The Sunday Leader

Concept Of Hasara

by Tia Goonaratna

@tiabuffy

Hasara Dharmathilleke is an accomplished 21 year old with a passion for all things animated. She’s a freelance 3D modeller, concept artist, and a storyboard artist who also cosplays at local events.  From a very young age, she has been mesmerised by the magical worlds of anime, cartoons, and all animated movies, and to bring them to life with her drawings.

At the end of her A/L examinations, she started her journey with an HND in 3D Animations and VFX at the Sri Lanka Foundation Institute. “I learned a lot about concept art, 2D and 3D animation and modelling there. I mostly contributed as a concept and storyboards artist for our group projects and I gained a lot of experience doing that. While studying I did a few storyboards as a freelance artist.” Currently she’s working as a modelling artist, and a concept artist for Studio 101 for their upcoming 3D animated movie, Gajaman.

Sri Lanka has always had a special place for the artists – a quick walk down Green Path or the endless competitions would prove this. However, to be a concept artist that would have their artwork converted into moving animations, is still building up in Sri Lanka. We asked Hasara the different talents and information you’d need to be equipped with to be a storyboard artist, ‘A storyboard gives a rough idea about how the film is going to look like. It contains characters/objects in various camera angles and movements. We have to put the scenery into drawings in a way that any person could understand it. We have to imagine it in our minds to do that. Software can be used by anyone but an artist has to have a good understanding about shapes and objects in different angles and also has to have the ability to make the audience understand the mood of the scenery. We should be able to adapt into any style and demonstrate action and maintain continuity between scenes’.

As a widely adored cosplayer, Hasara has been seen around the Sri Lankan comic conventions portraying characters such as Kaneki from Tokyo Ghoul, Mei from Overwatch, Princess Mononoke and Fiona from Adventure Time. She started cosplaying in 2015, at Sri Lanka Cyber Games 2015, and the initial excitement of seeing many people gather around to celebrate their fandom fuelled her love for it more. ‘Most of the time we make our costume, props and even weapons because we don’t have many shops in our country which have cosplay materials. It is actually fun in a way rather than buying readymade costumes. I have cosplayed for Colombo comic con, Google I.O and Lanka Comic con’.

For someone who has her life revolving around geek culture, she’s amazed at the improvement that can be seen within the community. “Thanks to the comic con events, we get a chance to share our ideas, thoughts and our interests. Having started with 10 cosplayers, now we can see more than 100 cosplayers in comic cons.” She also speaks of the direction of the Sri Lankan youth with more and more platforms available for the talent to rise above the murky waters of corporate jobs.  “The video game and animation industries in Sri Lanka are still growing. We have many talented artists. We can see astonishing visual effects in videos and movies and some are still being made. As you can see the game development is also making progress and I think more young people in our country are attracted to these industries day by day.

 I think more people are becoming aware of the talents of our artists thanks to the comic con events.”

When she’s not too busy saving the world from fantasy characters or cosplaying the hero, Hasara enjoys video games – fantasy and action based games being her favourite, and watching anime and movies.

The journey and drive of Hasara is proof that the Sri Lankan geek culture community is spreading their awareness strong enough to get the attention of work places and education centres.  The creation of the space for such work is opening up progressive space and room to improve.

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