The ambitious animation industry is facing an acute shortage of skilled professionals, but mushrooming courses are no guarantee of supply. According to the National Association of Software and Service Companies (NASSCOM), around 16,500 professionals are working in the industry in India and there would be a requirement of 26,000 more professionals in the next three years.
Riding high on successes of Hanuman and its sequel as well as other outsourced projects, the animation industry is expanding training facilities to keep pace with the growth momentum. But quality concerns remain, say industry veterans.
Last week, at the FICCI-Frames industry conference, Union Information and Broadcasting Secretary Asha Swarup announced that the Centre plans to set up a national centre for animation training at Pune.
Now, Rajesh Turakhia, and Naveen Gupta, founder directors of Frameboxx, an animation training entity with 25 centres, have got a boost with Manmohan Shetty, managing director of Adlabs and Chandir Gidwani, promoter of Centrum Capital buying a majority stake in it.
It is believed that over the next three years, Frameworks will get funding of US$ 8 to 10 million (Rs 32-40 crore).
Players like DQ Entertainment and Graphiti Multimedia have set up their own centres though. Speaking to Hindustan Times, Ram Mohan, chairman and chief creative officer of Graphiti Multimedia says, "We need a lot more schools for animation. There is no doubt. So far many of the schools have been teaching software rather than animation. They teach students how to use Maya or Photoshop used in the production. These are tools used for animation.”
“But, not many institutes are teaching the basics of animation. Even if you use just paper and pencil, you can do animation", Mohan adds.
Frameboxx would charge between Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs. 1.8 lakh for a 12-month course and Rs 60,000 and above for a six-month course. It expects to train 10,000 students in its first year. The 10-month course offered by Graphiti School of Animation costs Rs 1.5 lakh.
A K Madhavan, CEO of Crest Animation says, “We need at least 10,000 artists in the next five years. However, the recruitment doesn't happen like it happens in the IT industry. Big studios like Dreamworks and Pixar have only 1,000 people. It is the quality that matters."
According to Ram Mohan, students from NID and IDC at IIT Powai are found to be promising as far as designing in animation is concerned.
"We have set up animation centres in collaboration with state governments on a private-public basis at Rajasthan, Bhopal etc. We also have two company owned training centers at Hyderabad," said Tapaas Chakravarti, CEO of DQ Entertainment.