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Indian animation and gaming training institutes are gearing to scale up their businesses and open up new avenues for professionals who are passionate about animation and gaming technologies.

- India Eco Summit: 'IT will post double-digit growth next yr'
- 'Animation, gaming to evolve into full-blown career'
- CG Mantra to add four more studios

Hyderabad-based C G Mantra Digital Media, which recently incorporated a VFX (special effects) suite at its Delhi facility with an investment of Rs 5 crore, is planning to set up three more of such campuses next year in other metros. Similarly, DQ Entertainment, which already is a knowledge-sharing partner with the West Bengal, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan governments, is holding talks with other state governments, while Arena Animation, which has so far trained 250,000 students from across 165 centres in India and 35 centres abroad, is planning to set up 30 more centres in the next 12-18 months.

“The VFX industry is expected to grow from the current $67 million to $173 million in three years. With rapid increase in animation and VFX component in live action movies, the actual growth may easily go far beyond these numbers. At C G Mantra, our objective is to create top-class studio facilities for education that caters to about 200 students in each campus,” says ABRP Reddy, founder and chief executive of CG Mantra, and advisor to Nasscom’s animation and gaming forum (NAGFO).

“We plan to expand to Tier-II and Tier-III cities in India and also internationally. We would like to focus on Latin America and African markets as well as countries like Malaysia and Philippines,” concurs Anuj Kacker, global head of Arena Animation, the animation and multimedia training business of Aptech Limited.

Reddy, however, feels a significant growth from the Indian animation industry may come from domestic television and film industry, which is of Rs 40,000 crore already. “From Nasscom’s side, we are working with the Union information and broadcasting ministry to impress upon them to give guidelines to electronic media to encourage domestic content. We will also take up with the finance ministry the idea to create policies to encourage domestic market consumption and give a level-playing field with export markets,” he says.

Nasscom has set-up a core committee “Board for Animation and Gaming Standards” with experts drawn from the practicing industry to define minimum standards in the training industry, which include hierarchy of certifications, entry and exit tests for aspiring youth. “To sum up, we are looking at a system of accreditation for animation education,” Reddy adds.

For one, international game publishers are looking at India for game development outsourcing, game production, game art and design. Two, games development and creating animated characters as a career option are not only fun-filled and creative tasks but also provide attractive global employment prospects. And finally, as a full-time career option, the average salary is estimated to be anywhere between Rs 1.2 lakh and Rs 7 lakh a year (depending on the different profiles an individual chooses).

“Animation and gaming offers a different avenue for students to choose instead of the straight-jacketed course offered. The Indian animation industry has steadily evolved and the industry is increasingly allocating budgets for the development of production content. Besides, established film production houses are foraying into the animation entertainment industry. Now, with international developers setting up local development centres, the scope of opportunities is simply vast,” says Tapaas Chakravarti, chairman and chief executive of DQ Entertainment, which runs the DQ School of Visual Arts in Hyderabad and Kolkata training 270 students.

A recent Nasscom report reveals that despite the impressive growth forecasts, the Indian animation and gaming industry will account for less than two per cent of the worldwide market in 2010. Nasscom predicts animation and gaming jobs to double to 10,700 in India by 2012. India, according to analysts, has the potential to grow its animation industry to around $1 billion by 2010, but will remain restricted to around $870 million due to a looming demand-supply gap in the area of employable human resources.

A similar situation exists in the gaming segment as well, which has the potential to achieve revenues of $732 million by 2010, but is expected to touch only $424 million by that period, owing to the paucity of skilled manpower.

“Obviously, a much larger opportunity exists beyond what is currently being envisaged and the potential remains high. India can participate in a more significant way in the global animation market provided the country has built up requisite manpower, with the relevant expertise to fuel its growth,” says Kacker.

Cost advantage is the most important and attractive value proposition for India as an animation and gaming content development destination, feels Kacker. “A US-based animator can cost about $125 an hour, while it is $25 in India. For instance, Kerala-based Toonz Animation offers animation at 25 per cent to 40 per cent lower rates than other Asian studios and much lower than those of American studios,” he adds. The total cost for making a full-length animated film in the US is estimated to be $100-275 million. In India, it can be made for $15 million to $25 million.

All these factors point to the fact that the animation-outsourced industry is set to grow. Apart from natural cost advantage enjoyed by India, notes Kacker, international companies look at India and Indian talent because it is one of the few countries which offer cultural and language synergies as well as a large enough pool from which to select talent in large numbers.

Animation parks to create 2 lakh jobs in 3 yrs: Assocham
Press Trust of India
Thursday, November 13, 2008 (New Delhi)
Setting up of animation parks with studios for animation movie making can generate employment opportunities for two lakh skilled workers in the next three years, industry body Assocham has said.
"The parks could alone generate employment opportunities for skilled animators to the extent of a minimum of two lakh in next three years," a study paper by Assocham said.

Currently, the Indian animation industry employs anything

between 9,000 and 15,000 animators and

needs another 30,000 manpower immediately.

India would need skilled professionals like creative animator, conceptualiser, visualiser, 3D modeller, character designer, digital effects artist etc,

who can handle multimedia software such as

3D Studio Max, Maya and Tictactoon, it added.

These parks would also help Indian animation industry market size to reach over one billion dollar by 2010, with a CAGR of 30 per cent. In 2007, the animation industry market size was estimated at $450 million, Assocham said. Assocham President Sajjan Jindal saiddearth of quality institutions in India, which can provide technical training in quality animation, has caused a severe shortage of animators, visualisers, conceptualisers and 3D modellers, in the absence of whom animated movie makers are forced to look overseas for skilled workmen and have to spend a lot of money on them. 

Despite the lowest cost of animation film production in India compared to countries like the US, Canada, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines, Indian companies get lesser work, Jindal said. Production cost of a half-an-hour animated movie is around $60-70,000, while in the US, it is around $250,000-300,000.

Assocham has further pointed out that the Indian government can also help the animation industry by providing them with funding, guidance on manpower development and recognising the animation courses. By recognising these courses, the government would help students and youths conveniently get the bank loans which is missing at present.

It further said the corporates that intended to set up the suggested parks, should be given a minimum of 10 years' tax holiday as well as land allocations at concessional rates.


Gaming Industry in India to Reach USD 1060 Million by 2012 - NASSCOM

NWC News Network, Nov. 7 2008, 1230 hrs

NASSCOM kicked off its annual event in Hyderabad that was structured to chart out the vision, set aspirations and identify strategic imperatives to address global opportunities for the gaming and animation industry in India. It’s Animation and Gaming report for 2008 came out with a lot of hope for Indian gaming industry. The report says that by the end of 2008, the gaming industry in India which is expected to value at USD 212 million, will reach USD1060 million by 2012 at a CAGR of 50%.

The report highlights that the domestic market for animation has grown significantly over the past two years. There are a total of 85 domestic animation movies that have been announced over the last year and 28 are in different stages of production. 15 animation movies are expected to be released over the next two years. Animation companies have also started focusing on building original IP, which they can leverage in terms of merchandising and TV broadcast revenues. The custom content development is the largest segment as of today, with an estimated industry size of USD 187.5 million, followed by animation entertainment at USD 120 million.

Animation companies will produce 3D animation and provide services across the value chain. Due to cost advantage, adequate skill sets and domestic market growth, international studios will set up captive centers in the country.

Stringent anti-piracy measures and a reduction in the affordability gap, the sale of legitimate PC games is expected to rise significantly.


India’s largest cinema chain has rebranded itself as Big Cinemas.
Adlabs Films, a Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group company, has ‘big’ ambitions — literally. Undeterred by the slowing economy, India’s largest cinema chain has rebranded itself as Big Cinemas with the tagline Ab Bada Mazza Ayega. The roll-out, estimated to cost Rs 6-7 crore, took place on October 28 across its 73 properties throughout the country, totaling 186 screens and 71,000 seats.

Big Cinemas has over 400 screens worldwide — little over 200 in the US, 51 in Malayasia, and six (greenfield) in Mauritius. The new brand has been designed by international creative agency Bonsey Design based in Singapore. Big has values of being multifaceted, world-class, vibrant and engaging, reasons Tushar Dhingra, its chief operating officer. Its personality is fun-loving, infectious, refreshing and trendy. It is also in sync with the group’s philosophy of ‘Think Bigger, Think Better,’ he adds. The company expects over three million people to visit its theatres next year.

Big Cinemas has also signed up eight megaplexes in cities like Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Lucknow, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Delhi, Bangalore and Chennai. A megaplex is a huge entertainment destination comprising 18-20 theatre screens as opposed to a multiplex, which houses 5-6 screens. The company has leased out land in this regard. “In some cases it will be a revenue-sharing agreement. In other cases it will involve pure rentals,” says Dhingra.

VCL to up headcount by hiring 1,500 special effects artists
31 Oct 2008, 1957 hrs IST, PTI
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MUMBAI: Visual Computing Labs (VCL), a division of Tata Elxsi, plans to increase its headcount from the present 300 to 1,500 animators and

special effects artists over the next three-year period, a top company official said.

"We have completed India's first fully 3D-animated mainstream film 'Roadside Romeo' and now we working on three more animation films, TV shows for Germany and bidding for large Hollywood projects," Tata Elxsi's CEO and Managing Director, Madhukar Dev, told reporters here today.

The company saw a high growth for animation films in India and VCL plans to add 1,500 animators and special effects artists in the next three years, Dev said.

VCL is a creative facility, offering animation, digital visual effects and game asset building for the global entertainment and broadcast industry.

With its global delivery center in Mumbai, VCL, with a unique mix of engineering and creative skills, provides solutions from scripting, pre-post production, character modelling and animation, VFX and development services, among others.

VCL has provided special effects to Hollywood blockbusters like 'Ironman', 'Ghostrider', 'Spiderman 3' and 'One Night with the King'.

It has also created special effects for a number of Bollywood movies like 'Drona', 'Kidnap', 'Bachna Ae Haseeno', 'Jodhaa Akbar', 'Taare Zameen Par', 'Rang De Basanti' and 'Dhoom 2'

Video Resume

A video resume also known as ‘next generation resume’ is a video developed by a candidate for job application and uploaded on the internet for prospective employers to view.

Need a job? Want to use the most hi-tech methods for searching and applying for jobs - say good bye to your camera fears and get ready to pose. Video resumes are the new buzz and you need to have one too.

A video resume, also known as ‘next generation resume’ is a video developed by a candidate for job application and uploaded on the Internet for prospective employers to view. It outlines the individual's skills and experience and is used to supplement a paper resume. Video resumes have an edge over e-resume as they save time. Recruiters prefer to see a video clip rather than read long resumes. They range from inexpensive two-minute presentations of job seekers talking into a camera, to costly and slick productions directed by professionals.

Few points that should be adhered to while preparing a video resume:
Attire: Dress in business attire, just as if you attending an in-person interview. Balance your attire in terms of color and shade.

Length: The video should be short, preferably not more than 3 minutes.

Appearance/background: Look at the camera not at the desk or table below you. Choose an appropriate background. The location should give a professional feel and the background noise should also be checked and avoid sitting beside window or in crowded areas.
Script: Prepare the script in advance and rehearse several times to avoid nervousness. Begin by mentioning your name (first and last). Highlight your professional achievements and not the personal ones. Maintain a slow pace while speaking and practice in advance.
Conclusion: Talk about the contributions that you can make to the organisation and conclude by thanking the recruiter.
Video resumes are sent to the recruiters via the Internet using streaming media. Therefore, it is vital to determine the format of the file or type of video resume you would like to create. The most commonly asked questions should be included in the video. Lighting should be bright to support the video recording. You should do a test run before releasing the resume.

The success of video resume depends upon many factors - the type of job, ability to communicate effectively and to influence the unknown audience. A video resume stands out as a trendy method of marketing in the job industry and it is a new and an effective way to attract and impress the recruiter.
Vasundhra Singh


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