A new career path for creative aspirants
We all like popular games such as Temple Run, WWE or cartoon characters like Tom and Jerry, Stuart Little etc. All these animated characters always entertain us. Do we think about the brains behind them?
Anurag Rai, pursuing BSc Animation and Multimedia at BIT Mesra (Noida campus), was interested in animation, but was not too sure what to opt to build his career. “I chose Animation because, I found that the programme will expose me to all forms of media and would help me discover my potential and also offer avenues for further studies and work. This also opens the door to study abroad,” he says.
Sam Justin, a student of Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics, New Delhi has a different reason for joining MAAC after graduating in Fine Arts. “It helps me to observe things, enhance my skills and understand colours, which is very important for an artist. I can also explore my visualization,” he adds.
The animation industry in India began primarily as an outsourcing-oriented industry and has greatly evolved since. “The scope is wide from education to entertainment like digital education, social awareness films, indigenous feature films, short films, cartoon series, music videos etc.,” says Jitendra Arora, Trainer at Rubika Supinfocom DSK International campus, Pune.
Types of animation
Flipbook Animation (or Traditional)
Digital Animation: 2D and 3D
Flip book: This is a very primeval way which creates animation purely with pencil, eraser and a stack of drawing pads such as post-it pads.
Stop motion: The students make use of model and physical objects to create animation. Puppet show is the best example for stop motion animation.
2D animation: It is a digital method of flipbook animation where visuals are created by drawing using software.
3D animation: It creates animation using three-dimensional virtual spaces and has the potential to create realistic and aesthetically stunning visuals. 3D software is able to do so due to its calculations that renders images as real life images.
Clay Animation or claymation is one of many forms of stop motion animation where each animated piece is ‘deformable’
A growing sector
“Definitely we can see a growth in this sector because of the fact that this is an industry that can never come down. As long as entertainment, consumerism, education and scientific temperament stay, this industry is going to thrive,” says Jaya Kumar, CEO, Toonz Animation India. As per Yusuf Mehta, Head, WWI-School of Animation, “Industry looks for professionals with multiple skillsets rather than specialists in a single area. Every industry has its share of ups and downs and the animation industry is not immune to it. Large production houses are scaling down their permanent team and using the services of smaller studios that have sound creative and technical talent to add to their own core expertise. This allows them to be nimble and flexible in the kind of projects they can do while simultaneously making them cost effective.”
Animation, multimedia and gaming are the fastest growing sectors and encompass different fields. Generally, the trend is towards digital animation and visual effects for films and TV. Yusuf Mehta adds, “All fields are important as far as creating content goes. The tools and techniques are similar, only the application is different.”
Animation industry has become an integral part of any visual medium-Film, TV, Gaming, TV Commercials, Medical, Army, Education etc. It’s becoming more powerful in communication field
Head of Department,
The need is for those who understand both how to create animated content as well as converse with professionals from the film industry who do not yet quite understand the potential benefits that CG content can offer in terms of adding value to films.
2nd year student, BSc
I simply love this course. It has a vast possibilities with tremendous scope. Animation is not just about profession, it’s about one’s personality. Your work shows how you are as a person. So it requires a lot of personal grooming
What you learn
One can start with courses in areas like drawing, writing, colour, and character design, along with introductory computer applications. One who opts for BSc (H) would learn core subjects like visual communication, multimedia, experimental animation, modeling & sculpting, story appreciation for gaming, texturing, lighting & rendering, sound design, digital TV & film production, motion graphics, game engine etc.
Need for devoted professionals
Every sector needs dedicated professionals who are conversant with both developments in the field as well as the audience or market needs. “More harm is done when we have people who do not have this expertise and or resources to do justice to the potential of animation content in and for India,” Mehta adds.
Former President & CEO, Toon Boom Animation Inc. Canada
The Indian animation industry has come a long way over the last several decades. There is also the great success in the gaming sector that is very attractive since there is an ability to generate revenue quite quickly in a reasonably short period of time. This cannot be achieved anymore with low cost labour and implies a more creative approach to the use of skillsets and new technologies.
The number one problem in filling this demand is that the new graduates are not good enough at the actual art of animation and their productivity is too low. It takes too long for them to complete a task. The schools in the developing geographies have focused on technology training but less so in skills training. This is better in the developed markets but still many of the graduates are not at the required skills level to be able to quickly mobilize. The opportunities for the properly trained people are excellent right now internationally. There are growing demands in North America and Europe but most definitely there is great growth in India, China, Africa, South America and the Caribbean.
The salaries vary according to the job and the talent. It is difficult to give an international breakdown, however, for the excellent performers the salaries are attractive. Gaming also offers interesting opportunities, as in the second tier; the ability to work in small, fast moving teams and get to a revenue situation fairly quickly offers an attractive scenario to young entrepreneurs.
The opportunities are endless but like any career you have to invest some time in it. A career is not an accident but a plan with some luck and risk-taking involved.
Preference for animators
Nagarajan S, Chief Operating Officer, Tata Elxsi, a big name in animation, says the industry looks for professionals who bring the required graphics skills, “The animation business is a volatile one, where a lot of companies enter and exit. Further, opportunities may require young animators to relocate, learn to work in groups, deal with work stress etc. For animators who are ready for the same, opportunities do exist. However, this is an industry only for the passionate few and is certainly not an industry for easy life, money etc.”
Top 10 Recruiters
Job Responsibilities/ Profiles
How to get in
Generally, the eligibility for an undergraduate course or diploma in animation is 10+2 or equivalent. Any graduate can apply for postgraduate courses. A few universities conduct their own entrance tests.
Dr Suparna Dutta, Associate Prof. at BIT (Noida campus) says, “One must start with the Mecca of Animators -the magic world of Walt Disney. On lesser pasture, come TV channels, publication houses, advertising agencies, newspapers, film production houses, big entrepreneurs and companies like Dragon Fly, Extra mark and Ernest &Young.”
In the public sector, Vigyan Prasar, ISRO, NIFHW etc. too have openings. “Mainly the pass-outs are taken as trainees in studios or in corporations. Stipend vary from Rs. 75, 000 to 1.25 lakh per annum. If one is connected, one can also get into foreign studios. This is normally based on portfolio, tests and through internship,” says Jaya Kumar.
Top Institutes in Animation & Design
National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
Graduate Diploma (Animation Film Design)
Birla Institute of Technology, Noida
BSc (Animation & Multimedia)
Arena Animation (multiple campuses)
Arena Animation International Program
Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics
FX School, Mumbai
Diploma In Computer Animation
Toonz Academy (multiple campuses)
Animation Film Making-Advanced
Supinfocom India, Pune
Whistling Woods International and TISS, Mumbai*
Graduate Prog. ; BSc (Digital Film making)
Reliance Animation Infotainment & Media School
Professional Diploma in Digital Film Animation
Annapurna Int’nl School of Film & Media, Hyderabad**
Bachelor in Animation + Vfx
* Certified by Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai (TISS)
** Awarded by Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture & Fine Arts University, Hyderabad
Two good PG programmes are offered by IIT Bombay’s Industrial Design Centre (M. Design-Animation) &
by AJK Mass Communication Research Centre, Delhi (MA-Visual Effects & Animation)