A first-of-its-kind creative storyboarding contest sponsored by Arka Media Works was conducted by IIITH on 5 November 2023.
If you’ve watched the blockbuster Baahubali, then you might be familiar with its setting in the mystical city of Mahishmati. The movie not only went on to win the Best Feature Film Award at the 63rd National Film Awards but also bagged the Best Special Effects award. Intricate details of each character, props and structure of the fantasy kingdom such as its fort, waterfalls and so on, alongwith its precise location were conceived of beforehand. These storyboards or concept arts as they are known, help in the visualisations of each scene. Concept arts are however not only limited to the realm of filmmaking. They are also used extensively in game design, animation, comic books and other forms of media. To popularise this sort of overall artistic vision, the gaming club of IIITH and the Game Design and Engineering faculty with the support of Arka Media Works (the producers of Baahubali) conducted a Concept Art contest – Concept Rush – that was open to students across Hyderabad.
Concept Art As a Career
The aim of the contest was to bring artists and creative minds from across education streams to generate concept art for games and movies and to identify and promote such talent among the student fraternity. Plus, as per the gaming faculty who wanted to bring focus to concept art as a career for the talented, “There is tremendous scope once trained in digital platforms”. A 3-hour long competition took place on 5th November that was formally kicked off with an introduction to concept art in movies by Mr. Pratik Jaiswal, a senior concept artist who has worked on Baahubali and RRR. With the help of detailed illustrations, he demonstrated how an image is converted into a first-person-view scene. While pen and pencil, oil and acrylic paints were employed traditionally in the past, digital technology is used extensively today in the creation of concept art. Mr. Jaiswal touched upon some of the key features of the digital tools that are currently used.
WINNERS OF THE PROPS AND WEAPONS CATEGORY
There are many different categories of concept art such as character, environment, equipment art and so on. The contest too was judged based on categories of environment, character and props and weapons. Specific prompts were given for each of these categories. A jury of 9 drawn from the faculty, experts in fine arts, gamers, game instructors, special effects company personnel, and professional concept artists scored each submission under different criteria. “With 42 entries, it was a highly competitive contest,” says a gaming club member. Three prize winners under each category were announced. The generous prizes sponsored by Arka Media Works will be presented by Mr. Shobu Yarlagadda, CEO and Co-Founder of Arka.
WINNERS OF THE CHARACTERS CATEGORY
When Talent Meets Opportunity
Mr. Yarlagadda noted that he is happy with the initiative taken by the IIITH faculty and the Gaming Club in conducting an event of this nature. “It’s a fantastic opportunity for budding talent to showcase their talent and be noticed in the entertainment and gaming industry which is always looking for new talent. We look forward to collaborating with IIIT on similar initiatives in the future,” he says. Shaunak Biswas, a IIITH student who won a prize under the Environment category terms his participation in the event as “an enjoyable experience”, adding that he’s grateful for the opportunity to be a part of an inspiring event that celebrates the joy of creating. For Character category prize winner, Vyakhya Gupta, the fresh insights that she gained into the world of concept art were invaluable. According to Prof. Kavita Vemuri, Gaming faculty at IIITH, “Imagination, creativity and cultural context embedded in the concept art for props and characters in game design will go a long way in making the games Indian narrative-centric, thereby bringing new games as well as industry-ready talent for it.”
WINNERS OF THE ENVIRONMENT CATEGORY