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Animation Industry Of India

Executive Summary
Indian Animation Industry is experiencing great boom and now has become a magnet which is attracting big shots of Animation Industry from all over world. The new upcoming Indian Cartoon characters like Hanuman, Krishna, Tenaliraman etc are not only satisfying the thirst of tiny tots (5-12) for entertainment but also increasing their quench to know more and more about their culture, religion and civilization. Moreover, these India owned cartoon characters are showing growth of Animation Industry of India. But still Indian animation industry is at very infant stage. Global Animation industry is $ 80 billion industry, where as Indian animation industry is just $ 950 million industry which shows how small Indian industry is. The major trend which is going on in this industry is that right now it is working for global giants in animation sector instead of standing its own feets. Global animation giants like Imax, Walt Disney and other companies are getting into contracts with Indian animation studios to create cartoons. This shows that currently Indian animation industry is working more as outsourcing hub instead of developing our own market. So, I decided to study the Indian Animation Industry with certain objectives: 1) To analyze the various factors which are making Indian Animation Industry a outsourcing hub. 2) To study the impact of various factor which are important to make Indian Animation Industry self reliant and self suffcient. 3) To study the strengths of & opportunities available to Indian Animation Industry. The study was conducted in Mumbai. The study was conducted by professionals of this vast industry like animators, creative directors, cartoonists etc. The survey findings indicated that there are some problems which are not allowing this industry of India to grow and stand on its own feets. These problems are lack of skilled professionals, less investments, lack of support from government. But still this industry is growing at very fast speed. As it will grow it will definitely overcome all these stones it its way and will soon have many milestone to its credit. In the view of above, the recommendations for supporting this industry in India are presented in this report.

1) Introduction. a) Problem Statement b) Research Objective c) Literature Review
Indian Animation Industry intro and History India The Animation Hub? Top ten Animation Companies Indian Facing Reverse Outsourcing Online Gaming in India SWOT Analysis of Indian Animation Industry Global Animation Industry Overview Challenges of Indian Animation Industry Opportunities For Indian Animation Industry Two Success Stories Interviews 06 07 08 09 09 11 15 20 22 24 26 28 30 32 39

2) Methodology a) Sampling Design b) Research Design c) Data Analysis d) Limitations 3) Conclusions

a) Recommendations

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Problem Statement
To understand whether Indian Animation Industry is going to be another outsourcing industry like BPO or going to stand on its own feets..

Research Objective
a) To analyze the various factors which are making Indian Animation Industry a outsourcing hub? b) To study the impact of various factor which are important to make Indian Animation Industry self reliant and self suffcient.

Literature Review

Indian Animation Industry

Introduction and History
The Indian animation market, fairly static until a few years ago and activity on this front only began in earnest in the later half of the 90s when animation studios made an appearance in the country and the industry developed a more serious, export oriented outlook. India is now waking up to a host of global opportunities that promise a lot of action for the countrys leading design specialists. With global players like Walt Disney, Imax, Warner Bros signing contracts with Indian animation companies for outsourcing and co-production, it is expected that the animation industry in India can touch $950 million by 2009 and is expected to grow at a fast pace over the next five years. (Article in Business Standard byAdvisory Services (P) Ltd Director Jaiddep Ghosh) Indian animation industry was a late starter. For a very long time animation was considered an expensive proposition. As the Indian film industry was evolving and dealing with issues of quality control and later piracy, animation took the back seat. It is not that animation wasnt happening at all. Satyajit Ray, as a film maker, was one of the pioneers who experimented with animation. Our nation got its first indigenous animation series only as late as 1989 when Mr. Suddhastawa Basu made 10 episode series of Gayab Aaya. The second landmark in the Indian animation industry was reached when Ram Mohan Studios, Mumbai, was able to synergise technical and creative work with the help of a japenese production house and eventually produced a 2D film called Ramayana (1993). This film suddenly made international market sit up and take notice of Indian animation industry. However, at that point of time the Indian animation industry was in a naesant stage but displayed tremendous potential for growth. With in a few years Indias first full-fleged animation studio ZICA (Zee institute of creative Arts) was launched. India was slowly but surely becoming the destination for the big production houses in US and Europe who wanted to offshore their production work to a developing country. This was to enjoy the benefits of quality work at much lower cost. As a result work that was until then offshored to Philippines started finding its way to India. In 1999 the Indian animation industry finally took off, although doing most of the outsourced work and projects instead of products. There were few brave but futile attempts made by Indian producers and production houses in making complete films or animating certain parts of it, but they failed. The first success story was the movie HANUMAN which was completed in 2005. This gave the Indian animation industry a much needed breakthrough on the intellectual property front. HANUMAN proved that with good content , limited resources and a low budget an animation work could be created. Though it may not have set standards in terms of quality, it could generate revenue and accolades. This particular breakthrough suddenly opened the floodgates for the intellectual property market and generated a lot of interest in the whole industry for developing indigenous content; an area that remained untapped until now. Where we go from here, only time will tell. But with an industry that is pegged at $ 550 million, there is no doubt that Indian animation industry has got what it takes to reach the top. (Article in Animation Express)

The demand for animation production services from international animation studios spurred in large part due to India's lower costs of animation production and technical manpower to meet 2-D and 3-D animation requirements is drawing Indian companies into the animation framework, compelling them to view this emerging market with seriousness. During the 1996-99 period, in fact, the share of the Asia Pacific region in the global computer animation production market has increased significantly, based on some of the above mentioned strengths. North American film and television program producers (that boast worldwide networks) are finding it viable to sub contract animation production activities to independent studios overseas, and thus focusing instead on areas like film distribution. Indian companies are naturally partaking of this expanding potential. The Indian domestic market too is throwing up revenue generation prospects for ICT solutions providers specializing in this market. The requirement by the burgeoning Indian television segment for animation and special effects related work is also giving a fillip to this segment. Recognizing this potential, a number of Indian software players are turning their attention to animation. Animation studios now dot the country and the industry is also witnessing the arrival of training houses that are dedicated to building skilled manpower for this market. Cities in India such as Mumbai (which houses India's movie industry), Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Trivandrum are playing host to some of the country's leading animation houses. Companies such as Crest Communications, Films Division, Maya Entertainment, Silvertoon Studio, UTV Toons, Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA), 2NZ Studios, Prasad Studios, Acropetal, jadooWorks, Color Chips, Toonz Animation, Heart Animation, are just a few of the ventures that have dedicated themselves to the world of animation and special effects. The forces that are shaping the development of the animation industry in India includes technical manpower to meet the 2-D and 3-D animation requirements, lower costs of animation production, the expected demand from domestic Indian television channels and the formation of domestic animation studios and training centres. A snapshot of the Indian animation market scenario in the 90s: a) The merger of two existing and leading design studios-Ram Mohan Biographics and United Studios-made available for the first time, infrastructure and resources required for animation. Design studios began teaming up with overseas animation firms, taking the co-producing or sub-contracting route, and in this way upgraded their technical skill sets. b) By 1993, there were around 15 animation studios in the country, with three to four using IT tools and techniques. These studios were coming up in cities such as Mumbai, Hyderabad, Chennai and New Delhi. c) Leading animation studios included the Silvertoon Studio and Crest Communications, both of which took on subcontracted work from US, French and British studios.

d) Training in animation became more rampant, with organizations such as the Film and Television Institute in Pune offering three-year diploma programs in Animation. e) India attempted to enter the global animation market in 1997 with the setting up of Heart Animation Academy, a specialized animation school established in Hyderabad. f) Yet another animation training institute the Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA) in Hyderabad began offering production services using over 100 alumni. The animation market in India today is characterized by the presence of multiple players including Crest Communications, Films Division Maya Entertainment, Silvertoon Studio, 2NZ Studio, Cine Magin, Climb Films, UTV Toons, Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA), Digital Studio, Pentamedia Graphics, Prasad Studios, Acropetal, jadooWorks, Color Chips, Heart Animation, Ocean Park, Padmalaya Telefilms, and Toonz Animation, Magic Shop, Moving Pictures, among others. These companies are spread across cities such as Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram. Indias animation studios are catering to the requirements of various end user segments such as feature films, TV programs, advertisements/commercials and computer games. Animation solutions are also finding a place in niches such as film titling, special effects, Web entertainment programs, TV broadcast graphics, 3D modeling and background development. In each of these areas the extent or scope of services for an animation production company include offering services in animation production services, co-production and content creation. Segments such as online education, CAD/CAE, and industry specific applications such as architecture, medical, legal/insurance, etc. are also potential platforms for animation, though Indian studios are not focused on these markets. Skill sets in 2D and 3D animation are leading to opportunities in segments such as TV programs and feature films. India has several training institutes that cater to the demand of training animation professionals. Chief among them are the National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad), J.J. School of Arts, Zee Institute of Creative Arts (ZICA), Mumbai, Industrial Design Center (IIT Mumbai), IIT Guwahati, C-DACs National Multimedia Resource Center (Pune). Private training institutes include Arena Animation Academy (Mumbai) and Pentamedia Graphics (Chennai). India: The Animation Hub? The global animation production market is set for major growth. Global animation market will generate revenues worth US$ 50-70 billion by 2005. Total animation production by Indian producers meanwhile is expected to touch US$1.5 billion by 2005 (Arthur Andersens study on the Entertainment and Media sector). India is gradually positioning itself as a significant provider of animation production services. The countrys strengths and edge in the market include the following: 1) A vast base of English speaking manpower: Animation, which requires a familiarity with the English language, benefits when the work is outsourced to India. Besides, a number of initiatives are underway in the country targeted

at creating skill manpower for the animation market. 2) Presence of animation studios: A number of Indian cities already boast hi-tech animation studios (equipped with state-of-the-art hardware and software) which are successfully completing projects from overseas companies. There are atleast 12 animation studios in India that are global class with the relevant hardware software and communications infrastructure, experience, skill sets and consumer profile. 3) Low cost of animation services: Indias edge in terms of pricing is stated to be unmatched. Compared to countries like US and Canada or even Korea, and the Philippines, the Indian animation costs are the lowest. While the rates for production of half hour TV animation programme would be around US$ 250,000-400,000, in the US and Canada, it is in the region of US$ 60,000 in India. 4) Indias large entertainment sector: Owing to a prolific entertainment segment, India has a ready supply of content developers. 5) Heritage of traditional literature: Indian content developers also have exposure and access to rich heritage of traditional literature. This would offer the potential for content-based partnerships. 6) Studios that are well equipped: The larger film production studios in India are equipped with state-of-the-art computer hardware and software platforms The main end use segments of animation, which constitute opportunity areas for animation producers in India are feature film production, TV programmes, Advertising / commercials and Games. By all account, the animation production industry in India has the potential to grow into a major export engine for the country. Indian design studios are gradually establishing their credentials in overseas geographies, gaining valuable experience and building their skill sets in this high potential global market. With some incentives provided to this segment, India can not only catch up with competitors such as the Philippines, Korea and Taiwan, it can easily exceed their potential. The total global animation production is expected to be $51.7 billion by year 2005. The animation industry in India, currently growing at a CAGR of 30 percent, is estimated to reach $1.5 billion by then. Total revenues of the animation production services sector in India are estimated at between $200 and $300 million in 2004. Demand for animation production services from India is growing with the emergence of an organised animation production sector, thanks to the state-of-theart infrastructure which is able to provide the quality of work required for international market, at substantially lower cost. No wonder, Indian animation firms are bagging big international contracts. In 2004 alone, 11 new animation TV series projects have come to India, at least nine being from the US and Europe, say industry sources. Currently, 300 animation companies employ approximately 30,000 people in India. Industry estimates indicate that nearly 8,000 freelancers also work in the industry.


To be able to maintain its share of the global pie, and grow it, there is a need for focused human capital development for animation and gaming sectors, and for government policy support in the Indian industry. This figure is forecast to increase at a CAGR of 14-15 percent and exceed 26,000 by 2010. The key constraint is the growing demand-supply gap in manpower availability that is expected to restrict the Indian animation industry's growth to $869 million against its potential of exceeding $1 billion. Ensuring the availability of adequate, suitable manpower and a focused industry development program can help India achieve a larger share of the pie. There should be government policy support for the Indian Industry. The broadcast (including animation) industries in countries such as France, Singapore, China, Korea, Canada and Philippines, have grown with the help of specific policy support extended by the local governments. The support offered has ranged from assistance in manpower development, infrastructure provisioning, direct and indirect investments, to promoting industry recognition. Animation and gaming in India has taken off in a big way in the past 2 to 3 years, owing to recognition of India's IT expertise and creative skills, entrepreneurial drive of companies and last but not the least, recognising this as a potential growth sector at the right time. In addition to inherent factors like creative skills and manpower availability and cost advantage, external factors like growing maturity of animation studios, increase in number of co-production ventures, development of IP, and the attractive domestic market opportunity have immensely contributed to this industry's growth, he pointed out.

To ensure further growth India's share in the fiercely competitive global market place, we need to focus our attention to factors like external investment and specialised training. The industry has the potential to offer significant opportunities to investors, companies and the government for which the industry needs human capital development and government policy support. (According to the National Association of Software and Services Companies' Annual Report 2007) India appears well positioned to play an important role in the global animation production market. The Indian Government needs to take the following steps: increase the level of interest of audiences in the domestic market in animation enter into co-production tie-ups with countries such as Canada to develop animation content increase the range of applications for animation such as documentaries, etc. develop a "national brand identification" in animation strengthen the interface between local studios and producers have a representation in major international animation markets and festivals create assured offtake of locally produced original animation productions by domestic broadcasters provide relevant funding and infrastructure for animation product development


set up animation parks on the lines of STPs take a series of strategic initiatives to build a body of manpower talent to fuel the growth of this market

India has the capabilities to make it big in the global animation production market. Even though activity in this segment is currently low key, action is expected to hot up over the next few years as more and more Indian software development companies take to the market and set up facilities dedicated to animation production services.


The Top Ten Animation Companies in India

Technology development has prompted a number of low cost hubs with powerful computer animation platforms to emerge in Asia. India is fast becoming a preferred destination for Animation outsourcing and is steadily overtaking the traditional players in the field like Philippines, Korea & Taipei. Its boom time in the Indian animation industry, pegged at approximately US$ 300- $350 million in 2005. Cities like Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Thiruvananthapuram are fast emerging as the countrys major animation hubs. The big studios have set up world-class, state-of-the-art facilities equipped with hardware and software like SGI, 3DMax and SoftImage, SFX and processing motion capture facilities. Indias biggest advantages are its cost effectiveness and good quality. Studios spread across the country are doing animation work like cartoon characters and special effects for clients around the world including Walt Disney, Imax, Warner Brothers and Sony. Some of the other companies are outsourcing animation for commercials and computer games. Some of the prominent companies outsourcing animation are: 1. Toonz Animation India: It is based in Thiruvananthapuram and has to its credit the successful series The Adventures of Tenali Raman. The team here is also working on a fullfledged feature film called Tommy and Oscar which is a 2D /3D combo project. This is apart from completing work for the Italian producer Rainbow Productions; a 2D television series called Will o the Wisp (26 X 6 min) for Animoon Plc, United Kingdom and a big-budget 3D television series for major a US broadcaster. This company has tied up with First Serve International to form First Serve Toonz. 2. Pentamedia Graphics: Chennai is a subsidiary of computer software company Pentafour. It is best known for its animated 3D film using the motion capture technique, Sindbad: Beyond the Veils of the Mists. 3. Maya Entertainment: Mumbai has been doing outsourced work for a while now and has done the special effects for The Mummy and Stuart Little. It is also working on animating short films starring a character called Wabo, to be used by the United Nations to educate worldwide audiences on the importance of fresh drinking water. 4. UTV Toonz: Mumbai is the animation division of UTV Software Communications and is one of the top ranking studios dealing in flash as well as traditional animation. It has bagged a US$10 billion deal with an American company for outsourced work. Other assignments for international clients include like two Dutch deals to produce a musical cartoon series called ClubNow! and a fantasy series The Donz; a project with Cinegroup of Canada for the images for a sci-fi series. They are also working with companies in Scotland and Luxembourg for the development of series like


Clootie & Dumpling and Snow Queen. It will also be working on Kong: The Next Generation for New York-based BKN New Media. 5. Heart Entertainment: A 2D animation studio is yet another big name in the animation sphere, which is doing a lot of outsourced work. Among the animation featured in its portfolio are Warner Brothers Histeria, Tommy Nelsons Crippled Lamb and Little Dogs on the Prairie. It also has to its credit some work done for Walt Disney. 6. Padmalaya Telefilms: Mumbai is a unit of Indias largest listed media firm, Zee Telefilms. It is expected to make 104 cartoon episodes for US$ 14 million and distribute Mondos library for US$ 15 million. It has also inked some deals with British animation companies like Mallard Media and Ealing Animation. 7. Nipuna Services Ltd: A division of Satyam Computer Services, has recently bagged a project worth US$ 8 billion from 4K Animation GmbH, a German animation company. This assignment is among the biggest deals struck by an Indian BPO in the animation space. It is also doing significant work for a New Zealand - based company called Applied Gravity. The work includes animatronics models for New Zealand Theme parks as well as an animatronics dog for Animal Planets series K9 to 11. 8. Jadoo Works: Bangalore is working on an animated film series Lord Krishna and the crime caper Bombay Dogs. It has done work for US animation studios like Wild Brain and Guardian Angel Animation (GaGa). 9. Crest Communications: Mumbai, is a leading 3-d animation company and does a lot of work for American Studios. It came into limelight in 2002, when it won an Emmy for animation production work done for the animated series Jakers: The Adventures of Piggley-Winks. It is also to work on three features for Lions Gate Family Entertainment. Crest is also expected to produce and release Sylvester and the Magic Pebble based on the story by William Steig the creator of Shrek. 10. Silvertoon Studio: Mumbai, is engaged primarily in subcontract work for U.S., French, and British studios, using digital ink, paint and compositing system. (A Chillibreeze report) When children in the US tune in to the popular cartoon programme Jakers! The Adventures of Piggley Winks on PBS, few know that the adorable pig and his friends have been created in India. Mumbai-based Crest Communications, the creator of Piggley Winks, has tieups with television networks in the US to produce animated content. So does Chennai-based Pentamedia Graphics, which has produced the most number of 3D animated movies in the world six and has a few more


under production. One of the company's movies, the US$ 6-million Buddha, was released last year. India's software success story is graduating to the creative space. It is now blending its IT skills with its legendary prowess in story telling to cook up an immensely entertaining broth. Cashing in on its English-educated manpower, which is conversant with English humour, and cost effectiveness, India is now on the fast lane to becoming a key player in the animation world. While animation is just one niche of the entertainment industry, it is still big business the worldwide market for digital animation is estimated to reach US$ 70 billion in 2005. Of this, India is said to have earned revenues ranging between US$ 200 and US$ 300 million in 2004 a growth of over 20 per cent during the year. Endorsing India's potential in the animation space, the market will grow at 30 per cent annually in the next three years resulting in a US$ 15 billion industry by 2008 from its present US$ 500-600 million. India will receive more than US$ 2 billion worth of animation business in the next three years. While India's share in the world animation market is fairly small, the potential is huge, as the needs of the film and television industry are growing worldwide. The appetite for animation is on a surge. (Article: Building on age-old storytelling skills in Animation India) And it is not only because of the commercial success of completely animated films and television programmes such as Princess Mononoke, Final Fantasy, Toy Story, Star Wars; or the popularity of special effects in feature films, ad films and the like. It is also because the world has begun to acknowledge the contribution of technology beyond the film theatre. Be it mobile phones, games, PDAs, the demand for audio-visual content can only grow in one direction skywards. Producers have realised that computer animation can fill in gaps that could be caused by external factors such as uncertain weather conditions, unavailability of conducive locations etc. Possibilities of 3D Animation Enormous sets that would take millions to create can be hand drawn in a studio and fed into a computer. In fact, many animation companies have large banks of BGs (backgrounds), which a producer may just choose from. Danger to life and property can be minimised, or, indeed eliminated, proving to be a big help in saving insurance premia. The costs of taking normal shots can be drastically minimised. For example, if a producer wants to take an aerial shot of, say, a temple tower in such a way that a view of the tower slowly turns around, the only traditional way is to hire a helicopter. But now, you simply take a picture of the tower and turn it around in the computer. Actors need never die. Even today, it is possible to produce movies of yesteryear heroes like Sivaji Ganesan or a Raj Kapoor by just using a picture of the actor and animating it as required. It is possible to set' actors and actresses against exotic backgrounds without having to take them there.

Another factor that is working in Indias favour is the global need to cut production costs. The margins in animation work have tightened in the last three or four years, with more money being spent on branding and marketing. Now, large U.S. and European studios are looking for partners who are willing to share risks,


budgets and future developments an advantage that can be easily leveraged by Indian companies. The co-production model also allows the Indian animation companies to work with film-makers from Japan, North America, Europe and other parts of Asia thus enriching the experience. Maya Entertainment, based in Mumbai and promoted by the director and actress duo Ketan and Deepa Mehta, had contributed to the special effects of Hollywood blockbusters such as Star Wars, The Phantom Menace, The Mummy and Stuart Little. And Kerala-based Toonz Animation, which was set up with an investment of US$ 7 million in 1999, now caters to clients from across the globe from the US, France and Belgium to South Korea. Best known for its popular television series "The Adventures of Tenali Raman", Toonz has also produced many acclaimed television programmes such as "Katya and Nutcracker", "Prezzy", "Tommy and Oscar", "Turtle Island" and "The Land of Gnoo" for global clients. (Article: Building on age-old storytelling skills in Animation India) The Tenali Raman series, which is based on age-old stories about a clever court jester of King Krishnadeva Raya of the Vijayanagar Empire, has been a massive hit on Cartoon Network and is also being telecast on ETV. Cartoon Network is planning to launch a series of programmes from adaptations of Indian fables and mythology. Rising to the occasion, many companies such as Toonz, Maya and Pentamedia have got into the production of animated versions of Indian fables and folk tales. There is definitely no dearth of stories Tata Elxsi recently released Krishna Leela, Maya completed a 54-part science fiction series titled Captain Vyom-The Sky Warrior, while Toonz is working on its Hanuman series. No laughing matter The 3D animation skills of Indian studios have earned high praise from their international clients for the quality of their animation output. One of the first among Indian companies to bag an international contract was Crest Communications. The firm's first 3D animation contract was with Mike Young Productions in 2002 for 26 episodes of a TV serial "Jakers! The Adventures of Piggly Winks", broke the initial ground for Indian companies. This was televised on 17 channels across the US, Canada and Europe. Its nomination alongside top-rung global producers (Warner Bros, DNA Productions and Nickelodeon), gave Crest the exposure it had been craving for. But more importantly, it half opened the door for others. More recently, Maya Entertainment's "Jack Frost", a Christmas Special for BBC, was put at number one slot by the channel during its Christmas Week programmes in December 2004. Crest's recent co-production, "Pet Alien", with Mike Young Productions and a French company, has also received rave reviews from the czars of the US animation industry. The colours are rich, the designs are appealing, the characters are funny and the animation approximates feature quality (as in the Incredibles) on a television budget and schedule. Though Crest is at the forefront, there are others as well who have made a mark with prestigious assignments. Tata Elxsi's Visual Computing Lab, for example, designed the "Liquid Gold" credits at last year's Oscars. A Bangalore-based gaming company, Dhruva Interactive, won global deals with Microsoft Games Studios to work on its latest releases, and with mobile handset vendor Nokia to develop Javabased games.


Maya did "Golden Eye", a 15- minute game, for Game Cinematics of the US, modelling, props and background for the 26 episodes of Monster by Mistake made by a Canadian- Israeli company, DPSI. Similarly, Color Chips completed a 13episode animation series for Benz Production of France and it is now working on a 26-episode TV series for a German production, BKN International AG. Though Indian companies have a modest share of the world market, most of the top rung companies are growing at more than 100 per cent a year. Crest, after its acquisition of Rich Animation Studio in 2001, in the US, has positioned itself across the computer animation value chain spanning pre-production, production and post-production segments of 3D animation. While there is no shortage of creative talent, the biggest hurdle to growth of animation firms is the acute shortage of trained animators. The industry needs 3,00,000 animators but only 30,000 are available. It took several years for Crest to build its animator strength to 270. And when Maya was raising its animator strength from five to 50, it set up its own academy, Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics. It now has 35 centres with 3,500 seats in India. (Article: Building on age-old storytelling skills in Animation India) Apart from leveraging relationships with foreign partners, Indian companies have a huge cost advantage to their benefit. The cost of animation production services in India can range from 10 per cent to 40 per cent of what it would cost in the US. A 22 to 24 minute episode that would cost between US$ 200,000 and US$ 250,000 in the US and Canada, and between US$ 250,000 and US$ 300,000 in Europe, can work out to be about US$ 60,000 in India. However, the story of Indian animation is not only about cost effectiveness. It is about quality, along with a cost advantage. The Indian animation industry owes its propensity for quality to the domestic advertising sector, which has been a key growth driver in the industry long before the technique was used to create television serials or for special effects in films. The success of ad characters such as the Amul Girl, Gattoo (the Asian Paints mascot), the Handiplast Boy, the Bata Bubble Gumme, or of 30- second 'animercials' for brands like Hutch, Amaron, Orange, All-Out Mosquito Repellent, 7-Up, Kellogg's, ICICI, Mortein, Good-Night and Vicks is a case in point. A commendable quality standard is what has stood the animation industry in good stead in domestic cinema too. For instance, the extremely realistic clouds that suddenly appear on the horizon in the beginning of the Hindi film Lagaan were computer generated. The Indian film industry is purportedly the largest in the world in terms of the number of movies produced annually. And if the trend in Hollywood is anything to go by, special effects is bound to play an important role in forthcoming movies. In India, this transition is already apparent as more and more Indian studios are opting for special effects to draw the crowds in. (Article: Building on age-old storytelling skills in Animation India)

India is emerging as a destination for outsourcing assignments from global studios such as Walt Disney Pictures and Cartoon Network. Although most Indian production houses still earn their bread and butter from low-end projects, some of the top companies are slowly moving up the value chain.


The global animation market will generate revenues worth $50-70 billion by 2005. Animation production from Indian producers is expected to go up from $0.6 billion in 2001 to $ 1.5 billion by 2005. However, the corporate view is a little different. There is not much work happening on the 3D animation front in India. Mostly it is on 2D. One of the major hurdles that we are experiencing in India is shortage of required skills for this industry. Today, adoption of animation in Indian cinemas is very low. Usually the West looks for previous works in animation in Indian cinema before giving us any work. In India, the budget for each movie is a few crores of rupees. But if you need to make a good movie like Spider Man or Independence Day, you require around Rs 100 crores, which is not possible in the Indian film industry. The quality of animation from India needs improvement. There are no animation studios in India, which can compete with Walt Disneys of the world. You need huge investments to set up such studios. The government needs to look into the requirements of this industry and support it. Various end user segments such as TV programmes, TV commercials, games, online education, CAD/CAE applications apart from feature films are slowly increasing the usage of animation in their work. But professionals who can handle animation and multimedia software like Maya, 3D Studio Max and Tictactoon, Flash, Giff Animator, Ulead, Adobe After Effects are in shortage, points out Mr Chetan. This despite the fact that the cost of animation production in India is the lowest compared to destinations like Canada, Korea, Taiwan and Philippines. (Article by Chetan S, director-business development, Animation Training School in Nasscom Report).

Indian animation industry faces reverse outsourcing With several home-spun projects at its disposal, India's animation industry has come of age and could even resort to "reverse outsourcing" to fill up a talent gap. Until recently, Indian companies had been relying on production works outsourced by giants like Disney, Paramount, Imax or Sony. Now they are confident of taking up pre-production, production, and even post-production on their own. Sumathi Sreedharan, director of Chennai-based Pentamedia Graphics Having released around 10 films independently, including "Hanuman," "Little Krishna," "Ramayan," "Pandavas," "Legend of Buddha," "Ali Baba" and "Son of Ali Baba" the more than a dozen big animation houses in the country have many more projects at their disposal. The Rs 7-crore success of "Hanuman," which was released in 2005, had proved that Indian audience was "grown up" for a full-length animation film. But the industry, which faces a shortage of professionals, could go in for reverse outsourcing.


The cost of producing a half-an-hour animated programme in the US and Canada was 2,50,000 to 4,00,000 dollars and 1,20,000 dollars in South Korea and Taiwan, whereas in India it is 60,000 dollars. Though India has an edge over other countries with regard to cost factor, due to the deficit in our talent pool, production could be outsourced to countries like the Philippines, Malaysia and Taiwan. An independent survey by Arena Animation Academy has found that there would be a requirement of three lakh professionals in animation and related services by 2008 in the country, claimed R Krishnan, executive director of Aptech Ltd, the parent body of Arena. The industry currently has only around 20,000 skilled hands. The animation sector, which now earned Rs 1,200 crore, would mop up Rs 4,200 crore by 2009. Several independent projects are coming up at animation houses, including ones on filmstars Amitabh Bachchan and Rajnikanth. The film on Big B had been initiated by Toonz. Another project of Toonz is "Hanuman-2," being produced in association with Percept Pictures, which places the "baby simian god" in the contemporary world and is set to hit the theatres soon. Adlabs Films Ltd plans two films in 2008 -- one on Tamil superstar Rajnikant and another on children apparel retailing brand, Gini & Jony. Media Factory India has lined up a five million dollar 3-D project, "Magik" for release in the summer of 2008. BR Films plans to release its "Krishnaleela" in May. Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd. has lined up "Ghatothkach: Master of Magic" for later this year. Pentamedia, which has already produced six animated films on its own, is working on Sindbad sequels, "Tarzan and Aliens" and Ramayan. The multiplex culture had also helped in the success of Indian animation films. The trend in the Indian industry was to search the country's ancient treasure house of stories -epics and legends -- for content. Indian mythological characters and stories would be able to woo western audiences if the presentation was good. Indian industry still lacks "adventurepacked racy scripts" to sell ethnic content outside the country. The industry has to develop expertise in creating high-end characters similar to "Spiderman" or "Pokemon." The story ideas should be contemporary to drive audience to theatres. Though outsourcing of projects had helped in honing innate talents in India, there was a dearth of good content writers. (Interview with Sumathi Sreedharan, director of Chennai-based Pentamedia Graphics & K Chandrashekaran, creative director of Thiruvananthapuram-based Toonz Animation - Indiantelevision)


Online Gaming In India Challenges & Opportunities

Gaming has a lot of good news to offer to India. For a market where not very long ago, gaming was synonymous with Console and PC games, platforms such as Mobile and Web have simply turned the trend upside down. Market is growing at a CAGR of 78 percent to reach US $300 million by 2009, wherein online gaming is steadily picking up. It is time now to dedicate some time to exploring the possibilities that might mature around Online gaming in the country. From where we are poised now, the future looks promising. With an IAMAI and IMRB study estimating the active Internet user base to hit an impressive 43 million by March 2008, Online gaming is probably on its way to become an important component of the online industry. Challenges What is interesting is that such a growth path is predicted despite evident roadblocks that plague the Online gaming industry in India. Some of these throw open a range of serious challenges to the developers and content providers who are hoping to break even in the near future. Despite the fact that India is waking up to an online revolution of sorts, we are still struggling with issues like bandwidth and the fact that PC and 247 internet connectivity is not a common feature barring a few households in metropolitan setups. Unlike its counterparts, India also does not have enough domestic broadband connections. In a country with a population of more than a billion people, India had only 2.21 million broadband subscribers at the end of February this year. Moreover, these figures include both institutional and consumer connections. Its not surprising then that market penetration still remains a serious issue for Online content providers, as compared to the Mobile segment wherein Mobile handsets have, to a significant extent, managed to penetrate even to the remotest areas of the country. India has more than 116 million mobile users as compared to roughly 3.6 million PC users. The industry still is plagued with issues of poor infrastructure, including connectivity, hardware limitations such as low-end processors, graphic and sound cards & LAN connectivity at cyber cafs. All these contribute to a gaming experience, which does not provide any stickiness to the consumer. Even from an exposure point-of-view, where countries such as China, Japan and Korea (with developed online gaming markets) have gaming as a deep-seated part of their culture, the game developers are still struggling with an immature market. Gaming is still devoid of the stature it deserves in India and is often seen clubbed with the Animation industry, or IT, vis--vis technical resource pool. However, shifting our focus to the other side of the picture, Online gaming does have a vast pool of opportunities to offer. There is no dearth of base Flash skill sets in India. With the right amount of training, plug-and-play teams are not too difficult to create. Flash as a medium has up to 95% penetration across all browsers worldwide.


A simple online game has a quick turnaround time of three to five weeks or even less than that. Simple Flash games are a big driver of the casual gaming market worldwide and seem to be the best bet in India in the early days of online gaming. Flash games appeal to non-gamers as well and are a good step in exposing people to the thrills of online gaming. Opportunities Now with an aggressive entry of portals like Zapak offering games to the mass market, the Online gaming scenario is gearing up for the rising demand in times to come. Such content providers are also actively considering dedicated gaming cafs that can provide gamers with a wholesome gaming experience. This will go a long way in promoting and marketing online games, educating users and creating awareness about this medium. For a fact, Internet surfers are discovering online gamers, having a strong potential to offer community-based, social networking experience, which is on its way to become the next big thing around. Casual online games are becoming a popular activity among the users in the age group of 16-25. It is but natural that over time these two media will see some sort of convergence The growing popularity of gaming has also go advertisers excited about considering Online gaming as a viable means of brand promotion. Jump recently created a social networking game application Coca-Cola Speed Jamming for CocaCola, developed to push their Sabka Thanda Ek summer campaign. With a market that is waiting to explode but for good gaming content, this is a good time to look at Online gaming seriously. It might have been a slow starter, but with all signs pointing towards a bright future, it wouldnt be surprising if online gaming along with its mobile counterpart emerges as the trump card of the Indian gaming industry.(Article by Salil Bhargava, CEO - Jump Games In Animation Xpress).


SWOT Analysis of Indian Animation Comparison With Asian Countries




industry is expected to go up from $0.6 billion in 2001 to $1.5 billion by 2005. India LESSER NUMBER OFD 8-10% LOWER the world's largest STUDIOS (75) AS COMPARED has PRODUCTION COSTS industry, a TO COMPETING COUNTRIES entertainment THAN ABROAD (SOUTH KOREA- 400) robust software industry and SHORTAGE OF SKILLED also skilled manpower, all MANPOWER essential ingredients for the growth of Animation industry. LARGELY UNORGANISED The prominent players include SECTOR UTV Toons, Crest OPPORTUNITIES THREATS Communications, Pentamedia COMPETITION FROM CHINA, HIGH GROWTH JAPAN, KOREA AND Graphics, Padmalaya ESTIMATES, STUDY PHILIPHINNES. PREDICTS IT TO GROW Telefilms, Moving Pictures and TO $ 1.5 BILLION Toonz Animation. The INCREASING DOMESTIC animation studios are catering MARKET, FEATURE FILM/TV PROGRAMMES, to the requirements of ADVERTISING, GAMES, segments such as feature ONLINE EDUCATION, films, television programmes, AND INDUSTRY SPECIFIC APPLICATIONS advertisements and computer LIKE ARCHITECTURE, games. Currently, Indian MEDICAL AND LEGAL. animation players are predominantly catering to the ENCOURAGING GLOBAL needs of overseas television SCENRIO GLOBAL SECTOR TO GROW TO $ programme production 51.7 BILLION companies. The biggest challenges that the Indian animation industry is facing are awareness, skills and manpower development, infrastructure and financial support, which would require industry and government to partner.



Indian Animation is


Animation, as you are aware is unisex, Unicast, trans-national for children and young Adults. Today, one sees a lot of work is been outsourced in Korea, China, and Philippines for cost reasons. This will happen further more in the days to come. Only the characters and script would be concentrated in the West, rest will be outsourced. This provides an opportunity to various studios to offer various services all under ONE ROOF. This will help in a great way for studios that are involved in Animation Industry to prosper. Cost of animation production in India is the lowest compared to other destinations like Canada, Korea, Taiwan and Philippines as seen in the table.


Countries US and Canada Korea and Taiwan The Philippines India

Rates of production of a half hour animated programme Cost (in US dollars) $250,000-400,000 $250,000-400,000 $90,000-100,000 $60,000

There are currently about 4400 - 4500 animation professionals in the country and if the grown is consistent, we will be requiring around 18,000 to 20,000 animation professionals by the Year 2007, which is a very difficult task. Animation professional are required to have artistic background along with the inclination for acting and even color sense. India has already received several 2D, 3D and Flash TV series work. We foresee India emerging as a major player in the feature film animation in the near future. Not just the requirement of manpower is a challenge, capturing the big domestic market is a more daunting one. The Indian film industry still sees animation and special effects as a fill in for scenes that cant be shot otherwise practically. One of the main reasons why there is a lack of active interest in special effects is that of economic feasibility and courage. Indian broadcasters pay very small amounts for producing multimedia and graphic clips, though producing animation is very expensive. Setting up infrastructure for 3D animation is also quite an expensive affair, and Indian film-makers are still not daring to experiment with animation in a big way.

India has already received several 2D, 3D and Flash TV series work. We foresee India emerging as a major player in the feature film animation in the near future. In India Animation arrived with companies picking up contracts internationally to execute the labour intensive traditional 2D animation production processes in India. Most hoped to benefit from the exchange rate arbitrage and labour cost advantages. However this is not a USP in any form because countries like China, Bangladesh, Chile etc. have been able to offer exactly the same advantages even more competitively. Moreover the growth in the number of traditional animation artists in India has at best been flat leading to companie{ fighting for the same pool of talent with higher offerings. With both of the above playing truant, Indian play in Traditional Animation is going to be of little significance internationally in the future. However, the story could be quite the opposite for all original productions and services in flash and 3D animation. Original productions ensure that the high yielding intellect side of animation business remains within the shores. This could fuel another round of growth in animation in India. Moreover in flash and 3D animation services, no country worldwide has been able to obtain a clear lead as yet. India is still in the forefront and will substantially grow in this arena. The animation industry is slated to be the next big export out of IndiaIndia can & will become the hub of the world with a little government support. The


international animation size is projected at 40 billion US in 2 years time & India, with its two genetic talents of art & maths can capture a major chunk of this business.

Global Animation Industry

The Global Scenario The rapid advancement of technology has made computer animation available to the masses and the animation industry is one of the fastest growing industries. The demand for animated entertainment has expanded with the increase in broadcasting hours by cable and satellite TV along with the growing popularity of the Internet. In the past, animation series were aimed at children aged nine and below. In recent years however, TV stations have been producing animation series for teenagers, adults and the whole family. The major markets include the United States, Canada, Japan, France, Britain and Germany. Licensing operations for Tshirts, caps and other items havealso been a major source of revenue for animation companies. In Japan, several successful computer games have crossed over and have become animated series like Pokemon, Monster Farm, Power Stone and Detective Conan. More broadly speaking, animation is increasingly used in video games, and movies are also increasingly reliant on animation and computer graphic special effects. Another key trend we are witnessing is the outsourcing of animation content to Asia. This market is increasingly being tapped by North American film and television program producers. The major factor behind this shift of computer animation production to the Asia/Pacific region continues to be the availability of low cost, powerful computer animation platforms and much lower labour rates in the Asian and Pacific Rim countries compared to North America and Europe. The bulk of the outsourcing happens for 2D animation content with some amount of 3D content. Animation is regarded as a part of the creative or content industry as artistic or creative effort is essential to the process of developing animation. The segment has the potential for job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property. The US industry, the largest user of animation products and services, describes entertainment as feature films, TV programs, music, broadcasting, cable TV, games, sports, performing artstheme parks and toys. The total global animation production figures, range between US$ 16-31.5 billion for the year 2000. Statistics for 2001, stand anywhere between US$ 25 billion and US$ 38 billion. Analysts estimate that the global animation production rose to about US$ 45 billion in 2002.

($ billion) Total global animation Production Demand from Entertainment Sector Demand from nonEntertainment Sector Animation Production by India

2000 31.5 22.7 8.8 0.6

2002E 45.0 32.4 12.6 -

2005F 51.7 37 14.7 1.5

E-Estimate, F- Forecast


Note: Non-entertainment comprises the industrial & commercial applications of animation Source: NASSCOM Animation report Some of the other estimates on animation indicate the following: 1) The global entertainment market will generate a demand for animation production services of the order of US$ 37 billion by 2003. 2) In the non-entertainment segment the demand for animation production services will touch US$ 14.7 billion by 2005 (forecasts by industry source) 3) The global film/TV program production market will create a US $ 17.5 billion revenue opportunity for animation production houses (forecasts by Pixel Inc.) 4) On the gaming side, the demand for animation production services was of the order of US$ 5 billion in 2000. The international animation industry is increasingly looking eastwards as the cost of real sets, studio space and outdoor location skyrockets abroad. The demand for animation professionals had been going up. It has achieved remarkable growth from $550 million in 2002.

India might receive more than $2 billion worth of the animation business. Around 40,000 professionals will be needed in India by 2008. The animation industry is extremely labour intensive and has the capacity to absorb as many trained animators as are available. The entire western world in general and the U.S. in particular are outsourcing many projects to India for the production of their big budget films, ad promos and games. (Inetrview of Rajesh Turakhia, Chief Executive Officer of Maya Entertainment Limited Animation India)


Challenges for Animation Industry In India

A conference on animation and gaming was held at the CII Headquarters. The conference was part of Chandigarh Film Festival, which was attended by entrepreneurs, professionals, animation enthusiasts and students. The conference, in four sessions, evaluated various aspects, challenges, strengths of animation and gaming industry with special focus on India as an upcoming player. The meet was an attempt to be a linkage between all the stakeholders of the industry. Movies like Krrish, Dhoom II and Hanuman have pushed up the demand of animated content in India. All we need is to bridge the demand and supply gap with well-equipped studios and trained manpower. The growth of the gaming industry by 2009 will reach 30 million dollars. Mobile boom has really grown the scope of mobile gaming in India which is relatively cheaper. We must take advantage of that. India still faces tough competition from countries like South Korea, Singapore, China, Japan, and Malaysia among others. Indias contribution is less in developer market since the focus is still on low end. However, it is not the scale of the industry that is in question. Chandigarh is gearing up for a revolution. Within a couple of years the city will have its own multimedia film city that will be home to a multimedia college, a multimedia technology park, a digital studio and a multimedia entertainment centre. The skill of making the virtual look real is going to be in great demand in India soon. We definitely need creative people to come to the forefront now that softwares like Shake, Final Cut Pro Motion 3, Color, and Compressor 3 have made the whole process lot easier. 3D still was not accepted as a proper job by the people. There have been many modelers resign due to family pressure. To move this commerce forward India must realise the importance of broad knowledge. Now that international companies like Warner Brothers, Walt Disney, Imax and Sony have invested in the Indian market, focus should move from insecurities to creative potential and a proper outlet. Ashok Kaul, Director of Indias first live action-animation film, Bhagmati motivated the enthusiasts to go forward on churning out creative ideas. He says that we have enough of technology. We have to find and train creative brains in this field. (Express news service) Availability of animators and the incremental supply of animators continue to cause problems to the existing studios. India has only about 3,000-5,000 skilled animators at present while the demand hovers around 30,000. The demand continues to grow while the talent pool continues to fall short of industry requirements.


As a result of this, the manpower costs have also increased manifold. Salary levels of animators have almost increased by over 40 percent. Animator training and skill up gradation costs too increased with studio efforts to transform animators generic skills to specialised skill sets. On average, a typical 150-member studio manpower accounts for 50-55 percent of operation costs and IT infrastructure accounts for 25-30 percent. In line with the increasing manpower costs, the billing rates of the larger and established studios have also increased by up to 30 percent for 3D CGI animation work and at least 50 percent for 2D animation work. Some of the challenges faced by the industry are also of delivery capability of animation studios, security or IP-related issues and the key manpower shortage. (Article by Nasscom president Kiran Karnik in Animation Express) Another challenge is that Indian market size is extremely fragmented with the top players accounting for 10-15 per cent of the industry turnover. Further, most of the players are direct or indirect off-shoots of the Indian BPO boom. This legacy and low indigenous demand forced most of the players to adopt the outsourcing business model. Animation needs a much larger investment and longer production circles. However, it has very long shelf lives and content leverage scope. A typical animation movie may take 2 years for completion unlike general movies. Further it is labour intensive, although with the advent of computers, the work has been simplified and is a relief from the days when each frame had to be drawn by hand. It is estimated that the labour may account for 70-80 per cent of the total costs for a 2-D animation production. It is lower for 3-D animation. Further, animation products are expensive to produce, on an average animation costs 5-15 times more than a live product. The key challenges before the industry are piracy and lack of IP protection rights and an acute lack of resources, investment and government support. The slack IP laws and weak enforcement mean that studios can expect leakage of revenue at every stage. Further, to keep in pace with technological development, companies need to invest heavily in latest technologies. Article in Business Standard by Advisory Services (P) Ltd Director Jaiddep Ghosh) Animation industry in India is still at developing stage unlike in US and Canada and it is turning out to be a major challenge for animation industry in India. Lack of developed market, low level of professionalism coupled with minuscule investment in technology are some of the challenges being faced by Indian animation industry which needed to be overcome on priority basis in order to put the industry on high growth trajectory. (Article by Ashok Kaul, a renowned film director NASSCOM Animation and Gaming Industry 2007 Report)

Opportunities for Animation Industry In India


The opportunities for Indian animation firms do not stop at TV programmes. TV programmes are estimated to have accounted for around 70-80 percent of the total revenues in 2004, while the balance accounted for by other segments like theatrical feature films, game cinematics ($1 million) and advertising films (3-4 percent). In fact, ad films having relatively smaller base grew at a rate higher than 300 percent. Another distinct area of opportunity is digital visual effects. The size of the domestic VFX market for both feature and ad films is Rs 1,500 million and the size of VFX for TV programmes would be around Rs 80-120 million. An emerging opportunity in this area could be digital restoration and colouring, example being 1960s Mughal-E-Azam which was recoloured by Chennai-based Iris Interactive. The country is poised to attract more such repurposing projects from owners of international traditional theatrical assets. But then, the big question is whether Indian players could lap up these opportunities. Industry sources are positive. Thanks to the increasing flow of outsourced animation production services projects in India, around 40-60 new studios have been set up between 2002 and 2004. A rough estimation puts the total active animation studios in India at 70. Billing rates in India range from $2,000-5,250 per minute for 2D animation work and $4,500-7,000 per minute for 3D CGI animation. The billing for complex 3D animation might even go up to $12,000 per minute. Escotoonz operations head Prafull Gade attributes the increase in rates to clients perception of improved quality and maturity of services. The cost effectiveness of Indian projects has not only brought outsourcing and co-productions to India, but also some overseas studios have set up their studio bases here like US-based Prana Studios which set up studio in Mumbai in 2003 and New Zealand-based Applied Gravity which set up its base in Hyderabad last year. Due to the increase in opportunities, Indian players are adopting various approaches to sustain the growth. Some of the approaches include studios traditionally specialising in 2D animation are adding functional capability in 3D animation; improving operating capability; focusing on controlling operating costs; increasing revenue growth potential; and taking an ownership share in coproduction. These approaches have been paying off positively. Calculations show a growth of over 20 percent in total revenues of the animation production services in 2005. Efforts by certain players to take on higher value projects, realisation of backend revenues from co-production contract programmes and increasing number of original content producers would only add incrementally to total revenues. Animation studios now dot the country and the industry is also witnessing the arrival of training houses that are dedicated to building skilled manpower for this market. By all account, the animation production industry in India has the potential to grow into a major export engine for the country. Indian design studios are gradually establishing their credentials in overseas geographies, gaining valuable experience and building their skill sets in this high potential global market. With some incentives provided to this segment, India can not only catch up with competitors such as the Philippines, Korea and Taiwan, it can easily exceed their potential. (Article by Nasscom president Kiran Karnik in Animation Express)


Prominent players include Toonz Animation, Crest Communication, Maya Entertainment, UTV Toons, Zee, etc. Also, Pritish Nandy Communication has plans for five full-length 3-D animated bollywood films and has signed a $25-million deal with Florida-based animation company Motion Pixel Corporation. Crest Animations has entered into a three-movie co-production agreement with Lions Gate, a major movie studio. Also, animation studio DQ Entertainment has made a pact with USbased Electronic Arts to work on PC games. With these developments, it seems that things will change dramatically in the near future. Further, Walt Disney, Imax, Warner Bros are signing contracts with Indian Animation companies for outsourcing and co-production. Article in Business Standard by Advisory Services (P) Ltd Director Jaiddep Ghosh) Creativity in India is far superior than the West. We must encash the creative talent to put the Indian Animation and Gaming industry on a growth trajectory which has a vast potential in India. The growth potential of the industry shared that the Indian animation and gaming industry is projected to reach the US 1 billion dollars mark by 2010 from the current combined revenues of $402 million driven largely by huge domestic demand for animated content and online/mobile gaming. The industry's dependence on exports is reflected in a major proportion of workforce being involved in the outsourcing segment. However, going forward, the share of the domestic market is expected to grow. Gaming is poised to witness a 72 per cent CAGR to touch $424 million by 2010 while animation is projected to grow at 25 per cent CAGR from current revenues of $354 million. (Article in NASSCOM Animation and Gaming Industry 2007 Report by Punit Vatsayan, Managing Director, Mobera Systems Pvt Ltd)

Two Success Stories


1) Crest Animation Studio The 3D CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) animation industry has come of age in the last 11 years. It all started in 1995 when Pixar released its first CGI animation movie, Toy Story. Currently, 3D CGI is used extensively in special effect movies including The Matrix Reloaded and The Matrix Revolution. Crest Animation is the first Indian animation studio in this space to compete with international studios. Its US-based subsidiary RichCrest Animation (RCA) is co-producing and co-financing, along with Lions Gate Entertainment, to create three state-of-the-art animated feature films for Hollywood including Sylvester and the Magic Pebble based on a story written by the creator of Shrek. Sunrise Segment Animation is a new industry in India. The country possesses the necessary skill-sets and expertise to provide quality 3D CGI animation and can compete with international studios and digital animation production houses in the US. Animations made by Crest are shown on international TV networks such as PBS, Cartoon Network and Nickelodeon on a regular basis. Crest has won a Bafta award and received an Annie nomination for the best animation TV production for children. The Indian animation industry is coming of age not only in India but even in the international arena. IT In Animation Two things are of utmost importance for an animation production house. The first is creative competence and the second is IT competence. The entire business model needs IT. We are a digital production facility. Creative skills are applied on a digital medium. Nothing can be done without a proper IT set-up in place. In order to compete with the best global digital animation houses, it is necessary to deploy state-of-the-art hardware and software. If they use Apple Power Mac G5, 10 gigabit switches and 64-bit Nocona architecture for compositing, we too have to use a similar configuration. Right IT Infrastructure There are a many factors which go into deciding the IT infrastructure. Though state-of-the-art hardware, software and networking solutions are critical, they are evaluated depending on what is most suitable for the quality of output required by the client. The animation studio utilises these solutions and equipment to create the desired outputs. The end-users are children who watch the final product on Cartoon Network or other TV channels, on a DVD or at the theatre. Human Input A major challenge faced while setting up and running an internationalstandard animation studio in India is the human skillset. There are no schools or universities, or even training programmes exclusively for animation. There are some


good art schools which give degrees in the fine arts, but they are not tuned to animation. Thus, skillsets are a major entry barrier. Another challenge is huge and constant capital requirements. Technology keeps changing, so there is a need to constantly update the hardware and software. At Crest, we get trainers from the US and Canada to train our staff and help them understand the current trends in animation in the world market. This ensures that the output is on par with the acceptable levels for international standards, especially Hollywood. Yet another challenge is how to optimise the CPU power of the servers and IT infrastructure. Plug-ins, proprietary software available with vendors, or in-house software help in resolving this issue. Processes such as rendering use a lot of CPU power. At times even 250 blades or CPUs are not enoughespecially for hair or cloth dynamics. A program can be written to splice a particular frame. When the CPU is free, that particular frame can be rendered. Software professionals are engaged to write programs, scripts, routines to address and resolve issues. Such solutions are a combination of the right mix of hardware and software, and it is based on research done by the in-house IT team. There are around 15 people doing research on network, rendering or compositingbased solutions. Role Of IT The CIO and the IT team have to do research and know about the latest technology available in the animation industry space. IT is also critical from the production process perspective. The client in the US provides the storyboards or paper scribbles. The idea is first converted into character models, set models, backgrounds, and textures. The models are then pictured, clothed, animated and composited. This is followed by optimum lighting. Information is required at every stage because each process in a project has a start and an end date. If there is a backlog then more resources in terms of manpower or machine power or software plugins have to be allocated to the project. Hence, status information of the production process at each stage is critical. The production pipeline cannot function without constant feedback from each vertical department. The IT department ensures that proprietary software providing status reports is constantly up and running. Reporting Structure Compared to other industries, the entertainment industry is flexible and informal. However, the project works in a structured manner. The studio provides services for three different formats. The first is the TV series, the second is direct-tohome/ videos/DVDs, and the last is feature films. Once the sensibility or complexity of a particular show is known, a project structure can be worked out. The core team includes a project head, creative director, technical director, animation supervisor, background lead supervisor, animation lead and composing lead on the show. Each one of them is responsible for their verticals including the modelling head or background head or composting head.


They report to the project head. You also have an executive or line producer for each show. This is the typical hierarchy for a particular project, but it keeps changing depending on the complexity of the show or the project. The heads of the departments report to the CEO. For any hardware or software issues they interact with the technology head. The IT team and resources are common to all projects.

Capital Intensive The organisation is dependent on the CIO for critical information. The CIO and the IT team constantly update themselves in terms of products, programs and technology available globally. For each vertical, a 3D animation can be made using software like Maya, XSI or 3D studio Max. IT provides valuable insights into which software is best for lighting or rendering a particular scene, or what hardware and software combination we should use for projects heavy on special effects. The CIO i s involved in deliberating whether the organisation should buy the required solution or outsource the work. For instance, compositing can be online or offline. Some of the products for online compositing cost from Rs 35 lakh to few crore for each standalone workstation. Hence a CIO not only has to know the best technology but also make it available to the organisation at a reasonable price. Justifying Investments Budgeting is an elaborate exercise based on many factors. There is constant interaction between the finance, marketing and IT departments. They keep questioning each other in terms of justification of investment and where else a particular product or software can be used. If the investment is large, it has to be amortised over a period of time. It is not economically viable to buy a product for a single transactionit must be utilised for many projects. Measurement of RoI boils down to man-hours used. However, the number of people deployed varies from project to project as no two projects are the same. Addressing Security Issues Since animation primarily deals with software, security concerns from the data perspective are possible. There is also growing concern due to people leaving the organisation and joining competitors, hence there is a need to protect copyrights and proprietary work. We have a home-grown practice to make sure that accessibility to our network is based on multi-firewall protection. We also provide daily backups and external backups. There are multiple documentation processes involved in ensuring efficient knowledge management. Storyboards, director notes, retake notes, notes from different creative personnel (within the organisation) and the client are available. The animation process is not driven by individuals; it is a collective team deployment, so if a couple of people from a particular project leave they are not able to take creative data from the organisation.


Opportunity For India Outsourcing animation to India will increase because it has the proven capability and credibility to deliver quality products at low cost. Recently, animation in India has become a family entertainer and is not confined to children. The success of Hanuman is a clear sign that Indian products are accepted by the entire family. India will mature as a market for DVDs, direct-to-home videos, gaming, merchandising dolls and toys in the next decade. Animation is a global product with a long shelf life. Popeye, Mickey, Donald and Winnie the Pooh were created in 1920s and 30s. They do not face language barriers and are being shown in China, Russia and Japan. If India can make Jataka tales or the Ramayana with the global markets sensibilities in mind, then there will be great demand. It will be distributed by Universal, Fox, Paramount or Disney. The designs have to be good and accepted worldwide. The background, the look and feel must be of an acceptable standard. If we can do these things then our stories can make money. Making state-of-the-art animations only for the Indian market may become a reality few years down the line when there is more active participation from the distribution network and producers. (A K Madhavan, CEO, Crest Animation Studios, on how his company is meeting international standards) 2) Toonz Animation India Pvt Ltd Introduction In April 2006, Toonz Animation India Pvt Ltd (Toonz), a major Indian animation studio, and Percept Picture Company (PPC) , announced that they were planning to release the movie Hanuman II in late 2007. This movie was to be a sequel to Hanuman, 5 India's first commercially successful full-length animation film. The sequel was to be made using 2D and 3D animation with a budget of Rs. 90 million, the highest for any animation film in India. Toonz was established in 1999 at a time when India had started doing outsourced animation work for European and American companies. Toonz provided animation services at prices that were 25 to 40% lower than other Asian animation studios. The company made steady progress in the initial years and was successful in securing a number of contracts from major studios. Toonz gradually gained a reputation for high-quality work. In 2002, it even figured among the'Top Ten Studios to Watch' in the Animation Magazine 6. However, the top management at Toonz was aware that the greatest opportunity for growth lay in creating original content and not in doing outsourced work. In 2002, it created an original series The Adventures of Tenali Raman which proved to be a success and made a name for the company. On the strength of the success of the series, Toonz entered into several co-production deals with Indian and foreign broadcasters, production houses, and animation studios.


Though the company was optimistic about its future prospects, the severe dearth of talent in the animation industry was a nagging problem. Also, the domestic animation market in India was not developed which forced Toonz and other Indian animation studios to depend on overseas studios for work. In spite of these challenges, the company saw several opportunities for growth. Background Note G.A. Menon, a US based entrepreneur and the chairman of Technomate Marketing Services (an electronic component company under the ComCraft Group), established Toonz Animation USA, Inc. (TA), in Los Angeles. Menon felt that, considering its cost advantages, India would be a good place to set up an animation studio. Soon enough, TA set up Toonz Animation India Pvt. Ltd. with Menon investing $ 5 million (through Multitech Investment based in Mauritius) and the ComCraft Group chipping in with an additional $ 2 million. Bill Dennis (Dennis)9 , an animation expert, was appointed as President and CEO of Toonz and TA. In November 1999, Toonz set up a state-of-the-art animation studio at Technopark Campus, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala. Toonz invested in the best software and hardware, in order to provide high-quality animation services for television programs and commercials. Its studio was India's first digital ink and paint10 2D animation11 studio. The studio used the latest software available then from Cambridge Animation System and Toon Boom Animation. Even though it offered digital animation its core competence was in the Cel animation technique. Toonz offered the entire range of services for animation production like layout, cleanup, animation, background, in-betweening, scanning, ink and paint, compositing, and editing. It also provided pre-production services including key animation, key background, character design, color models, and key layouts. In the initial years, Toonz targeted the middle and top segment of the market for outsourced animation work. Unlike the software industry where Indian companies did business predominantly with US companies, the animation industry was more widespread. Predictably, Toonz targeted and sought contracts and production partnerships with major animation studios the world over, competing directly with animation studios based in South Korea and the Philippines. The Early Years Even in the late 1990s, the Indian animation industry was in the embryonic stage. Most animation studios were unaware of the cost advantages that India could offer. Toonz, being the pioneer in India, tried to present India to animation studios as a cost-effective country for outsourcing animation work. From its first year of operation (1999), Toonz began organizing a biennial event called "A Week with the Masters". The event brought 'Masters' - distinguished and veteran animators, artists, and film makers - from around the globe to India to screen their films and to talk about their art. They made presentations on their work and spoke about the future of the animation industry. Toonz also invited locally renowned filmmakers, animation directors,


artists, animation enthusiasts, and other guests to this event, which also included interactive panel discussions and open forums on various topics relating to the animation industry. It held retrospectives on the masters' works. Creating Original Content In the early 2000s, India witnessed an explosive growth in the number of television channels available to viewers. The number of kids' channels - both exclusive cartoon channels and channels which showed animation serials in certain time slots - also increased. Toonz, which till then was working mostly on outsourced work gradually moved towards creating original content to earn higher margins and greater long term revenues. While it pays today's bills, subcontracting does not provide for a future. Products you develop are yours to promote, expand, and exploit. And by developing your own materials, you also develop the skills of your artists. These enhanced skills help their work on service projects. In 2001, Toonz set out to produce its own animation series. This presented a challenge because it had to evolve from a provider of services to a content creation house, which required developing skills in character design, story development, and storyboarding. Continuing Good Work Toonz's client list included some of the biggest names in animation. In 2003, Toonz entered into a major co-production deal with Canada-based Vivatoon (Vivavision's animation division), France-based Toon Factory, and the UK-based Treehouse Productions to partly develop an animation series - Brady's Beasts. This series marked Toonz's major foray into the distribution of a product. While Toonz owned the rights to the series in Asia (including in India), Indigo secured the TV, video, non-theatric, publishing, and licensing rights in the UK, Continental Europe, Asia-Pacific, and Africa. Toonz entered into the co-production deal even though it knew that it would earn very low margins from the project. We are biting the bullet on this one. We are producing it at less than we would normally. If we break even, as far as the cash we're getting from production - we probably won't even do that. Toonz agreed to the deal because it expected that the success of the venture would open up new opportunities for it in future. Challenges Toonz was gradually expanding worldwide and was working on several prestigious contracts. However, the severe shortage of competent animators in India was a constraint to its growth. Part of the problem was that animation professionals were required to possess several characteristics - creativity, a good sense of color, ability to visualize scenes, a talent for acting, patience, etc. - which was difficult to find in one person. A Leap For Indian Animation Hanuman, India's first full-length animated movie was released in October 2005. Belying the reservations expressed by many people who felt that the film would only appeal to a limited audience, it went on to become India's first successful animated movie with gross earnings, according to box office estimates, crossing the


Rs. 150 million mark. Besides the content, the success of the film was attributed to effective pre-release marketing (promotion and merchandising), and wide distribution by PPC which also produced the movie. Outlook The management of Toonz was optimistic about its prospects. Most global entertainment giants were satisfied with the quality of animation services provided by Indian companies, and were outsourcing many of their projects to India. 3D animation and special effects were also being outsourced to India. Toonz believed that its deal with Marvel, one of the leading production houses in the world, would help it to win larger animation projects. The company also tried to keep up with the latest developments in animation technology. In April 2006, Toonz installed Harmony , a new animation software developed by Toon Boom which was expected to greatly improve the quality of its work.


1) Ram Mohan Chairman, Graphiti Multimedia Pvt Ltd - Father of

Indian Animation Industry.

2) William Bill Dennis - CEO, Toonz Multimedia, India

3) Phil Roman Chairman, Film Roman Studio, US

Ram Mohan Chairman, Graphiti Multimedia Pvt Ltd - Father of Indian Animation Industry Ram Mohan, the legend and doyen of Indian animation, recently completed fifty years of involvement with the animation industry. He has played a significant role in the evolution of animation in India. With over a hundred films to his credit, his contributions span a wide spectrum of work across the areas of 2D classical animation, 3D computer graphics animation to cinema and live action. He is also credited for teaching and training a whole generation of modern animators in India. Education: Graduated in Science from the University of Madras and later gave up post-graduate studies to join the Cartoon Films Unit, Films Division, government of India in 1956.He received training in animation techniques from Clair H. Weeks of Walt Disney Studios, under the US Technical Aid program. Career: Scripted, designed and animated many of Cartoon Film unit's productions from 1960 to1967, including 'Homo Saps' which won the National Award for Best Experimental Film, 1967, and 'Chaos' which won an Award at the Leipzig Festival of short Films in1968. He participated in the 1967 world retrospective of Animation Cinema in Montreal. In 1968 he left Films Division and joined Prasad Productions as chief of their animation division. In 1972 established his own production company, Ram Mohan Biographics. Milestones: 1956- Training from Clair Weeks under US Technical Aid Programme and then worked at Cartoon Film Unit at Films Division. 1967- Participated in 'World Expo of Animation Cinema', Montreal, Canada and got to work with Norman Mc Laren at International films Division for 6 weeks 1968- Joined Prasad Studios as head of their Animation Department 1972- Started his own studio called 'Ram Mohan Biographics' 1990- Collaborated with Yogo Sako from Japan for co-production of cartoon series 'Ramayana' 1995- 'Meena' and 'Sara cartoon series with UNICEF 1997- Joined hands with UTVand stated RM-USL later re-christened as UTV toons 2001- Chairman of Grafiti studio - doing 2D, 3D and CGI Awards: 1969- National Award for the Best Film on family planning, Baap Re Baap.


1972- National Award for the Best Animation Film; You Said it. 1974- He was commissioned to script, design and direct a series of educational films on population and environment, Down to Earth for the International Planned Parenthood Federation and the Family Planning Association of India. 1996- Communication Arts Guild Hall of Frame award for Life Time achievement. Series director:Meena for UNICEF, a series of 13 episodes dealing with issues concerning the girl child in south Asia. 2001- Advertising Club Award 'ABBY' for Life Time Achievement. 2002- Chairman, Graphiti Multimedia, Pvt. Ltd 2003- I.D.P.A. Ezra Mir award for Life-Time Achievement. Broadcast India Filmography: 1968- script, design, direction- Baap re Baap produced by Prasad Productions, Madras- 11 min, 35 mm, colour - National Award for the best short film on Family Planning, 1969. 1971- script, design, direction: You Said It Produced by Prasad Productions for Film Division -10 min, 35mm, colour, National Award for the best film in 1972 1972- script, design, direction: Down to Earth- Part 1: The Friendly Planet produced by Prasad Productions for the Family Planning Association of India - 12 min, 35mm, colour. Down to Earth- Part 2:The Ravaged Elements- 12 min, 35mm, colour. 1973- Down to Earth- Part 3: The Island of Graph produced by Prasad Productions, for EPAI, - 12 min, 35mm, colour 1974- Down to Earth- Part 4: The Fourth Revolution - produced by Ram Mohan Biographics For EPAI, 12 min, 35mm, colour. 1983- design and direction:Fire Games- Produced by Shilpa Bharati Publicity -10 min, 35mm, colour. 1984- National Award for the Best Animation Film- Fire Games 1989- design and direction: Taru Produced for Children's Film Society of India-18 min, 35mm, colour. 1992- Co-direction (along with Koichi Sasaki of Japan) Ramayana The Legend of Prince Rama' Tokyo -135mins, 35mm, colour. 1992- Inducted into the IAAFA Hall of Fame by the Indian Academy of Advertising Film Art. 1994- Produced in Co-operation with ACCU, Tokyo The White Elephant based on an Indian- Fable. 1995- Project "Meena" with UNICEF - 13 episodes with 20-25 artists - collaborated with FII Cartoons, Manila Project "Sara" with UNICEF




When did you first decide to become an animator? Can you tell more about your background?

Ans: Actually Cartooning was my hobby. I used to love to draw cartoons. Actually I had never thought of taking up a career in Animation at that time. There was no career available in Animation at that time. There were just a few handful of people who were doing animation on their own by trail and error, by reading books, But there was no animation studio in Bombay. In Madras Gemini Studio had started some animation, similarly Prabhat Studios had started at that time animation project like Jamboos Kaka etc. It was quite interesting when Films Division announced. Under the U.S technical aids program they received an animation camera and they were also going to get a Disney animator Clair H Weeks to train some people and set up a proper animation studio. So I had some interest in Cartooning since I always loved animation. I thought I will just go and meet this gentleman who was coming all the way from Disney. And off course no hopes of getting in because I was not qualified as an animator. But when I went and showed my Cartoons to Clair Weeks he liked them and he said why you don't join the training program. And suddenly I found myself in the Films Division in the training program. With Films Division it was like a chance for me to enter into animation as a career. Around the same time I was offered by Prasad Productions Madras for heading their animation department in Bombay. I thought it was a good time for getting into the private sector. In 1972 I set up my own group called Ram Mohan Biographics. We were continuing to use equipment from Prasad. With Clair Weeks at Films Division I first got the chance to get into animation. I had never hoped or even dreamt of chance of getting into Animation that time. Cartooning was my hobby, but even that was not serious. I was a science graduate. When I came to Bombay the idea was to continue with my Science studies. In fact I had even signed down for an M.Sc program. But then this happened and it suddenly changed my career line. Otherwise I would probably be in some Lab or something. 2.) How did you start your career in Animation with Clair Weeks in 1956? Ans: Clair Weeks was in India in 1956 under the U.S. Technical Aids Program. The American Government had funded this, even the animation camera and they also sent the experts form Disney Studio, Clair H Weeks to select and train some people in India. The idea was to set up the cartoons Film unit in the Films Division. Essentially as the Planned Publicity Program. They had just launched the first five year plan. The government of India wanted to tell the people what its plans were, what it aims to achieve and how its going to benefit. They wanted to set up an awareness program. All the films that we were suppose to make were supposedly plan programs. Some of them were interesting some were not interesting. The subjects were not were dramatic or fantastic but issues like Small savings and Health programs, Fisheries were there. Animation was found to be a useful medium. But the problem with Films Division was that everything was dictated by the Government. We had people coming in to supervise us because they were technical experts. Although they were technically very good there was not that kind of imagination or Creativity that was being used. We had good equipment and camera but the would kind of constrain what we would do. But technically there was lot that we could achieve like we had good equipments and good materials. At some point we had people like Bhavnagri who came in as an expert and stayed with Films Division for a while. And we had James Beverish coming in at that time we always


had a little spurt of creativity. Also when Pramod Pati who came in, he was trained in Zinca studio in France, we did some interesting work. But I learnt a lot from the training program. I had lot of opportunities to learn. Though I didnt have any background in Drawing, I am a science graduate. So I had to started off from the basics that in storyboards and Character designing. Animation was off course something that I learnt from Clair Weeks. The training objective was mainly Basics in Animation but the emphasis was on cell animation. But I didnt go into the aspects of ink and paint but storyboards and character designs. I learnt a lot while I was there. Then when Pramod Pati moved out of Cartoons Film Division in 1966 then there was some kind of decline, like the scene was not too good, exciting or evolving. 3.) Can you share some experiences with people at Films Division like Bhavnagri, Pramod Pati and James Beverish? Ans: It was the kind of leadership that they provided. It was not that they were there and doing animation. But they were genuinely interested in animation as a medium. And they would encourage us to try out different mediums and techniques. Pramod Pati for example had spent quite sometime in Checkoslovakia. He wanted the design aspect to change and become more graphic and more stylized. Because the influence was Disney kind since Clair Weeks was there. So he came and introduced us to different techniques in animation. He had excelled in different techniques of animation like pixelation, live action and animation, puppets, object animation, cutouts etc. There were so many ways of doing animation other than usual multi cell animation. So this was what all these people like Bhavnagri and Pramod Pati had retained. 4.) How was Animation used as a useful medium for communicating with people during the 1960's? Answer: Government of India had planned for 5 year Planned Publicity Program. Subject like those health programs like how to keep your environment clean, how to keep the flies away from the homes. Cleanliness was off course one then there were issues like Fisheries. How even in small ponds and home growing fish. Fighting Malaria and Family Planning. Since it was dealing with so much diverse audience since it was for small towns, villages all over India. Now if you take a live person or an actor and make a live action film, this becomes very much localized. He is either a maharshtrian or a Punjabi or a Bengali. Whereas using cartoon characters like a villager or a sarpanch he becomes more like an icon. And that was why it was more easily accepted over the country. Only the language had to be dubbed. And hence Animation was more effective. People could connect themselves emotionally to these characters as well. Animation was only liked by children and kept them involved was the general attitude. But what happened with Meena was very different. The person who was researching on Meena came back and presented us the report, said that the response was tremendous. Not only the children but even it kept the parents involved. UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund) particularly believes in this that animation is a very powerful medium for communicating social messages and development. 5.) How was it working with Norman Mc Laren? What did you learn from him? Any anecdotes?


Answer: In 1967 there was the World Expo of Animation Cinema in Montreol in Canada. I went there on my own to Monterol and I spent some time with International films Division Canada. I worked with Norman Mc Laren who was there and that was such a revelation with the kind of medium they used, the approach to animation and the experiment they did. The National Animation Board of Canada allowed to spend After the exposure when I came back to Films Division, I felt even more depressed because we just didn't have that kind of Approach to Animation. So in middle of 1968 I decided to leave six weeks i.e one and a half month with Norman Mc Laren to see what kinds of work and experimentation that he was making. I was more on a observation trip to see what is happening around, look at different things, learn the different techniques and react to what was going on. After this I decided to start on my own. 6.) How did you start on your own?

Co-incidentally somewhere around the same time Prasad Productions studios in Madras had acquired an Animation stand, Oxbberry - a very sophisticated Rostrum Camera. They had decided to set up Special Effects Department in Animation. They approached me and asked me if I could take over their department. But since I didnt not want to move from Bombay to Madras I told them if they could bring their equipment to Bombay then I would join. So they brought their equipment here and Prasad Productions Animation Department was set up in Film Center in TardeoBombay and I joined them. While joining I told them that I will be with them only for 3 to 4 years because after that I wanted to become independent. And we started off with films like films like Baap Re Baap and we got this film called You said it on how democracy functions. And we got a series to do of Down To Earth which won several awards. After that I decided to set up my own company called Ram Mohan Biographics in 1972. Bhimsain who had left Films Division at the same time as I did, also joined me and we did a film called Harmony which was done with cutouts (cutout animation), and by moving them under the camera. At that time hindi films had just started using Animation. We did some animation sequences for films like Hasina Man Jayegi, Do aur Do Paanch, Biwi O Biwi and songs sequences for films like B.R. Chopras Pati Patni aur Woh and Hrushikeah Mukheerjis Khubsurat where (the animation was like the Moon coming down and fish flying some fancy things). Bhuvan Shome one of the first films where animation was used for the first time was also done at the same time. Because Prasad Productions was in the Films Center and producers used to come there to get their films developed and processed. They also had access to our department and asked us to do animation for their title sequences and it was fun doing it. Then Satyajit Ray came in and he wanted animation for his film Shatranj Ke Khiladi. There was a scene in the introductory passage where he wanted to show the Political situation in India at that time when Vajid Ali Shah was the ruler. It was very nice working with him because he knew exactly what he wanted. He wanted the whole group of Britishers in the style called- Company drawing. That was all when I was with Company Prasad Productions. Then when I started with Ram Mohan Biographics the work was mostly Advertising. We were probably the only one who had the camera and all the infrastructure. We got lot of work to in advertising i.e. Commercials. Though it never grew very big the staff was never more than 10 to 15 artists. People were reluctant to come into animation as a profession because they thought it was a very small field because there were not many advertising films that were being made and there was no room for major expansion. So right form from 1972 to 1997 when I finally closed down


Ram Mohan Biographics, in the span of 25 years, it hardly grew from 10 -15 people to about 20 to 25 artists. It was very difficult to persuade people to come into animation because they thought there was no challenge in it and was a very small field. Suddenly in the mid nineties people saw they were interested in doing contract works and outsourced from abroad. I was approached by Rhony Scruwalla from UTV to join hands. I thought that it was a good idea because I found that at the end of twenty five years I had reached some kind of dead-end. There was no scope of growing any further because we didnt have the infrastructure to grow any larger. I thought it was fine and so we set up what was initially called RM-USL and later it was named UTV Toons. Everyone used to go and explore the possibilities of outsourced work. So Rhony and I went to Los Angeles, we visited most of the studios there, including Disney and Fox. What we had that time to show there was some of the commercials I had made at Ram Mohan Biographics. Their quality was pretty good, because they were for commercials they require high quality of work. So we had a pretty good show. We didnt have a problem getting work. The first job that we got was the story of Oliver Twist where Oliver was a little dog and all the other characters were also animals like Werin was a wolf etc. It was interesting to work on those episodes. But then we realized that we did not have enough animators. Almost all the people working with me in RMB were joined here so we had a core group of 25 people. But that was not enough to take up works for continuous outsourced work, We needed a much larger set up. Now the only way to expand was to train more people because there was no other way to get people with required skills. hence we started training people. Thus along with our Production program we also set up a Training program. We had six months of training program and then they would take on our production and they would learn while on production. They would start as inbetweeners and then cleanup artists and animators. Then we started growing. At one point we reached a staff strength of 450 which was huge. But then it was not viable to have so many people on the pay role because the kind of work came in differed and it was not the same all the time. So we decided to take people on contract. So the moral is that we went along everywhere in India but Unfortunately in India everyone wants permanent job, security and life long employment which we could not provide and hence some people retired or left their jobs. Fortunately at that time there were other studios that were coming up. There was Toonz in Trivandrum, Esca Toon in Delhi by the Escort people and in Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai. And these people realized that having had training with UTV Toons they would be able to get job anywhere provided they were willing to travel. So there was no problems getting job. Because anyone who had training experience with our UTV Toons, had no problems getting absorbed anywhere else, that itself was a good qualification for them. So that is how we expanded and we were doing quite well. But what happened was in the year 2000 and on there were so many studios that were competing against each other in India. And again India competing against China and other countries that were all into the same kind of business. Studios were undercutting each other trying to work at lower and lower prices which was ultimately unviable. So I was feeling quite frustrated because my whole idea of joining hands with UTV was initially off course getting more and more works which would keep the company running and give us the opportunity to train more and more people. But once we had a team of trained people we should have taken up


Original content, doing our own shows and putting them in the world market or at least in the Indian market. But that was not something which was happening. Because once you get into this group of getting more business / work form abroad earn in dollars that becomes the temptation and they dont go beyond that. So I finally decided that this was not what I was going to do for the rest of my life. Though there was enough work to do, one thing what I wanted to do was to explore animation further. Working on indigenous animation program with Indian stories and content, Indian characters and for Indian audience. And other thing was exploring that what 3D can do. It was growing rapidly - CGI. I realized that it was important we should move further. The problem with 2D was obviously that it required a lot of labor, so many people involved and large space. And the only reason why 2D surviving was cheap labor was available in Asia. So CGI indirectly was the only option that was worth exploring. But the problem was that- one perceived CGI as high subtle imitation, the kinds of movement that were performed. But after seeing the films that were coming out from Pixar for example we could see that they were overcoming those barriers, tackling the problems and making movements that were pretty close to 2D. So I thought that is what we should explore. The possibility of taking CGI i.e Computer Generated Animation and applying principles of Classical Animation. And to see how much of that can be achieved the kind of stretch and squash and secondary movement which we take for granted in good 2D classical animation. That same principles can be applied. So I decided to switch over from classical animation to 3D and took over the Chairman of this company- Graphiti. First thing we did was that people who were already doing hand drawn classical animation, giving them basic and strong training in how to handle Maya 3D software. And we saw it was very easy within 3 to 4 weeks they were able to pick up and handle the software. And the results of animation were much better than the other schools without any background in classical animation. So we have now made a policy to recruit people with experience in classical animation. Then we train them for the software like Maya and we get good results. Off course there is one aspect of 3D which is very specialized like modeling, rigging, textures and lighting which are very technical aspects of 3D animation and cannot be done through classical animation. Those are skills which one have to develop independently. But animation as such if you have a good model already designed and already rigged to give it natural movements is the job of a classical animator.We are exploring - Doing 3D animation and then rendering it as 2D so that it has the look of 2D We have not done anything major in the way how 3D Animation is used abroad only for special effects where you blend special effects animation with Live Action in such a way that you dont know that which is live and which is animation. That is mainly for Terminator, Titanic and Jurassic Park. That kind of work in yet done but that is the area we would like to venture into. 7.) What do you think where do the two i.e. CGI and Classical Animation merge? If they merge where are the conflicts? Answer: They are merging quite a bit. Because if you see the new films that have been done both for Disney and Dream works. Disney's 'Treasure' Planet you can see that Environments are created in 3D, characters are animated in 2D or you can animate a 3D character to look it like 2D and blend it with painted background. So there are now sort of a two things coming together in many ways i.e. 2D and 3D. For example hand drawn and hand painted images are blended with computer generated imagery rendered to look similar and so on. Therefore I think a stage will come in


future when it will be difficult to differentiate between CGI i.e. Computer Generated Imagery and Classical hand-drawn animation. Just as today so much of 3D is blended into live action in such a way that you cant make out which is live and which 3D as in the film 'Lord of the Rings'. So, all of them are coming together in a composite way. 8.) Apart from Classical work, what are the Experimental works that you have done? Answer: Experimental work has been done more in the sense of Design than testing. I dont know if it is a good thing or a bad thing but I always have had an access to the best of equipments for cell animation. When I was in Films Division they had an Axme camera then there was Oxberry. Then when I went to Prasad productions, Oxberry was right there for me to use. So I never had to think about the innovation of some other technique to develop. Usually these are done when you have a challenge. Like you have to make films with rigged up cameras, then you have to start working with materials. But we never had that problem so we stuck to classical animation using cells and paints. And we had no problem getting imported materials like good cells and colours and so on. So in that respect I think off course all the cells itself are kind of Textures one can get, that we have tried. Like for example in You Said It what we did was we took the drawings and paint them on the cells and we just painted them with white on one side so it was just that white area and then on the top we used inks of different colours to give washes. So it had that different look. So we have done these kinds of things to get different textures and effects 9.) How do you define Classical Animation and Experimental Animation? What is the realtion between the two? Answer: Classical animation is something which has evolved over several decades and the process has been sort of standardized. In fact classical animation particularly when it is done on a large scale is done almost in an assembly line in a factory mold where each one doing his own little part of the production. And then moving on to the next and the next and the next which is done by number of people and their style of drawing their skills are so molded that you cant see the difference between the drawing made by one person and that made by another person. They have to be standardized. That is why they are given model chart and everybody practices to draw exactly similarly. It is a group effort where ones particular individual drawing doesnt stand out. It is the product of the studio. Off course the director has the control over the overall thing and the original designer has a lot to contribute. But overall the final product becomes the product of the studio and becomes standardized. But in experimental film it is usually the work of one individual and he brings his own personal stands, his own sensibilities to the film. And it is very distinguished that you can make out that it is made by this particular director or artist. The tap of his personality which is reflected in his film. Now that kind thing of doesnt happen on a very large scale. Usually done as experimental and therefore probably get shown in festivals and screening. There is an exploration of both concepts and design as well as techniques. You can innovate new techniques like using oil paint on glass, or you can use sand or some new material that can be manipulated frame by frame. So that is experimental Animation. Some of it may finally end up in commercial use. Particularly in CG for example most of these small films are initially made as experimental film for example Jerrys Game (an old man playing chess with


himself) that was made by Pixar. It was made essentially as an experiment, it was a part of their research. Finding new ways of modeling characters, particularly characters having wrinkles and they had clothes which had holes on them and how they could be animated. So the whole purpose of the film was more to handle the workout of the sub-divisions and how they could be manipulated. But they put into a story, so finally the story itself turned out so good that it won the Oscar. 10.) Does it mean that Classical Animation kills individual creative talent? Answer: What happens is it there are two aspects to that kind of animation. There is a purely creative aspect which is the first part of the production process. Some of it is concept, developing the story, screenplay and designing the storyboard, designing the characters and doing inspirational drawings like the kind of layouts and setting the style. All this is very creative and every individual who works in that setup has a lot to contribute. But when it comes to the animation process there it becomes more mechanical. In the sense you are required to do certain things which are asked of you. This is how the character should look and you can't even deviate by even one hair or one eye lash where everything is given to you. There it becomes more a discipline. Creative talent is there to the extend of animation in terms of performance but that too is usually dictated by the director. And it becomes more like an interpretation of what the director has asked you to do. But more than anything else it becomes a craft, becomes a discipline. And I am not saying that it is anything less than any creative effort. It is equally important to have that otherwise you wont have a film. If everyone just did the creative part then there would be no film. 11.) How did Ramayana work out as a Japanese collaboration?

Answer: As early as 1984, the Japanese gentleman called the Yugo Sako was interested in producing and making Ramayana. He is a documentary film-maker, he is not an animator. So he began to read about Ramayana and while he was reading it, he realized that there is a lot potential with this for animation. And he decided to make an animation for it. But he didnt wanted to do it independently, he wanted to do it as a co-production with Indian involvement because he wanted things to be authentic. He came here and met many people and was guided to me and thats how we meet and we decided to work together. We started off with scripting, Pt. Narendra Sharma was there a very good scholar. He started writing the script for us and by the time we were setting up this co-production. The government of India told that Ramayana is a very sensitive subject and cannot be depicted as a cartoon character. We tried to insist them but they didn't understand. We went on trying and trying for about 4 years but in vain. So Mr. Sako give up the idea of a co-production and decided to do as a complete Japanese production. But he wanted me to codirect and supervise it. So I had to go to Tokyo several times where his office is there. But it took us 2 yrs. From 1992 to 1994 and we completed it. And then again after completion we had to market them in India. No one knew about it and it kept lying on the racks. Couple of times it was showed on Doordarshan. Good thing that happened to it was when Cartoon Network decided to take it over. Last year and the year before it was shown on the television between Dasherra and Diwali and the response was tremendous. Then suddenly came the trend of Vcds, DVD and cassettes etc as a big boom. But as a theatrical release nothing happened. In Tokya I used to go and supervise on the Designs, Gestures and performances. For example they didnt quite know how the dhoti was worn. They used to draw it like pajamas. So one we had one gentleman actually demonstrating how to wear a dhoti. And then for example when Ram seeks blessings from kaushalya and folds his hands, she also


does this in their animation- (folding hands). So we had to tell them something about our culture and our gestures. But it was interesting because it was a new experience and they were willing to learn. But language was a problem. I always had to speak through an interpreter. But it was easier to make them understand by drawings. It was easier to tell that this is right and that is wrong through drawing. The Japanese have the right attitude towards animation. They are very meticulous, very fine work and very disciplined. The studio hours very from 10.am to 6.pm, everyone used to be on their desk at 10. They used to take their brief and start the work, break for lunch and again work till six. During they day there used to be no Gappa and chatting. So we used to know by the end of the day how much could be done, by the end of the month how much could be done and by the year how much could be completed. In India there is one major problem that we just don't have that Work Culture. And that's why I think we havent been able to do as well in outsourced work as much as China. I think China has went far ahead of us. Even Indonesia, Taiwan, Vietnam and Philippines are going ahead of us. We just don't have that work culture. They also have even gone ahead and thought people English language, in their studios. That I think should be a part of ones education, not just how to draw or animate. But how to work in a group, how to communicate and how to work with discipline. That I think seriously lacks in India. 12.) What do you think - is it a Japanese Ramayana or Indian Ramayana? Answer: It is a sort of general Ramayana. We had to take care that the Indian audience is not offended. We didn't do anything that was not looking right like Ram should have not looked like this or Sita should have been like this that we took care of. But the telling of the story was simplified to a great extent. Because we also wanted even the international audience to understand and appreciate what has happened. So it was generalized. And because ultimately it was animation by a Japanese animator it didn't come out the way it would have been done by an Indian Animator. Because we know about the subtleties of expressions of our gestures, our emotions how we express, because that the Japanese were not very familiar with. They went more by the general story telling rather than the deeper connotations. 13.) How did the Meena Series unfold and did Sara evolve from the same? Answer: UNICEF an organization in Bangladesh was working on social problems in the country. Their chief Roche Carneige had visited India and wanted to make films based on social issues and problems faced in the country. The main issue in Bangladesh was 'Gender Equality'- the distinction between the girl child and the boy child born in the same family. How the girl was ill-treated by not being sent to school and not fed enough healthy food. So when Roche was in India, she approached me for making animation films on those issues. At that time around 1992, I was with my own company RMB with a staff of 10 to 15 artists. I immediately agreed and started to create characters for Meena and her family like her brother, parents and her parrot Meetoo etc. UNICEF being an international organization for Asian countries, these films were suppose to address countries like Nepal, Bangladesh, India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Maldives. Hence 'Meena' had to look like a general girl which would be identified with these countries. So I did the character designing and made the storyboards. But at that time I had very limited staff and not enough infrastructures. Thus I joined hands with Fil- Cartoons Manila and did the animation series for Meena which became very successful. The first Film I made was 'Count Your Chickens' in 1992


which was shown at Disney Film Festival and it won lots of awards. Then the second film was made 'Diving the Mango' which was based on the issue that the girl child was given stale and not enough food as compared to the boy. Hence we did a series of 14 episodes for Meena films. Eventually Meena became so popular that there is not a single person in Bangladesh who doesn't know Meena. But there were not enough funds with Fil Cartoons to continue with the series. So I decided to complete the rest of the Meena series using other means like Flash for example. Thus I worked with Future Thoughts in Bombay which was mainly working for Greeting cards in Flash. I used to give them character drawings and those people concerted them into film drawings in Flash. The way Future Thoughts handled the Meena episodes in flash was very good. Initially it was a little difficult but later it became absolutely amazing. I guided them on the animation and storyboards and they worked out backgrounds in flash. Thus the remaining episodes of Meena were completed with Future Thoughts using flash. Flash as a software has its own intricacies and limitations. But when used in different way, it helps to create beautiful results. At the same time I was introduced to UNICEF South Africa which were also facing problems on other issues like Teenage girl problems. Thus I designed Sara for the south African country. Sara dealt with problems of Adolescent girl in South Africa. A few series were done for the same, some were done here while some were done with Fil Cartoons Manila. Thus is the story behind Meena and Sara. 14.) How do you develop characters? How do you arrive at a general 'Meena'? How do you boil down to characters? Answer: Yes definitely! When I made the character for Meena, We also drew Meena in many different costumes like salwar kameez and lehenga or skirt blouse and shirt, duppata etc. And these alternatives were taken to field and researched and shown. And this particular costume which came to use later she was sort of generally accepted everywhere. They said yes that the girl from any of our village would look like this. So it was accepted right away everywhere across all the countries. Infact in all the Meena Films there is a very strong element of research. Every story was researched. Once the concept was developed it was taken to the field and there were focus groups of all kinds. Mixed groups of Boys, girls, little children and parents and all this feedback was brought back and it was incorporated into the script. And even after we did the storyboard it was again tested to see whether the way we drew the characters, their costumes even the environment, the housing background. Everything was shown to the people by the focused groups in all the countries and then we finalized it. So when the film was finally made there was no problem. We had to keep the details minimal. It was the most difficult when it came to the women to wear. For men it was easy, we had to show a shirt and a lungi. But when it came to women it became difficult because if we show wearing a saree she would look Indian or a salwar kameez then she would look Bangladeshi. So what we did was the women always had a scarf like duppata and most of the times sitting down with legs folded. Or if the mother had to stand up, we would show children standing before her in order to cover the lower part of the body. So that it was not understood if it was a saree or a skirt etc. We didn't want anyone to comment on whether he or she belongs to a particular country. We had Pt Narendra Sharma who was a kind of an authority. We used to show him the characters and drawings. With Ram, Laxman, Hanuman and Sita we were careful


because we didn't want people to get offensive because these characters were held in reverence. But for showing these demons and Rakshas we let the Japanese use their own style because there was liberty there. 15.) Having trained a whole generation of animators in India, how does it feel? Answer: I have students all over the country like in Bangalore, Bombay, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Chennai and Hyderabad etc. And they are now training new students while some are teaching in Institutes others working in Studios. It feels nice to have created the Third generation of Animation in India and hope it will grow and expand forever. 16.) According to you how Animation should be taught in India? Should there be any kind of Specialization program? Answer: I have a feeling that some people are looking at animation only as a career as a job. They want the monthly income just like a telephone operator. For those we should have like Polytechnics where they are taught in-betweening, clean-ups and basics of animation. For them animation is not an art form, it is a dhanda as they call it a business. Its their livelihood. And those people are really needed without them classical animation cannot be done. So there should be two types of Institutes: Polytechnics which teach these basics of classical animation production at an affordable fees and short term courses for them. And they are in demand, at least they were in demand. Initially there was a tremendous demand because they didnt need designers or storyboard artist or character designers because all that was coming from abroad. What they want was people who could take those storyboards and design and animate them. Now I know we don't have enough people and I know how much we had to do when We were in UTV Toons to train these people. To train these people in the beginning and then take them on to productions where they would continue to learn further when they were on jobs. And then there is the other kind of school where animation is taught along with film making. Its not just animation but animation as just film making medium. So they should also know about music and sound and I also feel it is very important for animation students to have a knowledge of World classics literature, in dance, in performance in choreography, in lighting etc with all this then he becomes a complete film-maker with a very broad view in all arts. In fact animation is one art in which so many other arts flow in. So it has to be that kind of education for animators, sorry not animators but animation film maker. There should be a 5 year program, at least 4 years minimum education program in animation with 2 years graduation and 2 years post graduation i.e. specialization. Even in art schools animation should be taught. Like the other specialization subjects like Topography and Photography, even Animation should be introduced soon after students enter that is after foundation level. So that students can have the choice to take animation as a primary subject so that by the end of 5 years you learn the skills of animation and when you enter into the post-graduate school like IDC or NID one can hone his skills further as film makers. 17.) Should Animation in India be funded by the government like the IT? Answer: I wish if the government would subsidize training in animation. Unfortunately they dont realize that there are very special skills that are required for


animation. Computer literacy is comparatively higher but not everyone knows to do good graphic. One might know the software but the creative aspect of it requires special training in Institutes. Sadly even Art schools do not impart any training in animation. We have been trying to persuade J.J. School of Arts but there are no funds. Nor even in the Films - FTI Pune. So we are neither here nor there. Not in the Art schools nor even in the Film schools. The only Institute that has done some work for training in animation is NID. And now IDC is doing better, I am sure after that Shilpa has joined they are exploring much more Whereas before they were doing animation only with simple devices. New avenues has to be opened for 2D and 3D animation. In fact Animation should be looked upon as an Art-Form which has a fourth dimension in Time. It is a very beautiful concept- Art that is moving. So it has to be encouraged and practiced because the talent is there in India and I am happy that people are looking towards it. 18.) What is your vision about the future of animation in India?

Answer: There is no animation culture in India like the countries in the West. Institutes like NID, J.J. School of Arts, IDC, FTI Pune, Films Division and TASI should come together and form this. TASI is doing it but on a very small level. There is a lot of potential for the growth of animation in India. Basically there should be awareness and people should think differently. The Cartoon image of animation from their minds should be taken out. As the countries in the west, animation is done at different levels- for children and for adults. Likewise it should be in India. There is lot of potential for original content but unfortunately the infrastructure is missing. Whereas countries like China, Korea, Japan, Phillippines, Vietnam and Indonesia have taken over India in this field. For content development, Amar Chitra kathaein did some work but still that is not enough. They could have explore much more. Moreover children in the west read lots of comic books which is not so much practiced in India, that has to be encouraged. Thus this Animation Culture has to be practiced and developed in India. 19.) What is your insight about Animation?

Answer: One reason why animation is useful in India is that when you have animated characters they become sort of Generalized. Otherwise you take a live character he belongs to a particular region. He is either a Keralite or a Bengali or a Punjabi so they become associated with one particular region in lifestyle. In Animation the character becomes sort of generalized. Therefore he becomes an Indian farmer or an Indian fisherman so animation can cover the entire country.

William Bill Dennis CEO, Toonz Multimedia, India Can Hanuman be turned into a global superhero? Can the tales of the Panchtantra be told with a global punch? Maybe not. India has had a dismal record in the global business for animation. On concept creation, we can't catch up with Hollywood. On execution, almost any country from the Philippines to China can beat us on costs and quality. However, William 'Bill' Dennis still believes that India can be a global animation force, both as a market and as a creator. Dennis should know. He has been in the business for 30 years, with companies like Walt Disney and Turner.


As CEO he helped develop Toonz Animation in Thiruvananthapuram. Currently he is president of the Indian arm of Association International du Film d'Animation. 1) Why do you believe in India? Ans: Because I think the economy is right, the raw talent is right, you are an English-speaking country that understands Western humour, so all the things that are needed are there already. 2) Hollywood is able to tell its stories in a global language; India is still about hands for hire. Comment. Ans: The rest of the world has to think of us [India] as people able to do work from beginning to end. If we don't start developing our own IP (intellectual property) we will lose out because any other country can undercut us on costs and manpower. It has already started happening to the Philippines; three of the largest studios there have shut down. When we are hands for hire, the business could go away anywhere - to China or Taiwan. But when you create, you can't just make a series for Indians. When we did Tenali Raman [for Toonz], the fine line was not to disengage with Indians and yet be able to talk to a US audience. You have to take a character out of your folklore and give it an international spin. All the studio heads I speak to are trying to do it. Tenali Raman was sold to [is still selling to] TV stations like Nick Jr in Asia, in the EU, in North America, Singapore. It is doing very well. 3) What do the Indian players need to crack the global market? Ans: One is funding - all the countries that have done well have done with state support in the form of tax holidays. For example, a country like Canada offers its studios incentives to develop their own products. For some reason, however, financial institutions here [in India] prefer to finance manufacturing. They find it easier; you make a widget for $1 and sell it for $2. Animation takes at least a year to develop and maybe a year and a half for the money to come in. Investors are not used to that. But the fact is that an animation IP will run for years. Two, people. There aren't enough trained animators to go around. There are just these 75-100 animators who keep shifting from one company in Mumbai to another in, say, Thiruvananthapuram, following the money and the animation projects. 4) Indian animators are trying to force TV channels to carry a certain percentage of indigenous animation. Should they? Ans: Yes, they should. If they are forced to carry India it will create a demand for local animation and push up its prices.

Phil Roman Chairman, Film Roman Studio, US PHIL Roman, at the age of 11, inspired by the animation film Bamby, decided to be a cartoonist. Later, as a cartoonist, Phil had a long stint with Walt Disney, before founding Film Roman studio in the late 1980s.


The quality of Phil's work can be demonstrated by the fact that ten ``Garfield'' specials produced by his studio have been nominated for the Emmy awards, while three won the award. The Film Roman studio jumped into the theatrical arena when Phil personally directed and produced the animated theatrical ``Tom and Jerry,'' The Movie for MGM. Under Phil, the studio also produced the renowned series ``The Simpsons'' and ``King of the Hi ll'' for Fox. Between 1991 and 1996, the studio also produced popular series such as ``The Mask'' and the ``The Twisted Tales of Felix the Cat'' for CBS Saturday mornings, ``Bobby's World'' and ``C-Bear and Jamal'' for Fox Kids Network, and ``BRUNO The Kid'', co-creat ed and voiced by actor Bruce Willis. Other productions include ``The Critic'' for ABC and Fox, ``Might Max'' first-run syndication and ``Mortal Kombat: Defender of the Realm,'' an animated series for USA Network. Phil Roman was in Chennai recently, and spoke to Business Line at length on the animation industry in India and the US. Excerpts from the interview. 1.) In the last 50 years, what major changes have taken place in the animation industry? Ans: The biggest change was in the 1960s, when the animation industry changed from theatrical to television. For Disney, Warner Bros and MGM, everything then was theatrical, and it was a healthy industry. However, when television came, these companies had to formulate new business plans, which took a long time. The other major change was technology coming into the industry. Technology is still evolving, and it is hard to tell where it is going. 2.) How important is technology for the industry? Ans: In animation, technology is only secondary. It is the character and story which are important. Technology is just a tool that allows you to do things faster, cheaper and do projects within the budget. For animators, technology is just a pencil and a piec e of paper, very simple, but, great and less complicated. 3.) Where is India in the animation industry? Ans: India is currently behind Korea, Japan, the Philippines and Taiwan, but, catching up rapidly with them. Indians only need a little more experience. Indians are strong in the English language, have good expertise in technology, and there are very good art ists. It is only a matter of adapting to the American broadcasters' quality requirements. 4.) Despite the positive aspects, Indians are still not competitive? Ans: In animation, it takes time to understand the needs of the customers. You need to study the market properly, and deliver the products at certain levels. There is stiff competition among buyers in the US and Europe, and the ones offering quality products would survive. It is important that Indians need to be well-trained in


animation. It is critical, especially for directors and liners, to go to the US and see how the industry works there. A major issue for Indians would be to create their own characters , that would belong to the company, and give strength in the long run. Sub-contracting would be a bad idea. 5.) How competitive would India be for countries like China, Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines? Ans: It is going to be very significant. US companies are reducing cost, and if India can prove that it can produce at lower costs than Korea, Taiwan or Philippines, then these countries are in for real trouble. Earlier, US companies used to outsource work fr om Korea, Taiwan or the Philippines, and India was not at all an option. But, today India is an option for US companies. 6.) Will the US slowdown bring more work for India? Ans: Certainly. Animation is expensive to produce. For example, a 30 minute prime time animation costs $ 500,000-$ 600,000 per show. And, for 30 minute Saturday morning shows, the cost could be $ 200,000-$ 250,000 per show. So, if India can produce at lesser rates, you can be very competitive. It is here technology would play an important role, by reducing the cost of production. However, technology will not make it better from the story or character point of view. 7.) What have been the recent changes in the US animation industry? Ans: The biggest change was the vertical integration of US companies. Big companies are pulling up their strengths, thus blocking little players. A lot of companies have gone to the Internet, but failed. Nobody had a business plan. I compare the Internet to t he early days of television, when the situation changed from theatrical to television, and nobody then knew how to make money, until persons like Hana Barbara figured it out. Later, television programmes became a big business. It is going to be the same with the Internet. 8.) Which is your favourite character? Ans: It is asking a mother which is her favourite child. In my case, one character that, however, stands above all is Garfield. It gave life to Film Roman, and created the Roman Empire. The Empire now stretches all the way to India, by association with the Ch ennai-based Pentamedia Graphics Ltd, which acquired 60 per cent of the company's stake. 9.) How important is the relationship with Pentamedia? Ans: For Pentamedia, the acquisition would make it a world player. It is also critical for Film Roman. US companies today cannot sustain on their own in the highly competitive US market, and it is not a good idea. Major companies such as AOL and Warner Bros a re coming together, and it is important for smaller companies like us to find alternative ways to be competitive. One way we found was to partner with Pentamedia.



Sampling Design

Definition of Target Population: a) Animators and cartoonists from animation industry. Sample Frame: (For members of animation industry) Database will be collected from the website of Just dial OR we can directly make a call on Just dial number and get the number and address of companies. Method of Sampling Method: Non-Probability sampling method will be used as sample size will be big and heterogeneous. Procedure for Selecting Sample Units: Sampling Units will be selected in Random manner. Sample Size: 50.

Research Design
a) Exploratory This research will be used to explore the various factors that are making the Indian animation industry a outsourcing hub. Whether this industry will be able to stand its own feets? In order to identify the unclear perception we are conducting Exploratory Research. b) Descriptive

We will describe the degree to which each factor will influence both products and animation industry.


Data Analysis
After collection of the data, analysis is as follows: 1) Stage in which Indian Animation industry is: Out of 50 participants, 34 have views that Indian animation industry is in growth stage, 13 think that this industry is in infant stage and only 3 people think that this industry is in underdeveloped stage.

6% 26%
Infant Growth Underdeveloped


2) Ranking the Strengths Participants in survey have mainly ranked the strengths of Indian Animation Industry as follows: Strengths a) Low cost of animation production. b) Vast base English speaking professionals. c) Heritage of Traditional Literature. d) Indias large entertainment sector. Rank 1 2 3 4

According to participants, low cost with quality work is the biggest strength of Indian animators. They also think that as there is large base of English speaking professionals who are not only capable of creating international stuff but also understand the humour required for attracting people in different nations.


3) Ranking the Challenges Challenges Gap between demand and supply of skilled professionals Lack of funds (Heavy investment) Lack of support from government Security and IP related issues (Original content) Creative storyline Rank 1 2 3 4 5

Participants think that all these challenges are like vicious circle. Once more and more people will join this industry, this industry will grow and automatically funds, support from government and creavity will become strengths of this industry. 4) Kind of support do animation industry of India require from government. According to participants following are the things government needs to do to support and grow the Indian animation industry.

1) More airtime for local animation in Indian. 2) More animation training programs and opening of government recognized institute. 3) More venture capitals and financial support. 4) Create more awareness about the animation industry. 5) Try to organize animation industry. 6) Making better policies regarding IP issues.
5) Is India becoming preferred destination for animation outsourcing and joining BPO bandwagon. Out of 50 participants, 36 believe that indian animation industry is becoming preferred destination for animation outsourcing and 14 think that this is not thee case. All participants believe that as soon as this industry will grow it will attain maturity and it will stand on its own feets.
40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 14 Yes No 36


6) Is Indian Animation Industry mostly scattered?

Yes, all the participants believe that Indian animation industry is unorganized and scattered. As there are only 14-15 studios which has organized management otherwise there are many organisation in every corner of country who are into animation but they are not of worth. 7) Facing competition from other Asian countries. Yes, no doubt India is facing competition from other countries like Japan, China, Korea, Phillipines in the field of animation as they are also low cost creator of 2D and3d animation and they are also getting contracts from global animation players. But now Indian animation industry is growing at faster rate. Now indian studios are not only taking responsibility of animation but they themselves making the whole movies that means now pre-production and post production work is also done by them only. This advantage is helping indian companies to be a step ahead of other asian countries. Movies like Buddha, Hanuman series, Krishna, Tenali Raman etc are proving that indian companies are any time better than their asian competitors. 8) With several home spun projects at its disposal, could India even resort to reverse outsourcing to fill up the talent gap? Here on this topic the thinking of participants is very mixed because this can happen in later stage. Out of 50, 23 people think reverse outsourcing can happen, 19 think this cannot happen and 8 cant say about it.



Yes No Can't say



9) How contracts between Western Animation companies with Indian companies is going to help Indian Animation Industry as a whole? Is it good or bad? 1) Good for our people, they are getting gud experience. 2) Industry will Mature. 3) Industry professionals will get to learn new techniques. 4) Use of better options, softwares. 5) This will also help to organize the animation industry and will give recognition to small players. 10) Currently Animation industry in India is covered under STPI (Software Technology Parks of India) which predominantly holds good for a BPO nature where 85% content is required to be outsourced. Do you think this is hindering the development of local market?

45 40 35 30 25 20 15 10 5 0


Yes No 8


The following factors have limited the scope of this project. Only one person to conduct research. Limited budget. Time to research very limited 10 days.



Recommendations to support Animation industry of India


The government should play and active role and institute a recognized degree/diploma/certificate course for animation and gaming. Further, there is a need to develop a course curriculum (for animation and gaming) that is aligned to the industry needs. In India, animation and gaming development comes under IT services, and various benefits accrue to the same. However, no special incentive and subsidy scheme is present to promote the growth of this (animation and gaming) industry. Funding is still an area of concern and government should formulate incentive and subsidy scheme for the industry. Government can help the animation industry by giving us funding and recognizing the animation courses. Recognition would help students to get bank loans, which is not possible as of now. Other governments worldwide are promoting animation by giving funding and ensuring that 3035 per cent of the content is local. Similarly the Indian government should also give some kind of boost to the animation industry by assuring broadcast of Indian content on TV. Animation software provider Autodesk Media & Entertainment has alliances with training institutions such as Maximus and Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics (MAAC) to offer Indian students an opportunity to train on its software. For this demand-supply gap to match, it has become necessary that more companies take up initiatives to train people and the government should play a more active role. While companies increase their initiatives to educate and train professionals and students, the government also needs to support the industry. Plans such as setting up an animation academy in Andhra Pradesh are encouraging. But the government needs to play a much more active role. The current position is that the growth rate of the industry is growing at approximately 30 per cent CAGR. The problem is that in order to get to that human resource potential, we need skilled manpower. The raw talent is available but real problem is the skilled manpower. There is a gap between demand and supply of professionals in this industry. As a company, Toonz is chipping in for increasing the skill base in India. It has started a JV academy with West Bengal government called Toonz Webel academy. It has also started another academy in Thiruvananthapuram and is also in the process of establishing academies in various parts of the country. But this is just a corporate initiative, we need more effort. There are small centers at every nook and corner imparting animation education. But what is needed are quality based centers, so government should definitely intervene and take active steps in implementing animation curriculum in fine arts colleges and animation as a course in universities. The potential that the bandwidth revolution offered to content creators and is great. There is a revival in investment in IT and ITes globally, the advancement



in digital compression technology is making bandwidth available the world over. We are moving from C to KU band and in some parts of the world KA is already in use. This means much more transponder capacity and bandwidth. Bandwidth will no longer be a constraint. Reliance broadband have close to 250 webworlds with bandwidth of 2mbps node Gradually an online gaming community is emerging.


Drawing attention to the gaming potential in the wireless space, Khanna stated, the penetration of data enabled phones is growing in the country. The Gaming & animation industry can grow in the wireless space at 100% compounded growth over the next 5-10 years. It is a very sorry state to be in 2005. We talk about the huge potential but what have we done. The results are not commensurate with the potential. The potential is huge. The global animation business is $80 Billion while the Global Online and Gaming industry is $50 Billion. The Indian animatics industry is just worth $950 million. We are just nibbling at the edges. While looking at the sky we forget to look at the ground. The biggest problem with the Indian animation industry is the lack of skilled manpower. Only 20 to 30,000 people in entire animatics industry. Till recently we did not have enough training facility. We have been churning out people with a little bit of flair. These software operators were picked up by sweatshops. As expected, many of these folded up. In the last couple of years there have been efforts at consolidation. There is still a big chasm that exists. Important points Bollywood directly employs 2 million people and indirectly employs 5.5 million people. Indian Television directly employs 900,000 people and indirectly employs 2.5 million people. How many does the Indian animation and gaming industry employ? -We are demographically the youngest nation in the world today. 60% of Indians are in the 14 to 25 age group. (Immense potential for gaming) - We need to work on the creative aspects if we want to jump from a $300 million industry to a few billion. This is imminently possible. Human resource is the foundation of this business. Today most writers for animation and gaming are half baked. -We need to train at least 15-20,000 at the minimum. To be called a succesful industry . - Get more creative professionals involved in your work - Ethnocentricity is critical to success of any entertainment - Dubbed content can be originated in India


- Voicing, Music not upto global standards at the moment - Marketing is an area which we need to understand, It is very important in a globally competitive world. - The existing 15-120 studios must engage more creative professionals. - The government didn't set up an IT institute for Narayan Murthy, we have to put in our own efforts. From a cottage industry let's at least grow to a medium sized industry. Let's have at least a 100 studios which employ over a 1000 people each. India will have to shed the outsourcing mentality and look more towards the domestic market if it has to make a significant mark in the global animation and gaming industry. The global animation market and gaming market to be $122 billion by 2010. However, the Indian animation and gaming industry will account for less than 2% of the worldwide market in 2010 despite impressive growth forecasts. While this indicates a tremendous potential for Indian companies to grow this may not be possible if they do not come out of the outsourcing mindset and look to grow the local market by developing local content and intellectual property. There is no running away from the IP-centric thinking and we need to create India Dreamworks and Pixar. The proliferation of various delivery platforms in the shape of seven kids channels, DTH, mobile and online now provided an opportunity for companies to make this happen. The need for government regulation, mandating that 25% of all content on these platforms should be local. Such a thing is done in France and other countries and I do not see we should not do it. The Indian animation industry revenues were estimated at $354 million in 2006, a growth of 24% over 2005 and is forecast to reach $869 million by 2010, representing a CAGR of 25% over 2006-2010. Animation, VFX and Gaming as a vertical is a very big export revenue earner for India. It also stresses on the huge employment generation that this vertical contibutes to. This vertical will require more than 30,000 trained animators and game development professionals over the next five years. To meet the need for talent, FICCI has urged the Government to aid in the setting up of center of excellence on the lines of IITs and IIMs for the Animation and Gaming industry. Highlighting the examples of countries like Singapore, Korea and China which have enjoyed Government support for ingeniously promoting this sector, the document states the reason 40% of animated content in US is Japanese because Countries like Japan and Canada have worked hard at developing this industry and have a very strong domestic market" further adding "Once a domestic market gets enough consumable content, the same can be routed for exports.


The highlight of the entire memorandum is FICCI's six point list of suggestions to the Government that would help develop the Animation, VFX, Gaming vertical. Recommendations and suggestions (i) 10 year Tax Holiday (ii) Removal of Service Tax (iii) Removal of Sales Tax on the Software used for Animation, Gaming & VFX production for a period of 10 years (iv) Exemption of Import duty on hardware for a period of 10 years (v) Market Development Assistance (vi) Localization of Animation Content Following are elaborations:

(i) Tax Holiday for 10 years Today Animation as an industry in India is covered under STPI, but STPI predominantly holds good for a BPO nature of work where outsourcing is the main module and most of the studios which are getting benefited from STPI have to make sure of an export commitment of more than 85%. As a result many Indian studios wanting to produce original content based intellectual property and use art and talent from India to produce animation stories do not get any such benefits. India has a rich heritage, culture and a large talent pool, which can be engaged in creating content for Indian as well as global audiences in transferring 5000-year-old time, tested stories into the new media. The opportunity here is very big and practical but becomes extremely unviable because of the fact that the Indian government through STPI is subsidizing the production cost of the foreign shows; TV shows production whereas the Indian content creation is proving to be far more expensive and does not enjoy the same status as the foreign creative property. As creating original content in India attracts custom duty and also the freshly levied sales tax (VAT) on off the shelf software, sales tax of 12.2% (which might increase further) and further also the income tax component. Together these act as a major deterrent against studios producing and creating original content with an Indian heritage base or any other indigenous original content creation within the shores of the country. Currently there is just no encouragement of developing original Indian content to be put forth to the entire world in the form of animation. This is leading to more and more studios working on foreign content and is leading to a severe lack of animated Indian stories in our domestic television schedules. In fact in the current scenario there is not one television channel that is exclusively dedicated to the kids showing original Indian


content. Hence our next generations of kids are growing up on a staple diet of foreign superheroes and legends while their exposure to Indian history, culture and heritage is being restricted to school textbooks. Storybooks and comics are being quickly replaced by television content and specially animated television content. FICCI propose a tax holiday to the production houses doing Animation, Gaming & VFX work for a period of 10 (ten) years, so that cost of creating intellectual property (original content) comes down drastically and the industry becomes viable. (ii) Removal of Service Tax The provision for Service Tax is financially hitting the Indian Animation Studios extremely hard; most of these studios are those that are developing a large amount of original content. Those studios that are export oriented and are thus under STPI are not exposed to the Service Tax at all, whereas the ones that are making or planning on making any Intellectual Property (original Indian content) in India for any client or broadcaster have to pay a service tax @ 12.2% (this is going to be @ 12% in the new financial year, as per the latest budget). We all have seen a rapid boom in the Software Industry, thanks to their exemption from the service tax. There is a big potential for Indian Animation Studios to grow manifolds from where they are right now, the major success of the animation sector will be in creating the original Indian content and distributing it globally. If we can make special efforts and can exempt Animation Industry from paying service tax, it will really contribute to a great extent towards promoting the Indian Animation Industry and also the traditional and creative artists. It will also be a great encouragement to the animation studios to develop the original content. Developing original content requires a handsome amount of money and if this additional burden of service tax is levied, it becomes really difficult to sustain, so a lot of studios are taking the outsourcing way and act like BPOs. This is not at all beneficial for the Animation Industry in a long run. FICCI propose a complete lift-off of the service tax from the Animation, Gaming & VFX Industry. (iii) Removal of Sales Tax on the Software used for Animation, Gaming & VFX production for a period of 10 years The software used for creation and production of Animation, Gaming & VFX attracts a sales tax, which further escalates the cost of production and developing content. FICCI propose the removal of sales tax on such software for a period of 10 (ten) years. (iv) Exemption of Import duty on hardware for a period of 10 years The high-end machines used for the production attracts an import duty. At present the duty structure is like, basic duty of 12.5 %, CVD of 16.32%, special CVD of 4&. After including educational cess, the overall duty comes out to be 36.8%. FICCI propose the removal of such duty for a period of 10 (ten) years.


(v) Market Development Assistance Countries like Japan, Korea, China etc provide assistance to the local Animation, Gaming & VFX Industry for overseas business promotion. Their respective Governments and export promotion council take business delegations to various international Markets like Annecy (France), MIPCOM (France), Game Developers Conference (USA), Ottawa Animation festival (Canada), SICAF (Korea) etc. In order to show-case the promise and potential of Indian Animation, Gaming and VFX industry, FICCI urges the Government to extend its kind support under MDA / MAI activity. FICCI Animation & Gaming Forum volunteers to undertake such business delegations to various key markets for more exposure and visibility, with the kind support of Government. (vi) Localization of Animation Content Presently most of the animated content shown in the networks are sourced from outside of India and generally from the existing library at a discounted price. This is one of the serious impediments on the growth of Indian Animation Industry. Many countries like Canada, China, Korea, France, UK etc have made varying levels of mandatory localization of content. FICCI propose 10% mandatory local content on the networks to began with and to reach 30% over next three years as more indigenous animation content gets prepared and available for domestic / export markets. While a lot of industry insiders may argue that there is very limited scope for localised original content, the presenters offered differing viewpoints on the subject. Toonz Animation India's P Jayakumar emphasised on the need for creating content for a global audience with universal themes, targeted at clearly defined demographics. On the other hand 2nz Animation's Kireet Khurana pointed out that to make an IP globally succesful, it was important for the IP to be a bonafide success in the country of its origin. "Creating original content is deinitely the way to go ahead" We need to pitch to domestic and international markets. We also need to leverage strategic alliances with content buyers. Visualising the future model for original content producers Jayakumar made some interesting points Future model -Co Production - Pre Sales - Sourcing Distribution channels - Pre school property


- Huge Market - Fresh origial ideas from any part of the world - Potential for licensing & merchandising Studios in India needed to upgrade skill sets remarking, We are very weak on this front. Lets focus on pre and post, lets focus on our creative and story telling skills.

The 5 Ws of creating original content Animation is all about art. Why create original content? - Localisation mantra: Look at Mc Donald's, Pizza Hut - Cultural awareness - Empowering content: Lets not look at crossovers, lets look at bonafide success in India - National Pride - If few of us had the dashing audacity to make local content and succeed in it What does it take for an Indian animation product to be successful? - Passion and commitment -Strategy, initiative and leadership -Great stroy telling & design prowess -Trained Manpower - Collaborative efforts - Identifiability - Integrity & Brand Values - Appeal / Indelibility - Clear Motivations - Functionality - Good Design - Exaggeration - Method acting school - True for animation


- Variables in creation - Target Audience : One can't just think like an artist. You need to know your market - Trends : Understanding trends is important - Bottoms up approach : What do the mothers want? What do the children want? What do the advertisers want? Who are we? - Backend / BPO powerhouse - Huge manpower / latent talent - Biggest story telling hub /Bollywood - Collosal cultural stories reservoir Where do we come from? - No animation culture - No training institutes - Mediocre skill sets and productivity - Producing really low quality as compared to abroad - Most companies for servicing /outsourcing - Unfavorable market: We need to hammer harder that's all - Consumer spends are low When is ETA? - The inevitability - As economy becomes stronger, volumes on licensed products shall increase - Multiple channels platform - Achieving critical mass: Serious plans are afoot and animation education is finally being considered. In 2-3 years we will have great animation schools and good talent trickling into our studios will mean better products. At annecy, buyers look at products that have been bonafide success in the country of production. Being a mere service provider will not take us anywhere


Once A frenchman at Annecy was very upset that we Indians did not have any original content. He told Indians lack character. Forget about the competition between China and India, we studios are competing with each other. Being a mere service provider will not take us anywhere, both from the creative point of view and the business point of view. One cannot afford to invest lacs on an episode when a Cartoon Network will pay me thousands. We need to create a global property. We have to narrate the story in a certain way that can be understood by an average western viewer. Things would be different if the government brought into existence a regulation which made it compulsory for the TV channels to air local animation content. We are struggling to create local content while others were using our culture and stories to come up with content. A Belgian company has made an animated Kamasutra (2D) for the adult market. Let's groom animation writers Take the case for original content, in a pay channel scenario, money will come in only from original content production. No other country has 5,000 years of tested story telling. Unfortunately we have more producers than writers in the country. We need to talk to the universities, to have creative writing programs for animation. Studios are supposed to produce, not teach. We need someone to take over the load of teaching from us. The IITs helped do that for the IT industry. We need an IIT for animation.

We are one of the very few countries in the world, which understands multicultural programming. UK, Canada, France. Let's talk to the Subhash Ghai of the world and ask them to make animation films. Let's create properties in Flash for channels.