DNA News paper Intervew with Sathish Narayanan
Growth and job opportunity in Animation & VFX industry

As compared to the situation ten years ago, how much has the animation industry developed?

Ten years ago, the term ‘animation’ itself was a mystery. But now with an increasing section of audience, appreciators across age groups, emerging and interested in works related to animation, exceptional animation work and workers have entered the Indian market.

India’s role as a significant destination for outsourcing of works related to animation is a fact. Growth in film industry, Multi-channel television, the popularity of computer games, the internet and the opportunities for cross platform exploitation have all contributed to this immense growth. Animated productions are easier to export than live action programmes. It is also simpler to dub animation into multiple Languages.This art is less likely to get outdated and can hence be exploited for much longer periods than live action. Many children’s programmes can be repeated at regular intervals as the target audience is constantly renewing as children develop.

New technology has had a significant impact on the growth of animation. The production of high quality animation has always been time consuming and labor intensive, but computer technology has enabled considerable savings in time and costs for traditional drawn animation. It has also had a tremendous effect on production techniques, enabling the development of even more complex and realistic “special effects” for feature films&television programmesand 3D animation,hence promoting the popularity of the medium.

The amount of CGI animation film produced across the world for a decade has shown tremendous growth, over 200%. In India,the growth in original IP creation, Animation Production Services, Visual Effects Services for Hollywood production, Services in 3D stereoscopic, Mobile & Console games, Product designing, Architectural visualization, Medical Animation, Simulation has created wide avenue for job opportunity.

Given the current scenario, could you throw some light on the scope that a career in animation holds and will, in the coming future?
Animation itself is a combination of wide variety of career combinations. The process pipeline for an animated project consists of: Concept → Story → Script → Designing → Story Boarding → Character Sketch → Concept creation → Asset creation → Modeling → Environments → Rigging → Character Animation → Technical Animation → Lighting → Texturing → Dynamics → Voice Recording → Digital Editing → VFX → Final Film.
While it is not possible for someone to master it all, it is essential to have an overview of the complete process flow to be able to contribute at a professional level. One must realize that this industry is all about effective storytelling and filmmaking. Unfortunately, in India, most of the animation education curriculums focus more onsoftware education rather than training the students in the core strengths to adopt real life studio pressure and output demands from day one.
The recession has taught us valuable lessons, especially optimization of resources. It is very important for the students to understand that every studio value freshers with strong fundamentals and ability of multitasking. The cost factor and severity of delivery deadlines in most cases does not allow a studio to be able to invest in training a fresher on job. They rather prefer well trained fresher with professional attitude, capable of delivering the project from the day one. Therefore, one has to understand and ensure that he is at the right place to learn Animation / Visual Effects before stepping into this field.

How can a student go about for a career in this field?(post 12th)
Everybody in this world is born with something unique and is creative. Teachers are mere facilitators polishing the rough edges and guiding and giving directionto the young budding aspirants wishing to find a career in this field. Passion, indepth study, right focus, last but not the least clear long term goals are the key ingredients to develop exceptional animation space for self in the ever growing industry.
Students should look for university affiliated degree programs, right institute with good academic record and placement assistance, and then it is a walk towards starting their journey in animated space.
What is the aptitude or the skills required for an individual to have if he aspires to make a career in this industry?
‘Passion fulfils dreams’. When you are passionate about what you are doing, you will give it a cent percent. Creative inclination is accompanied along with it. Hence, it’s Passion with Creative Inclination.

Those who want to excel in 2D Animation then artistic talent is a must.For 3D animation, VFX, it is not mandatory to have artistic skills. While doing the course one should acquire the adaptive abilities with solid knowledge base of storytelling & filmmaking. The idea is not to develop himself as a future generation of mere software operators in animation and VFX but a wholesome emergence of young professionals with substantial knowledge base about the entire process flow of Animation & Visual Effects Film Making.

Could you explain us the key animation techniques that should be pursued by aspirants?

As such there is no key technique involved, it’s just the culmination of many processes& technique to learn and then prepare self as a specialist in one particular technique.