Today, on Valentine’s Day, when love is celebrated across the globe, breaking barriers of religion, culture and beliefs, we launch the Shaadi Ka Laddu Motion Reel. As the world pauses for a day to celebrate oneness and warmth of love, the team at Shaadi Ka Laddu presents a sneak peek into the making of this motion reel that has taken months to refine to get it right.
Capturing the Essence
As a brand, we take utmost care about telling true stories with sensitivity and strength. And when it comes to Indian Weddings, along with the complexities and chaos, there is an immense charm. We wanted to capture the essential elements of Shaadi (Indian wedding) into this motion reel and this would be omnipresent across all wedding reels given to every couple when we capture their unique stories.
Indian Weddings are a complex amalgamation of rituals and culture. A mix of color and chaos. Where fantastic food gives way to pulsating beats that brings out dashing dances. As a visual metaphor, the laddu is the most popular sweet for celebrating weddings in India. It represents Indian Weddings in a unique way by exuding its eccentricities as well as the joy and happiness of lovecoming together.
Bringing People Together
The work on this motion reel started months back when we decided to bring Upamanyu Bhattacharya on board to give shape to our thoughts for the brand reel. The versatile animator started bringing thoughts to paper with his powerful strokes. Along with Kalp Sanghvi, Isha Mangalmurti, Gaurav Wakankar and Anwaar Alam he formed a fantastic team to take forward the task of executing this reel with every hand-drawn frame. Manav Khadkiwala, who is immensely talented and crazy about his music agreed to add magic by giving life to this piece with his sound design. The treatment of this reel would be a classical hand-drawn animation piece with lots of color and craziness. But at the center of this piece, we wanted to represent the couple who were beginning a new life journey together. Along with all the grandeur and gaiety, all the festivity and fun, we wanted to convey that weddings are serious business and to capture this big day, Shaadi Ka Laddu is committed to capturing moments that will tell the story with all the truth and beauty the moment itself holds.
Moodboards and Mindfulness
With tight timelines and working across virtual offices, we quickly sketched up a mood board to represent the core feeling of this motion reel. The mood board gave us key visual elements as a reference while constructing our own story for this reel. We started looking at film references where Indian sweetmeats were used to spread joy and peace.
One of the references was from Satyajit Ray’s iconic Bengali film ‘Goopi Gyne Bagha Byne’ made in 1969, wherein during the rasgulla scene, delectable white spongy circular syrupy sweets descending from the sky stopped the war that would kill uncountable human lives. Immediately we wanted such a euphoric reference in our reel where laddus would fall from the sky to emanate and exaggerate the joy of Indian weddings.
Ray’s graphic design influenced the reel strongly where illustration references were taken from his ‘Sandesh’ magazine, a children’s magazine wherein the name itself meant a type of soft chenna sweet from Bengal.
To depict the beauty, elegance, and color of Indian weddings, illustration references were taken from Nina Paley’s film Sita Sings the Blues along with Sanjay Patel’s prolific Pixar releases that put Indian mythology on the world map. Abstract play of kaleidoscopic pattern formations along with the form of the circle would help us create the warmth and flavor that shaadis in India exude. Anna Greog’s colors and patterns influenced our burst of flowers and colors for the final frame of the reel.
After the mood board references comes the story construction and visual references from existing animation reels. 3 key animation reels influenced our thinking.
- Dhak, a fantastic classical hand-drawn animation by Rajesh Chakraborty made during his National Institute of Design student days influenced the sketchiness that we wanted in the reel. Also the music composition for Dhak influenced the sound of our motion reel in a big way.
- Good Morning Mumbai, another animation piece by Troy Vasanth and Rajesh Thakare was studied for the power of its stroke styles and composition brilliance.
- Disney XD – Star Vs The Forces of Evil by Golden Wolf for its character movement.
Stories and Structure
Following is a gif that showcases the first baby steps of the reel to visualize and create a strong skeletal structure to the story.
The line animation tests helped to get the movement accurately.
Then came the style tests.
Texture tests and the pattern detailing of background and clothes were done at the end. Warm yellows and oranges to royal maroons and purples were the color palette choices. Keeping in mind the brand colors of Shaadi Ka Laddu, the details were shaped up.
Pattern Layering of the frames to add more depth and grandeur to the background was done. Here are some of the references for arches interlaced with beads and garlands.
The final composite.
Adding the Beats
As the animation shaped up with endless energy, it was time to give shape to the sound of this reel. A musical mood board was created to understand what should be the strongest influence of the piece. Since the whole visual process was so originally organic and earthy, the sound too had to have an indigenous influence of a strong local flavor and nothing could justify it better than dhol beats. Manav Khadkiwala graciously collaborated with us to construct the earthy and beautiful beats behind the reel.
The brief defined for the sound, to put it in a simple line was … ‘the happiness of the pogo pieces + a key traditional element/dhol beats + some foley sounds thrown in it to give it a more natural and human angle and Bollywood scratch music influences for the energy’. While there were a lot of details thrown into the brief but Manav cut it down to the essential of the dhol and the core energetic beat to keep it rustic and simple.
Some of the song influences that we initially started working with are as follows:
- Dhol Beat Influences (Pappu Sain and Jhoora Sain was inspiring and enigmatic)
- Punjabi Folk Music
- Pogo (the joy and happiness their songs exude are remarkable). 3 songs were referenced for inspiration. Wishery | Bloom | Go Out and Love Someone
The Final Cut
After months of hard work and some serious talent coming together for this work, Shaadi Ka Laddu presents to you the final motion reel. Let us know your feedback. Email us or add comments so that we can learn and improve our process every time with your valuable inputs. A big thank you to Upamanyu Bhattacharya, Kalp Sanghvi, Isha Mangalmurti, Gaurav Wakankar, Anwaar Alam and Manav Khadkiwala along with Mrinalini Sardar, the creative advisor to the project and the Shaadi Ka Laddu team for coming together and making this work with passion and quality.