VFX The boom of open source softwares in the Indian animation industry

Open source softwares and the Indian AVGC industry

India’s AVGC sector is booming! With animation hubs like Mumbai, Bengaluru and Chennai and the increasing studios, fresh content is growing. The highly priced animation softwares are making artists reach out to the pirated ones, which creates a fear of getting the artwork cached. Vaibhav More Films founder Vaibhav More thought of bringing open source software into limelight. On his visit to Mangalore, he came across a studio which works entirely using open source software and is the creator behind the award winning animated series, Andy Pirki.

As the term suggests, open source refers to something one can modify and share as its design is publicly accessible. Open source softwares are the ones with source code that anyone in particular can inspect, modify and enhance. The open source community is growing by each passing day and people eager to participate in it are not just thinking open source as a way to develop license computer software but also as an attitude.

The rising cost of the software licenses makes it difficult for smaller scale companies or freelancers to afford the softwares. So, many companies are opting for open source softwares.

Keeping in mind the thought behind the entire world of open source, More decided to create a documentary with a studio which is working with open source softwares. Founded by Vivek Bolar, Aum Animation’s entire animation work is done using the open source softwares. The studio uses only these softwares, especially Blender and Krita from pre-production to final editing.

Bolar has been working on open source since eight years. Apart from the softwares that the studio uses, there are others like Gimp, Shotcut and many more depending on the work requirement, are helping his team and other artists too to create their work into masterpiece.

“The Open source softwares are free and much better than the industry standard softwares. I am using Krita instead of Photoshop, Blender instead of Maya and Linux OS instead of Windows. And I am really happy I don’t have to worry about purchasing licenses anymore. The open source community is very helpful online. And, production cost is reduced drastically by using open source,” said More.

The software gives artists the required freedom to create any artwork and it simplifies the whole process of animation. These softwares are turning out as a blessing for students who cannot afford the licensed, closed source softwares. Also, there are no bugs or viruses reported with the open source softwares till date. Even if one finds any, the developers can easily fix those as a large number of people from around the world are involved in this community.

Bolar thinks that the future is brighter with the growing AVGC industry and he makes an appeal to Indian studio directors to use these softwares on a larger scale, so they build a community where ideas and views can be shared and exchanged.

The culture of sharing knowledge, code and work within the community is always a bonus to the industry. This culture gives freedom to animators and developers to communicate and improve the usability of softwares with the artist’s requirements in mind.

AUM Animation is just an example, there are many other studios in India who are absorbing the concept of open source software and diving into the community of open source, making it a part of their attitude!

More himself uses the open source softwares at his studio. “I wish to spread more awareness in the new generation of artists. I hope my message reaches maximum artists and we can have a bigger and better open source culture in India,” More concluded.

The video that More created during his visit talks about just one of the many studios in the open source community. There will be more coming up soon.