Career Scope in Animation & VFX

As a creative interested in animation, you’ve probably wondered if the craft is more art or science.

But as Rick – from the dimension-hopping, sci-fi, surreal comedy show, Rick and Morty – opines: Sometimes science is more art than science.” That’s precisely how animation and VFX (Special Effects) work in any visual medium. From short films to product Ads, the craft blends technology and creativity to bring diverse characters to life.

In fact, today, they’ve opened doors for a kind of storytelling humans can’t narrate in the flesh: Like sending Matthew McConaughey to outer space in Interstellar (Who knew, really?).

The Fascinating World of Animation in India

Did you know India’s animation industry commands nearly 10% of the global market share? Or, in simple terms: there’s no shortage of jobs or growth opportunities in the industry.

But do animators only work in film and TV productions? Absolutely not! Today, as Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) redefine the way we consume visual content, animators are also being sought in industries like real estate, advertising, commercials, online entertainment, even the gaming industry.

Technical skills you’ll require to excel in the field include:

  • Microsoft Office packages
  • Javascript
  • Photoshop
  • UI Design
  • 3D Modelling
  • MAYA
  • Houdini
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • Prototyping

Besides these, you also need to have a keen eye for the smallest detail, a firm grasp of colour/composition theory and staying at the top of the ever-changing industry trends. Welcoming criticism (not as brutal as Gordon Ramsey’s, thankfully) and continuous practice will surely add to your employability in the industry.

Also, to begin a career in animation, VFX course from a reputed institution like Pearl Academy should be your first step. By undergoing a formal training, you can learn critical technical skills and build expertise to thrive in the industry.

A few of the most promising careers in animation and VFX are mentioned below.

Character Animator

Think Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse! All your beloved cartoon characters were ideated and created by a character animator – professionals who use animation software like 3D modelling and 2D animations (sometimes even puppetry!) to create lively characters. Outside of film productions, these animators often find work in game design firms, TV productions, PR firms, advertising agencies, and web design firms.

Also, they are tasked to draw storyboards, design environments, and create models to pitch ideas to the client and develop concepts.

Storyboard Artist

Storyboard artists are the ones who translate the director’s vision and animation’s narrative into visual illustrations. They work on a series of panels, each comprising pictures to plan specific shots while ensuring continuity. Put simply, these panels form the basis for the animation style.

When starting out, you can work under a senior artist and learn critical skills. You may be asked to revise already drawn scenes or fill in background details. Undoubtedly, it’s a profession for nimble fingers.

Concept Artist

Concept artists are the brains behind the artwork that inspires every special effect (VFX) you see on TV, film, or other creative productions (including your favourite concept art from Call of Duty). These professionals draw everything – vehicles, environments, characters/creatures, buildings, you name it! Often, producing work in the form of 2D pictures or 3D wireframe computer-generated images (CG) based on a brief or script.

There may even be multiple versions of the same designs. But once they’ve created the mood boards, the VFX team begins to shape the VFX pipeline.

To Sum Up

Sure, not everyone can become the next Hayao Miyazaki. We could only dream of creating animation features as heartfelt as the Studio Ghibli ones. But India’s animation industry is growing steadily and opening numerous avenues for you to explore.

Leave a Comment