One thing that is all over the movies and video games is undoubtedly animation. It’s everywhere, from advertisements to mobile games. If you are a movie buff then you would need no explanation about how rampant animation has become in the entertainment media today. In the West, the animation industry has witnessed a boom, but in India it is still in a nascent stage.
One would ask, what is animation? In laymen terms, it’s the act, process, or result of imparting life, interest, spirit, motion, or activity. People often relate animation with the cartoons. Yes, it’s an animation but there are many other forms that complete the meaning of animation. If you want to know what real animation, then watch some of the successful Hollywood flicks such as Lord of the Rings. These movies demonstrate the level of animation that industry has reached. Even in some advertisements in India, one can see the surge of animated stuff in media.
It is a known fact that the West has been the inventor of animation, but the surprising fact is that most of the animation work is outsourced to India. Despite this, animation in India did not get much praise as it deserves. Although through Bollywood, the animation industry is carving for itself, a niche. We have our own animated movies such as Hanumaan and Roadside Romeo. Even one can see special effects used in movies like Main Hoon Na (Bullet time). But still there is lack of interest in animation among the Indians. This tendency can be attributed to the ignorance among the masses about animation course. They are not as fancy as some Post Graduation Degree. But animation training institutes are bullish by saying that a larger number of people are taking up animation courses, and by 2012 there would be sufficient number of animators.
So what are qualities that one should possess, to enter the animation industry? To be a good animator, one should have an inclination towards art. It’s recommended that candidates should have an art degree, but it’s not mandatory. Most of the animation institutes have ready-made courses for student from every stream. Basically, a student gets couple of month’s preliminary training, and then they are given the choice of selecting the specialized stream. These streams include VFX lighting and shading, texturing. Each one of the fields has their pros and cons but one must select their specialization as per their abilities.
These days, the gaming industry is gaining momentum day by day and indirectly, it helps animators more, because in order to make a game, you need to have the animator to add texture and animation into the game. It is estimated that the gaming industry is far bigger than Hollywood.
There are myriad numbers of institutes that provide training for animation. Most known are MAAC India, Arena Multimedia and Takksha. These institutes provide industry oriented coursed and give the best animation education available in India. After completing course from these institutes, you get placed in some big animation firms, namely Toonz India, UTV Entertainment and Dreamworks India. But most of the industry pundits recommended doing animation from abroad, as exposure is high because the demand for animation far greater than in India. However, animation courses abroad do cost a bit, but its worth an investment.
There is always a question of placements among the students. The animation industry provides decent starts for freshers, so in order to get fat pay checks, one needs to have some experience in the industry. So if you have the artistic frame of mind and creativity, then the animation industry is good place to be. But in the years to come, animators will start earning fat amount of salaries because of the demand of professionals due to the rise in entertainment media.