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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! Please stick with us till the end of this guide.
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!
“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.
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:
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.
A VFX artist works on computer-generated imagery. They focus on digital post-processing than concentrate on virtual aspects of the Image.
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:
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:
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.
While it is easy to acquire technical skills, certain personality traits need to be imbibed to excel at this art.
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.
“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.
Unsurprisingly, Tokyo has some of the best opportunities for animation and VFX. 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.
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.
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!
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
There are opportunities 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 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:
Apart from the roles mentioned above, there are other jobs directly associated with VFX and animation that you can pursue:
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 –
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.
Each college/institute will have specifically tailored courses with their special curriculums. On average, each course should include the following subjects:
You can pursue a graduate degree in VFX and animation as soon as you finish your 12th grade in any stream.
Numerous factors will influence your salary, such as:
The pay scale varies from project to project, and the median income for some of the roles in this industry is as follows:
*Note: Salary estimates are based on submissions made to collegedunia.com
Beside TV and movies, other industries require these skill sets too. They include:
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.
Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Hulu are examples of non-conventional entertainment proving to be a great hit with the masses!
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?
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.
I would rather entertain and hope that people learned something than educate people and hope they were entertained.”
- Walt Disney
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. You can start your career with Seamedu’s courses –
The experienced faculty, state-of-the-art technology, and meticulously programmed courses will help you build a successful career!
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.