Animated Short Film: "Peppy" by Anil Kapoor
What drew you into animation?
Without a doubt it was the Disney characters and animations. As a kid, I just loved those shows and in desire to do something similar I would scribble lots of figures in motion. Those days in India, animation wasn't considered a career which could provide you with your daily bread and butter. Soon after I finished my studies, I joined an Architectural firm and was introduced to CAD and 3D. I was blown away by the possibilities of this medium. Seeing my interest, my brother bought me a copy of 3D software. Every day after office hours and all weekends I immersed myself into exploring and doing animation. It’s around then that I decided to make animation as my career path.
How was your Animation Mentor experience?
To put it in plain words, AnimationMentor experience was simply great and exhilarating and is continuing in the AnimationMentor Alumni site. The way AM course is structured together with the lectures, assignments, critiques, feedback from peers and mentors, just rockets your growth as an animator and then like the saying goes ‘the sky is the limit’.
With an Engineering and Animation background, what is your take on Motion Capture used for Animation?
Motion capture is fine, if it suits the requirement and objective of the project.
What do you foresee for the Animation Industry in India?
I think the animation industry in India has a bright outlook. There is immense talent and potential. Some of the major studios from the US and other countries have set up in India or are tying up with Indian companies. It is one of the fastest growing industries in India and offers plenty of possibilities and opportunities.
Your Short Film is great. -How did you come up with the acting choices?
Thanks for your comment. For this short film, the acting choices just came naturally because the main character is based on me :)……. just kidding.
The moment I got the idea, I started thinking about the various acting choices that would fit the situation keeping in mind the playful nature of the character. I wanted the film to be funny. The free time, whether at home, lunch break, traveling or waiting, was spent thinking about the acting choices, the little touches here and there and refining them. I would then record myself acting and get my wife to stand in for the female character. I would also end up acting the female character and my wife would then stand in for the male character. I started being the character and totally identifying with it. Comments and critiques from my mentor, Doug Sheppeck, were also very helpful. All these factors helped me nail down the acting choices.
I wanted to incorporate dance in this film, not any particular dance style or genre but just spontaneous dancing by a character that is not shy or conscious and lets his emotions out through his small little dances. So there are two places in the film where the character would approach or go after the girl dancing. In fact you can see another dance in my demo reel pantomime shot.
-What is the most rewarding part for yourself?
The most rewarding part is the acceptance of the film by the audience. Feedback is that they empathize with the characters. Some viewers commented that the character’s performance reminds them of themselves. Some also felt it is a film which made them forget that they are watching a CG film. I believe such positive feedback is a reward for an animator.
It also very heartening to know that one of the mentors at AM would be using the film for teaching certain aspects in his classes.
-How did this Animated Short Film made you grow as an Animator?
One of the focuses of the film was to come up with convincing performances of the characters with a touch of humor. This required lot of planning. It kept me to think, rethink and constantly push myself to keep improving the animation performance. The comments and critiques from my mentor, friends and my family further helped me.
Anil Kapoor got a hunch about animation and he followed it up, after completing his Civil Engineer studies he enrolled Animation Mentor where he produced his first Animated Short Film "Peppy" as his final project . Currently he works as a Character Animation/Animation Instructor at Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore. Anil turned out to be a very animated Engineer.
Click to play Peppy
For more information please visit his website: www.anilanimator.com