Global VFX market trends are expected to grow over USD 23,854 million by 2025, and 2018 saw a market share worth a whopping USD 11,333 million. So, if you aspire to walk down the VFX and animation career path – don’t doubt it! Stick with us till the end of this guide.

Source:https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2019/05/30/1859289/0/en/Global-VFX-Market-Trends-Will-Grow-Over-USD-23-854-Million-By-2025-Zion-Market-Research.html

Most of us have grown up passionately in love with cartoons. We’ve felt an uncanny attraction and connection to even animated cats and mice, like in Tom and Jerry. But did we ever stop to think why we related to these characters so profoundly? And, more importantly, who was making them?

As adults, we now know that these cartoons were made to imitate human beings — not just our facial expressions but our mannerisms as well. And, even better, these cartoons were made to create an enhanced version of our existence. Perhaps a man could not fly in real life – but he surely could on-screen!

A deep dive into VFX and Animation

In today’s time, we are multiple steps ahead of just films. We are now creating alternate realities through numerous media channels – visual media being unsurprisingly the most popular. Did you know that a whopping 50% of the human brain is directly or indirectly devoted to processing just visual information? That says a lot about how the media influences us. And, that also highlights the inherent potential of Visual Effects and Animation.

The world of VFX and animation is as fascinating as it is fast-paced. It’s also a rapidly growing industry – both in India and around the globe. Are you interested in devoting time to studying this art? Then read on. Our comprehensive career guide should help you figure out whether this is the right industry for you.

What are VFX and Animation?

“Animation is imagination.”
- Dan Weaver

VFX and animation encompass a variety of fascinating skills. VFX stands for ‘visual effects’ and, true to its name, it means creating or manipulating imagery to create a particular effect. This could be a grand explosion or something as simple as digitally adding a poster on a wall. Dr. Strange’s time portals in The Avengers? It’s VFX. The bullfight sequence in Baahubali? That’s VFX, too! Movies these days are full of impressive visual effects that take the viewer into a truly magical world.

Animation is a type of visual effect where the animator creates movements for objects and characters in either 2D or 3D. How many of you have been enthralled by the characters in The Lion King? Each character is as beautiful as the real animal they’re based on. And, unlike real lions, Simba, Kiara, Zazu, and the other have incredibly human-like expressions. Animators use a variety of software to design, draw, and then manipulate still images. This is called animation.

What is the role of a VFX animator or a VFX artist?

VFX animator’s work is usually utilised in movies, TV shows, and video games. They can also work in real estate, advertising, and any field where the visual representation of something, that is otherwise challenging to recreate, is required. Those majestic dragons in Game of Thrones are undoubtedly beautiful and awe-inspiring, but can we find them in real life? No.

This is where VFX animators come to the rescue! VFX and animation are also used when a plotline is too difficult or dangerous to simulate in real life. Examples of this would be sending a man into outer space (Interstellar) or flying (Krrish 3).

The different roles you would have to fulfil as a VFX animator are as follows:

  • Budgeting : analyse the client budget and decide what can be done within that framework.
  • Planning : plan based on the budget and client requirements – create high quality visuals within the final approved budgets.
  • Conceptualisation : plan out and design the required special effects.
  • Coordination : work with numerous other people, such as the producer, lead artists, and supervisors and coordinate with the other departments that are involved.
  • Collaboration : take direction and feedback from the above-mentioned people
  • Organisation : setting up meetings and communicate information effectively and quickly to meet deadlines
  • Editing : handle the edits along with the editorial department.

So, you see – the role of a VFX animator is both creative and managerial. It’s not only about ideating and creating the most epic blasts – it’s also about utilising the spirit of teamwork too!

Aside from these, there are numerous VFX departments as well. These include the art department, pre-visualisation department, asset department, research and development, match move, VFX simulation, lighting, and production.

What are the skills required to become a VFX and Animation artist?

Don’t have a degree in VFX animation (yet)? Don’t worry! If you have studied mass media, media technology, graphic design or photography – you’ll be able to learn VFX pretty easily.

At the same time, it’s not necessary to have a specialised degree in anything. School-level knowledge of Art (animation, design, painting, photography), Math, Physics and Computer Science can be helpful too.

To be a VFX animator, you must possess both technical skills and certain personality traits that will help you excel at this craft.

Technical Skills:

  • Javascript
  • Adobe Creative Suite
  • UI design
  • Linux/Unix
  • Houdini
  • MAYA
  • 3D modelling
  • Prototyping
  • Photoshop
  • Microsoft Office packages

Personality Traits:

While technical skills can be easily learnt, certain personality traits need to be imbibed to excel at this art.

  • Creativity : It’s important to be able to envision scenarios that will translate well onto the big (or small) screens.
  • Attention to detail : Do you have an eye keen enough to discern strands of hair lazily falling out of a dishevelled ponytail? This is just an example of the kind of details you need to pay attention toward to make the character more humane.
  • Good visual awareness : Are you able to judge – whether a cluster of flowers would look better if replicated and made into a larger group, or how the effects of a specific colour impact a particular scene? Being able to play with spaces and distances is almost as important as sensitivity towards colours.
  • Passion: You need to be passionate and enthusiastic about films, cartoons, drawings and storytelling.
  • A strong spirit of collaboration (must be a team player) : As we’ve discussed above, this field will require a lot of teamwork as several people will be involved in the process.
  • Organisation skills :Since there are so many departments involved, one would have to be very organised to ensure all interactions and communications are clear, precise, and documented efficiently.

What are the skills you’ll learn as you go down the path of VFX and animation?

The biggest learning experience in this field would be developing a sharp eye for detail. A VFX animator must be acutely aware of the smallest details – whether we’re talking about light and shadows, or freckles on a cheek.

Luckily, all these skills can be learnt. The personality traits can be developed through work experience, practise, a few self-help videos and personality development courses.

And, for the technical skills – we’ve got you covered! You’ll learn all about VFX and animation in our specialised courses fromcertified professionals.

What is the scope of VFX and Animation?

“I am an animator. I feel like I’m the manager of an animation cinema factory. I am not an executive. I’m rather like a foreman, like the boss of a team of craftsmen. That is the spirit of how I work.”
- Hayao Miyazaki

VFX and animation are slowly but steadily growing in India and around the world. Whether we’re talking about Netflix shows, blockbuster movies or even day to day applications of VFX – the demand for the skill is definitely on the rise.

Which cities across the world provide VFX and animation opportunities?

Unsurprisingly, Tokyo has some of the best opportunities for animation and VFX. Considering the vast volume of cartoons, animations, games and others that Japan both produces and consumes – this is no surprise. Other cities include Madrid, Paris, Seoul, Shanghai, Hamburg, Bengaluru, and Mumbai.

Source:

www.animationcareerreview.com/articles/top-20-cities-worldwide-animation-careers

VFX and animation scope in India

According to Statista, the VFX and postproduction industry in India has almost doubled – from ₹39bn to ₹68bn between 2016 – 2019. The same report estimates that the industry will be worth almost ₹147 bn by 2024 – that’s huge!

Additionally, the heightened accessibility of internet platforms such as YouTube has added to the need for animation and VFX.

Which cities in India help with VFX and animation careers?

Chennai, Coimbatore, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, Hyderabad, and Mumbai are some of the top animation destinations in India.

All these details should give you a clearer idea of what VFX and animation entail and the scope for the same. Now on to the most important part – getting a degree in the same!

How to identify the best VFX and Animation degree for you?

There are so many factors that will help you decide on the right degree and specialisation for yourself. Like in our guide to film making, we’ve created a question bank that will help you figure out whether this is the right path for you.

What are the career opportunities after the VFX and Animation course?

There are opportunities in diverse industries, including the world of video games, television, movies (Bollywood and beyond), advertising and commercials, the corporate world, real estate, and more!

Some of the major job roles you can pursue within these industries include animation design, game design, graphics, storyboarding, 3D modelling, texturing and lighting, 2D and 3D animation and more. A few major career opportunities are as follows:

Postproduction Artist

  • Compositing Artist : They detect errors and develop strategies to produce the final animated film. They use software such as Adobe After Effects and Motion 5, amongst others.
  • Attention to detail : Do you have an eye keen enough to discern strands of hair lazily falling out of a dishevelled ponytail? This is just an example of the kind of details you need to pay attention toward to make the character more humane.
  • Rotoscoping Artist : This is a method where animators trace over live-action footage, frame by frame. It brings a sense of realism.
  • Motion Graphic Designer : The job role includes creating movie clips, commercials, title sequences, trailers, etc.
  • FX technical director : They are responsible for overseeing the creation of particle and fluid effects. This would include creating fire, fluids, smoke, clouds, physical destruction like blasts and particulates.
  • VFX artist : The creator of visual effects in games, movies, and TV shows
  • VFX supervisor : Supervises all the proceedings of the visual effects required in the process of production.
  • Animator Render Wrangler : This is the last person who sees the animation before it is finally made into a film or video.
  • Rigging Artist : 3D riggers create a skeleton for a 3D animation to enable mobility. Characters are required to be rigged before they are animated.
  • Matte painter : They are the people behind photo-realistic landscapes or environments that you cannot recreate on the real set.

Pre-production Artist

  • Compositing Artist : They detect errors and develop strategies to produce the final animated film. They use software such as Adobe After Effects and Motion 5, amongst others.
  • Content developer : Matching lines of dialogue to animations, evaluating the final results and status reporting are all a part of this job role.
  • Storyboard artist : This is someone who takes a script and turns it into a visual story.
  • Character animator : Using different animation software, 3D modelling and even puppetry, these artists create and design characters.
  • Background artist : creates the colour, style, and mood of a particular scene.
  • Layout artist : They are responsible for drawing the layout of the visuals.
  • Concept artist : They create visual images of ideas. Their work is used in animation, comic books, advertising and print as well as a host of other industries.

Apart from the roles mentioned above, there are the other jobs directly associated with VFX and animation that you can pursue:

  • Multimedia specialist
  • Advertising art director
  • Music producer
  • Production designer
  • Film director
  • Film/video editor
  • TV production coordinator/producer

What is the VFX and Animation course fee?

The course fee depends on whether you’re opting for an international college or an institute in the country – factors that influence college fee include –

  • Region
  • Expected lifestyle
  • The faculty and other such factors.

The course fee in India ranges between Rs.2 lakhs to Rs.6 lakhs.
(source : https://collegedunia.com/courses/bachelor-of-science-bsc-animation-and-vfx)

This would also depend on whether you’re opting for a degree or a diploma.

What is the curriculum?

Each college/institute will have specifically tailored courses, with their special curriculums. On an average, each course should include the following subjects:

  • Design principles
  • Graphic design
  • 2D design
  • History of art and animation
  • Roto and Paint
  • Stop motion animation
  • Lighting and rendering
  • Photography/Film appreciation
  • Lighting and rendering
  • Video editing
  • Compositing
  • Texture and shading
  • Camera animation and tracking
  • Rigging
  • After Effects
  • Colour Correction

What are the eligibility criteria for VFX and Animation degrees?

You can pursue a graduate degree in VFX and animation as soon as you finish your 12th grade in any stream.

What is the salary of a VFX and Animation artist?

There are numerous factors that will influence your salary, such as:

  • Level of expertise
  • Work experience
  • The specialisation you’ve chosen
  • The client’s budget
  • The market value of the project

The pay scale also varies from project to project, and the median income of some of the roles in this industry are as follows:

  • A 2D/3D animator can probably earn* between 2.5 – 10 lacs per annum
  • A 3D modeller can earn* between 2.5 to 8 lacs per annum
  • A multimedia programmer can earn* between 3 to 7 lacs per annum

Source: https://collegedunia.com/courses/bachelor-of-science-bsc-animation-and-VFX

*Note: Salary estimates are based on submissions made to collegedunia.com

What are the other related occupations in VFX and Animation?

Aside from TV and movies, there are other industries which require these skill sets too, they include:

  • Gaming Industry :
    The video game industry is massive worldwide and in India as well. Reliance Games is just one example of an established company, that has great reviews from employees.
  • Online entertainment :
    Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are just a few examples of the non-conventional entertainment that is proving to be a great hit with the masses!
  • Real Estate :
    You’d be surprised to know that VFX and animation are playing a growing role in real estate! Many companies are adopting virtual reality headsets to deliver a real-life experience of the property they are considering to purchase. Cool, isn’t it?
  • Advertising :
    Today, it’s no secret that the world of advertising is a multi-billion-dollar industry. They even have their own awards! The fact that there are also awards for the best-animated advertisements surely tells us how this industry is fertile for new VFX animators

Tips to sharpen your VFX and Animation abilities

  • Seek out references from the real world : This can even include making animations based on yourself! Real-life objects and people would make for the best inspiration.
  • Practice makes perfect is a mantra in this industry : No matter how good you get, you must keep practising.
  • Recycle previous work : This will help you document your progress, and it’ll give you a sense of accomplishment when you see how much you’ve improved!
  • Embrace criticism : It can feel like no one understands how much effort you’ve put into your work but developing your skills based on constructive criticism is definitely going to help you improve.
  • Remember that just having a degree isn’t enough : This is an ever-evolving industry and you will have to keep developing new skills and stay abreast of the new developments taking place in the industry.
I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.”
- Walt Disney

What are the factors to consider while choosing the right school?

  • The Course Duration : Do you want to enter the industry as soon as possible? Or do you desire to take your time and learn the craft? You can either opt for a degree or a diploma, depending on how much time you’re ready to invest.
  • Institute’s Reputation : Always make sure you go to a reputed institute. While such institutions generally tend to cost a bit more, a certification from such an institute will be more valuable for you in the long run. This will increase your chances of securing the job of your dreams. A good institute will have good student reviews, so do try to get testimonials from current and ex-students.
  • The Staff : The qualifications and work experience of the teaching faculty will definitely play a large role in what and how you learn. Your experience will be informative, rich and even life-altering, if only you are in the hands of good teachers.
  • Location and Facilities : Top-notch facilities, state-of-the-art equipment, and a location that is conducive to your learning experience are all important factors to consider.
  • Placement Opportunities : These days, most of the best institutes and colleges are affiliated with the biggest brands in the market. This is because companies are actively seeking certified professionals for their workforce. Do check out what kind of placements are being provided by your school.

Read up about the famous animators, their journey along with industry updates to get a clearer idea of what the VFX and Animation degree has to offer. Hard work in the right direction and watching tons of movies while focusing on the details associated with VFX and animation, is key to a successful career. You can start your career with Seamedu’s courses

The experienced faculty, state-of-the-art technology, and meticulously programmed courses will surely help you build a successful career!

Disclaimer :

While the information listed here is research-based with the best attempts to keep it accurate and reliable, the actuals may vary according to the course curriculum, facility-location, and an individual’s specialization, experience, current industry scenario, economic conditions, and several other factors. We do not recommend or endorse any views expressed within the third-party information contained here. Employment opportunities or any included salary figures are not guaranteed.