The Top 5 Animation Courses In India (Updated)
Creative processes and professionals tend to evolve constantly, finding new ways, styles, or tools to present creative content in unique ways. The creative processes help to address the human need to express themselves in various ways and create a visual representation of thoughts. In modern times, in addition to exercising creativity, people need to produce and consume content for business, learning, or entertainment.
Animation is one of the creative techniques which has evolved over the years changing tools, forms, and ways of creation. The growth and development of animation were precipitated by people’s fascination with seeing stories brought to life.
Animation provided creators with a new way of storytelling wherein the characters in a story were brought to life, freeing up the need for the audience to visualize them based on their individual experiences. Popular comic books and mythical characters could be shown more entertainingly through animation and hence the medium gained popularity amongst people in general and children in particular.
Stories built around popular characters like Mickey Mouse, created by Walt Disney, came to life on screen through animation movies, and television and online streaming services helped this popular way of depicting characters through animation films to reach people’s homes. Recognizing the power of animation as a communication style and its penetration amongst the masses it began to be used for business promotions, messaging, and even to recreate important news events.
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Keeping pace with world developments Animation industry has grown tremendously in India too over the last few decades. Developments in the film and television industry, availability of advanced hardware and software, and increasing internet speeds have helped the industry to grow. Indian studios have started producing animation films for domestic as well as international markets and the Indian animation industry has seen a gradual growth from 2D animation which started in the 50s to 3D animation, through the use of computer graphics.
Today many international animation studios have either set up offices in India or have acquired Indian studios, testifying to the fact that the expertise to produce an animation of international standards is available in India also. Indian animation professionals are also being hired by international studios as their skill levels are at par with the best in the world.
The animation industry in India was also supported by rich storytelling traditions. The folk tales and mythological stories have been converted into interesting animation films for television, the internet, and movie theatres, making it possible for the local population to watch content they can easily identify with. The availability of animation professionals and the animation industry has been made possible by the institutes offering animation courses in India. These continue to grow and add capabilities according to technological developments in the industry.
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Types of Animation
Despite the development of animation techniques, the demand for the type of work done by early animators continues to exist and has become part of the types of animation produced by professionals. Animation, as it exists today, has been classified into five types
- Traditional animation
- 2D animation
- 3D animation
- Motion Graphics
- Stop Motion
Traditional animation is a technique where each frame for animation is drawn by hand. Before the development of computer graphics animation films were made using the traditional animation technique.
A 2D animation is a form of animation where the characters move in a two-dimensional space. Traditional animation is sometimes called traditional animation and has evolved from the hand-drawn style of animation. Nowadays, however, even 2D animation is done on a computer. Despite the development of other forms of animation 2D animation continues to be popular.
3D animation is the most common form of animation nowadays. Computer graphics are used to create a three-dimensional environment and characters which often look similar to the real-world environment and characters. This similarity to the real-world situation makes 3D animation more interesting to watch and more popular.
Motion Graphics consist of digital graphics that give the illusion of motion. They are often combined with sound and/or text to convey messages to a viewer. They are commonly used in advertisements and films.
Stop motion animation consists of physically moving objects in small steps between individually photographed frames so that they seem to be in continuous motion when the frames are played in a continuous sequence. Physically moving objects and photographing them obviates the need to draw them.
Characters made of clay, puppets, or real people are used to produce stop motion animation effects and though the process may be cumbersome, it offers interesting possibilities for the development of animated content and has been used for producing movies and ad films. Considering the slow process of making stop motion animation films, it is assumed by many to be a primitive form of animation film making. Computer Graphics allow faster development of animation films.
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Careers in Animation
Aspiring animators looking for animation courses in India would be glad to know that animation is a rewarding field for learners aspiring to master a skill that blends creativity and the use of technology. Similar to any creative process, animation offers immense scope to apply ideas and skills and rewards a professional based on uniqueness and excellence of skills. A creative process like animation also provides the creator with the joy of seeing his creation come to life on a screen and entertaining people. Many institutes have come up in India in the past few years which provide excellent training in animation.
As a career option animation offers immense scope to learners in India. If one has the creative skills and a desire to use them to build a rewarding career, animation is a great option.
Possible job profiles that animation professionals can look at are
- Model makers – Model makers create a digital representation of an object or character for animation. Considering their role, they are required to develop an understanding of proportions, anatomy, form, and volume so that the models can be properly developed and animated.
- Background designer- The design of the scenery in which animation occurs is done by background designers. Considering the importance of background in creating the context in a story, the role of background designers is important.
- Storyboard artists- A storyboard artist, as the name suggests, is tasked with translating a director’s idea into a coherent story. The storyboard is a visual representation of the script and shows the flow of scenes in a film through a series of illustrations. The storyboard artist is required to develop the storyboard.
- Layout artists- Layout Artists are like Directors of Photography for animation. They set up the camera angles and lighting, timing, and placement of characters within a scene.
- Character animators- A character animator interestingly develops the characters for the audience. This involves looking into a character’s personality and developing the character’s physical features.
- Special effects artists- These artists use computer-generated, mechanical, and optical effects for video games, television shows, and movies. They need to have the required skills in the use of computer programs that can help to generate these effects.
- 2D animators- A 2D animator creates animation in two-dimensional space using the traditional cel animation method or computer graphics. Despite the popularity of 3-dimensional animation 2D animation is still used in advertisements, films, and games.
- 3D animator- 3D animators, as the name suggests, work in 3D space and with three-dimensional characters. Though complex, this is the most popular form of animation. The use of animation for purposes like advertising may not require three-dimensional animation.
The roles available for animation professionals show that there is vast scope for students taking animation courses in India. There are also a variety of industries like advertising, film making, game development, and development of educational content. It is a known fact that images convey messages more effectively than words, and moving images convey them even better. Advertisers, storytellers and information, education, and communication professionals use this potential of animation for their work.
Animators desirous of working in a different industry need to develop relevant skills in addition to the basic skills of understanding colours, proportions, storylines, forms, textures, and volumes. Developing these skills and doing notable work in a particular industry helps the professionals carve a niche for themselves which is very important for a creative professional to succeed.
Some of the skills required to be developed by animation professionals desirous of working in different industries are as under
- Advertising- Animation students wanting to build a career in advertising need to learn about digital branding, social media strategies, and multimedia storytelling.
- Game development- Game development requires professionals to develop artistic and technical skills for designing and prototyping required in the process. Besides developing and drawing characters and developing storylines, the learners also need to develop research skills.
- Film making- Animation students who want to pursue film making require to develop skills of character development, lighting, special effects, and storyboarding in addition to basic animation skills. Building a credible and engaging storyline is important for filmmakers. The narrative and the characters need to be developed according to the purpose of the film. Films made for entertainment would have different requirements and those for social messaging would have separate requirements.
Irrespective of the field in which animators work, they need to develop a portfolio of their creations, like other creative professionals, to showcase their skills and expertise. Many animation professionals also work independently and provide services to businesses and studios. The field of animation thus offers the possibility of being a self-employed professional also.
Developments in the animation industry
An interesting feature of the animation industry is that it continues to evolve, making content consumption more engaging and interesting. The animation courses in India are keeping pace with these developments. One such recent development has been the development of Virtual Reality technology in animation.
Unlike 2D and 3D animation which was largely meant to be viewed like a film, virtual reality offers the viewers an opportunity to be immersed in the environment and at times interact with characters. The viewer is allowed to be part of a virtual 3D world and experience it like the real world. Cost-effective ways to access VR content, like headsets and mobile phones, also popularized the spread of virtual reality technology.
Virtual Reality also required animation professionals to create environments that could be seamlessly viewed in 360 degrees, requiring them to get into better detailing of the scenes. The development of high-definition display screens has also shifted the focus on detailing as animations displayed in high definition are capable of showing patterns, textures, and colours in greater detail.
Another development that has occurred in content viewership in recent years, which uses animation, is augmented reality. Augmented reality helps to overlay virtual objects or characters in the surroundings of the viewers and helps them visualize them as part of immediate environments. Animators often develop the objects and characters used in augmented reality and are required to make them as realistic as possible to help the viewer in getting the desired visualization. Augmented reality is being used widely for interior and architectural design, game development, and product promotions and has a large potential for animation professionals.
Many tasks done by animators are time-consuming and tedious, allowing animators to produce a limited amount of content. The use of animation for various purposes like advertising, filmmaking, social media content, and messaging requires animation professionals to develop a large amount of content in short periods. Artificial Intelligence, through automation of processes, has made it possible to render and produce a large amount of content in shorter periods.
Tasks like animating clothes, hair, and characters walking or running are time-consuming and AI tools that can help to speed up these tasks are being developed, saving a lot of time and effort. The saving of time on repetitive and tedious tasks using AI tools helps animation artists spend more time on the creative process. Quicker development of films helps film developers recover investments faster.
Thus, artificial intelligence is speeding up tasks in the animation industry and making them less cumbersome. Artificial Intelligence has been maligned in recent times for taking away human jobs but in the animation industry, artificial intelligence is helping to make workflows more efficient.
Software used in the industry
AI can help to speed up tasks but the development of animated content depends on the use of appropriate computer software. Software varies from dedicated ones that are used for specific functions like character development and special effects to general ones which can help to develop a variety of 3D models and render them.
Though a variety of software packages are used for animation some of the popular ones are as under
- 3D Studio Max: An Autodesk product, it is used by architects and animators to make games, models, and 3D animations.
- Adobe animate: A software with Adobe branding, Adobe animate is a multimedia authoring and animation program and is used for developing vector graphics and animation.
- Blender: An open-source 3D software, it helps with animation, rendering, video editing, and game development
- Maya: An Autodesk product, it is a 3D modelling and animation software used for 3D printing and animation.
- Unity: Created by an American Video game software development company, it allows users to create games and 2D or 3D experiences.
- Powtoon: A combination of PowerPoint and Cartoon, Powtoon is a cloud-based software for creating animated presentations and explainer videos.
- Cinema 4D: A rendering, animation, and modelling application it is known for its flexible interface and ease of use.
- Keyshot: Used for rendering and animation, it allows the application of materials and lighting and allows one to see changes in real-time.
- Toon Boom Harmony: A 2D animation software, it can be used to create animations for web, television, short films, or video games.
The portfolio created by animators for themselves needs to show not only their creative ability but also the ability to use the software. The best way to learn the use of the software is through learning offered by various courses in the country. These courses not only impart skills in the form of the use of software but also help one in identifying areas of interest and in solving practical problems.
Though many online resources offer an opportunity for self-learning, the structured learning offered by institutes through experienced professionals has its advantages. Learning through an institute also helps one acquire a degree, diploma, or certificate which is sought by many clients or work providers. Some of the animation courses in India are as under
1. Whistling Woods International
Whistling Woods International communication, and creative arts institute in Mumbai. The institute offers a four-year BSC/BA+ PG Diploma in animation. It is a unique multi-dimensional 8-semester program that offers specialization in 2D animation, 3D animation, Comic book design, Game Design, and previsualization. It also offers a flexible, elective-based program where students can choose courses of interest to them. Whistling Woods is amongst the large and premier training institutes running animation courses in India.
2. Zee Institute of Creative Art
Zee Institute of Creative Art is a part of the Essel Group of institutions. It offers courses in animation, visual effects, graphic design, gaming, web design, digital marketing, digital video, and audio editing, and digital photography. All courses offer theoretical and practical training that helps in preparing students for real-world challenges. The wide range of courses and the reputed Essel branding make the institute a good choice amongst institutes offering animation courses in India.
3. Birla Institute of Technology
The Institute of Technology offers three B.SC programs in animation and multimedia, It is a degree program and covers 2D animation 3D animation, game design, audio-video production. Interaction design, web design, and multimedia. The curriculum and pedagogy is a blend of creativity and state-of-the-art technology catering to the need of the industry. The course is taught by faculty members who carry an experience in both academics and Industry. Learners looking for animation courses in India that are degree programs are sure to find the course run by the Birla Institute of Technology to be useful.
4. Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC)
Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics is one of the older institutes offering courses in animation. It provides education in gaming, film making, animation, visual effects, Augmented reality, and Virtual Reality, web design, and graphic design. It prides itself in providing job-oriented courses designed by experienced faculty. MAAC offers a wide variety of courses, which include online courses, and would be a good choice for aspiring professionals looking for animation courses in India.
5. Arena Animation
Learners looking for animation courses in India are sure to come across Arena animation as one of the institutes offering animation courses in India. The home page of the website has interesting graphics which help the visitor to navigate to the relevant section interestingly. It was established in 1996 and offers courses in gaming, VFX, animation, UI-UX, broadcast, multimedia, and digital advertising & marketing. The courses offer training for a large range of career options for students and hence, hold an appeal for students searching for animation courses in India.
As applications and techniques of animation continue to grow so will the institutes offering animation courses in India. Creative individuals looking for an interesting career option which is interesting offers vast scope for growth and national and international employment opportunities would find animation to be a good option.
Over the years animation courses in India have been brought in line with international standards and equipped with state-of-the-art equipment, allowing students to develop skills required internationally on the latest hardware and software. Considering the developments in the animation industry and the growth of animation courses in India, it seems that animation can be a natural career choice for many talented, creative individuals in the country.