Animation is the process of drawing a rapid succession of sequential images that can be played to produce the illusion of movement. These drawings are used for producing movies, short films, TV shows, advertisements, games, presentations, etc. Currently, animation videos are made using computer-generated imagery (CGI), whereas frame-by-frame drawing was used previously. Animation career promises boundless opportunity for skilled professionals all over the world, with special effects and animated sequences dominating the storytelling arena.
Types of animation
- Traditional or hand-drawn animation
- Computer or digital animation (2D and 3D)
- Motion capture animation
- Stop motion animation
Traditional animation: This involves drawing numerous frames on a transparent sheet to create a moving sequence. All drawn frames will be photographed on separate films to play the animation. This is a lengthy and costly process. This method is almost obsolete now.
2D Vector-based animation: Two-dimensional vector-based animation creates frames with the help of software, which are then played in sequence to create the illusion of movement. Digital images are created using vector graphics rather than pixels. 2D animation is widely used for producing Ads, cartoon shows, short films, websites, etc.
3D animation: This is the process of creating three-dimensional realistic characters/images using computer-generated imagery. These images when played in sequence produce a movie. 3D animation making involves three steps: modeling, layout and animation and rendering. All these steps are carried out with the help of a computer and professional 3D animation software. 3D animation is used to produce cartoon movies, television commercials, big screen movies, video games, educational videos, architectural presentations, etc.
Motion capture animation: This is the technique of recording the movements of an actor/object using motion capture cameras and using those images to animate 2D or 3D models to perform the same movements. Motion capture animation is used for producing video games, movie effects, television commercials, clinical analysis, etc.
Stop motion animation: Objects are moved in slight increments and filmed frame by frame to create a sequence of images. When all the frames are played in rapid succession, it produces the illusion of movement. Static objects like dolls, puppets, clay figures, etc. are used for stop motion animation. SM animation is used for creating short movies, television series, cartoons, etc.
In India, various job-oriented animation courses are conducted by various institutions in four main categories:
- Certificate courses
- Diploma courses
- Bachelor’s degree courses
- Master degree courses
Eligibility, duration and free structure of each course will depend on the topics covered and type of institution selected. Following are the commonly listed courses covering various Animation and Multimedia subjects.
- Certificate courses in VFX, 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Video Editing and Post Production Works, CG Arts, Web and Graphic Designing, etc.
- Diploma courses in 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Animation and Filmmaking, Animation and VFX, Video Editing and Post Production Technology, Graphic and Web Designing, etc.
- Bachelor’s degree courses in Animation and Multimedia, Visual Arts, Graphic Design, Fine Arts, CG Arts, Filmmaking, VFX and Gaming, etc. are conducted.
- Master degree courses in Animation and Multimedia, Animation and Digital Filmmaking, Visual Effects, Video Gaming, etc. are conducted.
Animation Job opportunities
Animation career offers exciting and challenging job opportunities for creative minds, offering them high remuneration, career growth and recognition in multinational companies. Boom in the entertainment and gaming industry has compelled international animation companies to outsource their animation tasks to India, thereby generating 5 lakh new job opportunities by 2023. Animation career opens up job opportunities in the following sectors: Film industry, television, advertisement, mobile and computer gaming, publishing, web designing, video editing, architecture, engineering, academic, scientific, etc. Commonly listed out animation jobs are given below.
- Layout and story board artists
- Animation/character artists
- Lighting artists
- 2D/3D animators
- 3D Rigging artists
- VFX compositor
- Concept artists
- Creative visual designers
- Motion graphics animators
- Sketching artists
- Visualizing, texture, lighting artists
- Script writers
- Digital painters
- Flash animators
- Film and video editors
- Image editors
- Modeling/Rendering artists
- Digital ink and paint artists
- Graphic designers
- Game designers
- Web designers
- Content developers
- Pre and post production executives
- Whiteboard animators
- Animation instructors
- Forensic animators
Skills required to pursue Animator Career
- Creativity, imagination and visualization skills
- Drawing/sketching skills
- Strong color sense
- Good story telling ability
- Ability to blend with characters
- Multitasking ability
- Good communication skills
- Time management skills
- Computer and software skills
- Attention to detail and patience
Average salary of an animation artist
As per employee inputs, a junior animator in India can earn anywhere between Rs.12,000 to Rs.20,000 per month, depending on company profile and talent. A skilled animator with 3 to 4 year working experience can draw salary anywhere between Rs. 30,000 to Rs.45, 000 per month.
Challenges of Animation Career
- Long working hours
- Stressful work atmosphere
- Tiring repetition of work
To conclude, Animation career promises employment opportunity for lakhs of young people in India by 2025. Thanks to outsourcing of animations tasks by MNCs to developing countries due to skilled manpower availability and cost advantages. They offer remunerations that are higher than national average and world-class working atmosphere. MNCs hire talented freshers and train them to skilled professionals to work at various facilities. Other aspirants can pursue quality mentor ship at various Multimedia and Animation institutions throughout the country with industry experienced faculty and top-notch infrastructure. In addition to the entertainment and media sector, engineering, medical, scientific and academic sectors are also using animated videos and presentations for various research, marketing, analysis and production purposes, making animation a future-proof career.