Workshop on Animation, VFX & Gaming

Events Start Date 19 Jul 2019 From 09:30 hours.


Location Venue: Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, New Town, Kolkata


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West Bengal has captured the rising surge in animation, visual effects and gaming by architecting some strategic initiatives including infrastructure creation, capacity building and outreach. A day long workshop on animation, visual effects and gaming on 19th July 2019 manifested the state’s deep commitment to leverage this technology for economic growth and job creation.

The animation industry is being rapidly disrupted. This is an era of massive technology changes with streaming entertainment gaining ground and increasing quality of visual representations including augmented reality / virtual reality. As entertainment becomes more immersive; the industry is witnessing significant growth. West Bengal has thus taken an early initiative to leverage this opportunity.

The day-long workshop was organized by the Department of IT&E, Government of West Bengal at Biswa Bangla Convention Centre, Kolkata and was instrumental in enhancing the audience’s knowledge base pertaining to the scope of animation, VFX & gaming and identification of practical and scalable solutions.

The occasion was graced by Hon’ble MIC, Dr. Amit Mitra. Experts on different areas of Animation VFX & Gaming made their presentation & shared their thoughts during the sessions. More than 500 participants were present at the workshop. The Hon’ble Minister during his address also shared his plan for setting up most advanced animation academy in addition to present one in coming days.

In his welcome address Shri Prodip Mukhopadhyay, MD, WBEIDC Ltd said Department of IT & Electronics, Govt. of West Bengal has embarked upon a journey to promote emerging IT technologies in the state of West Bengal and with this mission in mind, Department organizes number of technology workshop where the industry, academia and other stakeholders are brought in the same platform to exchange information and also they explore the possible areas where these technologies can make significant change. Animation and VFX is an emerging field in next gen digital technology which is growing very fast.

Shri Debashis Sen, IAS, Addl. Chief Secretary, Dept of IT & Electronics, Govt. of West Bengal said that the objective of these workshops is to induct everybody on what is happening in the technology world every day and where opportunities for growth happened. He mentioned that apart from emerging technologies, there are other areas to focus on, which are slightly different. Those may not talk into machine language but of great relevance.

Referring to the book "The Next Billion Users" by Payal Arora he said that the desire for entertainment, leisure, desire for gaming, time pass, socializing, friendship etc. is just as prevalent in the villages as in the rich American cities.

In India, the data consumption over broadband is highest per capita and the cost of data per unit is least in the world. Internet broadband and smartphones are getting penetrated in the villages at an amazing speed. There is a revolution in the demand for entertainment pleasure. The need for content is rising exponentially and the future lies with those who can create content.

He urged to the audience to learn how to make good content, how to create humor and how to make this whole gaming thing a great employment development and economic opportunity.

The inaugural session witnessed a key note address by Shri Tapaas Chakravarti, CEO & CMD of DQ Entertainment on the topic "Animation – Challenges & Opportunities". He briefed his own personal journey, their company’s journey and the journey of the industry as a whole in the field of animation, gaming and VFX for last 22 years since he came into this industry. He said that animation is no longer a side-business but it’s a mainframe industry and the world of animation, VFX and gaming is growing. Animated movies are being made in Hollywood and cartoon channels started focusing on Indian animation. Hence there is tremendous scope for young artists to take this industry as career option.

The next session began with a speech by Shri A.K. Madhavan, CEO of Assemblage Mumbai, on the topic "Behind the Scene". He started with a statement about his topic that "Behind the scene is a full team that make the whole thing happen". He focused on the advantage of animation that it does not have much language barrier and can easily be dubbed. While talking on top aptitudes that someone must be good at to be successful in this profession he said, most importantly one must have common sense to relate things. There is no shortcut to hard work. One has to be passionate as the job demands commitment, integrity and attitude. He told about 5 P, i.e. Project, People, Pipeline, Process and Performance.

Shri Ashish Kulkarni, Founder of Punnaryug Artvision Pvt. Ltd. Pune talked on the topic "Where adventure is never scripted". He pointed that there is not a single feature film which is not touched by animation. But animation is mostly for kids who are very loyal to the characters. The largest audience are coming from pre-school who come and watch the show every day. Since the Indian storybooks like Chandmama are lost, kids are not seeing Indian contents and Indian characters. The industry is in need of creative people who can create original content on Indian characters. The cultural stories of India is capable of making a mark globally. Animation is the only form of storytelling which travels beyond boundaries, cultures and age. He emphasized on creating dedicated spaces like Art Villages where people can come and use the common facilities. He also focused upon the need for dedicated channel for cartoon in broadcast system.

Dr. Amit Mitra, Hon’ble Minister for Information Technology & Electronics, Finance, Industry, Commerce & Enterprises and Micro, Small & Medium Enterprises & Textiles Departments, Govt of West Bengal, arrived at the workshop. Shri Debashis Sen, IAS, Addl. Chief Secretary, Dept of IT & Electronics, felicitated him with an Uttoriyo in traditional manner. Dr. Amit Mitra, Hon’ble Minister formally inaugurated the workshop by lighting the ceremonial lamp in presence of Shri S. K. Bhattacharyya, IAS, Addl Secretary, DIT&E, Shri Debashis Sen, IAS, Addl. Chief Secretary, DIT&E, Shri Tapaas Chakravarti, CEO & CMD of DQ Entertainment, Shri Samar Jha, Chairman, WBEIDC Ltd and Shri Prodip Mukhopadhyay, MD, WBEIDC Ltd

Shri Tapaas Chakravarti, CEO & CMD of DQ Entertainment said that a lot of good work is being done in the industry. The Animation & VFX Academy is rebuilt in Kolkata which is one of the best in the world and much better than the academy they have in Hyderabad.

In his deliberations Dr. Amit Mitra, Hon’ble Minister said that in Bengal creativity is a part of DNA, and that is why apart from Kolkata no other city can organize such an event which involves Animation, VFX and Gaming. He referred to the book ’Abol Tabol’ by legendary author Sukumar Ray and mentioned that creating new characters is old in Bengal. So many years age at least 25 new characters have been created in ‘Abol Tabol’. There are many indigenous characters in Bengali literature and in illustrations done by Satyajit Ray and Sukumar Ray. The global market for animation and global e-sports industry is growing. Low cost internet access has given a new platform. Only thing to be done is to bring out what is there within the DNA.

Dr. Amit Mitra, Hon’ble Minister awarded the certificates to the students of first batch of Webel DQE Animation Academy.

Shri Pradip Chopra, Chairman, iLEAD, Kolkata deliberated on the topic: "How to make Kolkata the Animation Capital of the world".

He shared his own companies experience that now directly they are working for Walt Disney, Sony, many local and national channels and they have so much work that their capacity to deliver is restricted by the number of people they can hire. Sometimes to meet the deadline they have to work 24x7.

He mentioned that Kolkata is extremely cost-effective. If animators of Kolkata put heart and soul to attain the level of quality what customer is looking for and can do the Hollywood kind of animation, the Hollywood cannot match the cost with Kolkata. But for that Kolkata has to take the training quality to that level. If required the students must get training from those world-class trainers.

He also focused on the problem area of the students that they may not be able to bear the fees of those world-class trainers and cost of hardware and software. Someone has to set up studios and finance the trainers to come to Kolkata and train the students at that level.

Shri Akhil Bandhu Paul, Co-Founder & CEO of MAYABIOUS ART deliberated on the topic "The eco system of animation". He emphasized on the responsibility of the institutions to tell the students about the actual requirement and what skillset one must have to work on a particular job assignment. Not only software skill but a lot of aesthetics is required for strong characterization. Hollywood already have strong characters like the Batman, Spiderman etc. while our characters are mostly mythological like Bhim and Krishna. Educating the client and viewer is also a major thing.

The post-lunch session began with an exciting audio-visual quiz mixed of wit and intellect on Animation, VFX and Gaming conducted by Shri Sanjay Kumar Das, Jt. Secretary, Department of IT & Electronics, Govt. of West Bengal. The winners were awarded each with a Medal, a Certificate and a Gift.

The next technical session was taken by Shri Nanda Kumar Nair, Associate Shoot Supervisor/ Compositing Supervisor from Yash Raj Film Studio, Mumbai. He congratulated the 1st batch students of Webel DQE Animation Academy for landing up with a job in hand. It’s only a beginning of their life. Warned them that it’s going to be strenuous and stressful as it’s not easy to get into other people’s mind and translate their words into visuals which they accept and the world accepts. People who want to join VFX industry, must have passion and patience for it because it’s very demanding. Asked them to dream to be someone and contribute to visual effects. He showed clips from popular Hindi films where animation and VFX has been used.

Shri Rajat Ojha, CEO of Gamitronics, Hyderabad discussed on the topic "Gaming Industry – Present & Future". He said that industry is changing very fast and frequently and no one can track what is going to happen. But one thing is certain that everybody is playing whosoever has an android phone and whenever there is some free time. Thus there is tremendous growth potential in the gaming industry.

Shri Chetan Sharma, Film Designer, Animagic, Mumbai talked on "Creation of Animation – The Craft of Storytelling". He said that every time someone comes with a Bengali surname, is expected to be creative because Bengali people come from a culture that allows them to breathe Art at every level which is unique to the Bengali culture. He addressed the students by saying "when you are coming into animation, you are not coming into a job. You are coming as an artist who is a part of a legacy of creativity in this country. Create new things, wonderful new art and then be remembered after 100 years from now". He also mentioned that craft of storytelling is structuring information in an interesting way.

The last session was a Panel Discussion on "Getting hired & Staying hired in Animation" where eminent panelists were Shri Rajashekar P, Managing Director of Mirriad Advertising, Mumbai, Shri Rahul Banerjee, Manager – Talent Acquisition. Xentrix Studios, Bangalore, Shri Bharat De, VFX – Supervisor, Legend, Pune and the session was moderated by Shri Manoj Mishra, COO, DQ Entertainment.

Shri Suvayu Ray, Project Director, PMU team from PricewaterhouseCoopers Pvt. Ltd summarized the take away of the workshop. He mentioned that it was not a simple knowledge sharing workshop but also a convocation of the first batch of Webel-DQE Animation students passed out and they received their Certificates from Hon’ble Minister Dr. Amit Mitra.

The workshop concluded by Vote of thanks given by Shri Prodip Mukhopadhyay, MD, WBEIDC Ltd.
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