Samir Mehra blends art and technology


Used with permission from Samir Mehra. Graphic illustration by Anushka Anand.

Samir Mehra spends hours on Blender to create colorful, intricate animations.

Maple Leung, Staffer

Colors swirl across the screen as junior Samir Mehra finishes his sixth hour on Blender, forming intricate animations, whether they be pieces of work that detail the impacts behind social media use or even explore how light interacts with various objects and textures. This software allows users to employ a variety of 3D modeling: simulations, rendering, modeling and rigging. The interface itself prints several computer algorithms — projections — that change the 3D virtual interface. Mehra has been exploring Blender’s complex simulations for several years. 

“I like the idea of being able to express myself,” Mehra said. “Blender is a way for me to do that.”

Mehra first stepped into the world of Blender animations when he was creating his own PC. Discovering various tutorials on Youtube, the variety and creativity behind Blender simulations sparked his interest. Along with the rest of the Blender community, Mehra found his first Blender tutorial from the Youtuber- Blender Guru, where he learned how to create the iconic blender donut. Mehra continues  to consult and revisit tutorials in order to turn his visions into reality. 

“I’m not the most artistic person so I don’t like drawing a lot,” Mehra said. “But from various tutorials I can put the knowledge I gain together and virtually create my own art.”

For Mehra, each animation takes approximately a couple of weeks, with up to several hours spent on the process each day. Most animations take an average of 12 hours to complete. As someone who is deeply passionate about soccer, having played for a long time, his recent soccer ball Blender animation allowed Mehra to combine two of his unique interests.

“Over time, I’ve picked up a lot of skills,” Mehra said. “I now know the limits of what I can do on the software and what I can’t, which allows me to really push to create new animations.”

Mehra primarily focuses on light simulations, something that is exclusive to Blender and not in typical art. In these light simulations, Mehra illustrates how light interacts with different objects and different materials.

“It’s just so fascinating the amount of stuff you can do on Blender,” Mehra said. “There are so many tools and add-ons, people have really developed the software so you can do almost anything.”

For his last piece, Mehra created a piece about social media, illustrating the darker impacts of social media usage and how it detrimentally sucks users onto their platforms. A single user stands stranded in the dark in front of a glowing doorway, as social media icons swarm around the top. In the future, Mehra hopes to continue creating animations on blender as a hobby and an outlet to express himself. 

“It’s relaxing in a way that although the work might be tedious,” Mehra said. “The repetition in what you do is kind of soothing.”