Education Technology

India’s VFX story

Shrutidhar Paliwal
India’s VFX story

Commonly known as VFX, Visual effects is a process that allows you to manipulate imagery in a manner that it seems to create an environment that looks realistic but would be dangerous, impractical, time consuming, or even impossible to capture on film. Through VFX a filmmaker can create imagery that is outside the context of a live action shot in filmmaking.

As Indian talent stands poised to rub shoulders with its global counterparts, the animation and visual effects (VFX) industry continues to steadily gain acceptance in the society. Fast emerging as an indispensable part of film making, the tireless work that the Indian counterpart of the VFX industry has been undertaking has catapulted it into making the world pay attention to its progress. Rajnikant starrer film 2.0 was India’s largest VFX project made at a massive budget of Rs. 545 crores. The film boasts of having used 5 VFX studios worldwide, 2150 VFX shots, 1000 complex VFX shots, 1000 VFX artists, 10 concept artists, 25 3D designers, 500 craftsmen, and 3000 technicians leading to breathtaking action sequences.

In the latest report by FICCI on Indian media and entertainment industry quoted that major 31% growth was dominated by VFX. The year 2018 saw a lot of quality outsourcing work done by Indian studios thanks to the incentives provided by the government, and the trend of developed countries outsourcing their work to low cost ones. Although worldwide, VFX part of the animation industry is not that popular, Indian audience has an affinity towards it. The movie making value chain has undergone a metamorphosis and it is encouraging to see that the mainstream Indian filmmakers have incorporated VFX as an essential component of their films.

Recently, many states including Maharashtra, Karnataka, and Telangana have come forward to announce that they shall come up with policies in support of the industry to give further impetus to the industry. These initiatives will enable the Indian animation and VFX industry to effectively compete with established markets in the USA, Canada, and emerging centres like South Korea, France, China, and Malaysia.

Recently, an industry incubator and think tank MindLabs India led a campus recruitment drive in Guwahati not only to bring awareness to the industry but also attempt to bridge the huge gap in demand and supply for skilled professionals.

(The record breaking box office performance of Baahubali: The Beginning and Baahubali 2: The Conclusion has resulted in making VFX a vital element of the filmmaking process. While the industry has got a boost after the release of few big films in 2018, the television space is not to be underestimated. Although nascent, the coming of age of AR/VR (Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality) technology could be the trigger that ensures the growth of animation and VFX from the current 10,000 crore rupees sector that it is. It is easy to recognise how important VFX has become to India with AR Rahman saying that AV brought him to movie and TV production and that he intends to use only augmented reality and virtual reality in his production.

“My interest in gaming steered me towards a career in VFX and animation for which I took up a course at Aptech’s Arena Animation. I have to say that the decision has really helped me make a career for myself as the courses are highly advanced and in keeping with the current VFX industry. The practical exposure and training from industry experts, I believe, gives me an edge over my counterparts in the industry. ” says Mumbai-based Dinesh Jagtap, an alumni of Arena Animation. At the moment what we really need is advanced academies and institutes that can teach VFX.

In the next 10 years, it is estimated that the AVGC sector will require 24,000 professionals with an educational qualification of graduation or above while on the other hand there will be around 16,000 students graduating from the recognised degree-awarding institutes. Given the volume of work, producers are placing greater value on VFX in their projects. On the business side of visual effects India is largely dependent on movies with strong scripts. VFX does not just include the basic wire removals and clean ups, but set extensions have a crucial part in modern filmmaking.

About the author:

Shrutidhar Paliwal is VP & Head- Corporate Communications, Aptech Ltd. 

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