Saturday, 16 March 2013

Animation Chamber at Sikka 2013

SIKKA day! 

Went to Al Fahidi Historical Neighborhood (formerly known as Bastakiya) for the Character Design workshop at the Animation Chamber (House 12). Got there early so went around first and saw lots of inspiring works, will post photos tomorrow.

After going in and out of houses, I arrived just a little before 4pm at the Animation Chamber. Inside, they have five chambers that show how animation works - pretty interesting stuff.

Animation Chamber Photos

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Flipbook corner

The 5th Chamber was the workshop room and that's where we all sat listening to the teacher Manar Laham, an artist and designer, about how to best tackle making characters. 

Manar set us right to work on an old story where a King marries a woman who does not like his son (who would later become King Mohammad). The son's or prince's best friend is a flying horse. In yesterday's workshop, they drew the old king, so today, Manar suggested we work on the prince or the horse. 

Ironically enough, I said I don't want to work on the horse (with my very poor recollection of its anatomy) but I ended up drawing the horse more. Manar started sketching on his tablet and laptop and his work was projected on the wall. While drawing, he was talking us through points of creating characters and keeping the sketch loose. He then encouraged us to draw at the same time. Every now and then he would go around commenting on our works – you'd here comments like "this needs to be more fluid", "there's a style there I like" "this looks stylized - you can develop it more", "try to do this..." (with a quick demo) and other helpful tips.

There were no references for us to use, so we were literally left with our imaginations. So it was a real surprise for me to come out with a horse – still anatomically challenged, yes, but one that I think is not too bad. In all, it was a fun and informative four-hour session. And it was free to boot - I love Dubai! 

Manar Laham, the teacher.

My first drawings on the left.

My horse had a box or a cone for a head and at one point, three joints on the leg
(till Manar showed me a correctly-joined leg and gave some tips on developing the head).

The head later developed into something I rather liked!
Borrowed this photo from the Animation Chamber's FB page
(Check it out at

They have more workshops, so if you're interested check them out. 

I'm heading back to the SIKKA Fair tomorrow for the polymer workshop at House 43. So I'll be posting more photos of SIKKA Fair tomorrow!

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