According to the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (FICCI), and Pricewaterhouse Coopers, the Indian animation industry is poised to attain a giant market size of INR 40 billion by 2013. With 200 plus animation studios, 40 VFX and 35 game development studios, the current Indian Animation market is pegged at an estimated size of INR 13 billion.
The requirement of the fast growing Indian television segment for animation and special effects- related work is also giving a fillip to this segment. Recognizing this potential, a number of Indian software companies have turned their attention to animation. Indian cities such as Mumbai (which houses India's movie industry - Bollywood), Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram house some of the country's leading animation houses. Companies such as Crest Communications, Prana, Graphiti, Rhythm & Hues, Dreamworks, Paprikaas 2NZ Studios, Prasad Studios, Toonz Animation and Vfx studios like Prime Focus, Prasad Efx, Pixion, Red Chillies, are just a few of the ventures that have dedicated themselves to the world of animation and special effects.
Such phenominal growth in the animation industry has called for a need for skilled artists. With new job opportunities mushrooming all over India, the need to train people for animation has also gone up. Over the last decade, India has seen a flood of Animation training institutes coming up in every possible city, offering 1 month to 3 year courses. But are these institutes really meeting the demands of a skilled professional for the Industry?
An animator’s job involves producing multiple images called frames, which when sequenced together rapidly create an illusion of movement known as animation. The images can be made up of digital or hand-drawn pictures, models or puppets.
Animators tend to work in computer-generated animation i.e. 2D animation, 3D model-making animation or stop motion.
The basic skill of animation still relies heavily on the animator's artistic ability, but there is a growing need for animators to be familiar with technical computer packages.
One side there is identified group of people who are Artist, Art Students, engineers, designers and professional who come in to this field for becoming animator and other side there are School Dropouts, result awaiting students, college final year failed students or even low IQ or can say poor school/college performers who also see animation/VFX/Graphics and web as a good career option.
So - The big question is - Is animation right career option for you?
During my interaction with students in first session, whenever I asked them reason for choosing animation as a career, Number of them answered that they like cartoons on TV/Theatres and get fascinated about them is the only good reason for choosing career in animation!
Sometimes students after spending lot of money on a particular course find themselves in a situation where they feel they are not right candidate for this kind of job and look for different options or compromise with going into allied jobs and I also met with people who did course and waited for right kind of jobs for more than 5 years!
So my suggestion is- Just don’t follow anything blindly. Here are few guidelines which every fresher must follow before deciding to choose animation as a career.
Understanding you abilities
The most important thing is- First Understand your ability of becoming an animator- i.e. do you have strong visualising skills, drawing skills, computer operating skills, Observation skills, Time management, Can you work hard for long hours and months? Do you have passion to stick to target for long time? Yes; you must have these abilities. Animation is interesting job but is also challenging; so you need to assess yourself for these abilities and then take a decision.
Is appropriate resources are available to you?
Which area you belong to? Is proper resources are available for supporting your career dream. Can you access to information well?
You need to know and access resources well in terms of choosing career in animation. Infrastructure, Expertise and Academy standards need to be checked and also achievement of college or institute in terms of proven records.
So keep things in mind when it comes to resources
- Accessibility to websites for information
- Experts Advice
- UGC or Industry Approved Academic College and Institute List and Details
- Industry Reports
- Resources available in your area
Where is Job availability?
Do you really know where jobs are available in animation and how you will approach them? Understand the types of jobs available in the animation industry and what are the skills that are necessary to get them. Find the type of job that is the best match for your talent and interests.
Artist vs. Labour
Ask yourself whether you want to pursue this career only just for sake of a job and financial security or your goal is to ultimately becoming an artist. First option will make you just a labour in long term and second option will give you satisfaction and happiness along with financial benefits.
Do you have Skills to become an Animator?
This job require certain skills must for an aspirant
- A good sense of timing and composition
- An understanding of motion, size, ratios and perspective
Good School- a very important aspect where you will learn?
Research about schools, colleges, universities or animation institutes and interview them about their curriculum, their faculties, their students, the work that they done and what type of placement assistance they will provide after completion of course. You can also find professionals through networking sites and ask them regarding best option. Choosing right Institution will be really helpful for success of you dream career. An institute can build-up or ruin your dream career. So be very much careful while choosing an institute, college or school where you are going to put your time, money and sweat for becoming an animator.
What Course or Degree you should enrol for?
Today's animators use powerful animation software and computers to create 2-D and 3-D animation for websites, film and video, gaming and mobile media. Drawing and sculpting skills still play a role in today's animation, but cutting-edge technology has combined with art to expand the horizons of creativity and productivity. Many animators have an associate's or bachelor's degree in an animation-related field, while others might have a high school diploma or only some college education, in addition to similar experience and skill. The following table describes the general requirements to become an animator.
Associate's or bachelor's degree
Computer animation, fine arts, graphic arts
1 year for entry-level positions; 5 or more years for mid-level or advanced positions
Art, illustration, design, animation
Graphic and photo imaging software, like Creative Suite; 2-D and 3-D animation software, such as Maya, Studio Max, After Effects, and Flash; video editing software, such as Final Cut Pro or Premiere
Digital camera, digital paper, digital pen; knowledge of multiple computer platforms can be an advantage
Who is Instructor?
Who is going to teach animation to you? Instructor or Guide is going to play very important role in your foundation so you must assure that your trainer is an expert in animation and have good experience in animation and animation film making process. A teacher who is just teaching you software may not have knowledge on core subject. Speak to the existing students about the repute of the institute as well as the faculty.
Find out what is the job placement percentage ie; how many students where placed last year after the completion of the course of that animation institute, school or college. It’s one of the best options for freshers; it’s very easy to get chance in good studio through campus placement where no prior experience is required. You can also get an opportunity for internship, training and direct placement in Industry. Big studios, companies these days prefer this method of selection and freshers too get chance of good placement.
Personal Vs Professional Goal
Clarify your professional and personal goals that what types of projects would you like to be working on? What type of work will give you the most satisfaction? Are you interested in developing your artistic skill or just technical skills are fine for you. If you are a working professional, you many need to go for upgrading your skills. What type of work would give you the most satisfaction? Do not mix your personal and professional things together, for example; number of time students don’t attend classes because they have to go to trip in-between due to parents pressure, sometime they are doing another job for survival so they can’t attend class sessions.
Major Segments where you can make career in animation
You can make your career in animation by working in various fields such as
- Film Industry
- Interactive Animation and Web
Job Hierarchy for Animation Jobs
- Animation Director
- Animation Supervisor
- Character Animator
- Props and accessory animator
- In-between and Key Animator (Cell Animator)
- Motion Graphic Artist (VFX/WEB)