An animator works to create cartoon films, video games, TV serials, promotional films and anything else which uses animation. The industry kick-started only in the mid-90s but is already growing in India almost as fast as the IT industry. India is a major hub of outsourcing of animation work by production houses and studios in the US, Canada and other countries abroad.
It was with Walt Disney’s creation of first cartoon character 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.
Animators provide services in 2D Animation (classical, traditional and semi-classical animation), 3D Animation, Special Effects (morphing, colour correction, blue screen, composting), Editing (linear and non-linear), Post Production.
While 2D animation can be cell, puppet or sand animation, clay modeling, 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.
Animation is basically giving motion to an object – to give appearance of movement using varying drawings. Every frame is drawn individually with gradual variation does in it. The procedure is hard, and requires patience. The drawings are then played at the desired speed, which makes the static images look like one smooth picture.
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 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.
According to a NASSCOM estimate India would require around 3,00,000 professionals in the fields of content development and animation . And, with giants like Warner Brothers, Fun Bag Animation, ILM and Disney planning to set up shop in India to produce animation films and movies, animation is set to become one of the fastest growing IT segments in the country. While animation was earlier the domain of Walt Disney Productions and some small others, with the explosion in computer technology, cartoon channels on television, music videos, computer games and ad films, the demand for animators in India and the world is way beyond their supply. India is also a major hub of outsourcing for foreign production houses. Recruiters include Disney, Cartoon Network, Pogo, Hungama, Nicholodeon, ad agencies and ad-film makers (ad films that have used animation include 7up, Kelloggs, Godrej, Pepsi, Goodnight, Surf Excel, Cadbury’s, Coke, Pepsodent, Maggi).
Other leading companies in the field of animation include Escotoonz of the Escort Group, AIM Studios Mumbai, Crest Communications, 2NZ Animation, DreamTeen Animation, Maya Entertainment, Toonz Animation Studio, Silvertoon Studio, UTV Toons, Zee Institute of Creative Arts, Prasad Studios, Acropetal, JadooWorks, Color Chips and Heart Animation and Pentamedia Graphics. International giants in animation like Warner Brothers, Imax, Fun Bag Animation, ILM, Sony and Disney also plan to set up shop in India soon and are presently negotiating large outsourcing contracts.
Animators are also employed by companies producing Education CD ROMs, Screen Savers, e-books and e-cards. The animation industry has come a long way since the days of Walt Disney. The entertainment industry uses nearly 70 per cent of the total animation created in a year. Indian Animation Industry currently pegged at $550 million is slated to clock a growth rate of 30 per cent per year in the next three. Projections show that India will receive $2 billion worth of animation business in the next three years The Job
- Designations and job profiles include Inbetweening Artist, Cleanup Artist, Junior Animator, Assistant Animator, Character Designer, Background Artist, Storyboard Artist, Visualiser, 2D / 3D Digital Animator, Editor.
- Discuss ideas for cartoons with editors and creative directors
- Develop and present original ideas
- Create sketch or model of characters and submit for approval
- Produce many drawings for film animation
- Use computers to draw and reproduce cartoons
- Assign colors to be used in shapes and patterns
- Make changes to cartoon drafts as necessary
- Draw editorial cartoons
- Create storyboards for advertising agencies
- Artistic, with a love for drawing and creating characters
- Strong imagination and visualization skills
- Technically skilled and competent
- Exacting and detail-oriented
- Able to work alone on a project for long hours
- Enjoy coming up with new ideas
- Some risk-taking ability
- Starting salaries in animation range between Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per month for someone who has done a short course in animation.
- With experience, one could be earning Rs 30,000 to Rs 40,000 per month in 2-3 years time.
- Peak salaries would match those of Creative Directors in an ad agency.
Animators also work freelance and work is easy to come by. With some experience and credentials, an animator could easily earn between Rs 40,000 to Rs 50,000 per month.Study Routes
You can follow two study routes:
- After completing Class XII in any stream, one can pursue a Degree-programme in 3D Animation & Visual Effects from MAAC
- After completing Class XII one can pursue a Career -programme in 3D Animation & Visual Effects from MAAC
Also most courses in animation long duration and anyone with a High Secondary (Class XII) degree is eligible to apply.