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Career in Animation
It was with Walt Disney’s creation of the first cartoon characters that Animation witnessed a modest beginning in 1928. But the subsequent years saw a deluge of cartoon characters becoming a part and parcel of daily life. Mickey Mouse, Tom & Jerry, Dennis the Menace are some of the notable characters.
Simply defined, Animation is the manipulation of static images to give the illusion of moving pictures. This happens when a sequence of pictures is passed through the projector at a rapid speed of 24 frames per second.
The professionals in this field work in a highly dynamic and high – tech environment where they are supposed to produce multimedia designs, animations and programming applications.
For all this, one needs to have great creative ability, computer skills and artistic talent in the production of innovative presentations.
The world of Animation is booming with the growth of Internet and other new technologies which offer a range of new directions for people who want to try their hands at something new and innovative. One could flip, flop, stumble and tumble and yet spring out fresh as ever.
And this is only possible in the world of animation, which can make your weirdest dreams come true. A sense of colour, a sense of balance and proportion is a must in this profession. An eye for detail will take you places.
The essence of the animation job is to know how exactly each character should move or react and create something extraordinary which seems full of life. Animation is derived from the Latin word “anima” which means the “breath of life”. Hence, it can be concluded that Animation is a field which adds life to the static things.
Animation can be of two types – 2D (two dimensional) and 3D (three dimensional). While 2D animation can be cell, puppet or sand animation, clay modelling, cut – out animation or computer generated, it goes through the stages of story, boarding, character development on paper, background and layout, scanning, inking and painting, key frames and in betweens, sound – effects and editing.
Therefore, a one hour film takes almost one year of hard work. As the name suggests, 2D animation generates characters like what we see in Cartoon Network.
The 3D animation also goes through the similar processes but uses more sophisticated gadgets and processes. Real and life like features of characters created through 3D animation can only be restricted by the creator’s imagination.
There are computer animators who work on computers to make their characters come alive. But there are also cartoon animators who draw the pictures for the animated movies. Most computer animators draw their characters by hand and then plug them into the computer to make them act out their part in the movie or the commercial.
Since animators focus on characterisation, developing a sense of rhythm and expression is a must. This field demands a lot of creativity but this doesn’t necessarily mean you need to be very artistic.
There are special effect technicians, who manipulate pictures to make normal images tarn into weird and interesting images.
There are other artists who focus on understanding and practice of line drawings and sequencing of frames while there are clean – up artists who focus on understanding and practice of detailing and different poses.
Some computer animators also design logos or graphics for the Internet or television. If animation as a career fascinates you, but drawing is something you do not really enjoy, there are other exciting opportunities including writing, voice acting and directing, production co – ordination and post production.
So, with all these incredible imagination and artistic opportunities, Animation is surely a great career choice. New developments are taking place in the software used for making animation films.
Pentamedia, Discreet and Maya have done commendable research in this field. They also provide training to prospective candidates who want to join the field. The animation course fees varies from 30,000 to 75,000 or even lakhs depending upon the proficiency levels.
Strong artistic skills and a solid familiarity with the latest trends in computer technologies are required for a career in Animation. One should have the ability to turn creative thoughts into compelling images. There is not much professional training in the field of Animation available in India.
A degree or diploma in fine arts could prove beneficial, but course in Animation is definitely preferred. However, in recent past a few business houses have shown interest.
The Escorts Group started its very own training program in Animation. Escotoonz training program, which is the first education venture of Escorts Group, was started to ensure that the creative skills required for this industry are available in this country.
The basic objective is to properly mould these skills towards this medium. It also helps in ensuring a ready pool of talent with sharply honed skills.
It is to be noted that Escotoonz is India’s first serious entry into the world of 2D Animation, multimedia, simulation CBTs and 3D action and adventure games, through Ecosoft’s interactive division. The duration of the program is seven months.
Further to get some proficiency one can opt for Part – Time courses in mass communication. In addition, there are institutes like Arena Multimedia, Pentamedia, Chandigarh Arts College and Delhi College of Arts which offer papers on animation.
Prospects for Animation Careers
The growth rates and opportunities in this sector are tremendous. With competition from countries like Korea, Taiwan and Philippines, India scores high in terms of costs. The other criterion for selection of the service provider is the quality given in work and quantity supplied in time.
Indian animators have talent, not the experience. The dearth of professional institutions in India that impart technical training in quality animation has caused a severe shortage of animators with the requisite skills.
Animation has application not only in entertainment industry (movies and TV), but also in education (classroom – based and Web – based training), advertising (print and TV commercials), engineering and design and Defence simulations.
Visualisers, ink and paint artists, compositors, scan and render artists, in between artists, character animators and modeling artists are some of the professionals required.
Animators work for motion pictures studios, television advertising and software development companies. Animation industry globally is becoming one of the fastest growing industries within IT enabled services market.
With development costs increasing in the US, Canada and Europe, India is seen as a preferred destination for global animation requirements. In fact, India, among all Asian countries, is seen as the new hub of activities.
Following the great success of the animation motion pictures like Beauty and the Beast, Lion King, Aladdin, Winni the Pooh, etc., animation industry is increasingly growing in popularity at a global scale.
If you are interested in it and have an inquisitive eye for myriad technological experiments going on in this field, it is sure to pay you rich dividends.
Career in Animation – Remuneration
A good animator with minimum two years experience can draw a minimum salary of 15,000. Internationally, animators may draw a whopping salary of anywhere between $40,000 to $2,00,000 depending, of course, on skills and experience.
Animation is definitely a lucrative profession in terms of money that it offers. A skilled and trained animator could easily earn anywhere between 20,000 and 30,000 a month. Professional animators could even freelance or undertake projects under individual contracts for commercials or television.