Monday, November 7, 2011

TRIPURA at IAD celebrations in Pune! Indore! & Hyderabad!

Sunday was a day of great happiness!! Apart from just the joy of sharing the process behind TRIPURA, we made many new friends, met many souls who got goose pimples seeing the great Lord Shiva transform into Pashupati!!!, met great artists from around the world, WON the ASIFA India Award of Excellence "Special Jury Mention" and had a great dinner with friends at Leopolds after a very very long time!!!
Thanks Vani, Prasad, Amit & all at ASIFA India! They are really gracious and kind and so sincere its almost unbelievable!

Now on to an exciting adventure to Pune, Indore & Hyderabad!! Really looking forward to conveying the grace and energy behind a project which was born from our roots, heritage & pop culture and within the conditions of Indian animation.
 It really fills us up with that energy! even as I write this! Its all grace!

Friday, November 4, 2011

TRIPURA at International Animation Day celebrations at NCPA, Sunday 6th nov!!

Its animation celebration time of the year again!!
This year the lineup of sessions at the ASIFA India organised International Animation Day celebrations (IAD 2011 from 6th-13th November) is very exciting!
Presentations include the making of 'Despicable Me", ' Disney's Tangled', Virtual Cinematography for Animation' and ...hold your breath...Animagic's TRIPURA!!!

After the exciting response to the presentation in Anifest (August), we are really kicked about IAD coz we will share this amazing journey with our animation friends not just in Mumbai but Pune (9th nov), Indore (11th nov) and Hyderabad (13th nov) as well!! And on the menu will be a behind the scenes look at creating an animated film- concept art, character design, storyboard, color art and the voice recording sessions! All the original, homegrown, all natural ingredients for the mythological epic! Do come!!!

TRIPURA's journey has been a special experience for me and all at Animagic. To share our discoveries and the process which opened up new worlds for us is really special. I sincerely thank the organisers and animation lovers of the various sessions in Delhi, Indore, Kolkata, Pune and ofcourse aapli Mumbai for their support and enthusiasm to Animagic & TRIPURA.

I wish to invite the visitors to this blog to this event and our session day after or at the other venues this coming week.

Om Namah Shivaya!

ASIFA India hosts the International Animation Day (28th October) celebrations in India every year. The event has been growing steadily since its first edition in 2002 and now involves day long festivities in several cities over the period of a week. This includes workshops and activites for young talent as well a series screenings of films and sessions by film-makers and animators! There is also the ASIFA India award of Excellence, amongst the first instituted in the country by the animation community! Go to  for more details!!

Animagic's association with this event goes way back, we won the first ever Award of Excellence for 'Raju & I' and have supported the event wholeheartedly! Besides serving on the jury often,we conducted ' Drawing for Animation workshops' regularly in the Mumbai event which were met with much enthusiasm.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


For all of us comic book aficionados and pop culture watchers at large, the dream of a comic con (short for convention) seemed like just that... a dream.. but since this year India has its very own Comic con.. the 1st annual comic con happened in Delhi in feb and now a travelling version comes to our very own Mumbai!!!

....And we are going to be there!!! 

It has been a matter of great excitement (and not to mention last minute preparations amid running projects) at the lil studio!! There is sooo much to say and do!!!
For starters and you are hearing of it first here, There is the Tripura graphic novel and DVD!!!!! Yes! It is happening! Both are currently looking at a January 2012 release.

We will be sharing a preview of selected pages of the graphic novel at the comic con!! + a galary of works relating to animation, visual development and pre-production, character design and illustration!!
And 'Raju & I' DVD will be on sale too!!

Oh did I mention... 22nd and 23rd Oct, World Trade Centre, Cuffe Parade, Mumbai, Stall 25C!!

See you there!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

RASCALS releases today!!

Please catch David Dhawan's latest comedy  starring Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgan... for our animation titles!!
Animagic has created a 3 1/2 min animation sequence which incorporates the opening credits with gags depicting the rascally duo's scams and cons..some starting from the time they were young! Watch baby Sanju and little Ajay begin their dubious careers in full 2d glory!! There's some more stuff in the intervals and the end so don't miss that either!
And maybe for the first time the hero of a movie is called Chetan!!!!! (for whatever still is chetan)
Here are some frames from this funky piece.
 the scamsters are always surrounded with babes!
 they steal with a smile!!
Starring the deadly dutt! Sanju Baba!! as Chetan!!
 starring Ajay Devg(a)n!! as Bhagat!!
 the main logo ..
 proudly proclaiming his distinction!
too cool..

Will post more stuff soon! Cheers!

Friday, March 25, 2011


   Tripura has won at the first competition it has been entered into!!
The FICCI Frames convention is an annual international event in Mumbai addressing diverse media concerns. The BAF awards were instituted in 2004 to honour excellence in Animation. 
Raju & I was a winner at the very first awards as the Best short film! Chakachak was nominated the next year. Maaaa was never entered becoz of some random cfsi diktats!!
Tripura, the fourth offering from Animagic and its first feature (as regulars already know) was awarded yesterday at a glittering event as the Best Feature Film Direct to DVD!! 

Mark Eyers, Chief Content Officer, Turner Entertainment Networks, Asia Pacific, was present on the occasion. He was very happy for us and promised petitioning friends from the industry that CN would certainly be airing Tripura soon!!! This time I hope more people will get to watch it!!!

I am so thankful to FICCI and the jury for selecting our picture and validating our efforts at creating what we believed in!! And I cant thanks my special Animagicians enough... once again! Love ya all!!
And group hug to ACK, Turner and Inspidea for letting us dream and supporting us in the best way they knew.
It was tough but it was worth it.
As I told a dear friend recently, even a little validation goes a long way!!

Btw the other nominees in our category were two films also associated with Turner. Turner, Asia had entered a film produced entirely in Malaysia, (Inspidea again! Those guys are just too fast!) called Arjuna and the adventure of the Ice Lotus and Cartoon Network Studios, US had entered Firebreather an all CGI feature directed by one of my heroes Peter Chung (Aeon Flux, Animatrix)!!! However Tripura was entered by Animagic...  

Here's looking forward to many more such exciting moments with Tripura!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

TRIPURA: Character Designs 2: SHIVA & PASHUPATI


On the auspicious occasion of Mahashivaratri... want to put down my thoughts about the character design process relating to the great God. Actually the post has been in the works since the last one on Maya's design, but somehow it just hasn't got completed till now!

Designing Shiva was most of the most important things personally and we went thru Shiva as he had been depicted by practically everybody! We looked at everything we could find, from the bronze sculptures of South India, the reliefs at Ellora and Elephanta, to the comic book depictions of Waeerkar, Mulick and Kavadi and drew till what felt like Shiva to me, was on paper. Everybody responded to it favourably enough (above).
Getting the design correctly onto screen was the most unfortunate part of Tripura tho. For some reason the studio was not able to match design at all and even corrections sent didn't somehow get implemented. One of the mysteries of production dynamics to which I haven't received any answer yet.

Some of the rough sketches leading to the development of the final design
When Shiva went into destruction mode he would become Pashupati the primeval hunter.. the lord of destruction! In his terrifying aspect Shiva is often depicted as Gajantaka in the Ellora panels and elsewhere.
Since we felt there should be definite climb into the climax.. the buildup of the moment of Shiva becoming Pahupati would be fascinating to watch.. Even Vishnu and Brahma  contribute to the formation. (In the puranas, the gods are described as contributing to the process by providing various accessories)

Color key from the final storyboards:
Shiva turning in Pashupati!
Shiva in his violent aspect was to still be graceful, elegant.. when Shiva does it.. it is dance of destruction!! Maybe in  a future post,I will talk about this sequence in detail as many have expressed their satisfaction with this depiction of Shiva as the Destroyer!!

Monday, February 28, 2011

The Father of Indian Comics: Anant Pai

“What is really important is providing role models, A nation marches ahead, provided it has role models.” and providing us with these he himself became one.
Uncle Pai is no of 24th of feb he has passed into legend, like the tales he told us through his comics. As the creator of Amar Chitra Katha comics and Tinkle- the magazine for children! he is undoubtedly a major figure in Indian Pop culture & occupies a unique and pioneering place in its publishing history.

Vasavdatta cover: Pratap Mulick / Tinkle cover: Ram Waeerkar. Among the most prolific of the ACK artists who defined  the aesthetics. Waeerkar was particularly versatile so his cartoony style is the Tinkle standard.
 There have been many imitators but none have come close to the status of Amar Chitra Katha comics as THE comics for Indian culture. Probably because it was the first and laid the foundation of the graphic retelling of the myriad dusty tales from this ancient land.. probably because it had some of the best artists and writers contributing to it consistently.. but I suspect it had more to do with the force of Uncle Pai's personality.

Friday, February 11, 2011

TRIPURA: Character Designs 1: Maya

the many moods of Maya- the Architect of Tripura
One of the most amazing stages of animation film making is character development!!
where personalities emerge where there were just names or concepts earlier... what does Maya look old does he look.. his three wards.. what are they like...what is the appearance of Vishnu, Brahma and most importantly Shiva himself?
What about the world of the story..other supporting cast who will interact with these main characters and make the story real for the viewing audience? the refugee asura people who become prosperous only to become refugees again.. the deva council with Agni, Vayu the sages...the deva and the asura warriors who would fight the big battle..
Tripura was a truly ambitious film to design. Its scale and proportions were epic in the true sense of the world. We always designed acc to the needs of the story and characters and then if needed tailored them for the production format. Really no reason to think we couldn't have an epic for the small screen!...sigh..
Maya's design seemed to appear complete from the ether!! On left are the first scribbles, and then the third.. the final Design..

A turnaround of the character's final design is provided to the production company.

After Maya got designed, I finally realised who he reminded me of!!! I seemed to have subconsciously cast a dear friend's brother in the starring role!! Murli Menon (who has since become a dear friend himself!) was of course overjoyed!! And as we came to know him better, he turned out to be a major entertainer!! quite unlike our too serious Maya in the film.. He's too talented!! and great presence too! He should be in show business!!!

BTW his sister, our dear friend, her name... Maya!!!!!! Go figure!!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

TRIPURA: Some Early Concept Art

Many more thanks to all the people that are continuing to express their satisfaction over Tripura!

As a response to requests to share some more artwork from behind the scenes at Animagic, I present with great relish some of the earliest concept art that was presented to ACK and CN to give them an idea of the direction we wanted to take. In all modesty we can say these generated much excitement at that very initial stage!!

An important image which presented the concept of Vimanas or 'flying machines' which emerged during visual development.

The above image set the tone for the color script of the flashback sequences.

Wanted to see realm of Vishnu as a space without boundaries or an empty, endless vastness ..Ananta..

All the above images by your friendly neighbourhood, C

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Tripura premiered!!

Shiva's watching...
A still from a pre-production promotional trailer animated by Animagic

So it is has happened..

Tripura was finally premiered with no fanfare on CN on sunday at 12 pm and then re-screened at 6 sync as well! sorry for all the hardwork put in by Eli, Aldrick n co to perfect the track! :(

Thanks to everybody that watched it and gave your much valued appreciation. From all your feedback, We can modestly say, we have succeeded in pushing the quality of Indian Television animation... towards sophisticated characterization and mature storytelling or maybe just telling mature stories! Glory to Shiva!!!

Major peeve: the films last shot of Mohin in the distance screaming Dharma!Dharma! faded to black and immediately without even pausing for a fullstop, let alone any credit roll, the next program started!! It was simply unbelievable, if not for the credits on that prog, people thought the film was still not over! perhaps that was the idea..not to lose viewers in transit from one show to the next! And this happened both times! In the evening the film was stuck to Tom n Jerry. While ordinarily I would have been honored with being on the same platform as those legends.. the overlap was just hideous.. Is the viewer a robot whose hypnotic trance must not break ??!! Sheers insecurity which betrays the low confidence in your product.

Most regrettable is that none of the artists, from Animagic or Inspidea, or the voice talents, or musicians, technicians got any credit.. very sad.
This just presumes that people don't care for their work or .. that they just work for money and are not interested in their association with a project.. Certainly the avoidance of their credit seems like they are all nothing but a inconvenience for the network.. why! nobody is interested in who made the film, right!? who stands for the credit roll at the end of a film in theaters?
The corporate honchos got themselves up in the beginning of the film..but they green-lit it.. that is more important than actually making it..(?!!) mercifully the writing/directing credits were included upfront!

Well everyone tells me thats life/corporate behavior/business/show business etc etc.. I dont agree with it.
This attitude hurts the many people who put in their sincere efforts to make a special project, working far beyond convenience and monetary benefits! Now I am not going to break any glass partitions in corporate offices, but unless there is respect for the artists there is never going to be a rise out of mediocrity for this industry or this country.

I would like to take this unfortunate moment to thank all the folks involved in the film right from inception, research, development, thru design, production and sound work..
So a special mention of Harshad Marathe, Vajra Pancharia, Romel, Suraj Pandit for their work in the initial research and development.
Sachin Kondhalkar, Vinod Sawant, Prajakta Sansare, Jude pires, Hrishikesh Deshpande, Shaunak Samvatsar, Laxman Khandekar for thier efforts during the design and entire pre-production. Ably supported by Anil Salvi and Shakuntala Agre, without them we couldnt have created anything in peace.
Artists at Inspidea for all that they translated onto screen. We appreciate their efforts, this production was not their average TV assignment.
Eliza n Greta Lewis, Atul and Alric of Oringsham for their work n understanding in creating the voice tracks. All the talented actors who put in their best for the characters personalities.
+ all the musicans and technicians who I have not had the pleasure of knowing personally but have added to the film. Also Kushal Ruia who had to guide the film thru post production.. a job I envy him for. You tried your best. Of this I am sure.

here are two trailers I found on youtube:

The 15 sec is the promotion done by CN.. and the longer one seems to be ACK's offering on the www. The promo just about made it to the screens in the last week and the trailer went online.... 3 days before release!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

TRIPURA on Cartoon Network: 12 pm, 30th Jan 2011!!

Lord Vishnu presides over the PR activity of the film on Shiva

So it is upon us.. beloved Tripura releases on the above mentioned tommorrow!!
30th jan 2011!! 12 noon.. please watch it and send in your comments/ observations/ appreciation/ criticism.. I shall save my apologies for later ...or not!! ;)

Images from the pre-production/design of the film, done at the studio. The excellent colorwork is by two very talented artists, Sachin Kondhalkar and Vinod Sawant. Layouts by your truly... These appeared with an animation Xpress release.

Maya escapes with the three princes from the burning asura kingdom..
he watches the asura refugees make their way into the wilderness.

The magnificient temple of Shiva constructed by Maya

Indra comes to entreat Shiva to aid his cause.. will he?

Shiva's peak where the brothers practice austerites to please Brahma
rough layout + storyboard images: Maya raises the princes in the desolate mountains

A long and turbulent journey has ended.. a chapter closes in our eventful history. and it already feels like such a long time back. The last few months have seen a gradual return to form after the fairly life-draining exercise. Animagic resurrects itself slowly but surely.

The world of Tripura and its characters is everpresent in my blood stream..