interim semester, which as the name suggests is a semester that is between two others. The others are the teaching semesters and this is the one where practice is given a focus. So Srishti invites designers, artists and practitioners to come and conduct a project on campus that students can be a part of, thus learn by doing. 

Metamorphosis was thus pitched as an Interim semester project that students could sign up for. We got 20 sign ups.

Most of the students were using Blender for the first time. It took them a few days to get good at what they needed to do.
We started them off with the modelling, this was a unique and somewhat alien experience for some, though eventually they all got the hang of it. 

Next came a crash course in texture painting and shaders. This was a fairly abstract concept, that took some time and a lot of patience from everybody. As you may have guessed we were going for a very stylised #npr (non photo real) look, this required some amount of thought and planning to figure out what colors work, what kind of lighting would work etc.

Last was the animation and grease-pencil work. Here I took the students through basic motion tweening, shape keys and simple rigs. Our characters did not need complex rigs, in most cases even IK chains were not required. It was the perfect recipe for a beginner's introduction to 3d animation.

By now most of them were comfortable with Blender and were starting to see things coming together for the final film.

Various methods of tracking progress and wrangling shots were employed, but finally it came down to a whiteboard.

The sound design was handled by animator Ranjitha Rajeevan and Sound designer Sonal S. We went through an iterative process with them, and reworked the timing on some shots based on what was working with the sound track.
Essentially the final edit was executed by Ranjitha over a few sleepless nights.

Heres the team that worked on it:

UPDATE 27th Jan:
For the final screening we installed a led screen in a faculty's front porch so that the film could be seen by the local residents.

UPDATE February 10, 2023:

You can now view a trailer for the film on Instagram or below

UPDATE June 27, 2023:

The film was awarded the Quarterfinalist position for Best Super Short Film the SWIFF2023 festival.

Heres the mail we received today - 

Hello Metamorphosis,
Congratulations! On behalf of the SWIFF team, I am thrilled to share with you that you received an award for your film, Metamorphosis, at SWIFF 2023: Quarter-Finalist Award in the Best Super short film category. Among the films from 120 countries competing in this year's showcase, we are excited to award your film, Metamorphosis, with the Quarter-Finalist Award.
Metamorphosis was well received by all of our judges at
SWIFF, and we were highly impressed with your work.

Heres a neat announcement poster by Archit along with one that has some cool stats about the project and the team that was working on it.

No comments: