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The toon builder

Ram Mohan, considered by many as the Father of Indian Animation, was in the city recently

There is more to cartoons than meets the eye. The rib-tickling antics of the mischievous Tom, the jovial Mickey and the ever-cribbing Donald owe a lot to the deft hands of the animator.

Meet Ram Mohan, who is considered by many as the father of Indian animation. Bhasavaraj, his friend and co-animator, accompanied Ram on his visit to the city. Bhasavaraj, also known as Bob, is a specialist in 3D animation.

Based in Mumbai, the `Ram- Bob' duo is working with U-TV. Remember `Meena', a highly popular cartoon character? `Meena' is Ram Mohan's baby.

The team was here to participate in a workshop conducted by C-DIT in association with the Karakulam Grama Panchayat (KGP). In fact, the KGP is the first panchayat in India to conduct a one-year course in animation.

Ram Mohan opines that the scope of animation is ever expanding. Two-dimensional animation had been the norm till recently, but the arrival of 3D has changed things. The capabilities of 3D can be seen in the way texture and lighting are handled in the latest ventures such as `Monsters Inc', `Shrek' and `Ice Age'.

There is a lot of work involved in making a series. The first thing is to give `voice'. Then comes graphics. It was Eddy Murphy who lent his voice to the donkey in `Shrek'. "Technology brings with it newer versions of computer graphics. Yet, to create characters, talent is a must," says Ram Mohan. Bob agrees with him. Creativity and technical know-how should combine to produce an excellent animator. "Computers can do the job only with the help of a good brain," says Bob. Ram Mohan was impressed by the work of the students at C-DIT. What delighted him was that the students here were producing commendable works on their own as part of their projects. He also pointed out that their work was equal to or better than the work produced at renowned studios in Chennai.

UMA D. KOSHY

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