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A Detailed Career Guide for VFX and Animation

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 career in VFX and Animation – don’t doubt it! Please 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, and 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 cartoons were made to imitate human beings — not just our facial expressions but our mannerisms. 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!

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FAQs - Career in VFX and Animation

What is 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! These days, movies have impressive visual effects that take the viewer into a truly magical world.

Animation is a 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 others have incredibly human-like expressions. Animators use various software to design, draw, and manipulate still images. It is called animation.

WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A VFX ANIMATOR OR A VFX ARTIST if I pursue a Career in VFX and Animation?

VFX animators’ 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 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.
  • Budgeting: Analyse the client budget and decide what can be done within that framework.
  • Planning: A 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 involved.
  • Collaboration: Take direction and feedback from the people mentioned above.
  • Organisation: Setting up meetings and communicating information effectively and quickly to meet deadlines.
  • Editing: Handle the edits along with the editorial department.

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

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 does a VFX artist do?

A VFX artist works on computer-generated imagery. They focus on digital post-processing than concentrate on virtual aspects of the Image.

  • Essential Communities and Blogs for VFX Artists

Every aspiring VFX artist requires a basic understanding of how creativity works. Some of the top forums and YouTube channels to learn basics from are:

  • Top Companies that employ Visual Effects Artists

VFX artists can exhibit their talent, imagination, and creativity across various industries. Movie, television, OTT, and even gaming require talented VFX professionals. Some of the top companies that recruit VFX artists are:

  • Maya Entertainment Ltd
  • UTV Toonz
  • Toonz Animation India
  • Pentamedia Graphics
  • Heart Entertainment Limited
  • Crest Animation Studios Ltd
  • Ubisoft
  • Disney
  • Silvertoon Studio
  • Nipuna Services

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, having a specialised degree in anything is optional. 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 technical skills and certain personality traits to 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 it is easy to acquire technical skills, certain personality traits need to be imbibed to excel at this art.

  • Creativity It’s important to envision scenarios that 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 messy ponytail? This is just an example of the details you need to pay attention to make the character more humane.
  • Creativity Works with artists, programmers, and other designers to construct a vision of the game. A junior game designer partners with senior game designers to create new games. They also help establish initial mock-ups and sketches for the graphics team.
  • Good visual awareness: Can you 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? Playing 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 must be very organised to ensure all interactions and communications are clear, precise, and documented efficiently.

What skills will you 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 light and shadows or freckles on a cheek.

Luckily, all these skills can be learnt. The personality traits can be developed through work experience, practice, 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 from certified professionals.

WHAT IS THE SCOPE OF VFX AND ANIMATION for a career in VFX and animation in India?

“I am an animator. I feel like I’m the manager of an animation cinema factory. I am not an executive. I’m 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 worldwide. 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 Career in VFX and Animation?

Unsurprisingly, Tokyo has some of the best opportunities for Career in VFX and Animation.. Considering the vast volume of cartoons, animations, games, etc. that Japan 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

What is the scope of a career in VFX and animation in India?

According to Statista, the VFX and postproduction industry in India has almost doubled – from ₹39 bn to ₹68 bn between 2016 – 2019. The same report estimates that the industry will be worth almost ₹147 bn by 2024 – that’s huge! Additionally, the high accessibility of internet platforms such as YouTube has increased the need for animation and VFX.

WHICH CITIES IN INDIA HELP WITH career in VFX and animation?

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

All these details 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 filmmaking, 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 for a career in VFX and animation in diverse industries, including video games, television, movies (Bollywood and beyond), advertising and commercials, the corporate world, real estate, and more!

Some major job roles you can career in VFX and animation 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.
  • Attention to detail: Do you have an eye keen enough to discern strands of hair lazily falling out of a messy ponytail? This is just an example of the details you need to pay attention 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 role includes creating movie clips, commercials, title sequences, trailers, etc.
  • FX technical director: They oversee the creation of particle and fluid effects. This includes creating fire, fluids, smoke, clouds, and 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: Creates characters and builds the game narrative. Video game designers and programmers rely on the writer’s script and storyline to give structure to the gameThe last person to see 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 painters: They are the people behind photo-realistic landscapes or environments 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.
  • 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 design and create characters.
  • Background Artist: They create a scene’s colour, style, and mood.
  • Layout Artist: They are responsible for drawing the layout of the visuals.
  • Concept Artists: They create visual images of ideas. Their work is used in animation, comic books, advertising, print, and many other industries.

Apart from the roles mentioned above, there are 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 fees 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 opt for a degree or a diploma.

WHAT IS THE CURRICULUM of the VFX and Animation course?

Each college/institute will have specifically tailored courses with their special curriculums. On 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.

If I start a career in VFX and animation, WHAT IS THE SALARY OF A VFX AND ANIMATION ARTIST?

Numerous factors 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 varies from project to project, and the median income for some of the roles in this industry is 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 options for career in VFX and animation?

Beside TV and movies, other industries 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 with great employee reviews.

  • Online Entertainment:

    Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are examples of non-conventional entertainment proving to be a great hit with the masses!

  • Real Estate:

    You’d be surprised to know that VFX and animation play a growing role in real estate! Many companies have adopted virtual reality headsets to deliver a real-life experience of the property their customers are considering purchasing. Cool, isn’t it?

  • Advertising:

    Today, it’s no secret that advertising is a multi-billion-dollar industry, and they even have their awards! The fact that there are also awards for the best-animated advertisements shows how this industry is fertile for new VFX animators.

What are the 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 be 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 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 will 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 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 opt for a degree or a diploma, depending on how much time you’re ready to invest.
  • Institute’s Reputation: Always make sure you attend 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 play a significant role in what and how you learn. Your experience will be informative, rich, and even life-altering if you are in the hands of good teachers.
  • Location and Facilities: Top-notch facilities, state-of-the-art equipment, and a location conducive to your learning experience are all important factors to consider.
  • Placement Opportunities: These days, 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 on the famous animators and their journey, along with industry updates, to get a clearer idea of what the VFX and Animation degree offers. Hard work in the right direction and watching many movies while focusing on the details associated with VFX and animation are keys to a successful career in VFX and Animation. You can start your career in VFX and Animation with Seamedu’s courses –

The experienced faculty, state-of-the-art technology, and meticulously programmed courses will help you build a successful career in VFX and Animation.

Disclaimer:

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