Animation Courses - Careers, Salary, Jobs, Scope

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Why Animation?

Animation is the process of moving pictures that minimally differ from each other at a rapid pace and doing so creates an illusion of movement. It is extensively being used in the film industry, healthcare, architectural visualization among others.

Top job roles for graduates in animation course are-

  • Art Director
  • Storyboard Artist
  • Stop Motion Animator
  • Compositor Character Animator

On an average people working in this stream spend around 40 – 45 hours at work weekly. However, this number is highly dependent on the project and on the learning curve of the job. There is not much travel involved in this line of work.

However if you are employed as an animator for the film industry, there might be some travel involved based on the needs of the project.

Animation Courses

Film Design using Animation

This course deals with the relationship between animation and filmmaking. Animation is extensively being used in the entertainment industry and hence the demand for this course is rapidly gaining importance.

Usually, a course in animation takes 3 years to complete. However, there are many institutions offering short-term courses which have a duration of 3 – 6 months.

The minimum requirement requires the candidate to complete his or her 10th and 12th grade with a minimum score of 50%.

There are a wide variety of people who take this course, from college graduates to professionals who are looking to widen their knowledge base.

A few institutions offering this course are as follows:

  • Film and Television Institute of India
  • Akash Animation Institute
  • Asian Academy of Film and Television

Visual Effects

Abbreviated as VFX, is the combination of computer-generated images with live footage. Used extensively in the film industry, it is one of the most sought-after branch of animation. Usually, a candidate applying for this course is expected to have a good grasp of computers and the related concepts.

Candidates need to have a deep understanding of 3D animation and computer software related to excel in this field. That is why it is good to know the basics of animation before stepping into the field of VFX.

Most of the VFX courses are a year long. Additionally, it is not necessary to have a degree for enrolling in a VFX course. Basic knowledge of computers, animation and a passion for visual effects is sufficient.
Colleges offering visual effects course are as follows:

  • ICAT Design and Media College
  • CMR University
  • JIS University
  • Zee Institute of Creative Arts

Game Designing

The gaming industry is another industry that has had a complete makeover in the past few years. Game designing involves coming up with an idea for a game, designing the characters in the game, designing the different scenarios etc.

People involved in game designing need to be exceptionally good with computers. Usually, people who have a degree in computer engineering go for this course.  Additionally, creativity is exceptionally important for this course.

The few colleges that offer this course are as follows:

  • Global Institute of gaming and animation
  • IIFA Multimedia
  • MAAC
  • iPixio Design College

Digital Photography

Photography is another avenue that is gaining popularity. Using techniques of animation in photography has become extremely common and tends to add a new dimension to photographs.

In this course, the candidates are taught the art of taking pictures and enhancing these pictures using the techniques of animation. Usually, people who are employed in the field of photography take this course to widen their skill set and improve the quality of their photographs. It is extremely common for people to go for a diploma course in digital photography which is a year long.

Colleges offering this course are as follows:

  • National Institute of Photography
  • Delhi College of Photography
  • Light and Life Academy
  • Asian Academy of Film and Television

2D and 3D Animation

There are different types of animations, the two major types being 2D and 3D animation. There are no stringent education qualifications needed to pursue this course. The minimum requirement is that the candidate should have finished his/ her schooling.

People can go for a bachelor’s degree in computer animation which lasts for 4 years or can also go for many short-term courses offered at institutions which lasts for a few months.

Depending on the college and on the course chosen, the candidate will have to prepare for different entrance exams.

Different colleges tend to resort to different selection tests. For example, National Institute of Design conducts NID DAT entrance exam in two phases. People who clear the first phase are only eligible for the second phase of the exam.

A few colleges that offer this course are as follows:

  • Arena Animation
  • National Institute of Design
  • Frameboxx Animation
  • FX School

Jobs and career opportunities in Animation Industry

Art Director

Any job that needs a visual appeal to it is in need of an art director, and the need for such individuals is extremely high when it comes to the film industry.

Art directors usually head the animation team and are tasked with developing stills that are both mesmerizing and unique. Additionally, they are also responsible for training the junior staff members.

The salary of an art director highly depends on the project on which they are working on. On an average Art Directors earn Rs. 5,97,000 annually. Experience plays an important role in determining the salary of the individual.

3D Modeler

As the name suggests, these professionals are responsible for creating 3D models and bringing them to life. They tend to work with sophisticated software and have an upward learning curve.

Due to the demanding nature of the job, people interested in 3D animation usually tend to enroll themselves in courses before stepping into the field.

The average annual income of 3D Modelers is Rs. 4,10,676.

Storyboard Artist

These are the professionals who the production team approaches when they have a story in hand. They collaborate closely with the production team and develop the first stills of the story (film, commercial etc).

The production team uses these stills as a reference for the development of the project. These professionals are highly sought after as they are responsible for laying the groundwork for the project.

The starting annual salary of story board artist is around Rs. 2,97,000. These artists usually move on to other jobs or climb up the ladder when they gain enough experience.

Forensic Animator

Animation has found its way into crime investigation too. Forensic investigators are tasked with recreation or put together a crime scene and help the authorities to collect evidence and give them a firsthand experience of details at the crime scene.

Talented forensic animators are is high demand. However, the bar for such a post is set quite high. The salary of these professionals is highly dependent on the firm they work for and on their skill set.

On an average, Forensic Animator earn around Rs. 20,000 per month and with enough experience, this value can increase up to Rs. 70,000 per month.

Stop Motion Animator

Physical modeling of real-world objects to create an illusion is what a stop-motion animator does. This profession could be tiring as the person is required to model every still with their own hands.

However, this profession opens up one’s creativity and gives a lot of room for experimentation. On an average, Stop Motion Animator earn Rs. 4,50,000 annually.

Other career opportunities include-

  • Layout artist
  • Background artist
  • Compositor
  • Character animator
  • Digital ink and paint artist
  • Rendering artist and rigging artist.

Salary in Animation Industry

Salary in this line of work is highly dependent on the firm that the professional works for, the kind of project that he/she is working on and the knowledge base of the candidate. Usually, many people who have an interest in animation go for freelancing jobs.

Seen by many as a lucrative profession, the salary of employees in animation field can go as high as Rs. 75,000 per month. Usually, fresher’s start with a smaller package, making around Rs. 20,000 per month. Students are encouraged to venture out in this field, create new and innovative projects and learn new technologies.

Additionally, this is one filed where freelancing is extremely popular with many people turning to this avenue to gain experience and build their reputation.

Animation Recruiters

Animation opens up new avenues for companies and this has resulted in many companies heavily investing in this field. Top recruiters in the animation field are as follows:

  • Walt Disney
  • Sony Entertainment
  • Toonz Animation India
  • Pentamedia Graphics
  • Blueberry
  • Silvertoon Studio
  • UTV Toonz
  • Spotify
  • Heart Entertainment
  • Crest Communication

Additionally, people who have finished a course in animation or are interested in this field can also turn to freelancing to improve their portfolio.

Specializations offered

  • 2D Animation

This specialization deals with the creation of artistic drawings in two-dimensional spaces. People who opt for this specialization should have good drawing skills, especially observation based drawing. They tend to draw their characters and scenarios and with the help of computer programs, animate their creations.

Their usual tasks involve creating storyboards, designing characters, using computers to add graphics and motion to their artwork. A few techniques used in 2D Animation are rotoscopy, onion skimming, morphing, and twining.

Students going for this specialization need to excel in as many techniques as possible and should be open to learning new techniques too.

  • 3D Animation

This specialization focuses on creating 3-dimensional images for the digital environment. Used extensively in the film industry, this specialization is extremely popular.

The process of modeling in 3-dimensional spaces is divided into three sections – modeling, layout, and animation.

3D animation involves techniques like appearance sketching, arena building, texturing and alteration. Animators need to have an in-depth knowledge of the project for designing the 3D models.

  • Motion Graphics

In this specialization, students are taught how to combine still images to create an illusion of motion. Motion graphics are applied in films, videos, interactive applications and many others.

With the introduction of computers, motion graphics has gained a lot of attention with people coming up with new software that speeds up the process of motion graphics. In this specialization, students tend to learn about the origin and basics of motion graphics.

Later on, the curriculum becomes tedious and involves many projects that give the students the much needed practical knowledge.

Courses & Subjects

The syllabus of an animation course is structured in such a way that people enrolled in this course get a thorough understanding of the concepts. Additionally, there are various projects that the students need to complete and this gives them a firsthand experience of what actually happens in the industry.

Course Syllabus
Visual Effects ·         History of Animation

·         Design Principles

·         Introduction to computers

·         Importance of Lighting

·         Modeling

·         Data Acquisition

·         Importance of Previsualization

·         Life Drawing

·         Different Software used in VFX

2D and 3D animation ·         Fundamentals of visual arts

·         Drawing from observation

·         Introduction to animation

·         Storyboard

·         Processes in 2D and 3D modeling

·         Introduction to Photoshop

·         High and low-resolution modeling concepts

·         Rigging and its impact

·         Introduction to software for 2D and 3D modeling

Filmmaking ·         Introduction to filmmaking

·         Planning the project

·         Importance of animation in filmmaking

·         Importance of lighting and modeling

·         Integrating animation into live footage

·         Techniques used in filmmaking

Game Designing ·         Formal Elements of Games

·         System Dynamics

·         Game economics

·         Games as a culture

·         Testing and Quality assurance

·         Computer programming

·         Character designing

·         Scenario designing

Digital Photography ·         Importance of colors

·         Importance of lighting

·         Understanding Image Quality

·         Types of Photography

·         Enhancing your Photos

·         Understanding your Camera

·         Black and White Photography

·         Exposures and Color Filters

Top colleges offering Animation courses in India

Below is a list of some of the popular colleges in India offering animation courses

Institute Address
VIT University Vellore
Amity University Noida
St. Xaviers College Kolkata
PA Inamdar College of Visual Effects, Design and Art Pune
MIT Institute of Design, MIT Art, Design and Technology University Pune
World University of Design Sonipat
Unitedworld Institute of Design Gujarat
Loyola Academy Degree & PG College Hyderabad
Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC) New Delhi
Zee Institute of Creative Art West Bengal
Asian Academy of Film and Television Noida

Let’s look at some renowned colleges that provide this course in detail:

IIFA Multimedia

IIFA Multimedia  offers a diploma in animation which is well appreciated and received by the students. They offer excellent assistance when it comes to placements and also give their students the right platform to showcase their skills.

The minimum eligibility criteria is that the candidate should have scored 45% or above in their 10th and 12th grade from a recognized board.

The fees for an entire course in animation is Rs.2,50,000.

Companies like Animation galaxy, TOEI Animation, Alstom, Prada visit the campus. Courses offered by this institute are as follows:

  • Sc in Animation and Multimedia
  • Sc in Gaming
  • Diploma in Animation

Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematic

If you have plans of pursuing a course in animation, then Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematic (MAAC) should be your ideal choice. They offer a wide range of courses like VFX, 3D animation, graphics design, and multimedia. Additionally, they also have a good placement record.

The fees can range from anywhere between Rs. 30,000 to Rs. 1,50,000 based on the course that you choose. This institution also provides a number of short-term courses for professionals who are looking to learn new concepts or expand their career.

Companies that visit this campus are UTV, Vaibhav Studios, technicolor, redchilles vfx etc.

Courses offered at this prestigious institution are as follows:

  • 3D Animation
  • VFX Design
  • Game Development
  • Graphics Design and multimedia

Arena Animation

Having been in the industry of education for almost 20 years, they have educated numerous students and have helped shape the animation industry. They set very high standards for their students and give them all the resources needed to achieve this set standard.

With a stellar reputation and numerous accolades, this institute should definitely be on your list of colleges for animation.
Companies like Technicolor, Deluxe Studios, Redchilles, and Sony TV etc come to this institution looking for candidates.

Courses offered at this institute are as follows:

  • Multimedia
  • Animation
  • VFX Design
  • Other short-term courses

National Institute of Design

Set up way back in 1961, National Institute of Design is well known for its quality of education. They follow a rigorous process when it comes to choosing the candidates for their institute. Their process of selection consists of two rounds – Drawing ability test (DAT) and studio test interview.

The fees for one year at this prestigious university amounts to Rs. 2,79,500. This is the first institute that students interested in animation turn to.

Usually, during the first week of placements, around 100 companies come to the campus to recruit students. It has been recorded that 16 lakhs per annum was the highest salary for 2016. In the year 2013, 10 students bagged a 36 lakhs per annum package from Trident Group.

Some companies that come to NID include Samsung R&D, Adidas, Whirlpool, SAP Labs.

Courses offered in this institute are as follows:

  • Animation Film Design
  • Graphic Design
  • Film and Video Communication

Requirements for Animation course

The students who want to pursue a course in animation will need to have passed their 10th and 12th exams with a minimum 45%.

Additionally, based on the college that the candidate is applying for, he/she will need to attend specific exams or interviews conducted by that particular institution. For example, NIFT conducts two exams – CAT (Creative ability test) and GAT (General ability test) to select students.

National Institute of design conducts a drawing ability test and an interview to shortlist candidates. Similarly, many universities employ various mechanisms to select students.

Scope of Animation in India

According to NASSCOM, the animation industry is expected to grow by 22% every year in India, making it the fastest growing industry. This alone is a testament to the scope, reach and opportunities for animation.

This is one specialization that combines art, creative thinking, and computer skills. Not only in India, the scope of the animation industry spreads across many countries too. This is one industry where the demand has exceeded the supply. Many firms are looking for talented individuals with a creative mind.

As of 2015, there are around 300 animation studios in India, providing jobs to thousands of people. There are around 30,000 people employed in the field of animation and this number is set to increase to 4.4 lakhs by the end of 2023.

Additionally, there are many opportunities available for people who want to go for a PG course in this field. Currently, the industry is facing a talent crunch and hence is in need of talented candidates to fill these positions.

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