When passed out students surpass the teacher!

There is a definite reason for the catchy title! Many students and even my animation friends often ask me, “What level have you attained in Blender?” I have to disappoint them by saying, “Not much beyond the basics”. They are flabbergasted! Many of them cannot believe their ears! Understandably so…because when you are known as a teacher in a particular domain, then it is a valid expectation that you excel in that domain! I have realised that I am not too good at the software, however, I can be a motivation for many, who want to achieve bigger things!

One such experience is worth sharing. Last year when I was offering the Architectural Visualization course on IITBombayX, I got a call from Solapur. This person was constantly asking me the difference of workflow/features between Sketchup and Blender. He was Atek!

After that call, I saw him take my course, and participating quite actively in it.

He was posting questions on the Discussion forum, as well as answering those which he could! I got another call after a week, and this time he was almost through with the Blender basics, and asking me for further ‘guidance’ to pursue his ideas! I gave him a few links and thought that was it..but NO. He used to come up with unique problems and questions, making me scratch my head and the net-pack to search all over the place and get him an answer!

After the course ended, we had found a good Discussion Forum Moderator in him, for the next offering, and he did that, quite nicely!

During that time, I started receiving well crafted images, but without a chronology of topic/theme. The images were quite good, and had a new challenge for all of us at the course team center! Have a look:

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One fine day I got the reason behind this. “I am creating imagery as a freelance 3D artist, based on the requirement of the client”, he told. Well, I was not so shocked this time, since I had met another student of mine, who was doing this as a source for his pocket money!

This post is an interview (by my colleague Amit Shukla) of this great artist: Atek, who will explain us the process he is following to create imagery as a freelance artist, the pros and the cons of this, and some pointers for others to follow. He can be contacted by clicking on his name to get his eMail ID.

Q: How to get online job for Blender modelling?

There are various websites available on the net such as www.upwork.com or www.freelancer.com etc, which offer such types of jobs by the clients. All we have to do is to create our official login/ ID for the same and proceed.

People from different professions have the liberty to search for jobs as per their specifications. For instance you may filter on whatever field you belong to such as Photoshop or MS word or any other relevant software and search of modelling jobs.

We have to work strictly as per the client’s requirement. We should not use our own preferences against what they have mentioned as their requirements. We can make suggestions but the result file has to be entirely as per their requirements.

I have also suggested Sameer Sir to create such similar login for IITBombayX so that students or interested people can make use of this site and earn.

Q: How to charge them? 

The rates/charges entirely depend upon the service provider’s budget. The specifications and charges are already mentioned on the webpage. These rates are either fixed or in the form of bids. For instance, they mention beforehand that ‘Although you are agreeing to perform this job in $5, we will accept the job of someone who is willing to provide the same quality in less than $5’.Here you have to make your choice.

Q: How to handle technical things? Such as bidding the cost, transferring files, and getting payment in your account? 

Money transfer is usually done in the form of PayPal or Western Union which again entirely depends upon the service providers/clients discretion. The charges for a particular job are always mentioned on the website against that job title.

Transferring your files and then getting the money deposited into your account happens entirely on the factor of trust. You have to trust them completely because at times it happens where they mention a condition that first you transfer your files and then only we will get the money transferred into your account. Again its your choice to proceed with it or withdraw.

There are also certain deductions in the final amount that you get, the bifurcation of which is duly mentioned on the page. For instance, the amount that certain website charges is also deducted from the final amount. So if you have performed a job of $100, you may probably get some $90/$92 after making the official deductions.

Q: Any tips on estimating the charges? 

No we cannot make any estimation regarding charges; we have to agree as per the rates fixed by the clients. It is the clients who offer the job with their pre-fixed rates in the form of fixed charges or bids and it is up to our own choice to accept it or not.

The only condition to getting things done smoothly is to strictly stick to the requirements of the client with no deviations in the result file.

All the very best Atek. You are an inspiration to many, and also the answer to those who keep asking, what should I do after I do this course! Thanks!



5th time on popular demand!

SKANI101x webpageAnnouncing the animation skill development MOOC: Basic 3D animation using Blender, for the fifth time now!!! Once again in a self pace mode!!! This permits ANY-TIME entry in the course (up to November 2017), as well as watching the content and attempting the quizzes at your convenience!!!

Computer based game creation course is coming up in October 2017.
SKANI101x: Basic 3D animation using Blender, is a prerequisite for that.

It is a basic course, with an emphasis on hands on activities. There are exciting assignments, and a mini-projects in the end to create a small animation clip of your own!! Ideal as an elective lab course for colleges and institutions. Watch out for the advanced course coming up in October 2017 (for which the pre-requisite is the basic course!!)


Share the word!!

Encore!!! Animation course once again

It is encore time!!

Basic 3D animation using Blender‘, this course has been offered thrice already, however the requests just keep pouring! Till date, over 10000 participants have enrolled for this course, and over 2500 have completed it!!

I started off with a mission to make the animation education accessible to all! Animation is an art which requires a TOOL, to present the creations. Lots and lots of companies, institutes, and even individuals have taken undue benefit of this aspect, by making animation education UNNECESSARILY inaccessible, in multiple ways. Either, it would be so costly that few can afford it, it would have a capping of numbers so low, that many can’t get in, or the practice and performance tools would be prices so high that many would choose to pirate them instead of buying! In my opinion, all these add up to a scene, where knowledge sharing is almost negligible!

I found IITBombayX platform, excellent alternative to address this hyper discrepancy! Together with Kaumudi, we used the knowledge we had gathered over the years and selected Blender, the free and open source tool, as a medium of expression. The result was the course: SKANI101X: Basic 3D animation using Blender!

We are getting to the objectives quite fast than we imagined! We have been able to create communities of Blender in many parts of the country! Participants from more than 900 towns are now aware of Blender. That is a huge number and a good indicator of penetration, if you leave the 33 state capitals and may be three times of those as prominent towns in each state would add up to 150+ maximum! We have had instances of Blender enthusiasts from small towns where participants don’t even own a computer!! In fact my beta tester in another Blender course which recently ended, did her beta testing from an internet cafe!! There are organizations coming forward to recruit our participants!! Our motivation at IITBombayX is to leverage the technology to reach out to the masses, and live up to this principle: Knowledge should always be free!

I invite you to share this information to your near and dear, who would like to open up their ‘visualization’ skills by taking this FREE course.! Please download the poster and send it out to the ones who can benefit!




My online interview on www.learnbywatch.com

Learn By Watch, is a platform conceived by Dr. Yogendra Pal, which propagates online education through Hindi. This is gaining excellent foothold, as the creator, Dr. Yogendra, has been constantly experimenting with the proven guidelines in this domain, with the appropriate modifications to suit the context. His research in this area is being applauded worldwide, and stalwart like Mark Guzdial has written about his findings.

During his last visit at IITB, Dr. Yogendra expressed his desire to start an online talk series about Free Educational Projects in India. Subsequently, we had an online chat, which he has beautifully converted to a video interview.

The video nicely captures my views about this course, how students can get advantage from this course, my experience of making this course and how colleges and institutes can run this course in their institutes. I hope this interview will be beneficial for students who want to learn animation, teachers who are planning to run a course online and college/institutes who want to teach animation to their students.