The US of A (California, Hollywood) is the hub of the animation industry but since the US Government cracked down on visa applicants, a more viable option is studying in Canada. It has some of the best design schools in the world including Sheridan College of Animation, Arts and Design, Vancouver Film School and Institute of Digital Art and several others. Canadian education is relatively cheaper than US, however animation courses are expensive anyhow so be prepared to shell out! Scholarships are very difficult to come by!
In India, The National Institute of Design (NID, Ahmedabad) and IIT’s Industrial Design Centre (Mumbai and Guwahati) both offer PG Visual Communication courses that include animation. However these are open only to those who have completed their Bachelor of Fine Arts. More details at www.nid.eduand www.idc.iitb.ac.in
Beware of institutes, which lure students with impressive promises, always check with seniors, before joining up!
“If you get a chance GO ABROAD to study! If a three year course in a foreign institute seems too expensive you can always work in India and opt for a fast-track course abroad. The main problem with the Indian animation industry is it is very difficult for a beginner to get a foothold. No one wants to help a newbie ’cause they consider him as competition. When it comes to choosing an institute in India, you cannot quite say which is best, it depends on your course content and your instructor. I had an excellent instructor in Yogendra (MAAC).”
– Shannon Melford
A Commerce graduate with a flair for art he did a stint at UTV Toons, followed with a 3 month Maya Course from MAAC (Andheri) and is currently into SFX (Combustion). He has applied to the Vancouver Film School (VFS) in Canada for a one yr course.
“The most popular package in India is Maya however industry software which is important abroad, like Soft Image and Lightwave 3D aren’t taught here! I was lucky enough to be picked up by IDA when the Canadian Education Centre brought them to Mumbai. The Centre is in Delhi (Vasant Vihar) but they are rather unhelpful. More details on www.cec.indiatimes.com and www.studycanada.ca/india or artschools.com.”
– Shantanu Jahagiridar
A Concept Artist he is leaving for The Institute of Digital Art, Canada. His portfolio is at , www.portfolio.com/shaan.gfx
There are barely any schools teaching hardcore animation in India and the competition is stiff. Students want to go abroad, work there gaining the necessary expertise and then come back to India. Most are confident the animation industry is still at a nascent stage and will pick up. As of now India’s toughest competition is China… Chinese labour is even cheaper and they are very very good. India needs more training institutes and hopefully animation courses will eventually become more affordable!