Home career Planning a career in animation: a complete guide to success

Planning a career in animation: a complete guide to success

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Who can forget the cute obsessed Panda who taught us that self-belief can help us to scale great heights or the ever charming and fascinating world of Narnia! Blockbuster films like Kung Fu Panda, Narnia’s Chronicles, Wall-E, Coraline, Up, Bolt, Ice Age, and Monsters vs. Aliens are striking examples of the miracle of animation. Animation industry has unlimited scope for magic-making lovers.

People generally tend to get confused between cartooning and animation.  Cartooning is simply drawing character caricatures with some distinct subtleties to evoke a sense of comedy from the character. On the other hand, the art of breathing life into these characters is animation. Animation is the art using various modern computer-based sequencing techniques to bring inanimate objects to life.

A step by step guide

The best way to pursue an animation career is to obtain an animation degree or diploma. But there is not yet a graduate degree in animation in India and only very few institutes are currently offering this course. On the other hand, there are a host of institutes offering animation diploma courses. In the animation arena, a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is also a very important course. An animation bachelor’s degree and BFA are three-year courses, whereas the animation diploma course varies from six months to one and a half years.

Is it a right career option?

If you have creativity oodles, then yes, that’s the right career option for you. You need a lot of zeal and imagination to be a good animator. In drawing and sketching, you have to be good. Understanding the expressions and movement of humans, birds and animals is a very important part of animation as it will help you express the characters you create in the most appropriate way.

You should also have good visualization skills and color flair. For this job profile, patience, hard work and dedication to your work are also a must. Animation is a multi-task job so you need to work as a team, so you need good communication skills.

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Job prospects

Due to the boom in the entertainment and gaming industry, job prospects for animators are rising at a very fast pace. Due to the excessive use of special effects, animation with time has a good hold over the films, television and advertising industries.

There is a great demand for full-length animation movies. A single animation film requires up to 500 animators, meaning huge job opportunities. Animation is one of the concrete, lucrative and demanding career options serving both entertainment and e-learning industries.

Pay packet for animation course

Animation is a satisfying and lucrative profession that attracts young people in droves. Professionals new to this industry generally work in animation studios and production houses in the capacity of junior animators. These animators ‘ starting pay package can range from Rs.10,000 to Rs.15,000 per month. You can become a senior animator within a span of three to five years and order a monthly salary as much as Rs.30,000 to Rs.40,000. If you’re really creative and you’ve been part of some innovative projects, you can bag a paycheck over Rs.55,000.

Market influence on this course

The Western-dominated animation industry has found a new hub in India. India has the potential and creative juices to produce world-class animations among all the Asian countries. While the animation industry is a relatively newcomer to India, a period of unprecedented boom is all set for this industry. There is an insatiable demand for animations and special effects in the television, film and advertising industry. In addition, India, steeped in rich cultural heritage and mythology coupled with the know-how of technology, is ready to produce full-length animation films and short animation features.

Job profiles in animation

Animator in-between–This is the position of a beginner in the animation industry where you can learn nearly all the basics of animation.

Model–A person with strong knowledge of shape, volume and anatomy. They’re making animation models.

Background artist–The task is to paint the characters ‘ background in the project.

Layout artist–Person deciding the angles of the lighting and camera and sketching the animation background design.

Story Broad Artist–Storyboard artists hire people with strong drawing skills and their job is to visualize a series of events from one animation frame to another.

Lean-up Artist–Animator assistant whose job is to trace the rough drawing of the animator and to check the accuracy and consistency of the design.

Scanner operator –Job is scanning the drawings of the clean-up artist.

Composer–Job is to bring in a single animation frame all the different characters and backgrounds.

Character animator–They bring characters to life and know traditional animation and stop-motion animation in general.

Special effect artist–combine live action footage with imagery generated by the computer.

Digital artist ink and paint–Their duty is to add colors to each frame.

Image Editor–Bring together an animation film’s various audio-visual components.

Rendering artist–Combine models, textures, animation, lighting and create the right mix in the form of individual animation frames.

2-D Animator–They create a very large volume of separate drawings that define a sequence of animations.

Texture Artist–Create a 3-D-modelled character, object, or environment surface.

Rigging artist–Take the modeling, textured 3-D character or object and set it up with a skeletal system or joints, which helps the 3-D character to speak or move smoothly and correctly.

Top recruiters for this course

Here is a list of some top recruiters that you might get hired by after a course in animation:

  • Toons animation india
  • Pentamedia graphics
  • Maya entertainment
  • UTV toonz
  • Heart entertainment
  • Padmaalya telefilms
  • Crest communication

Tips for getting hired

  • It’s a must to have a professional field course.
  • Get a high-end computer with an advanced graphic card and some development tools; make a demo with all the practical skills the employers are looking for.
  • It is very important to prepare a strong work portfolio in order to get a job in Animation.
  • Apply to as many businesses as possible.

Funding and scholarships available in animation

A boom in India’s animation industry has boosted career prospects and encouraged many institutions to offer talented individuals scholarships. Aptech Arena extends to its meritorious students the Kala Srishti Scholarship program.

The UD School of Animation, Hyderabad, offers a scholarship program for DiiA (Diversity in India Animation), which supports and promotes women to take up an animation career.

Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC) provides annual scholarships to meritorious students on the basis of an interview-following creativity test.

Also read A career in interior designing: complete guide

Best college to study animation

NID, Ahmedabad

National institute of designing is one of the best institutes where the course if offered. With world class faculty and maximum focus on practical knowledge this place is a heaven for the animation lovers. NID is also known for the best placements for maximum students with an average salary package of 15 lakhs to 50lakhs.

Seminars, presentations and guest lectures by some of the world renowned names in the industry are the highlights of this institute.

The official website reports, Animation Film Design graduates are working as independent animators. Some students are freelancing as visualizers for storyboards and pre-production. Others work as art directors and as part of creative teams in channels such as Channel[ V], MTV, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and multimedia agencies such as Tata Interactive, Infosys and production houses such as Famous House of Animation, Vaibhav Studio, and Miditech.

VIT, Vellore

The place is a hub of animation which delivers great minds with utmost creativity and knowledge. The place has over 1400 faculty members and offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Candidates can secure admission in BSc Multimedia and Animation course offered at VIT University, Vellore on the basis of their performance in the qualifying exam (10+2)

Amity university, Mumbai

Amity University was founded in 2003 and has campuses in towns like Noida, Lucknow, Jaipur, Gurgaon, Gwalior, Greater Noida, Mumbai, Raipur, Kolkata, Ranchi and Patna. Students are offered BSc Animation & Visual Graphics course by Amity University, Mumbai. Candidates who have cleared their 10+ 2 from a recognized board are eligible to enroll for an animation course.

Amity University’s Mumbai campus is located on the Mumbai-Pune Expressway and is designed by an internationally renowned American architect who also designed Boston University and California State University. The official website reports that the University’s Mumbai campus facilitates the all-round growth of students.


Megha Bali
Megha Bali
I am a carefree person...who loves to read and write and explore new things in life.... I feel the world is my canvas and I can paint it with the colors of my choice.

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