“Our focus is on teaching the art as well as the technology to create it”
How do you see the future of animation in India?
Future of animation industry is very bright so far as India is concerned. Even in the present we have a great demand for skilled professionals and this will increase manifold in the time to come. There is a huge inflow of work from outside India and our own productions are also on their way. And as we surge ahead, quality is going to be the critical focus area and that has been the focus at PADA from day one.
Please elaborate on your quality focus and how you are preparing to expand your operations given the growing demand for animation education in the country?
Our focus is on teaching the art as well as the technology to create it. The curriculum is based on what the industry wants. We share with our students not only technical know how but also how they should approach their work, because that make our course different. The first thing that we stress upon our students is the importance of pre-production, and we give rigorous training in this department. Things like sketching, story boarding, illustrations, clay modeling, facial expressions, lighting, shading, camera angles etc. We tell them that pre-production forms the basic of any CG output.
Since the ultimate objective of a student joining our course is to eventually be an animation creator working professionally in the studios or by themselves, our commitment to teaching them goes beyond just the software and techniques but also includes things like Presentation skills, Making Show Reels, working together as a team etc. This we believe helps them when they go out of the institute and face the professional world. We call experienced professionals from various animation studios to come and interact with our students and share their experience with them and to give them the right direction.
Another aspect is that when it comes to teaching CG production, we orient our students and give them an overview but the second phase of our course involves specialization such as modeling, texturing, lighting, animation etc. That’s what the industry needs, professionals who can fit into the pipeline and deliver from day one.
We provide them with the best of training and reference materials, be it movies or the making of big blockbusters, books dealing with in-depth study of animation and effects, lab facility with the best of hardware and students are allowed to practice 24*7. We at PADA believe in quality training. We keep our students updated on latest development in the industry and keep organizing seminars and workshops related to those and Every Saturday there is a screening session for the students where we show them movie related to animation or VFX.
What about the expansion plans?
Yes we do have an expansion plan but our aim is just not having number of centers but quality training providing centers. Starting of next year we are planning for opening more centers across the country.
Please elaborate on the projects students have done at PADA
PADA has done projects like Pivot (Anti Smoking) for which we won the best animation award at 24 FPS 2004-2005. Another project that we are very happy with is a fully 3D animated song on Amitabh Bachhan from the film ‘Mr. Natwarlal ‘ which was the first of its kind venture in India. The best part of both these projects is that they were completely done by our students. This was possible only because we provided them with the best of training skills, techniques, references and guidance.
What are the opportunities for your students after PADA?
Opportunity depends on their specialization. We place them accordingly in Animation Studio’s, News channels, production houses, multimedia firms etc. which helps them build a bright future. In fact students from our center are working with every top most studio like Prana, Rhythm & hues, Crest , Anirights , Paradox, Paprikaas, V Being etc
Ranvir Singh, Pre Production Head, PADA
How did you get into the field of animation?
I am graduate in applied arts from College Of Arts (1992). After working in several Ad Agencies as Visualizer I shifted my focus towards illustration and later started making story boards for production houses which were making Episodes (short films) in 3D Character Animation. I have been in the field of animation since 2004.
What are your perspectives on animation and its future in India?
Animation is the future today .It has touched almost every facet of life. For eg. Medical, Education, Games, Information, Advertising, Architecture, Cinema, Television Industry, Animation films & Episodes. The Animation business in India is scripting a new chapter, witnessing a major boom. Work for professionals in India has suddenly started flowing from production houses abroad who have realized the potential of India to add value to the world of Animation.
Have you made any short films? Please provide details
With my association wit PUMPKIN ACADEMY, I’ve worked for 5 min song on Amitabh Bachhan, along with few short films on Social Awareness. Presently I am working on another project which is for about 4 and half minutes .At the same time I am working for Production House DMP Animation for a 5 min long 3D Animated Series as an Art Director & Story Board Artist.
When it comes to Animation students, how do you see today’s generation in terms of their strengths? What are the areas which need improvement?
Students pursuing their career in animation are hard working, they are well aware of the software required and the configurations for their work, but certainly not focused, they do not have a clear picture in which area should they specialize and what opening would it provide. Their knowledge and exposure is still limited, to grow they should not restrict themselves working on computers, they should start browsing net & read book and sites related to animation and various arts. Also they should meet various animation professionals & faculties to enhance their knowledge.
I rate character animation much above Parallel or Mainstream Cinema because in animation our characters are virtual and to show emotions & expressions is definitely toughest part and also soul of the character animation.
To show emotions or expressions in a virtual character whether animal or human is similarly difficult, for which one has to study human expression, body language, behavior, the way one walks using various sources. You need to be observatory throughout your life to workout more shades of expressions. You recycle life into animation. It has to be like a mirror in front of society. But it has to be your touch, your style (the artistic touch) like in 1930, Walt Disney conceived the idea of a character named Mickey Mouse he studied a real mouse in details & in-depth which was more appealing and touched the human heart much more than a realistic character.