Do you remember watching popular cartoon shows like Tom & Jerry—how their endless rivalry and their unreal antics made us roll with laughter? As you grew up, you might have wondered how these two characters went through so much chasing, smashing, thudding, beating, and yet remained the same. It is all the magic of Animation!
With the extent of variety that Animation and Visual Effects offer, there’s plenty of room for creativity and experimentation and great career opportunities for the creatively talented.
What is the field about and what is the career scope?
This field is about synthesizing dynamic images with sound—imagination materializing into an art form. The scope of this field is as wide as one’s imagination can go. Animators, graphic artists, visual effect artists, designers, caricaturists, cartoonists, and plenty of other professionals related to the creation of live art forms work closely. Industries such as film, television, education programming, and computer games Animation offer plenty of opportunities for Animation professionals.
India, a rapidly burgeoning internet economy is witnessing a tremendous surge in its internet user base. The number of 3G internet users is projected to reach a whopping 284 million by end of 2017. Proportionally on the rise are the possibilities for different forms of media, their consumption and usage. With technologies like motion and face capture, which have been around for a while, are now more sophisticated, and newer patterns of making Animations more cohesive are being developed on a daily basis. Students pursuing this field will be exposed to a plethora of opportunities, as various industries, like fashion, films, IT, education, application development, and digital marketing are looking to tap into the immense pool of raw creative talent.
What are the skills required to excel in this field?
First and foremost, dedication and enthusiasm are a must to excel in any field. With an expansive range of opportunities in this field, the competition is also very high, so someone who is patient and persistent is sure to go far. Apart from a resolution to excel, one needs sound knowledge in place. Attention to detail and precision are key to develop any good quality work. Inspiration can be found nearly anywhere; you only should know where to look. Further, technical expertise is a must in this field. Awareness of latest software in use and adeptness to work on different software, like 3D Max, Maya, Corel Draw, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, and InDesign, are essential skills in this profession. Someone with a technical bent of mind, and who can proficiently translate creativity with the help of technology is surely the right candidate for this field.
Individuals who are interested in this field must start off with a BA, B.Sc, or BFA degree in Animation or fine arts. Many prominent institutes also offer a Diploma in Animation for those who are in a transitioning phase in their career or are further looking to upskill themselves.
Apart from bachelor’s degree programs for freshers, many schools have a provision for earning an M.Sc degree, and also offer plenty of short-term courses such as game design, web graphics, VFX specialization, etc. Further, most institutes offer technical experience to students by making them work on live projects and internships with prominent organizations. Due to such initiatives, students not only get to learn in the classrooms, but also gain work experience and knowledge of working in a professional setting.
What is it like to work as an Animation professional?
As an animator, your typical day starts with spending time on creating Visual Effects and Animation on specialized software. You could also get an opportunity to visit live shootings to gain more insight and inspiration for your work. Documentation and research are also typical activities. It is not uncommon for animators to established their own studio or freelance with several prominent studios and production houses. Ability to work long hours, and be articulate and deadline driven are assets on the job.
In conclusion, Animation and Visual Effects is a world where fantasy and reality come together to propel one’s creativity and awe amongst masses. It is an ideal field for someone who wishes to influence people in one of the most persuasive ways—through art!