Visual effects and computer graphics are essential need for the television and film industry nowadays. The entertainment industry in India has seen massive growth in the last two decades making it one of the fastest growing industries in India. Visual effects is getting more popular because it provides the feel of reality. The trend of using visual effects in the Television industry began with Ramananda Sagar’s mythological show, Ramayana. The purpose of this dissertation is to take an analytical look in to the TV production from late 80s until today like Ramayana, Mahabharata, Mahakali, Karmaphal Daata Shani .here I have tried to look into the TV productions in which visual effects techniques are heavily employed, thereby tried to unfold its impact on the audience. The reason I find this study interesting and important is that the nature of media is changing. Young audiences taking more interest in online channels, streaming Youtube and other independent media, In this scenario what television industry is doing ? what kind of changes taking place to attract audience? and more importantly, will the television industry survive in future? I do not have a ready answer to this question, yet I believe this moment of shift or transition in media landscape should be investigated and ponder upon to get a sense of the future of television, its production and particularly mythological serials in Indian reality.
1.2 Key Terms
In this project I shall follow the industrial term of ‘ visual effect ’ and ‘ special effect as we know these terms are the main key factor for the realistic look in manipulated frame).
‘ Visual effect ’ stands for the CGI and the effect created on the screen. using digital technology. Any manipulation to the visual frame can be addressed as a visual effect.
‘ Special effects ‘ are those effects that take place on the set like crashes, explosions etc.
1.3 Research Questions
- a.Special effects to visual effects: How was the journey of Television productions in India?
- b.What was the nature of the earlier Television production before 80s in India?
- c.Does the application of visual effects attract more audiences to Indian mythological television series?
- d.What was the nature of the Television productions in the Mid 90s onwards in India?
- e.What is the impact of contemporary television production after the 2000s until now on the audience? are these productions attracting audiences toward TV in the age of a continually changing media landscape?
Indian reality is complex, it is not easy to predict a concrete answer to the questions I have raised. However, In this era of continuously changing media landscape, we can try to understand the relationship between television and its audience. As I think that the number of audiences of Television serials, especially mythological series is still very high. However, when Ramayana came for the first time in Indian TV, it had a massive fan following in comparison to today’s serials. In a time when there are different media are active and attracting audiences, how is Television keeping its share of audience largely intact? The reason I believe in technological progress in film making.
2. Review of Literature
2.1 Sociocultural implications of mythological T.V.Serials on the urban middle class of Delhi
The article deals with the introduction of mass media and the beginning of television in India. How television programs began in India and how it affected the audience. Further, the article deals with Mythological series like the Mahabharatha series on Doordarshan, rise of entertainment in India.
In the article, we can see the detailed history of the entertainment industry in India and how mythological series in afflicting the middle-class people, and what people are understand by seeing the mythological series . the article also focuses on the role of Media plays in promoting religious consciousness among people.
2.2 The Gods On Television : Ramanand sagar’s Ramayana
The article has detailed information on the Ramayana TV series directed by Ramanand Sagar and telecasted in Doordarshan, How the series attracted the audience and what effects it had on the audience and how political leaders used Ramayana to attract voters to their party.
2.3 The Great Indian Television Soap Opera
In this article, we can see the case studies on the famous Indian soap operas.the article also refers to the decisions and its course about the television serials like ‘Kyunki Saas Bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi’ ‘’‘Balika Vadhu’ ‘Na Aana Is Des Laado’.
2.4 A Critical Analysis of the Media Practices in India for Television Reality Shows: An Audience Driven Approach
This article has detailed studies on Indian TV reality shows, studies on characteristics of Indian audiences and their perspective on TV reality shows.
To get the information from people they conducted a survey on age-wise, gender-wise,education-wise and family-wise.
3. Research methodology
The main aim of this research is to find an answer to the question that, do visual effects attract audiences to watch Indian mythological television series and do visual effects help in the success of television series.
To achieve the purpose I have employed methods that includes-
Review of available literature, reports and blog related to the subject
I shall prepare a questionnaire and conduct a survey among people ( at least 100 sample number) to get a sense how the audience think about mythological teleseries and their preference of media. The data obtained from this survey will be analyzed thoroughly in accordance with my supervision before reaching any conclusion.
I will watch and analyze some of the TV series from past and contemporary time.
After all this, we will get a perfect review and clear aspects and will know the answer to our question.
4. Defining different aspect
Visual effect (abbreviation VFX) it is the process in which imaginary is created and manipulated. It involves the integration of live-action footage and computer graphics to create realistic and imaginary to come to reality. Vfx is where the image is created outside the context of a live-action shot.
The visual effect is the term used to describe the imaginary, created outside the live-action shoot which is impossible to shot and is not available in reality.
4.2 CGI in VFX
In the production of a film or commercial CGI, shots are planned with the pre-production and the live-action was shot according to the vfx supervisor as well. VFX shot is composited in different color compositions to see which the best fit with the live action.
Most of film and commercials involve explosion, fire, rain, destruction etc. which cannot be performed, are dangerous or is highly expensive to perform in real life in front of a camera. Nowadays new techniques in dynamic hard body, soft body, liquid and hair are taking this vfx to a new level.
The VFX effect is produced to create realism in the movie or commercial .dynamic effect simulates real physical reactions, such as collision and interaction with the environment.[https://www.cgtrader.com/blog/15-photorealistic-movie-characters-take-a-popcorn-break]
Essential stages to creating CGI in movies are.[https://www.cgtrader.com/blog/grab-an-inspiration-30-most-photorealistic-3d-renderings]
- 1. Modeling: creating structure and shape of the model
- 2. Texturing: applying material and texture for the model
- 3. Rigging: giving bone structure to the model
- 4. Lighting: creating the light for the science to create a realistic look to the model
- 5. Animation: giving the motion to the model by adjusting the rigging point and creating the keyframe
5. Indian Television Industry
The Indian television industry is very diverse and produces more than programs in Indian regional languages. Most of Indian households have television as per the report there are currently 902 permitted television channels in India.
There are numerous regional channels are available throughout India and all the channels are distributed according to regional languages.
Some of the major Television networks are
- ZEE Network
- Colors Network
- Star Network
Some of the major Regional Languages
6 . Indian Mythological Television Series
Visual effects/Special effects in Indian mythological teleseries started from Ramanand Sagar’s Ramayana and BR Chopra’s Mahabharatha which were used to telecast on Doordarshan. People used to wonder while watching some of the mesmerizing scenes from Ramayana when Ravan abducted Sita on a flying chariot, or the scene from Mahabharata where we can find war scenes how they used to show those fighting scenes and the large crowd well the reason behind those mesmerizing scenes are VFX and animation.
Ever since the private channels took over the television, Only mythological content has achieved the feat of bringing the whole family in front of television screens[ https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB893132809466500000]. Over the years the content creators have produced more number of mythological series based on the stories from Indian Mythological scripts.
Adding VFX to our old age stories has enhanced the stories and added the wow factor among the viewers after each installment.
Over the years, Mythological series have seen grand productions. The introduction of lavish Sets, backdrops, Costumes, Showcasing of supernatural characters, and usage of supernatural powers has created interest in people to watch the mythological content. Visual effects and CG have played more role in it . Additionally, as the Indian people know about the stories well whenever the mythological series is telecast-ed people are least interested to watch especially the younger generation.
The only thing is making people to watch is a high-end production of the content which has a good story, and good visual elements.
To attract the viewers content producers started making series apart from stories of Ramayan and Mahabharata or Mythological stories based on a region like Colors started series of Mahakali Indian goddess and ZEE network started Mahadeshwara in Zee Kannada channel.
Some of the best Mythological series
- Karmafal Daath Shani
- Maha Kali
7. Television Productions In India before the 1980s
Television was introduced in India on 15 September 1959 in Delhi as an experimental education service under a grant from UNESCO, Daily transmission began in 1965 as a part of ALL INDIA RADIO ( AIR ) in Delhi with daily broadcasts of entertainment and education programs about agriculture.
In 1969 the government of India signed an agreement with the United States National Aeronautics and space administration (NASA) to launch the satellite Instructional Television Experiment(SITE) in India[ http://utminers.utep.edu/asinghal/Articles%20and%20Chapters/Singhal-Rogers-Doshi-Rahman-1988-Diffusion%20of%20television.pdf].
Regular television service begins in Bombay, Srinagar, Amritsar,Pune , Calcutta, Madras, and Lucknow in 1972
By the end of 1976 SITE started broadcasting television programs in Doordarshan (DD) which was part of AIR then.
The telecast happened twice a day, in the mornings and evenings. Programs that give information related to agriculture, Health, and Family planning. Entertainment programs were also included in the form of dance, music, drama, folk, and rural art forms.
Television services were separated from radio in 1976 National telecast was introduced in 1982.
In 1984 Doordarshan began telecasting “ Hum Log “ India’s first television soap opera and also the first serial drama series in India. And followed by “ Buniyaad ” from 1986 to 1987 and “ Ramayan ” from 1987 to 1988[ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Television_in_India#History].
Today, Indians not only own vast majority of television sets and they also have the choice to browse channels of more than 850.[ https://www.statista.com/topics/4852/television-market-in-india/ ]
8 . Television Production In India in mid-80s to 90s
The serials of Ramayana and Mahabharatha, the two great Indian epics were the most popular program broadcasted in Doordarshan, these serials were hit on Indian television,
After the success of these serials, other serials namely Sri Krishna, Om Namasivaya, Jai Hanuman etc were telecasted these serials are based on Indian mythology as depicted in the epics and Puranas.
8.1. Ramayana 1987
Ramayan is Indian Mythological series based on the ancient Hindu epic of the same name and primarily based on Valmiki’s Ramayana and Tulasidas’s Ramacharithra Manasa.
The series was directed by Ramanand Sagar and aired during 1987 -1988, the series had a viewership of 82 percent, a record high for an Indian television series .each episode of the series was reportedly 40lakhs to Doordarshan.
The series was telecasted on Sunday mornings and people were so so crazed about the series, in the villages they would bathe and garland their TV sets before serial began, Streets would be deserted and shops were closed and hundreds of people used to gather around the single TV set to watch the gods and demons play out their destinies.
In the busiest cities trains, buses and cars came to a sudden halt and a strange hush over the city markets and bazaars.
The series consisted of 78 episodes which run for 35 to 45 minutes, The series also entered Limca Book Of Records as the most watched Mythological series. [ https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramayan_(1987_TV_series)#Reception]
The plot of the stories consists of all the important stories of Ramayana.
The production used special effects vividly to create the scenes of places, characters, and incidents, which are otherworldly. In order to create visual illusion various techniques were applied like, miniature models hand made paintings for background, etc.
In the opening scene of Vishnu and other gods, we can see they have used painting as background (fig 1) and miniature in some scenes(fig.2).