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Career watch: The colourful world of animation
Shilpa Shet
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March 04, 2008

Animation as an industry and a career option is booming. Says Radhakrishnan T, Manager, Business Development, Race the Animation College, Hyderabad, "The animation boom has created a lot of job opportunities. Especially for someone who looks at animation and computer graphics as a serious career. Animation is a blend of the entertainment industry and technology. The range of jobs available for a computer animator can be mind boggling. There is hardly any industry that doesn't require or use computer animators."

"These days animation is used in almost all the industries from automobile, pharmaceutical, medicine, aerospace, civil, and architectural," says Anand Kannan from ToonSkool, Bangalore.

According to Radhakrishnan, top IT companies like Tata, Reliance [Get Quote], Satyam [Get Quote], UTV, Pentasoft, Rhythm & Hues, have jumped into the fray. International animation houses like Walt Disney [Images] studios, Paprika Animation Studio, Technicolor labs, SONY are looking at tie-ups with Indian animation companies too.

Puneet Sharma, General Manager of Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA) says, "As per the NASSCOM Report 2006 (NASSCOM - Primary Research & Analysis, Pg 127), the starting salaries of freshers is between Rs 8,000-Rs 12,000 per month. With 1-3 years of experience in Animation, a professional can draw between Rs 20,000-30,000 per month, whereas 3-8 years of experience can get a remuneration of Rs 40,000-Rs 60,000 per month."

With so much demand in the industry, it is obvious that trained personnel need to be created. This is where animation training institutes feature.

A few years ago there were a handful of institutes. Over the last year, many animation training institutes have mushroomed all over the country.

We spoke to a few institutes across the country and here is what they have to say.

Who can become an animator?
Here's what industry experts feel:

What aspects do the courses cover?
At Anitoons, the following is taught

Race courses offer the following:

At ToonSkool, the student get to do the following:

Zica diploma courses offer the following:

MAAC offers the following:

How does one chose between a short term or long term courses?
~ In the animation industry, there are no shortcuts, says Amit, who has been associated with the industry for more than 10 years.

~ Short term courses help those who already have some basic knowledge and want to enhance their marketability. For example, if a mechanical engineer wants to demonstrate how a new gear functions, learns animation, it would help him to make his presentations more effective, says Anand. 

~ Short term courses are good for an entry level job in animation in areas like Digital Designing, 3D Modeling, Rigging, Texturing and Lighting or Compositing. Long term courses have better scope than short term courses if you want to make a career in animation, says Puneet.

~ Freshers should enroll for a long term course as they should go through all the processes of animation film making to make them complete animators, says Shravni.

What are the course fees like?
~ Anitoons
Duration: 18 months
Fee: Rs 1 lakh, including service tax

~ Race
6 different courses
Fee: Ranging between Rs 30,000 to Rs 2,50,000 (educational loan facility available)

~ ToonSkool
Duration: 3 year (diploma)         
Fee: Rs 1 lakh per year

Duration: 3-year Diploma          
Fee: Rs 2.5 lakh 

Duration: 10-months Diploma
Fee: Rs 1.10 lakh

The course fee ranges from Rs 10,000 to Rs 2 lakh

How do you choose an institute?
Here are some tips on how you can choose the right institute:

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