VFX Animation, VFX spurs growth in career -

Animation, VFX spurs growth in career

Animation and visual effects in films can create a hypnotic or magic effect on the audience as witnessed in blockbusters like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic Park III, Titanic, Godzilla, Thor. People love watching these films, without being aware of the work done by animators, technicians and artists in making high-tech movies.

Animation and visual effects industry is growing steadily in India, though it has made inroads in the Hollywood long ago. The animation industry registered a growth rate of 8 per cent in 2016 while generating Rs 15 billion revenue in the same year, says a recent report of KPMG and FICCI. Besides, miscellaneous categories such as gaming, augmented reality, virtual reality, simulation trainings could collectively see a cumulative growth rate of over 35 per cent during 2016 to 2021.

‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’

Animation and VFX industry in India has wide presence in areas like television, films, advertisements, medicine, education and training, 3D visualisation and also in the field of architecture and interiors.  This industry works entirely on creativity.

If one is creative, then this might be the best industry in which he or she can choose a career. A super interesting area in this industry is that an artist can create games for computers, internet, mobile phones et cetera. It is said that the gaming industry is expected to grow at 14.3 per cent every year to touch 45.8 billion rupees by 2019, said the report which was released recently.

Today, technology has raised the bar in film making. The post-production work relating to stereo conversion, animation and VFX is completely done in India now and as a result many blockbusters have been made in the country.

Students want to pursue unique career options. Animation and VFX definitely can be one of them. There are several private and government institutions which offer several certificate courses, diploma and degree courses in these two. Some of them are Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematic (MAAC), Arena Multimedia, Picasso Animation, Apeejay Institute of Design, Global Institute of Gaming and Animation, Zee Institute of Creative Art (ZICA) and more. As per the recent news reports, Mumbai University is also planning to start a course in 2017 in animation and VFX jointly with an institute run by film maker Ramesh Sippy.

The industry gives students freedom to choose his or her expertise. There are so many profiles one can select from. The artists have creativity which they can express in specific areas. There is wide scope for artists to give technical support to the various members of the team. They combine and optimise graphics from different sources, perform research and development to solve any product or creation challenges. They frequently are addressed as negotiators between design and programming teams.

The 3D artists create the characters or objects in three dimensional layouts and add visual effects to bring life into it. They usually work very closely with the entertainment industry. User interface designer must have the knowledge of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML), Flash and other software. They organise and create complex user interfaces for various computer applications. They also conduct usability tests to make the system user friendly.

Storyboards of Pixar’s ‘Finding Nemo’

Storyboard artists’ profile is extremely amazing. Such artists provide the first visual sample of what a cartoon or some other piece of animation looks like. They structure the series of comic strip style drawing that depict scenes, characters and storylines to reflect what the end product will look like. Skin is made of various layers and hence they have different textures at every level. Some layers are smooth, some others are sharp while few are harsh. Well this is what a texture artist gains specialisation in. They are responsible for developing the texture in the characters and landscapes of cartoons or video games. Their job is to bring animation to life. They keep scanning the photographs of various textures to apply them on animation environments.

Lights also play a very important role in animation. The 3D lighting artists use a 3D software to create lighting. They have to manage the consistency in lighting, colour balance and mood between the various elements in order to make the creation lively. The role of compositor in the animation industry is more interesting as he also works in the areas of post-production as well as animation. Such an artist blends the visual elements from separate sources into single short scenes, often to create the illusion of all those elements which are part of the same scene. The 3D animator sparks life into the animated character with the help of poses, expressions, gestures et cetera.

Stop-motion animators are a unique bunch of artists. They work with models, puppets and clay to create animation. They combine the art of photography, narrative skills, and have the great ability to manipulate lights and angle calculations. They create one of the unique forms of animation which is neither cartoon-like nor similar to computer generated creations.

According to industry estimates, junior animators or trainees earn in the range of Rs. 8,000 to 15,000 per month. With three to five years experience they can earn Rs. 25,000 to 40,000 per month. A well-experienced animator who has a good portfolio of excellent animation work can easily get Rs. 50,000 to 60,000 per month. With US and European studios outsourcing work to India, and Indian companies creating a number of animated films and cartoons, the future looks bright for creative animators.

Animation and VFX industry promises to be one of the best career options for students, given its growth potential in India, which is fast becoming a hub of films with high quality animation, and world-class visual effects for industry leaders.

(This article has been written by Deluxe India managing director Prafull Gade. He has over 27 years of professional experience in the Indian Animation Industry . He has done over 1000+ commercials, VFX for 40+ Motion pictures, 26 2D/3D Animated Series, TV Features and many corporate films & Multimedia products. Prafull’s first directorial debut was during 1987, for a 26 episodic TV series, based on Indian Cricket legend Sunil Gavaskar.)