The animation industry is THE place to show off your creative skills.

All of us grew up watching Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and Tom and Jerry. These animated characters continue to delight and entertain us bringing back nostalgic memories. All thanks to “animation”, one of the fastest growing industries.

What is animation?

The word ‘animation' is derived from the Latin word ‘anima' meaning soul. Animation is a blend of technology and entertainment. It involves designing, drawing, and producing graphically rich and attractive multimedia clips.

Animation in India has come a long way since 1974 when Doordarshan telecast the animated film on national integration, ek chidiyaa anek chidiyaa. Since then, India has made giant strides in this field.

Overseas giants like Walt Disney, Rhythm ‘n' Hues, Sony Imageworks, Dreamworks and Imax are directly or indirectly delivering projects in coordination with Indian studios. Other companies are outsourcing animation from India for commercials and computer games. The Indian animation industry has come a long way over the last three decades.

As a career

Animation can be pursued by those who are very creative and are skilled in drawing.The animator's task is to read the script carefully, study the storyboard and try to get into the character.

Today, many reputed colleges in India offer distinctive courses with relevant curriculum. Some institutes have introduced select courses keeping in mind the demand mounting on the industry. Before you opt for an institute, go through its curriculum to see what they offer. If possible visit the campus and talk to former students. A lot of information on different schools is now available on the Net. Check them out. I strongly recommend that you enroll with a reputable institute, whereby your chances of getting your foot in the door for an interview increase ten-fold. The recruiters know what is taught at these schools and can assume that you are versed in a lot of things that most other candidates are not.

The best programme

For those aspiring to be professional animators a three-year Animation Programme would be the best option as it provides a complete exposure to animation. It gives training in the creative, conceptual and the practical aspects of animation. It ensures equal emphasis on the fundamentals, concepts, tools and techniques and hands-on experience. Students are also exposed to traditional and digital arts, and get to work with advanced tools and techniques. The soft-skills training help in enhancing a holistic personality.

Students who have passed 10+2 in any stream with a minimum aggregate of 50 percent can apply. Admissions will be based on the student's performance in the entrance exam and the interview.

Job opportunities

Students can look forward to jobs in a range of industries: entertainment and advertising, marketing, computer or web-based education, publishing, virtual reality in defence, web designing, developing computer and mobile games, medical, become mentors at leading studios and training institutes.

Future Prospects

A Nasscom-Ernst & Young report had valued the global animation industry at around $68 billion in 2008 and the reports expects it to grow at a compounded annual growth rate of 10% to become $100 billion industry by 2012.Global entertainment majors like Walt Disney, IMAX, Warner Brothers and Sony have tie-ups with major Indian animation companies. A slew of companies across these cities have dedicated themselves to the outsourced world of animation and special effects. Cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkota, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram have emerged as major animation hubs. Job opportunities are on the rise as animation has become a popular feature in movies and advertising.

However, remember that this is one field where you can never stop learning; for technology in the field advances daily. In the long run, it is a rewarding career with endless possibilities.

Courses

Diploma in animation filmmaking: 24 months

Advanced diploma in animation and VFX: 18 months

Diploma in animation: 12 months

Diploma in VFX: 12 months

Diploma in 3D Graphics – Max and Maya (12 months)

Certificate in 3D Motion Graphics – Max (6 months)

Certificate in 3D Character Design & Sculpting – Maya (6 months)

Advance Maya Character Animation (6 months)

Certificate in Animation: 6 months

Certificate in Gaming: 6 months

Certificate in VFX: 6 months

The writer is Sr. VP and Head, Media and Entertainment, Manipal Education.