Chitra Deepa A

Combine your skills in art, computers

The Hindu Education Plus Career Fair 2006 was an eye-opener for students and parents who turned out in large numbers, on various career options.

Industry experts shared their expertise and spoke on the fundamentals of various fields through seminars and interactive sessions. One such seminar on June 4 laid bare the nitty-gritty of the rapidly growing animation industry.

V. Natarajan, chief academic officer, Image College of Animation Technology, (www.icat.ac.in) Chennai, provided a broad perspective of the animation industry.

Animation is a process of creating graphics with motion for a variety of purposes. Animation professionals have a thorough knowledge of computer systems and possess artistic abilities. They work on a wide range of products in various industries.

Designing, conception, rigging, special effects, editing and sound composing, are some of the processes involved in creation of an animation film. Rigging is an important aspect in animation. Riggers create a skeleton for the character and enhance its movements.

The family members of the animation industry include: i) Author/story writer/screenplay writer

ii) Designers/storyboard/character designers/set or environment designers

iii) Creators or animators

iv) Director who takes care of aesthetics, camera angles and duration

v) Marketing/finance/distribution and merchandise of end product.

The two key skills required in this field are art skill and digital skill. According to Mr. Natarajan, career development is faster in this field. Also, graphics for gaming and visual effects are slowly becoming part of this field, he says.

The demand for skilled animators is growing and, if you are seriously considering making it big in this business, a degree from a reputed animation school is the first step on the road to a fun-filled and rewarding career.

Before joining a course, check out the people who run the institute, their experience, curriculum duration, faculty and facilities, quality systems, projects and placements. If students wish to do a part-time course while pursuing undergraduate studies, it is best to take up a two-year course.

If they plan to do a course after graduation, a one-year full-time course is the best, says Mr. Nagarajan.

Game for it?

Swami Venkat, vice-president, India operations, Red Octane Technologies, a subsidiary of U.S.-based Red Octane, who spoke on job openings in the animation industry, said the company plans to recruit 100 animators by the year-end.

Gaming is the niche area of Red Octane. He said the gaming market is growing, and it will grow at a higher rate if not for piracy in our country. It is a career where one's talent and accomplishment will never go unnoticed.

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