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A Career in Animation | How to succeed in this competitive industry?

A Career in Animation | How to succeed in this competitive industry?

A Career in Animation | How to succeed in this competitive industry?

In this episode, Leon Christian, Head of Creative Operations Feature at Mikros Animation, shares his vast experience and valuable advice for aspiring animators. According to him, having a passion for animation is crucial to succeed in this field, while also maintaining a diverse and up-to-date portfolio.

Welcome to the Zista Podcast!

In today’s episode, we are honoured to welcome a highly talented artist and animation expert, Leon Christian. With a Bachelor in Fine Arts from The Maharaja Sayaji Rao University in Baroda and a Diploma in 3D animation from VanArts in Vancouver, Leon has accumulated 18 years of invaluable work experience in the field of animation. Throughout his illustrious career, he has worked with some of the most renowned names in the industry, including Tata Elxsi, Huhu Studios in New Zealand, and Technicolor. Currently serving as the Head of Creative Operations Feature at Mikros Animation, and based in Bangalore, Leon has established himself as a leading expert in the field of animation. In this episode, we will have the opportunity to hear from Leon about his journey in the industry, the latest developments in animation, and his vision for the future of the art form.

Q: What inspired Leon Christian to pursue a career in animation?

Leon Christian had a passion for drawing from an early age and would often doodle in his notebooks. Although he never considered a career in animation, he enrolled in a 4-year Fine Arts program and was initially considering a career in advertising. However, he saw a few short films from UCLA during his third year, which piqued his interest. After completing his degree in graphic design, he did a course in 3D animation at VanArts and began his career as an animator.

Q: What are the different kinds of careers or jobs that students can consider in the field of Animation?

Students can explore different kinds of careers or jobs in the field of animation. They can start with the foundation, where they can learn about modeling, texturing, rigging, animation, lighting and post production. They can make short films or scenes to gain more experience. They can also focus on what attracts them and what they are good at. For example, they can build their career just on modeling, and when they make their demo reel at the end of the course, they can showcase more of their modeling skills.

Q: What traits do students need to succeed in animation?

Students need to have certain traits to succeed in animation. One of the traits is that they should have a good understanding of their strengths and focus on what they are good at. They should have the freedom to put their own mark and have a distinct element or a signature style in their work. It is also important for them to have a good sense of teamwork and collaboration since animation is a collaborative process.

Q: What is the importance of having a foundation in animation?

Having a foundation in animation is important since it provides students with a good understanding of the different aspects of animation, such as modeling, texturing, rigging, animation, lighting and post production. It helps them to gain more experience in the field and find out what attracts them and what they are good at. They can also create a demo reel showcasing their skills to potential employers.

Q: How has the animation industry shaped up differently?

The animation industry has evolved over time and is shaping up differently as we move along. There are different trends and technologies that come and go, and it is important for students to keep up with them. One of the trends is the increasing demand for 3D animation and visual effects in movies, TV shows, and video games. Another trend is the use of virtual reality and augmented reality in animation.

Q: What are the traits that recruiters look for in students who want to join the animation industry?

According to Leon, recruiters look for students who have a good understanding of their strengths and focus on what they are good at. They also look for students who have a good sense of teamwork and collaboration, as animation is a collaborative process. Students should also have a portfolio or demo reel showcasing their skills and creativity. They should also be up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies in animation.

Here are the key tips that Leon shared for building an effective demo reel:

  • Be clear about the exact role you want to play in the animation process, i.e., modelling, rigging, lighting, etc.
  • Let your demo reel showcase that skill effectively
  • Keep the demo reel short
  • Include your best work, right at the start
  • Conversely, if you are not happy with something you have created, do not include it in your demo reel
  • Most recruiters form an opinion after seeing just the first few seconds of your demo reel, so make it count