This Fortnight’s Focus - Animation - Harminder Kaur
| Education Jagat - 16 Aug 2018

What is Animation?
Animation is the art of movement. Animation is a combination of art, aesthetics and skills. Animation is the rapid display of a sequence of images of 2-Dimensional or 3-Dimensional artwork or model positions in order to create an illusion of movement.
Is Animation and cartooning the same?
The field of animation is sometimes misunderstood with cartooning. Cartooning is simply drawing caricatures of characters with some distinct subtleties to make the character evoke a sense of comedy. On the other hand, animation is the art of breathing life into these characters. Animation is the art with which inanimate objects are brought to life with the help of various modern computer based sequencing techniques.
Is animation all hand drawn?
Traditional hand-drawn animation was the process used for most animated films of the 20th century.
Today, animators’ drawings and the background is either scanned into or drawn directly into a computer system. Various software programs are used to color the drawings and simulate camera movement and effects. The final animated piece is output to one of several delivery media, including traditional 35 mm film and newer media such as digital video.
What is the kind of work that the 3D animators do?
3D animation is a complete teamwork and works on the creative ideas. 3D animation itself is a combination of wide variety of career combinations. The various steps included in the making of a 3D animation movie consist of: 
Story→StoryBoarding → Character Sketch → Concept creation → Modeling → Environments → Rigging → Character and Mechanical Animation → Storyboard Animation → Lighting → Texturing → Dynamics → Voice Recording → Digital Editing → Vfx → Final Film 
So, the various job roles in a typical 3D animation world can be:
• 3D Animators use software tools and rigs to accomplish many of the same things 2D animators do. 
• Character Animators create an acting performance and bring a character to life through movement and expressions, regardless of medium 
• Character FX (hair/cloth/fur) artists are responsible for the design of character effects such as cloth and fur simulations. They develop tools to enhance the pipeline. Knowledge of Maya, rigging tools and surface modeling techniques is helpful. 
•  Lighting supervisors create the lighting look, processes and techniques necessary to portray the art director’s vision of the movie. They recommend lighting pipelines, tools and procedures for CG production. 
•  Matte painters design environments based on the story and script. They are painters and artists who can conceptualize and visualize ideas including complex backgrounds, landscapes and environments. They use tools like Photoshop, Maya and Renderman. 
•  Modelers create 3D models of characters and settings based on preliminary graphics. 
• Renderers manage the “render farm,” the group of machines that actually render the 3D models into working animation. 
•  Roto artists work to embed an animated character into a live-action scene and/or enhance the sense of depth (such as putting a character behind a tree). 
•  Storyboard artists interpret scripts into images that best convey the story. They plan and coordinate images from thumbnails for planning shots to final storyboards that visually demonstrate how the story will develop.
Every role is crucial for the successful creation of the animated project. 
What are the skills required to be a good animator?
A successful animator is someone who is observant and inquisitive about life and the world around them. To become an animator, you will need to have:
•  Creativity and imagination.
•  Good drawing or modeling skills.
•  Patience and concentration
•  Acting skills to bring characters to life.
•  Accuracy and attention to detail.
•   The ability to take direction
•   Good computer skills, preferably including graphics and animation software.
•  Communication and presentation skills
•  The ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
•  Good teamwork skills.
For a successful career in the field one needs to have basic skills in web authoring, digital illustrations, image editing, page layout creation, multimedia authoring, and web publishing, conventional animation, and contemporary animation, animation for the web, video editing and composing.
What are the career prospects in the field of animation?
Job prospects for animators are rising at a very fast pace thanks to the boom in the entertainment and gaming industry. Animation with time has got a good hold over movies, television and advertising industries due to the extensive use of special effects. Full length animation movies are in great demand. A single animation film requires as many as 500 animators, which means huge employment opportunities.
Today, animators have a variety of employment options. These include:
• Entertainment (movies and television)
• Development of computer games/mobile games.
• Advertising (commercials and print ads)
• Education (Computer Based Tutorials/Web Based Tutorials)
•  Product Design Engineering & Modeling.
• Simulations (educational, engineering, virtual reality)
•  Web design and development.
•  Publishing (e-books, graphics and printing)
•  Fashion designing and interior designing.
•  Sales and Marketing (presentations, product promotions and marketing demos)
• Defense (Army, Navy, Air Force situation modeling)
• Medical, legal and insurance industry (presentations and models)
•  Leading studios and training institutes.
Self employment and freelance options are also available to animators. Some animators prefer to be employed as salaried professionals. Others like the freedom and flexibility of freelancing.
There is also significant advancement potential in the animation business. Starting animators need time to hone their skills and abilities. Advancement in the animation business gives professionals more creative control over their projects. Upper level animators will be more involved in the conceptualization of characters, scenes, and project and may oversee a team of people involved in the animation process.
What are the various courses available to make a career in the field of animation?
Various certificate, diploma and degree courses are available to pursue animation after 10+2. The admission to most of the degree courses will be based on an entrance test followed by portfolio evaluation and interview. Students from any stream in 10+2 can apply for these courses. 
Some of the colleges offering bachelors degree courses in animation are: 
NID, Ahmedabad, Industrial Design Centre (IDC) - Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Mumbai, Srishti School of Art, Design and Technology, Bangalore, MAEER’s MIT Institute of Design, Pune, DSK International Campus, Pune, Birla Institute of Technology, Noida, Jain University, Bangalore etc.  



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