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A Comprehensive Guide: Animation as a Career Option
We all are mesmerized by the charming characters of Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, Shrek, Beauty and the Beast, Toy Story, A Bug’s Life, The Little Mermaid, and so on. Yes, we are talking about the fascinating World of Animation! It is not untrue to say that a good Animation Movie or a captivating Animated Ad attracts not only kids but also their older counterparts. Let’s look into what animation is all about and how the Animation Industry is growing in terms of Institutes, Companies and Job Opportunities…
What is Animation all about?
The word ‘Animation’ is derived from the Latin word – animātiō, meaning… “the act of bringing to life.” If you are an Animator, you are a Great Story teller, a Magician who brings life to Still Characters. A few of the earliest known Animation attempts include Enchanted Drawing (a standard picture film developed in 1900), followed by first full-fledged animated film – Humorous Phases of Funny Faces in 1906 by J. Stuart Blackton who is considered the father of American Animation.
There was no stopping since then! From Traditional methods of animation using Clay, Hand Drawing, Puppets, Rotoscoping to Modern Techniques of Computer generated images in the form of 2D and 3D, animation industry has gone a long way and has become one of the fastest growing markets today!
What is 2D, 3D Animation and VFX?
We often hear of 2D and 3D animation along with VFX. Usually people get confused among these, however these are easily distinguishable.
2D Animation involves generation of digital images through computers in the form of 2D geometric models. Some of the 2D animation software include Ajax Animator, KToon, Flipnote Studio, Adobe After Effects, Apple iAd Producer, DigiCel FlipBook, DrawPlus, Toonz and so on. One of the famous Indian 2D animation movies is Hanuman.
3D Animation consists of computer generated graphics that use a 3-dimensional representation of geometric data that are finally rendered. 3D animation involves 3D modelling, layout, animation and also rendering. Famous Indian 3D animation movie is Roadside Romeo.
VFX (Visual Effects):
VFX or Visual Effects involves creation or modification of images out of the real or live action shot. Visual effects is an integration of live action images plus computer generated imagery to create real-like environment or ambience which is actually not real. VFX involves compositing, lighting, matte painting, animation, texturing, rigging, simulation, etc.
Undoubtedly, the animation industry is on a spree! Do you know at least 400-600 animators are required to develop a typical animated movie! It is team work of several creative minds coming together and crafting an imaginary world that looks so real!
Apart from working for Featured Animated Movies, animators also find job opportunities in related fields like Advertising, Documentary or short movies, Gaming, etc. In fact, Gaming is a booming industry where poly modelling is used to create animations. Gaming attracts a lot of budding animators and take their careers to the next level.
Some of the major industries for Animators are:
- Full length Featured Films
- Short Films/Documentary Films
- TV Commercials
- Corporate Presentations
- Digital Media
- Web Designing
- Software production houses
- Gaming (for PC, mobile, Internet, gaming consoles (Playstation/Xbox)
- Cartoon channels like Cartoon Network, Hungama, Pogo, Animax, Disney Channel
Depending upon your area of interest, talent and experience you can choose to enter any of these fields.
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Here are the Different Roles of an Animator:
- Character Animator
- 2D Animator
- 3D Animator
- Key-frame animator
- Rendering Artist
- Amateur Animator
- Roto Artist
- VFX Artist
- 3D Modeller
- Texturing Artist
Fast Growing Animation Industry in India:
India has a vast potential for the animation industry. Why?
Here are the reasons:
- India has a large base of skilled based labor with low cost of production as compared to US, Korea or Philippines.
- India has the second largest entertainment industry in the World.
- Indian animation market is estimated to reach US$ 1.5 billion by 2015.
- We have set up hi-tech studios which are well-equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software to implement overseas projects. Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabadare becoming the major animation hubs of India.
- India has a large English-speaking workforce which is essentially required to execute overseas animation projects.
- Several Big Studios like Walt Disney, Cartoon Network, Warner Brothers, Sony Pictures and Turner Entertainment are off-shoring Animation work to India.
- We all know how Big is Indian advertising industry. Vodafone’s ZooZoo, Clinic Plus’s Chulbuli, KitKat’s dancing babies, Honey Bunny for Idea, ICICI’s Chintamani, all these have proved that animated ads have a much greater impact on viewers than celebrities.
Leading Animation Studios in India:
- UTV Toons
- Toonz Animation India Ltd.
- Pentamedia Graphics Magic Shop
- Silvertoon Studio
- Crest Communications
- Western Outdoor
- Maya Entertainment
- Universal Studios
- Digital Canvas
- Heart Entertainment
Skills required to succeed as an Animator:
Animators should be:
- Very creative with a very good sense of humor.
- Able to understand human behavior well and connect with general public easily.
- A great Story teller.
- Good at drawing, sketching and painting.
- Computer savvy.
- Able to learn quickly the technical aspects of various Media such as TV, Films, Ads, Multimedia, etc.
- Once you are through with your 10+2, from a recognized Board/University, you can go for a bachelor’s degree or diploma in Fine Arts/ Applied Art/ Visual Art/ Commercial Art/ Graphic Design/ Animation Design and or Visual Communication Design.
- A good understanding of professional software like Maya, 3D studio Max, Tictactoon¸ Flash, Ulead, Adobe After effects, etc. is required.
- Animators should have an attractive Portfolio of their Best works for employment purposes. It can be hand-made, Computer generated or even printed.
Courses and Training:
Animation courses range from 3 months to 2-3 years. Depending upon your interest, career goals, you can go for any of these Courses offered by Animation Institutes in India.
Some of the Famous Animation Institutes are:
- Arena Multimedia
- National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad
- Pentamedia Graphics Limited, Chennai
- Apeejay Institute Of Design , New Delhi
- Industrial Design Centre, IIT Bombay
- Wigan & Leigh College, New Delhi
- Toonz Webel Academy, Kolkata
- Industrial Design Centre, IIT, Mumbai
- ZICA Studios, Mumbai
- Maya Academy Of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC), Hyderabad , Mumbai , New Delhi
- IIT Guwahati , Guwahati
- International College of Animation Arts and Technology (ICAAT), Mumbai, Kolkata, Hyderabad, Delhi ZAP Digital Design Academy, Bangalore and Chennai.
- Amity School of Fine Arts, Noida
- C-DAC’s National Multimedia Resource Centre, Pune
- Pentafour Communications, Chennai
Depending upon the courses opted for, animation course fees can range anything between INR 20,000 (US $320) – INR 3 lakh in India.
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