Manipal gives boost to animation education


    MUMBAI: Seeing the surging interest of producers in animation films recently, Manipal University has rolled out a new initiative to cater to the talent shortage in the field of animation in India.

    A new degree programme in animation has been launched to ensure that students are more than adequately qualified for a successful career in the booming animation industry. The degree will be awarded from Manipal University.

    With productions houses like Adlabs Films, UTV Motion Pictures, Percept Picture Company stepping up on their animation films division, the move from Manipal University comes at an opportune time.

    Last year, a Nasscom study on forecast that the global animation market would generate revenues worth $50-70 billion this year. In the last few years, India has emerged as a global powerhouse in technology development. But experts say that unlike animators in countries like China, South Korea or the Philippines, Indian animators have not been exposed to animation films.

    There is excitement worldwide about India’s role in animation, which makes it clear that there is a very strong need for skilled professionals. “As with any other serious career option, animation education is now mainstream and only a full-time degree will teach students all the technical and traditional skills required to make a career in animation,” says ISearch CEO Rajiv Choudhary.

    The three year full-time Degree in Animation from Manipal, designed with inputs from experts in the industry will launch students toward a career in animation 2D and 3D, visual effects for film and television, and emerging applications for 3D visualization. Students will learn the fundamentals of traditional art, design, animation and then apply this knowledge to 3D modelling, texture and lighting and compositing.

    Students will work in a professional-grade drawing studio with industry standard light tables and animation labs with Apple Machines that boast an astonishing one-to-one (student-to-machine) ratio. Latest software including AutoDesk Maya and 3D Studio Max, AdobeCS3 Photoshop, Illustrator, Flash, Final Cut Pro and Combustion will also be used.

    As part of the curriculum, students will create a series of minor projects and assets throughout the degree program in addition to a major project specially developed to demonstrate their knowledge and abilities to potential employers. The training provided in the animation degree program will include drawing, storyboarding, 2D animation, 3D animation, modelling, texture and lighting, character rigging, dynamic effects, video editing and compositing.

    Anirights CEO Aashish Kulkarni believes that a short-term course can not make somebody a doctor or an engineer and similarly a short term program cannot make someone an animation or an SFX professional.

    “The faculty comprises experts with impressive experience in industry. Students who graduate will be prepared for entry-level employment as graphic artists, compositing artists, 2D animators, 3D animators, modellers, game artists and more”, says Manipal Universal Learning Private Limited head – vocational education Hari Menon.

    The programme will start from 1 August 2007, at the Manipal’s Yelahanka Campus.