How to develop a career in multimedia and animation

How to develop a career in multimedia and animation

How to develop a career in Multimedia and animation??

Apparently, one of the most frequently asked question in this decade.

In last couple of decades, India witnessed an unprecedented growth in fields of animation, vfx or multimedia as a whole. With staggering percentage of youth joining workforce and growing popularity of animation and vfx in almost all industries across the globe is creating a humongous demand for animation, vfx or multimedia as alluring career options. As per Mr. Subrata Roy, Director of a leading animation production house; “every year the percentage of students applying for animation courses in Kolkata is vastly increasing. Both awareness and acceptability of animation as a credible career options is growing with release of Hollywood and Bollywood blockbusters every year. Besides that, a significant share of present student force feels most comfortable with modern technology and varied OS platforms.” This however is helping making animation and multimedia emerge itself as one of the most appealing career options for youngsters.

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According to industry experts, animation straddles three robust and rapidly developing sectors like:

  1. Electronic Entertainment (Computer Gaming)
  2. Broadcast/Film Industry
  3. Professional Visualization and Simulation

According to Mr. Manoj Bose, Production Head of Hi-Tech Film & Broadcast Academy; “there is a colossal demand for professional animators in all aforementioned categories. During recruitment we mostly prefer candidates with either creative or technical expertise”. According to Mr. Bose some people specialize in the art of animation while other chose to become technical directors. He also added, “This is why we exclusively impart production relevant training to students enrolled at our institutional segments.”

Below is a brief glance at some of the job descriptions you might encounter in a typical production house/ animation studio:

  • 2D Animators: use drawing, composition and perspective to create illustrations, line of action, structure and basic anatomy. 2D animators may work in areas as varied as animation, character design, background/ prop designing, clean up, doping, modeling, slugging and story boarding (Preproduction).
  • 3D Animators: Professionals specialized in 3D Animation use software tools and rigs to accomplish things like that of 2D animators. 3D animators create a live and animated acting performance to bring a character to life through movements and expressions and that too regardless of medium.
  • Character FX (Hair/ cloth/ fur) artists: They are mostly responsible for the simulation of character effects like cloth, hair and fur. An expertise in character FX helps to augment the realistic value of the actual character. They develop tools to enhance the pipeline. A knowledge of Maya, rigging tools and surface modeling techniques is essential for this.
  • Lighting artists: Animators specialized in lighting plays a crucial part in real time production pipeline. Imagine our planet without sun for a day and you can realize the importance of 3D lighting in animation. When animators animate the characters/ object, lighting artists lend the spice to the final output. For a career as animator, especially as lighting artists; one needs to have basic concept of lights and shadows, midtones, composition and psychological influence of light in human psychology.
  • Matte Painters: design environments based on the story and script. They are painters and artists who can conceptualize and visualize ideas including complex backgrounds, landscapes and environments. They use tools like Photoshop, Maya and Renderman.
  • 3D Modelers: Create 3D models of characters and settings based on preliminary graphics or animatics.
  • Roto artists: This job vastly comprised of three work to embed an animated character into a live-action scene and/or enhance the sense of depth (such as putting a character behind a tree).
  • Storyboard artists: are practically 2D animators who interpret scripts into images that best convey the story. They plan and coordinate images from thumbnails for planning shots to final storyboards that visually demonstrate how the story will develop.

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Other job titles include:

  • Animation Director
  • Animator
  • Art Director
  • CG Supervisor
  • Character Designer
  • Cloth Simulation Artist
  • Compositor
  • Concept Artist
  • Creative Director
  • Effects Designer
  • Environment Designer
  • Fur/Feathers FX Artist
  • Layout Artists
  • Layout Technical Director (TD)
  • Modeling Supervisor
  • Modeling TD
  • Pre-Vis Artist
  • Producer
  • Production Assistant
  • Rigging Supervisor
  • Rigging TD
  • Roto Artist
  • Shading TD
  • Shading/Texture Supervisor
  • Texture Artist
  • Video Game Animator
  • Video Game Artist
  • Video Game Designer
  • Video Game Engineer
  • Video Game Producer
  • Video Game Programmer
  • Video Game Technical Director
  • Visual Effects Supervisor
  • Water FX Artist

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The best way to get information about specific skills and requirements for various types of animation jobs is to keep an eye on job listings. Most spell out the requirements in great detail along with specialized training or experience that might be necessary.

You can also find jobs on several job portals dealing with animation/ multimedia production houses. Last, but not the least, all studios and game development companies post job listings on their websites.

 

 

 

 

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What makes good employees leave your company?

What makes good employees leave your company?

goldfish jumping out of the water

Is your business facing high attrition? Does performance of your best employee drooping suddenly? Are your employees seeking leave with illegit excuses? Are you getting compelled to atrite any of your old employees on disciplinarian grounds? Then there must be some serious problem lurking high on your business and it’s prospect.

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Even though the problems are seemingly diverse but if remain ignored, these problems certainly culminates in irrevocable loss of business and revenue prospect. Hence, no matter what excuses do they give but high attrition, drooping performance of employees are issues awaiting your priority and interference.

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Also read: Google HR boss explains the only 2 ways to keep your best people from quitting

I believe that when a good employee leaves a company, he/ she loses a job but the company loses a fortune. My sheer experience in HR and critical analysis of behavioral science vastly substantiate the popular belief- employees don’t leave the organization, they leave their manager/s. Managerial incompetence is the bedrock of high attrition and dearth of employee engagement.

Job role of managers in start up generation is more than that of mere accountants, supervisors or ring masters wielding whip at his employees. They should play the role of a visionary and act as doting guardians to their employees. They should learn to discern good from evil. Hence most effective managers are the ones with deeper understanding of subjects and human psyche. Managers, being the leader should be exemplary performers, motivators and honest influencers.
So what are the managerial flaws which compel good employees leave his/her job or decline employee engagement in any organization? All that I could figure out are as follows:

1) When quality of employees surpass qualities of the manager.

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A good employee is not born overnight. Qualities that make an employee good are his/her long nurtured honesty, experience, family values, education, upbringing, insights, hard work, commitment and his past struggles. A credible manager sans ego should never leave a chance to admire those atttributes in others and take lessons from that person, eeven if he/ she is a junior employee. This how effecient managers learn to upgrade his business acumen and governing skills. We should remember that every dignified employee hates to get governed by incompetent managers.

2) Filthy politics in the guise of healthy competition.

Human resources

The difference between the two are droll. Competitive attitude within an organization is the only attribute desired by both employees and employers. In mindless pursuit of impressing his seniors, managers tend to induce superficially concocted rivalry within organization. The manager gets elated when any of his employees bags incentives, he starts believing his connived rivalry to be the key factor. Whereas its not the rivalry but the alluring incentive scheme which might have driven the employee to excel. Thus making the existence of managers as useless and virulent to the organization.

Also read: 10 secrets to running a company everyone wants to work for.

3) Exemplifying wrong employees

1-xCf5UU7Vgz3-sSh91PS1yAThis is one of the most prominent factors comprising almost 60% of all accounted attritions. Exemplification can be done in several ways like

  • a) By misrepresentation: Exemplifying wrong employees by manipulation of performance reports. Misrepresentations can be of two ways. Either concocted reports are being escalated to higher authorities or suppressing requisite information from the concerned employee with the objective of deliberate misguidance.
  • b) By attitude: Attitude of the manager towards all employees should be equal. Mentoring a team does not mean that the manager should be disgraceful to employees who doesn’t feed his/ her ego. Often its the manager who instigate and drives the behavior of other employees towards the subversive employee. Even sexual advancements by managers at workplaces are crucial factors leading to enormous attrition.
  • c) Payment deferrals at random: This problem is mostly common in unorganized industries or mid level private companies. Egoist managers tend to exercise their authority to feed their own ego. Instead of regarding their designation as responsibility they start considering it as an opportunity to execute their obnoxious intentions. Deferred salary is an integral part of any organization which may cause mainly due to paucity in operational revenue. But handling such situation demands honest and competent leadership. Forwarding salary to selective employees at random; irrespective of designation, performance or intent will stoop organizational performance irrevocably.
  • d) Ignoring their contributions: A good employee tends to justify himself to the company on basis of his salary but the best employee not only justifies his salary but also justifies the trust adhered to it. Passionate employees always try to look out for ways to improve their productivity and contributions to the company. The additional service which an employee renders to the company should always be recognized and appreciated. They try new avenues to increase prospects of his company as well as his own self. Managers failing to recognize and admire these resources drive the organization to HR bankruptcy.

 

4) Unproductive, irksome rules and regulations:

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During Soviet regime,  Maxim Gorky once during a conversation with his friend, V.I.Lenin did express his desire to become an official member of Bolshevik Party. Lenin negated his proposition and explained how stringent rules and disciplines of a communist party might rob Gorky off his free flowing creativity and spontaneity. Till his last days, Gorky never became a member of Bolsheviks.Yes, too much of rules and disciplines can worsen creativity and organizational performance. This is why Google has been voted 150th times for being the best company to work with. Irrelevant rules and regulations worsen organizational productivity more than anything else. Rules are imperative but leaders should know that if needed, how to tamper it for organizational benefits.

5) Myopic management

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“Remember, that in 70s and 80s, there were people who negated all possibilities of computer in the process of advocating typewriters.”

Myopic management at present is the greatest threat for global business fraternity. For some myopia is a result of unprecedented accidents while for some its a significant excuse to maintain status quo. Reforms in educational system since 90s has noted a remarkable upsurge in employee workforce. However ascent of leaders with entrepreneurial potential has taken a deep plunge. Most business houses prefer to nurture and exemplify status quoists instead of risk taking leaders. Remember, that in 70s and 80s, there were people who negated all possibilities of computer while advocating for typewriters. In today’s dynamic market scenario, being non- chalant is utterly suicidal. Overtly obsequious employee tends to shirk responsibilities and decisions which may affect status quo of the organization. Businesses fail mostly in lieu of myopic perspectives of their managers. Though these status quoists can also be indispensable part of an organization- only if their job role demands them to be replicators instead of initiators (read managers/ C suite).

myopic management

It’s clear that managing for the short term comes at the expense of firms’ long-term value. But what can be done to limit this type of behavior? One reason that managers engage in myopic management is that they are evaluated on current financial performance. Often, managers are rewarded for the gains but not penalized for the losses, or they are able to move on before negative consequences transpire. Companies can reduce incentives for myopic behavior by increasing vesting periods and delaying payoffs to departing executives. Firms should also look beyond their current earnings and share prices when setting performance evaluation standards. Consideration should be given to a variety of factors, both financial and non-financial. The non-financial ones need to reflect strategies with long-term value implications. For example, many of the key aspects of a brand’s strength, such as differentiation from the competition or the degree to which customers perceive the brand as relevant to their needs, can be measured through surveys and then linked to compensation. Long-term performance measures will motivate executives to manage with an eye to the future.

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Every organization should have effective HR policies to distinguish leaders from bosses. Myopic management are most likely to nurture and bequeath the same stigma to their next line of professionals.

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Also Read: Animation, gateway to media industry

Bahubali: trendsetter in global vfx industry

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Planning for Engineering after HS?

Planning for Engineering after HS?

Photograph of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security logo.

From April, the premium processing of H1B visas, the permits that enable skilled foreigners to be employed in the United States, will be suspended for six months. This move is most likely to affect thousands of Indian nationals, predominantly in the $150 billion Indian information technology industry.

Shares of prominent tech firms like Wipro and Infosys faced the expected plunge. This appalling bill was introduced in the US House of Representatives with the objective to increase the minimum annual salary to qualify for an H1B viSA FROM $60,000 (Rs. 40 Lakhs) to at least $130,000 (Rs. 87 Lakh). Indian tech firms have long been accused of misutilizing H1B visas to hire Indian workers for less than it would cost to hire an American.

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85,000 H1B visas are made available each year which includes 20,000 reserved for workers with advanced degrees. Since the number of applicants for H1B is way more than visas available, both employees and companies take their chances in a lottery. Other than unprecedented downturns like that of in the year 2008, there is no exception to this gambling. The suspension of the premium process, which permits firms to pay a $1225 (Rs.82,000) fee to expedite applications, is ostensibly to clear a backlog. Last year, Indian workers accounted for 70% of the 85, 000 available H1B visas, with Indian firms receiving 17000 visas, or 20% of the total.

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Not only working professionals but also students planning to pursue engineering in and after 2017 are going to be the worst sufferers. According to data from the Washington-based Pew Research Center shows that India is the largest contributor of migrants in the world. Most favorite destination for most migrants is the US or the UAE. India is also the largest immigrant population of the world.

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15.6 million people born in India who make their homes in other countries. Compared with 12.3 million Mexicans and 9.5 million Chinese.

3.5 million Indian-born people living in the UAE, about 33% of the population. 940,444 migrants to the UAE come from Egypt, the second highest contributor.

$69 billion money sent by NRIs back to India, the highest of any country.

3% average proportion that migrates. Despite the largest numbers, India falls below this average less than 2% leave the country.

Also read: How to crack your first job interview?

Indian tech students and professionals are about to suffer the most because of this bill. Consequentially, students appearing for higher secondary 2017 are at the hamletsque juncture of “to be or not to be an engineer”. 

My brother- in- law works in Silicon valley. The bill however have jeopardized his professional career. I’m likely to rethink my career goals after my Higher Secondary exams this year. – Abhik Choudhury, 17, Kolkata*.

Engineering jobs mostly depend on outsourcing. Subtle changes in International relations can affect engineers adversely. I have witnessed the downturn of 2008. I don’t want my son to face the same wrath.Mr. Sukamal Debnath, 48, Kolkata*.

My daughter is appearing for higher secondary this year. We do not want entrust her with burden of our expectations. We want her to take her own decision. Gone are the days when parents used to decide career choices on behalf of their children. – Kamalika Chatterjee, 39, Kolkata*. 

Yes, I have heard about this deplorable bill. Though it got tough for students aspiring to be tech grads but I hope they should rethink and choose a career which better suits the need of the hour. – Asmita Sinharoy, 26, Kolkata*.

                *As interviewed by #asksubho.

Though Indian IT companies have created 155,000 jobs directly and 411,000 jobs in ancillay services; with a consistent annual growth rate of 10%.

According to Nasscom report, Indian IT companies provide services to 75% of the Fortune 500 companies, ensuring global competitiveness to American companies.

US government did admit to a shortage of talent in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics) areas.In US the shortfall in talent for STEM jobs is estimated at 2.4 million. While unemployment among STEM graduates is under 2%.

With declining number of Indian manufacturing industries and  growing tension over immigration issues, thousands of students and professionals are switching their career trajectories to other promising industries like media, pharmaceuticals & marketing.

Let the suspension get over soon. Infosys chairman, Mr. Narayan Murthy said, US must now prepare for the life without imported, low cost know-how that gave them their competitive advantage in the first place.


Source: Google, India Today

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