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In the land of fantasy

An animator creates characters and makes them interact in an ever-changing, exciting backdrop. From entertainment, education to simulators for military flight or combat training, animators work in a wide range of sectors.

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:35 IST

The lowdown
An animator creates characters and makes them interact in an ever-changing, exciting backdrop. From entertainment, education to simulators for military flight or combat training, animators work in a wide range of sectors. 3D animators give flat narrative storylines a realistic or fantastic turn by using specific software. They can join a company, freelance and become entrepreneurs

If you are good at the craft, the profession offers wide scope to display your creativity
Lov Chaudhary, director, CAD Plus Infosys Pvt Ltd, Delhi

Clock Work
Animators work in shifts. The first shift is from 6 am to 2 pm, the second from 2 pm to 10 pm, and the third from 10 pm to 6 am. But while working on a project, one forgets to keep a tab on time. A typical morning shift goes like this:
4.30am: Wake up
6am: Reach office and get started
10am: Show first draft of the project, which can range from a sketch to a character animation, to the supervisor
11.30am: Take a meal break
1pm: Make changes to the project and hand it over to the supervisor
2 pm: Wrap up and leave for the day

The Payoff
In the beginning, an animator can earn Rs8,000-Rs10,000 a month. After two-three years, this usually goes up to Rs25,000-R30,000 a month or more You can earn good money if you open your own firm

Skills/TRAITS
. Loads of imagination coupled with a love for cartoons
. Ability to think and create new characters
. A good sense of colour,proportion and size

Getting There ?
No specific academic qualification needed. If you are good at sketching and have a passion for animation, you can enter the field after taking a degree or diploma in animation
The minimum qualification required for these courses is Class 12 or equivalent. It helps if you have an arts background. However, at the Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, only graduates of architecture, technology and engineering, and fine arts can apply for the PG course

Institutes
. Birla Institute of Technology, Noida
www.bitmesra.ac.in
. Industrial Design Centre, Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai
www.idc.iitb.ac.in
. Arena Animation, multiple cities
www.arena-multimedia.com
. Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics, multiple cities
www.maacindia.com
. Toonz Academy, multiple cities,
www.toonzacademy.com

Pros and Cons
. You get to give free rein to your imagination
. The characters you create can leave an indelible mark on the audience
. Work on projects with tight deadlines
. Long working hours can take their toll on your health, if you don’t take enough rest
. The studying never stops, as you have to keep yourself abreast of latest softwares hitting the market