Arya Thakrar - Modeling and Texturing Artist
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Arya Thakrar - Modeling and Texturing Artist

Arya Thakrar
by arya on 2 Jun 2021 for Rookie Awards 2021

Hey everyone! Welcome to my entry for the 2021 Rookie Awards!! :D I graduated from the 3D Animation program at Vancouver Film School last year where I specialized as a modeling and texturing artist. With this entry I'd like to share some breakdowns of my final project as well as a couple new ones I've worked on since.

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Basilica

Long ago a mystical dragon granted the people of Altea the ability to use magic. Falling to their dark desires they sought to slay the dragon in hopes of obtaining more power. After a long battle the dragon escaped mortally wound, and the Alteans claimed victory. They soon declared war on the world and began creating a terrifying empire through sheer force and oppression. The world had no hope of fighting back, for there was little to be done against a nation who could use magic.

The dragon, in his final moments, reached the temple of the dragon sages. A group of monks who lived in harmony with the dragons during ancient times. With the help of the Sages, the dragon sealed away the core of his being and the source of his magical ability inside a crystal orb. In his final words he said, “One who is worthy shall come to claim my power, and restore balance to the world”

The monks mourned the dragons passing. Shortly after, they built an enchanted temple to seal away the orb and to test any that may come in search for the dragon’s pearl. Over time this temple came to be known as Basilica.

"Prepare yourself for death, for if you seek the dragon's pearl you must defeat your darkness."

My goal for this short film was to use elements from fighting anime to create an epic action sequence in the style of a game cinematic. With less than 6 months to work on it, it was an ambitious idea. One that I wouldn't have been able to finish without the help of my classmates and teachers.

I was responsible for all the modeling, texturing, and character simulations as well as choreographing the fight sequence and performing it for motion capture. I also assisted with rigging. animation, FX and lighting.

Here is a behind the scenes clip of me and my brother performing in Motion capture suits to record the animation for the film. It was recorded at and with the help of everyone at Beyond capture studios in Vancouver. Honestly this was probably one of my favorite parts of this project.

Environment Breakdown:

In order to set the right mood for the film, I decided to go with an ancient temple interior; something like you'd expect to find in Skyrim. I decided to go for a mix of Chinese and Aztec for many of the design elements and pulled references of Indian temples for the architecture.

Since I didn't have a solid concept of the environment, I decided to make a small number of assets that I could just bash together in whatever layout I needed. That way I could easily reiterate the designs.

I sculpted each side of the column blocks with varying levels of wear, which allowed me to get a unique look just by rotating the pieces. 

To make working with scene file faster, I optimized it by using Redshift proxies, to instance the separate models. And by using vector displacement I was able to keep the models low poly for the view port but still keep the sharp edges you'd expect to see on stone during render.

Character Breakdown:

Creating Rai was something that really challenged me since it was my first time creating a realistic character; however, I found I was able to learn a lot from the process and enjoyed every step.

All of the characters clothing was created and simulated in marvelous designer with the exception of his rope belt, slippers and arm bracers which were done in Maya. 

When it was time for the cloth sim, I found that for a lot of shots the hands would crash through the clothing ruining the sim. Since at this point I was running out of time, I couldn't go back and adjust the animation...so an easy fix I came up with was to just delete his arms when simulating. 

Rickshaw Carriage

Created this model for an art test, the goal of which was to recreate the given reference while having the freedom to make my own changes.

Reference, Beauty, Wire frame (left to right)

The Pumpkin Mage

I created this piece based on the incredible concept art by Derek Laufman as a way to practice sculpting stylized characters and assets. It turned out better than I had expected and now has me tempted to go back to texture it.


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