Lovely Doraemon and Shin-Chan

This article is dedicated to those parents whose kids are diehard fans of Doremone cartoon on Hungama channel in India. I am also amongst them, so I try to collect all information about Doremone and Shin Chan cartoons.
Doremone is basically Japanese cartoon series. So first discuss about Japanese cartoon/animation culture. In Japan, there are two kinds of animation style i.e. Anime & Manga

doraemon_anime

Anime:
It is reference to those animation styles which originated in Japan.  It includes hand-drawn or computer-generated characters and backgrounds which is visually and thematically different than other forms of animation. Anime is aimed at a broad range of audiences. In simple term, Anime are similar as real characters and not like disproportionate cartoon characters. e.g.  Anime human character has proportionate head, leg, arms etc.

 

Manga:doraemon_shin_chan
It refers to ‘Comics’ or ‘Whimsical image’ in Japanese. Manga developed from a mixture of ukiyo-e (Japanese woodblock prints & paintings) and Western style of drawing, and took its current form shortly after World War II. Manga usually published in black and white. In simple words Manga characters are more like cartoons characters i.e. exaggerated physical features such as large eyes, big hair and elongated limbs etc.

Now let’s talk about Doraemon cartoons, a big hit animation series on Hungama channel in India.
Doraemon is a Japanese manga series created by Fujiko F. Fujio (Pen name Hiroshi Fujimoto) and Fujiko A. Fujio (pen name Moto Abiko) which later became an anime series. This series is about robotic cat named Doremon, who time travel from 22nd century to help a schoolboy Nobita Nobi.
Doraemon was first appeared in December 1969 in six different magazines. Total 1, 344 stories were created in the original series. The best thing about Doraemon is about its moral lesson to children’s which are very effective in delivery.  In India, Doraemon  series comes on Hungama channel and this Hindi dub language series is superb. I have found the language quality and selection of words in Hindi dubbed version really fantastic still simple. Due to this kids are learning/grasping language very fast and clearly.

Awards receive by Doraemon:
1. Japan Cartoonist Association Award (1973)
2. Shogakukan Manga Award for Children’s manga (1982)
3. Osmau Tezuka Culture Award (1997)
4. Nations first ‘Anime Ambassador’ (2008), by Japan’s Foreign Ministry

More details about Doraemon:
doraemonWord ‘Doraemon’ means ‘stray cat’ in Japanese.
Doraemon is sent back in time by Nobita Nobi’s great great grandson Sewashi to improve Nobita’s circumstances so that his descendants may enjoy a better future.  In animation series, Nobita shows as a lazy and irresponsible schoolboy, who is weak physically and academically, this nature led subsequent failure in his life and career, and put his future family line beset with financial problems. To change Nobi family fortune, Sewashi sent a robot called Doraemon.
Doraemon has a magical pocket from which he can bring many gadgets etc. which solves Nobita’s problems. This pocket is called Yojigen-pocket.
Doraemon is afraid of mouse because his ears are eaten up by rats, although he can hear perfectly.
Nobita is in fourth grade, and his friends include Shizuka, Jaian, Suneo, Dekisugi, Nobita’s parents, his school teacher, Doraemon’s sister, Dorami etc. Every character has its own mannerism, which is very lovely and attractive. Main thing in whole animation is the moral lessons with simple storyline. Animation shows Japanese culture (not heavily) but still you don’t feel lost; because series talks about story, its characters and funny incidents. That means animation is appealing for international audiences also, which is main selling point of animation in international market.

In late 1980s there were rumors about the series finale.
1. It was supposed that due to battery power ran out, Doraemon become dead.  There are two solution for this problem, battery need to replace but it cause reset and Doraemon lose all memory, or wait for the competent robotic technique (technician). Nobita will hurt by this incident and start work hard in school, graduate with honors, and become robotics technician. He successfully resurrected Doraemon in the future as a robotic professor, and became successful as an AI (Artificial Intelligent) developer. And this way his future has changed and he lives happily ever after.
Some more theories were their but they are more pessimistic. When Fujiko Fujio duo broke up in 1987, the idea of an official ending to the series was never discussed. Fujiko F. died in 1996.

Shin-chan
Crayon Shin-chan is a Japanese manga and anime series written by Yoshito Usui. The future of the manga is uncertain due to the death of doraemon_shin_chan_familyYoshito Usui in September 2009. It first appeared in April 13, 1992 on TV Asahi. This series is having lots of influence of Japanese culture and language based humors, due to which it is very difficult to translate humor properly in to other international languages. Its humor is little bit adult, so in Indian scenario it had created big controversies when it was first appeared on Hungama TV in 2005. Due to lots of controversies about his style and language, the show stopped airing. Later, by popular demand, the show was editied and began airing again. Content is edited according to the Indian children’s.  Shin-chan series having different characters, such as Shin-chan mom, dad and his sister Hemawari, his teacher etc.

 
References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portal:Anime_and_Manga
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doremon
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_Chan

Images used are from Google search.

 

Avatar: New era of virtual movie making

avatar_img_01‘Avatar’….yes a movie which is creating history right now. After ‘Lord of the Rings triology’ this is another movie which is responsible for changing the film and entertainment industries perspective, I also want to add game industry into it because game industry will get a huge benefit from technologies which ‘Avatar’ develops.
I watched this movie on first day first show and that too was morning 7.30 AM show. I want to tell that not only technology wise but philosophically also this movie is great. It shows the bonding between nature and its creatures in an emotional way, we don’t skip this aspect of the movie.

My friends were asking me to write something on ‘Avatar’ and its technology, but I need time to search and read articles before writing something. I find out some nice information, so let’s share.

James Cameron’s ‘Avatar’ is continuing its domination on box office worldwide in its fourth week, film domestic total till now is $429 million. And overseas, ‘Avatar’ grossing are $902 million (Reference: http://www.animationmagazine.net/article/11030).  WOW !!! don’t you want to say. It will soon toppling down Cameron’s last box office hit ‘Titanic’, which has done business of $ 1.8 billion.

Before starting to talk on technologies I just want to describe some definitions:
CG = Computer Graphics
CGI = Computer Generated Imagery

CGI is a specific application of CG in that it refers to the use of computer graphics to create synthetic imagery. However, the two terms are sometimes used inter-changeably in the visual effects industry.
In a broad sense, computer-generated is an adjective that describes any element created by a computer– as opposed to shot live on a set or location.

Stereoscopic 3D (S3D): Stereoscopy, or stereoscopic imagery, uses the characteristics of human binocular vision to create the illusion of avatar_img_02depth, making objects appear to be in front of or behind the cinema screen. The technique relies on presenting the right and left eyes with two slightly different images which the brain automatically blends into a single view. Subtle right-left dissimilarities in the images create the perception of depth and can be manipulated to creative advantage. Therein lies the art of stereoscopic filmmaking. (Reference: www.autodesk.com)

Now comes to technologies used in ‘Avatar’. Lightstorm Entertainment, production company of James Cameron’s, developed a new motion picture production process to create the groundbreaking sci-fi epic ‘Avatar’. They combine live action 3D and computer generated, photo-real visual effects to develop a great sci-fi story.

Ubisoft, a game company, also launch ‘Avatar’ in a third-person adventure game form. It can be played with stereoscopic 3D (S3D) display.
Lightstorm Entertainment, pioneered a new method for making visual effects movie with advanced virtual cinematography techniques. They use ‘Autodesk®MotionBuilder®’ and ‘Autodesk®Maya®’ software for this film. Production team captures actor’s performances and apply them directly to computer graphics (CG) characters, while viewing the results in real-time. This movie sets a new standards in stereoscopic 3D(S3D) productions. Lightstorm refined the performance capture techniques and apply them to high resolution Maya character models to create realistic, believable, animation.

This movie starts new era of virtual moviemaking, which gives full freedom to director’s creativity. Hoping that in near future Directors try to replace actors with this CG characters….which doesn’t have any date problem and exorbitant fees….:)

 
References: http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/item?id=14270942&siteID=123112; http://www.animationmagazine.net/article/11030; google search

Swift 3D plug-in: Convert 3D animation to vector

Friends, thanks for your encouraging comments on my articles. Some ask that why I am not updating my blog regularly, one reason for not writing on regular basis is due to less time availability. Due to recession and heavy work pressure I do not have much time to write research articles. I don’t want to write those news items which you easily gets on every website, I try to write article after doing complete research on the subject.
Wait for my next article which will most probably on interactive 3D model. I am doing research on the same, and already made a really cool interactive 3D model. So just wait for my new article.
Here we talk about software (plug-ins) which helps to convert 3D animation into vector animation (i.e. Flash SWF). Isn’t it sound interesting?
Electricrain, a company made a software plug-ins for LightWave 3D and 3ds Max  i.e.  ‘Swift 3D LW’ ; and  ‘Swift 3D MAX’. With the help of these plug-ins, users of 3ds Max and LightWave 3D can render their 3D scenes in high-quality, low bandwidth vector or raster Flash animations.

swift3d_img_02

These plug-in are powered by industry-leading RAViX 4 vector rendering technology. Swift 3D plug-ins gives superior Flash integration and additional export formats including Adobe Illustrator, EPS, SVG and Toon Boom’s PNT format.
It is simple to use plug-in. You just need to install it (according to the installation manual), and it appears into your software as shown in below Figure.

swift3d_img_01

You just select your output format i.e. swf, eps, ai etc. in the SWIFT 3D window and render it, you will get the desire output in vector format. WOW…quite easy and very useful. I have use lots of SWF files in my project and it is quite easy to show a 3D model/animation made in LightWave3D in Flash with full control. You just need to import the SWF (3D animation) file into your Flash project and your 3D animation would work perfectly in Flash without consuming much memory. Same thing happens with 3ds Max.

Just download a trial and enjoy it!

For more information please check the link: http://www.erain.com/products/plug-ins/

Reference/Image (First Image) courtesy: http://www.erain.com

ZooZoo endorsing Vodafone

zoozoo_img01Opps! I made a mistake. Actually I think previously that this advertisement is made in 3D, just like any other person who saw it. But its not my fault, it has made so nicely that anybody thinks that this ad is made in 3D.

Ok ok, I understand that you want to know which ad? Boss, I am talking about new Vodafone advertisement which is running during IPL (Indian Premium League) cricket matches.

Now talk about the details, actually Vodafone wants to advertise its Value Added Services (VAS) i.e. SMS alerts, cricket alerts, backups service etc. So they approached their advertising agency i.e. O&M Mumbai. Vodafone brief them that they want to send VAS messages through some unique creatures. Now it’s easy for O&M to sketch out the creative plan. And it is not a big task for the agency which has Mr. Piyush Pandey as creative genius. They came out with this egg headed characters, they named it ‘ZooZoo’. These characters speak different language and not Hindi or English.
Prakash Varma an ad filmmaker from Nirvana Films has directed the commercials. Whole ad was shoot out in Cape Town, South Africa were IPL is going on. They also took help from local production house named Platypus.

Technical Aspects:

These new Vodafone characters, which are named as Zoozoos, are not animated characters. They are human beings who were made to wear body suits.

zoozoo_img02

As these characters are not animated one, so it’s going to be big challenge for them to create this kind of scenario. They use thicker fabrics to cover the actor’s body. Production team divided the outfit into two different parts: body & head. Outfit’s body part was stuffed with foam in some places, while head was attached separately. Inside head a material called Perspex was used to show head big than usual human being.

Cinematically, film was shot like that which create illusion of smaller creatures and backdrops. Nirvana production shot it in a high –speed format to make it more animated kind of illusion. Backdrops were created with spray painted with neutral grey colors, so viewer easily concentrate on the activity and message of the characters. They use girls and kids to the characters role because every character is having very thin legs & arms. It is quiet interesting that agency planned 30 such commercials, according to reports each commercial cost approx. Rs. 1 cr.

So that’s good to see this really new approach to give illusion of 3D computerized production, but on the other way you are doing it with real actors in white suites. But I feel that if they do it with 3D than that save lots of their time and cost, because if you create a single character inside 3D, than you only need to duplicate it. Even backdrops also can be created within an hour.

Oh boss if they would have contacted me na, than I will surely help with my 3D and multimedia knowledge to cut the cost and all other hectic activities. Piyush Pandey sir, next time gives me a chance? :)))

 

 

Image courtesy: http://www.funzug.com

Other details:
Client: Vodafone Essar Mobile Services Limited
Creative Agency: O&M, India
Date of Release: April 2009
Responsible creative people: Piyush Pandey(National Creative Director);
Creative Team: O&M creative team
Production House: Nirvana productions
Director: Prakash Varma
Media Agency: Maxus
Post-production Studio: Platypus Production

 Article references: www.afaqs.com and other internet resourses

Neo Sports OOGA BOOGA animation

oogabooga_img_01‘Ooga Booga’ is a 3D animation commercial series design by Vaibhav Studio in Mumbai with O&M advertising agency. You can read the complete article on http://www.animationxpress.com/oogabooga/001-ob-main.htm

Introduction:
Ooga Booga is basically a concept developed to promote the sports channel Neo Sports. Cricket is the focus for the channel, so idea and concepts also move around cricket. O&M is the ad agency for Neo Sports, they come up with a lead character who is genius amongst the brain-numb Neanderthals, who comes up with innovative ideas to play the game.

 

This project has two seasons, first with three promos:oogabooga_img_02

1. Stone Bats
2. Stumps
3. Dino Belly

Second season of the series has two promos:

1. Flying Menace
2. Samba Mamba

oogabooga_img_03Ramamoorthy from O&M Mumbai has co-scripted the film along with the studio. They have the idea to link completely unaware cavemen with cricket. The series was created to reinforce the ‘cricket fever’ on Neo Sports.

Pre Production

Script – Once the stories were finalized, after that Vaibhav Studio team co-scripted the script along with O&M with full details inputs.

Storyboard – This is a graphical representation of story with consideration of all details in the script. It makes production very clear and easy.

oogabooga_img_04oogabooga_img_05

Animatics – Studio people also try to see the flow of the film by making animatics. This is done with 2D platform

 
Character Design, Backgrounds and Props

Character Design – Since there weren’t any dialogues for any character, it is important to give each of them visually unique characteristics and styles.

 oogabooga_img_06

Backgrounds and Props

Layout of particular shots, crowd positions, creation of the 3D jungle, foliage and color references served as valuable during production process.

oogabooga_img_07

Modeling and Rigging

Modeling – Here with the help of 3D software artists create the models as decided in storyboard. All model done in low poly to keep the file size low. With the help of textures trees, caves etc. gets specific effects.

oogabooga_img_08 

Rigging – It means to provide a support to your model with IK and other means, which help the model during different movements. During rigging process previous done animatics help the rigging artist.

 oogabooga_img_09

Texturing and Lighting

It is an important part of the process. Color images in storyboards which has lights and shadows were helpful during lighting and texturing. The character Uvs were taken separately for texturing.

 oogabooga_img_10

Animation and Sound

First dialogues were recoded with the animatics, which than used by animators during lip-sync and body language of the characters.

 oogabooga_img_11

Compositing and Final Sound recording

3D sections are done in low polygonal modeling to make the rendering of the film easy. After rendering, final compositing has to be done, during which color correction and lighting of the scene were also corrected as needed.

During this period final sound effects and background music with incidental sounds and sync effects were created and placed according to the visual flow.

So in this way a complete 3D animation commercial is ready.

 

Reference: http://www.animationxpress.com/oogabooga/001-ob-main.htm
Image courtesy: http://www.animationxpress.com/oogabooga/001-ob-main.htm