Anigraph 2004 opens with session on special effects

MUMBAI: Animation and 3D aficionados are having a ball these days! If it was CgA World, last month, which had software makers wooing professionals and students, then this month it is Anigraph.

The event organised by the Mumbai chapter of ACM Siggraph received a good reception in its inaugural sessions. The atmosphere was lively and abuzz with interactivity.

The keynote address was delivered by 16 December and Rudraksha fame Mani Shankar, who aptly pointed out what ails the Indian animation industry today. "The future is bright for the animation industry and yet, important hurdles need to be overcome. The animation Industry has grown incredibly in the last few years, yet mindsets of a few, who hold the key reins of power have not changed," offered Shankar in a nutshell.

"There is a widespread appreciation for the quality and finesse of our work. The west has started outsourcing content from India. The future is bright, and yet something is lacking. The circle is incomplete. Animation of films has still not taken of in India. A measly two-three effects laden films cannot compete with the 100 odd films minus animation that are churned out," he offered.

"The Indian film industry has not been able to get its act together as far as animation is concerned. They think nothing of spending crores on ridiculous costumes and song-n-dance routines. It is the same people who think of SFX as something that can be done on the editing table after the movie has been shot!" he elaborated.

One topic that Shankar missed out completely was about television industry in India and how it is doing nothing to encourage animation industry.

Here is a quick update of what happened at the venue:


One of the positive points of the day was the highly unusual punctuality, with which the organizers stuck to their schedules.


It was a day that played a havoc on the emotions of the animation enthusiasts. It was a delight when Discreet's Aby Matthews took the stage to enlighten the audience on the Digital Intermediate process but when the session titled "Texturing 3D in Photoshop" became a "Welcome to Photoshop CS" it soured the mood rather quickly.

(Read a session wise report in the 28 June issue of Animation Express. To subscribe for free, send a mail to


Amongst things noteworthy were the students showreel presented by MAAC (Maya academy of advance cinematics) CEO Rajesh Turakhiya. One of the sequences in the showreel was so professionally executed that it was hard to believe that it was done by students. Those 40 odd seconds of brilliant animation were the 'highlight' of the day.


The session by Ramesh Meer on 3D Stereoscopy was interesting, informative and interactive. Not preferring to stick to the podium, Meer strode the stage in true cowboy style a'la spaghetti westerns. He spoke on anaglyph and polaroid technology and encouraged the audience to come up with questions, which he retorted to with his trademark wit and humor.


While the organisers at both CgA and Anigraph have done their best to get the industry under one roof, a lone sad fact continues to nag. One fails to understand the reason as to why the big studios shy away from such good events. The potential trade fairs continue to remain a platform for the software vendors and makers to communicate directly to students.

With two more days to go at Anigraph, there is a lot that could transpire. Meer announcing the end of day one said that while day one was full of tutorials, day two in addition to the tutorials would also be devoted to the business of animation.

We are all eyes....

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