Back in may 09 Mr. Sameer Sahasrabudhe (Project Manager at IITB*, Center of Excellence) contacted me for his work that requires help with Blender. I landed at Mumbai on 5th July. Upon arrival, I got his call, he asked me to come over to his house to discuss few things with his students Chirag and Nitin.
On first day before lecture I was introduced to Professor Iyyer. Prof Iyyer conceived the project. For a man of his stature Iyyer sir was quite an unassuming personality, very approachable and amiable. Generally OSS is misunderstood, but I was glad to learn, that he had an excellent understanding of technologies that he wished to use on this project.
First day was on 3d modeling. During the first part of the lecture I felt an eerie quietness from the class, considering my previous tutoring experiences it was kind of drab session ;). Yet I felt that they actually understood the most of it, again quite unlike the IEL students ;). During a break I approached Sameer Sir to solve the mystery, I was told that ‘they are excited!’, he said “they were not aware of what you taught them existed in blender”.
However, Sameer Sir was a little apprehensive over the heaviness of the lecture. I differed with the idea, as my understanding with learning ‘3d modeling’ is that, conventional teaching methods are good for artists (less aware of software tools but with directional creative approach) not for technical brains(aware of technical know how, but creative goal is rather far off). So I wanted to tackle the mindset first, closing presentation slide and decided to talk them individually.
I admit I haven’t planned for assignments as such but this was the best chance for it. In the end patience paid off and after initial hitches all began to transgress their modeling skills and understanding. It was a long day we have outstretched the timings by more than 2 hrs.
To lighten their minds I offered them to have a go at our recently released game Pahelika. All of them were hooked. While Chirag was handling the controls they all were playing with feedbacks and suggestions, it was a great time!.
Next two-day were busy as we went on with texturing, lighting and rendering topics. On the third and final day, we discussed the Project goals and requirements, it was great picking on Chirag’s brain 😉 (Chirag is the coder for the project). Gokul and Priyam were kind enough to drop me off at my Bua’s house but not before giving me a nice trip inside the campus along with Bhairaw.
Sameer Sir is one of the pioneers of hand drawn animations in India, he was mentored by none other than the creator of brilliant Russian animated cartoon series and comics called “Well rabbit just you wait!”. His wife is an excellent artist herself, recently she worked on a book illustrations for kids on one of the IITB’s project to teach kids how to use an operating system.
I had great time at IITB Powai campus and I would like to thank all folks for the productive time.