March 4, 2015
A puppeteering octopus, an enterprising angler fish and a very very lonely whale. These are some of the characters that bring Nischay Parekh’s new song, Philosophize, to life.
It all began when Nischay saw Nisha Vasudevan’s video for Prateek Kuhad’s Savera and contacted Nisha to work on something similar with him. After a few exchanges of scripts and art styles, the aforementioned concept was conceived. The video is based on the 52 Hertz Whale, considered the loneliest whale on earth because of it’s high-frequency sonic signature, known to no other species of its kind. Nisha captures the isolate spirit of this creature in the video. Elaborating more on how she came up with this concept, she says, “Since it was off the album ‘Ocean’, I wanted to keep with the theme. The 52 Hertz whale is someone I’ve been really fascinated with for a while, I keep reading up on it and looking out for any new developments. I always felt really sad when I thought about the whale, and really just wanted a happy ending for him.”
In animation, character design becomes a rather important device to mould the movements of the subjects and to define their expressions. “I tried to keep in mind how I’d like each of them to move. Since there were no legs involved, it was a bit easier for me – walk cycles would have taken longer, and I love using characters that ooze/float instead. So the whale would move just its fins & tail, the octopus/jellyfish would only move their tentacles. My favourite one is the anglerfish in the beginning – it was the most minimal one, I knew I only wanted her headstalk to move along with light fin movement, so if you notice there isn’t much else to her. I also wanted everyone to move in a slow, lazy way and so avoided too many extra appendages so there would be less moving around on the screen.”
Nisha adds lighting to a scene, step-by-step
Nisha hand-drew the characters, refined the artwork and colored everything in on Sketchbook Pro and Photoshop. “I animated the video on After Effects. It’s my preferred software because it’s the only one I’m competent at right now. I’m wrapping my head around ToonBoom and Blender at the moment, so hopefully I can employ them in the next video. I also like using Pencil – it’s an open source frame-by-frame animation software that allows one to work using traditional animation techniques.”
When asked what she thinks the trick to ace animation design, she said: “Patience”.
Nisha is now teaching herself 3D modelling on Blender – hoping to start her explorations in 3D videos too. Stop motion is another technique she is hoping to better. Currently, she is working on a video for Ganesh Talkies with Sourya Sen and one for The Kabir Kala Manch with Mohini Mukherjee. She is also collaborating with Sajid Wajid Shaikh and Ramiz Shaikh for an animation project.
Adding lighting and flares to a scene
To see more of her work, visit her Facebook page.