Typography

Featuring Alcroft International Studios

Start yourself as a zero. You will find yourself always near to hundred” these are words of a very enthusiastic, passionate and leader of his own abilities Kalyan Dey- Founder and Director of Alcroft International Studios who made his dream come true with his hard work and right direction of learning. In an interview with animationsupplement.com, he shares his story of creating dreams to reality.

Hi Kalyan, tell us about your journey in CG World?

Director Kalyan DeyBasically I am belonging from a middle-class family from a small town of Kharagpur (W.B.). And my journey was not so easy. At a very early age I lost my father. At this moment my family’s financial position was weakened due to expenses on my father’s cancer treatment. . After that I have to take care of my studies. So, I started working part-time, providing tuitions, etc. It was only possible because my elder brother (Mr. Gajanan Dey), who was my biggest supporter, ideal & motivator. He encouraged me even in the days when I was neglected by all others. I feel personally that whatever success I have  is only because of him. You always need a supporter beside you, who can make you realise your dreams, and boost you to make your dreams as your ultimate goal. 

From childhood days I was quite good in arts/ drawings. In 1993 my brother bought first computer. Later this helped me to get interested in CG. In April or May of 1996 I found 3ds Max (Demo) with some Magazine. In that time it was Kinetic 3D Studio MAX. Kinetic was a division of Autodesk Multimedia. In that time there were no such trainings available, except those within the help content. Neither there were any institute good to animation nor any internet available in our area. So, all I’ve learnt by practicing those help files. 

At the age of 17 years, I got a call from IT-Gurukul (later turned to - Zed Career Academy). I was leading Multimedia L2 Division. This was my first job, and I was happy too. As by my side I have to also continue my studies too.

After few years it was closed all of suddenly. And I have to look for any other job to continue my studies. That is when I moved to Kolkata for search of a job. Got one after struggling hard (3 Aces Multimedia), at that time job in this field was very rare. 

But, after working few years suddenly I got a call from Illion Studios (Madrid). This was the turning point of my career. It was the place where we got exposure to the world. But till that time I was not having any professional degree to show. But, knowledge is the power of your success. And all I’ve got was by reading books and practicing in free time.

As I quote “Start yourself as a zero. You will find yourself always near to hundred.”

What motivated you to go ahead in this field? 

Actually I’ve figured out that I belong to animation, and animation is my career. I loved to watch Jungle Book, Disney Hour, Tom & Jerry and other cartoon shows. I also loved to read comics of Mandrake, Phantom, Chacha Chowdhury, Nagraj, Dhruv and Doga. I really like those comics of Sanjay Da (Sanjay Gupta of Raj Comics). Even till now I enjoy to take some time to read them. 

These are something which always made me to think that one day I will make similar to these. 

How you started with Alcroft International Studios? What kind of work is done at Alcroft International Studios? 

After coming back from US, I was only doing consultation for other studios. During this time I felt there was a huge gap in this industry. The understanding is quite different, which can’t be covered by consulting others. This was the time when I thought of starting my own company. 

I’ve tried many joint ventures with other companies. But that doesn’t worked out either, because the reason is artist needs freedom & executive needs profits. And in animation industry, if you are working for profit, you will never get good artist. If you never get good artist you are producing junks. And this industry doesn’t pay you for junkies. Still I feel myself as an artist and I can’t manage this with other’s guy’s who thinks animation for making profit every time. So, I took a decision to make a company for animator’s, managed by an animator itself. 

Hence, Alcroft International Studios was launched on 5th of April 2012 from a small room in Pune, and with only 10 dedicated artists. Actually all my employee’s at that time were my student’s. We have worked hard and all with our heart, made some attractive show reel’s, rendered images. That’s what we are good at, after all we are artist. In a month we got two big budget projects from Nexpro & Vaadoo Films. 

We are working for 7 big budget projects for many big giants. We are working on co-production with Triad Game Studios for the game “Dark Relic”. Also, major field of my concern is “I.P.’s” for TV, Films, Games and Software’s. 

Dark Relic Game

Now Alcroft is having more than 350 employees, and its registered H.Q. is in Santa Fe, New Mexico (US). Also our other offices located in Glasgow (Scotland), Melbourne (Australia), Taipei (Taiwan, R.O.C.) and will start our new base soon in India. We also made an alliance of 60+ small studios who are working with us.  {module Alcroft artwork slide}

You are also a motivator and a trainer. How this magic happens? 

It’s not a magic at all. If you are good at something share it with others that are what I call training and motivating. Sharing your knowledge and experience will help yourself and others to develop more. And other then that being a professional 3d Artist, I feel good to share my knowledge in Animation Production. That is why I spend most of my time in trainings and motivating my guys & others as well.  

What challenges you see for new start-ups? 

The Problem with the start-ups is that they are here to do business. If you think like an artist you cannot do business. But that’s a myth, if you go back in time you will find, “Sir. Walt & Roy Disney”, “William Hanna & Joseph Barbera”, they all are artist and successful business person too. 

Remember that here all you need is creativity and productivity. Don’t think of business, it will start automatically. Your creative uniqueness and productive power is the most beautiful way to achieve success in business. Setup your Pipeline & Workflows, understand your peoples, attend seminars/festivals, and make a good portfolio.

Tell us something about Alcroft’s AniGuru Training Program? 

I have started writing blogs, giving web classes, mentoring seminars from 2009. In that time I’ve never named it. I’ve also visited many schools & colleges of distant villages in West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, U.P, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra to promote animation. By this we have encouraged our future artist’s and provided them a new dimension. 

Last year we have named it Alcroft’s AniGuru and continued our workings from 18th June 2012. We have conducted 12 Seminars worldwide and shared new ideas about; concept creation, uniqueness in I.P.'s, developing your I.P's, Production Management, C.A.P (Capacity for Animation Production) & S.D.P.P (Systematic Dynamic Production Pipeline).

{module Alcroft Training}
That's not all, we have conducted 61 studio training, supporting small studios to rise up and grow with us. We helped many to understand perfect production techniques in animation. We have conducted 7 Skype Online Training classes. This class was enjoyed by more that 1000+ students worldwide. Now we are moving forward. This year (2013) we are launching our new Website. All our followers will have an easy access and more tutorials. More mentors are joining this mission and we always want others to join us.

You set pipelines for many different studios around the world, share something about it.

Animation Production Pipeline is totally different concept. Many people say that we use Maya/XSI/Max Pipeline or our Pipeline is XYZ A.M.S. But, that is a software, you are using in your pipeline. Many CG artists and managers confuse the technical aspects of the CG production pipeline with the pipeline itself. Sometime they mixed up with Pipeline’s workflows.

Workflow is like a recipe. It describes the sequence of steps within a task or job required to get the work done. The complexity of the workflow can be small or high. It can be divided between people or not. It can be divided into meaningful and separable units. So when should we call a workflow a pipeline? Are all pipelines workflows? Certainly, are all workflows pipelines? No.

This would mean that when the work is done by a single artist, we call it a workflow, and when the work is divided among a team of artists working on successive or parallel portions of a workflow, it becomes a pipeline. Each artist’s portion is that artist workflow. The whole is the pipeline. There are particular techniques to set your production pipeline. And this is very interesting subject to understand and apply. It’s like a magic once you set it up, it will provide you ultimate result.

Where ever I go around the world, I want to make them aware with all these facts.  But, you know that "Production Pipeline" is a boring subject. So, there are only few who understand these facts. And very few studio think it's important for them. But, if you really want yourself to Produce best output in a less time with a greater output. You need to change your thinking. 
 

You have completed degree in PGDPDS (Production Pipeline Engineering) from California Institute of the Arts, USA. What is your pipeline concept? 

Actually I’ve developed many theories on Idea/Concept Development, Operational Curve’s, Workflows and all these theories are covered under my newly developed “Systematic & Dynamic Production Pipeline’s” (S.D.P.P.).

Imagine a Pipeline connected from a Municipal Tank to your home and the water in the tank as your work load. If the connection is not well engineered, you can face problems. But, if Pipeline's are well engineered to distribute the water supply evenly, then it is called a systematic distribution. 

In production we use the same techniques to get the outputs. We have to set a proper links of “Primary” & “Secondary” Production Pipelines and then connect them with properly managed sets of workflows in every stage. If you have a proper Pipeline it can reduce your workload/pressure by increasing your C.A.P. (Capacity for Animation Production).

What kind of management is required for smooth functioning of a studio? 

Being an Artist by Heart and Businessman by Mind, you’ve to look for your production techniques and related output. Find out what is your C.A.P. (Capacity for Animation Production)? 

If you are ready and having a new project on hand. You should compare yourself with the Quality, Quantity & Period limits for the particular project. Set individual workflow & setup your Production, Material & Approval Pipelines. Also take a close look on setting up all necessary “Secondary Pipelines”. This will give you a good output. R&D is important for every project before getting it started. Also Schedule your with weekly training’s & team meeting’s. 

Don’t sit and wait for outsourcing projects. In that time you can make some short of films and pitch it as your IP or showcase it as your reel. IP always benefits you more than outsourcing. It’s creating a new identity and a new image of you around the world. Management should understand or try to understand these things.

What adopting strategies you suggest to studios for better outflow and management?

New theories in Pipeline and Understanding the Production. It’s equally important to judge yourself and make some client contact personally. This can be done only by visiting Animation Festival or Get-together. Social media make’s you visible but not dependable. You have to reach personally, showcase yourself and your company. Let the world knows that you’re a glowing star in this vast sky.

Generally what faults you see in a studio functioning? 

Always there are faults/mistakes in every studio. But never neglect these, try to learn from it. Apply new techniques in your own system. Invite Mentor’s for comments, Trainings or Consulting. There are many big names famous in animation. Take some tips from them; I do these with my friends (like Herb in Walt Disney, Marek in Sventevith or Sarrene in Triad Games). But, ultimately all depends on your C.A.P. Always try to increase your C.A.P. 

What you suggest for starting an animation studio? 

Don’t start it without an objective. If you make one, better try it hard to fulfil it. Support your employee & motivate them. Don’t depend on social media, meet with them personally.

How much training is important for a studio? 

It’s a question with one answer. Yes, it’s important. With trainings your resource will become knowledgeable and motivated highly. This will increase their ability and experience. 

If your artists are good and they are supported by a good management team. And if you company is maintain proper production techniques. I can sure you that it will be always on 100% self sustaining position. 

Can you share Secret’s of Animation Production? 

Setup a good Pipeline which will help you to increase your C.A.P. Leave your artist to be more creative and productive, other than being professional show-offs. Try to motivate them, spend time with them, assist them and guide them. By this they will be more productive & manageable in their own works. If you can’t do this take help from others. It is not important to have huge professional for training. Everyone can sit’s together and share their knowledge with each other, which can be leaded by any team leader or supervisors. You can discuss on a particular topics, at which you are good enough. You can also discuss on tutorials provided over the internet. These types of meeting can be scheduled on every Friday. You can also plan your work for next week.

What animation business actually need? 

"Creative Dreams with Productive Sense"..... 

How important is R&D as far as market is concern? 

A research and development (R&D) department is responsible for innovations in design, products, and style. This department is responsible for creating innovative new products to keep companies a step ahead of the competition. Many companies also rely on the R&D department to improve quality for an existing client, or to explore new ways of developing them for their own IP’s. 

Companies thrive and succeed by creating innovative IP’s, as well as by increasing company profit, tracking project development and utilizing cost-efficient methods. A research and development department is primarily responsible for ensuring that these goals are met. This is an especially important function in the fields of Animation/Films and Gaming, but can be applied to virtually any industry. 

What is focus of Alcroft International Studios in 2013? 

Main objectives for this year (2013) are:

Alcroft will develop more than 4 new concepts for TV, Films and/or Gaming. 

We will start working on our first International Film from February of this year (The Amazing Street Soccer). 

We are launching our new “Alcroft's AniGuru Website”. It will be a Free Web Based Trainings Centre for students. 

We will provide more training's & tutorials through our AniGuru blog post, article's web sessions and seminars. More Mentor's will join us to help and support our mission.

We will cover more Studio Trainings for perfecting production techniques.

We will continue our research on "Dynamic Production Pipeline" & "Workflow".  And develop more perfect techniques in Production Pipeline that will also help you to increase your C.A.P.

Thank you Kalyan Dey for sharing information with us and best wishes for Alcroft International Studios

articles@animationsupplement.com

Featuring Alcroft International Studios

Start yourself as a zero. You will find yourself always near to hundred” these are words of a very enthusiastic, passionate and leader of his own abilities Kalyan Dey- Founder and Director of Alcroft International Studios who made his dream come true with his hard work and right direction of learning. In an interview with animationsupplement.com, he shares his story of creating dreams to reality.

Hi Kalyan, tell us about your journey in CG World?

Director Kalyan DeyBasically I am belonging from a middle-class family from a small town of Kharagpur (W.B.). And my journey was not so easy. At a very early age I lost my father. At this moment my family’s financial position was weakened due to expenses on my father’s cancer treatment. . After that I have to take care of my studies. So, I started working part-time, providing tuitions, etc. It was only possible because my elder brother (Mr. Gajanan Dey), who was my biggest supporter, ideal & motivator. He encouraged me even in the days when I was neglected by all others. I feel personally that whatever success I have  is only because of him. You always need a supporter beside you, who can make you realise your dreams, and boost you to make your dreams as your ultimate goal. 

From childhood days I was quite good in arts/ drawings. In 1993 my brother bought first computer. Later this helped me to get interested in CG. In April or May of 1996 I found 3ds Max (Demo) with some Magazine. In that time it was Kinetic 3D Studio MAX. Kinetic was a division of Autodesk Multimedia. In that time there were no such trainings available, except those within the help content. Neither there were any institute good to animation nor any internet available in our area. So, all I’ve learnt by practicing those help files. 

At the age of 17 years, I got a call from IT-Gurukul (later turned to - Zed Career Academy). I was leading Multimedia L2 Division. This was my first job, and I was happy too. As by my side I have to also continue my studies too.

After few years it was closed all of suddenly. And I have to look for any other job to continue my studies. That is when I moved to Kolkata for search of a job. Got one after struggling hard (3 Aces Multimedia), at that time job in this field was very rare. 

But, after working few years suddenly I got a call from Illion Studios (Madrid). This was the turning point of my career. It was the place where we got exposure to the world. But till that time I was not having any professional degree to show. But, knowledge is the power of your success. And all I’ve got was by reading books and practicing in free time.

As I quote “Start yourself as a zero. You will find yourself always near to hundred.”

What motivated you to go ahead in this field? 

Actually I’ve figured out that I belong to animation, and animation is my career. I loved to watch Jungle Book, Disney Hour, Tom & Jerry and other cartoon shows. I also loved to read comics of Mandrake, Phantom, Chacha Chowdhury, Nagraj, Dhruv and Doga. I really like those comics of Sanjay Da (Sanjay Gupta of Raj Comics). Even till now I enjoy to take some time to read them. 

These are something which always made me to think that one day I will make similar to these. 

How you started with Alcroft International Studios? What kind of work is done at Alcroft International Studios? 

After coming back from US, I was only doing consultation for other studios. During this time I felt there was a huge gap in this industry. The understanding is quite different, which can’t be covered by consulting others. This was the time when I thought of starting my own company. 

I’ve tried many joint ventures with other companies. But that doesn’t worked out either, because the reason is artist needs freedom & executive needs profits. And in animation industry, if you are working for profit, you will never get good artist. If you never get good artist you are producing junks. And this industry doesn’t pay you for junkies. Still I feel myself as an artist and I can’t manage this with other’s guy’s who thinks animation for making profit every time. So, I took a decision to make a company for animator’s, managed by an animator itself. 

Hence, Alcroft International Studios was launched on 5th of April 2012 from a small room in Pune, and with only 10 dedicated artists. Actually all my employee’s at that time were my student’s. We have worked hard and all with our heart, made some attractive show reel’s, rendered images. That’s what we are good at, after all we are artist. In a month we got two big budget projects from Nexpro & Vaadoo Films. 

We are working for 7 big budget projects for many big giants. We are working on co-production with Triad Game Studios for the game “Dark Relic”. Also, major field of my concern is “I.P.’s” for TV, Films, Games and Software’s. 

Dark Relic Game

Now Alcroft is having more than 350 employees, and its registered H.Q. is in Santa Fe, New Mexico (US). Also our other offices located in Glasgow (Scotland), Melbourne (Australia), Taipei (Taiwan, R.O.C.) and will start our new base soon in India. We also made an alliance of 60+ small studios who are working with us.  {module Alcroft artwork slide}

You are also a motivator and a trainer. How this magic happens? 

It’s not a magic at all. If you are good at something share it with others that are what I call training and motivating. Sharing your knowledge and experience will help yourself and others to develop more. And other then that being a professional 3d Artist, I feel good to share my knowledge in Animation Production. That is why I spend most of my time in trainings and motivating my guys & others as well.  

What challenges you see for new start-ups? 

The Problem with the start-ups is that they are here to do business. If you think like an artist you cannot do business. But that’s a myth, if you go back in time you will find, “Sir. Walt & Roy Disney”, “William Hanna & Joseph Barbera”, they all are artist and successful business person too. 

Remember that here all you need is creativity and productivity. Don’t think of business, it will start automatically. Your creative uniqueness and productive power is the most beautiful way to achieve success in business. Setup your Pipeline & Workflows, understand your peoples, attend seminars/festivals, and make a good portfolio.

Tell us something about Alcroft’s AniGuru Training Program? 

I have started writing blogs, giving web classes, mentoring seminars from 2009. In that time I’ve never named it. I’ve also visited many schools & colleges of distant villages in West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, U.P, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra to promote animation. By this we have encouraged our future artist’s and provided them a new dimension. 

Last year we have named it Alcroft’s AniGuru and continued our workings from 18th June 2012. We have conducted 12 Seminars worldwide and shared new ideas about; concept creation, uniqueness in I.P.'s, developing your I.P's, Production Management, C.A.P (Capacity for Animation Production) & S.D.P.P (Systematic Dynamic Production Pipeline).

{module Alcroft Training}
That's not all, we have conducted 61 studio training, supporting small studios to rise up and grow with us. We helped many to understand perfect production techniques in animation. We have conducted 7 Skype Online Training classes. This class was enjoyed by more that 1000+ students worldwide. Now we are moving forward. This year (2013) we are launching our new Website. All our followers will have an easy access and more tutorials. More mentors are joining this mission and we always want others to join us.

You set pipelines for many different studios around the world, share something about it.

Animation Production Pipeline is totally different concept. Many people say that we use Maya/XSI/Max Pipeline or our Pipeline is XYZ A.M.S. But, that is a software, you are using in your pipeline. Many CG artists and managers confuse the technical aspects of the CG production pipeline with the pipeline itself. Sometime they mixed up with Pipeline’s workflows.

Workflow is like a recipe. It describes the sequence of steps within a task or job required to get the work done. The complexity of the workflow can be small or high. It can be divided between people or not. It can be divided into meaningful and separable units. So when should we call a workflow a pipeline? Are all pipelines workflows? Certainly, are all workflows pipelines? No.

This would mean that when the work is done by a single artist, we call it a workflow, and when the work is divided among a team of artists working on successive or parallel portions of a workflow, it becomes a pipeline. Each artist’s portion is that artist workflow. The whole is the pipeline. There are particular techniques to set your production pipeline. And this is very interesting subject to understand and apply. It’s like a magic once you set it up, it will provide you ultimate result.

Where ever I go around the world, I want to make them aware with all these facts.  But, you know that "Production Pipeline" is a boring subject. So, there are only few who understand these facts. And very few studio think it's important for them. But, if you really want yourself to Produce best output in a less time with a greater output. You need to change your thinking. 
 

You have completed degree in PGDPDS (Production Pipeline Engineering) from California Institute of the Arts, USA. What is your pipeline concept? 

Actually I’ve developed many theories on Idea/Concept Development, Operational Curve’s, Workflows and all these theories are covered under my newly developed “Systematic & Dynamic Production Pipeline’s” (S.D.P.P.).

Imagine a Pipeline connected from a Municipal Tank to your home and the water in the tank as your work load. If the connection is not well engineered, you can face problems. But, if Pipeline's are well engineered to distribute the water supply evenly, then it is called a systematic distribution. 

In production we use the same techniques to get the outputs. We have to set a proper links of “Primary” & “Secondary” Production Pipelines and then connect them with properly managed sets of workflows in every stage. If you have a proper Pipeline it can reduce your workload/pressure by increasing your C.A.P. (Capacity for Animation Production).

What kind of management is required for smooth functioning of a studio? 

Being an Artist by Heart and Businessman by Mind, you’ve to look for your production techniques and related output. Find out what is your C.A.P. (Capacity for Animation Production)? 

If you are ready and having a new project on hand. You should compare yourself with the Quality, Quantity & Period limits for the particular project. Set individual workflow & setup your Production, Material & Approval Pipelines. Also take a close look on setting up all necessary “Secondary Pipelines”. This will give you a good output. R&D is important for every project before getting it started. Also Schedule your with weekly training’s & team meeting’s. 

Don’t sit and wait for outsourcing projects. In that time you can make some short of films and pitch it as your IP or showcase it as your reel. IP always benefits you more than outsourcing. It’s creating a new identity and a new image of you around the world. Management should understand or try to understand these things.

What adopting strategies you suggest to studios for better outflow and management?

New theories in Pipeline and Understanding the Production. It’s equally important to judge yourself and make some client contact personally. This can be done only by visiting Animation Festival or Get-together. Social media make’s you visible but not dependable. You have to reach personally, showcase yourself and your company. Let the world knows that you’re a glowing star in this vast sky.

Generally what faults you see in a studio functioning? 

Always there are faults/mistakes in every studio. But never neglect these, try to learn from it. Apply new techniques in your own system. Invite Mentor’s for comments, Trainings or Consulting. There are many big names famous in animation. Take some tips from them; I do these with my friends (like Herb in Walt Disney, Marek in Sventevith or Sarrene in Triad Games). But, ultimately all depends on your C.A.P. Always try to increase your C.A.P. 

What you suggest for starting an animation studio? 

Don’t start it without an objective. If you make one, better try it hard to fulfil it. Support your employee & motivate them. Don’t depend on social media, meet with them personally.

How much training is important for a studio? 

It’s a question with one answer. Yes, it’s important. With trainings your resource will become knowledgeable and motivated highly. This will increase their ability and experience. 

If your artists are good and they are supported by a good management team. And if you company is maintain proper production techniques. I can sure you that it will be always on 100% self sustaining position. 

Can you share Secret’s of Animation Production? 

Setup a good Pipeline which will help you to increase your C.A.P. Leave your artist to be more creative and productive, other than being professional show-offs. Try to motivate them, spend time with them, assist them and guide them. By this they will be more productive & manageable in their own works. If you can’t do this take help from others. It is not important to have huge professional for training. Everyone can sit’s together and share their knowledge with each other, which can be leaded by any team leader or supervisors. You can discuss on a particular topics, at which you are good enough. You can also discuss on tutorials provided over the internet. These types of meeting can be scheduled on every Friday. You can also plan your work for next week.

What animation business actually need? 

"Creative Dreams with Productive Sense"..... 

How important is R&D as far as market is concern? 

A research and development (R&D) department is responsible for innovations in design, products, and style. This department is responsible for creating innovative new products to keep companies a step ahead of the competition. Many companies also rely on the R&D department to improve quality for an existing client, or to explore new ways of developing them for their own IP’s. 

Companies thrive and succeed by creating innovative IP’s, as well as by increasing company profit, tracking project development and utilizing cost-efficient methods. A research and development department is primarily responsible for ensuring that these goals are met. This is an especially important function in the fields of Animation/Films and Gaming, but can be applied to virtually any industry. 

What is focus of Alcroft International Studios in 2013? 

Main objectives for this year (2013) are:

Alcroft will develop more than 4 new concepts for TV, Films and/or Gaming. 

We will start working on our first International Film from February of this year (The Amazing Street Soccer). 

We are launching our new “Alcroft's AniGuru Website”. It will be a Free Web Based Trainings Centre for students. 

We will provide more training's & tutorials through our AniGuru blog post, article's web sessions and seminars. More Mentor's will join us to help and support our mission.

We will cover more Studio Trainings for perfecting production techniques.

We will continue our research on "Dynamic Production Pipeline" & "Workflow".  And develop more perfect techniques in Production Pipeline that will also help you to increase your C.A.P.

Thank you Kalyan Dey for sharing information with us and best wishes for Alcroft International Studios

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