Vision: Department of Animation Cinema SRFTI
Indian Animation evolved in the early experiments of Dada Saheb, however, it was through the intervention of the ‘cartoon’ in the fifties that it took the first steps. Though the lessons were the best from their stables, today in retrospect, they seem inadequate for the beginnings in a country like ours. Our struggling animation industry is the direct result of this. Compared to the Indian Film industry where giant collaborative strides were made by artists, writers, poets and musicians, Animation Industry is yet to make any real business. Because when animation had become the avant garde elsewhere, we had shut out our true ways of telling.
When nations strode out to find their own mark in world animation, we had clung to the ‘cartoon’. To pedestal our Animation Cinema along Contemporary Indian Literature, Cinema and the Arts, we must re invent our learning. With methods that hold animation as an extension of the Arts, of expression, of painting, of sculpture, of literature, of pure cinema.
To sell our wares in our own shores first and then in others, we must regain our true ways of telling. We must learn to construct moving images with the sanctity, relevance and politics of Art itself.
About the department
The Department of Animation Cinema at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute is new and geared to take in students from this year onwards for a three year Post Graduate course in Animation Cinema. Recognizing Animation Art as Cinema, the department has a view in re-inventing its learning. It intends and hopes to shift perceptions of Animation from ”the cartoon ” to a form that is an extension of the plastic Arts with Cinematic Expression. With a crop of distinguished visiting faculty, the Department’s faculty is equipped to teach Hand Drawn Classical Animation as well as Computer aided Animation techniques, Sequential Art, Game Design and Visual Effects. Drawing out the collaborative spirit of movie making, the Department has an open and inclusive philosophy to function as a crucible for the aesthetics and sensibilities of modern moving image making.
Animation activity in our country has largely been that of making humor by moving supple cartoons about. And in doing so we seem to have easily adopted a way of telling that is much away from our true sensibilities. Very rarely have Animation here been seen as a form of Cinema that can provoke thought, entertain, educate and inform with true dynamics of able narratives. The method of learning conceived at the Department of Animation Cinema explores our own ways of telling, our signs and gestures, and our theatre and narrative traditions to construct a unique language and grammar for the art. It thus hopes to bring in an intellectual foothold for Indian Animation Cinema that is clearly lacking today. A ‘reason for being’ that will bring in a true Avant Garde to the much needed times, to re-engineer and shape an animation that is ours.
Professor and Head of the Department
36 years of experience in the field of Fine arts and Animation Media. He received a MDes. in Animation film design from NID. He started directing 2D Animation for the Indian Artists Chennai. Directed the company in to VFX for Television and Feature films in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu. He was a founder member and Director layout for Millitoon animation PVT. Ltd. which won a BAFTA for the best Animation series. Animated for Toon Disney in Bangalore. He as the Creative director led the Pre-production team of Maya Entertainment limited in Mumbai. Handled projects in Game Art, Pilots, T.V. Series for Tigarhare, Visionscape, Sony PSP, BBC cartoons and EA games. Taken up academics as the Creative Head of Aptech’s Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics and had started their train the trainers programme in India and Abroad. He was pa rt of the Indian Delegation of Animators to get trained by HRD wing of Govt.of Japan in Manga and Anime production and techniques. He was Part of the award winning team of North American Film awards 2017.
Argha SenguptaAssociate Professor
The Co-founder and Creative Director of Magic Tree Studios, is a graduate in animation and film making from India’s renowned design institute, the National Institute of Design. He has been with the film and media industry for 14 years.
He started his career as a 2D classical Cel animator for a multimedia company. During his 14 years he had worked on various International TV programs and Bollywood films of repute. He had headed several international projects, DVD features, TV series and Game cinematics for reputed clients like Nickelodeon UK, BBC 1UK, Visionscape Interactive USA, Disney and Tigarhare Studios USA.
He had also supervised Visual Effects for Indian popular channels like Star, Zee, Sahara, Set Max, NEO sports and production house like UTV, and Prime Channel, he had also supervised the Art and Visual Effects for more than 30 feature films including Ketan Mehta’s ” The Rising: Ballad of Mangal Pandey” and the CG cum Live feature film called ‘Toonpur Ka Superhero”
Suvobrata Roy Chowdhury
Studied Graphic Art at Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan. After a brief stint in television with Television 18 India Ltd he went on to do his Masters in Graphic Art from M.S. University of Baroda, where he taught for a year after graduating. He joined Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute in 1999. He further studied Animation Film Production at DeAnza College, California, USA, while working at the Satyajit Ray Film and Television Institute. He has written, produced and directed two independent short animation films.
Debraj is an independent short filmmaker, animator and vfx artist from Kolkata. His short films won many awards and honorable mention throughout the country and internationally in the recent past. His film “Golden Bird” won the 14th Mumbai International Film Festival, FICCI BAF Award, TASI in our country and World Culture Asia Award from Anim Arte 2015 – Brazil, Best Animation Award from River Film Festival – Italy, internationally.
He graduated in Fine Art form Indira Kala Sangeet Vishwavidyalaya, developed a special interest in animated storytelling with computer graphics. Got specialized in Animation and VFX through his self-taught efforts in the initial stages, he honed is skills with a course in 3d animation form a professional institute. He had funded his own films by working for the media industry. He has 5 years of experience in the media and broadcasting industry
A brief introduction to the curriculum of Animation Cinema at the SRFTI.
There are three streams besides the learning in the animation studios. They are:
1. History: Theories, Arguments.
2. Drawing: Styles, Studies. Tradition, Language.
3. Computer Practice: Lab, Software, Methods.
They run concurrently through all semesters (except the sixth), supplementing the learning in the class room. They bring in artists, writers, film makers and thinkers to interact with the students in their work.
The first semester begins with a seven week introduction to cinema. Next is a four week theatre workshop; following which is an introduction to sequential art of two weeks. Next is the basic animation course of seven weeks.
The second semester begins with three weeks of the camera. Following this, is a three week module animating light in a point of view exercise. Kinetics (Basic Animation two) of four weeks is the next module. A two week session on Editing is next. Followed by “text and image” of two weeks. The next module is two weeks of Sound. Next is a four week animation to sound assignment of 30 seconds.
The third semester begins with script writing of four weeks. The next module is Character Design and is of four weeks. The third module is Production Design and is of three weeks. Following is a three week module on storyboarding. Then is radio-play of two weeks. Next is the Animatic module of two weeks. In the last module of two weeks the student learns to make the design dossier, the bible for production.
In the fourth semester the student animates project one in Eight weeks. Departmental electives for Two weeks. Next is the stop motion workshop of five weeks. At the end of the next week is a seminar. The second departmental elective follows, offering Strategy game design, visual effects etc 4 weeks.
The fifth semester begins with a week, in research methodology. Project two Eight weeks. Two weeks for preparation of an animation festival. Next is the open pitch module of four weeks. The selected pitch is mentored by a guide for four weeks, where the student constructs the Design Dossier.
In the sixth semester the student completes the diploma film of hand drawn or Computer generated animation of not less than two minutes in 19 weeks with the last two weeks as the finishing lab. The final week is the Jury.
Department of Animation Cinema is a large block with three floors of ample studio space and lecture halls. It has state of the art Computers in three large labs besides a workshop for stop motion animation, modular rostrums with digital cameras for classical cel animation. It has two classical animation class rooms with adequate light boxes for students to work on their classical hand drawn animation and dedicated digital line testing equipment in both the classrooms.
Two well-equipped Computer Labs with industry standard computer work station with latest animation software. A large drawing studio rooms are open during class hours for practice. Certified and licensed software for image acquisition and articulation at every station and in the professional lab meant for final outputs. The Department sits next to a large pond among lawns and sprawling trees and close to the fine library of SRFTI.