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The Joyride – Animation as a Career
Sheikh Chilli - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

Sheikh Chilli - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

The world started seeing moving pictures through animation and not as live movies as per the popular notion. Sets of sequential pictures have been seen all over the world in different cultures. All Buddhist stupas have the entire storyboard of Buddha’s life left for us in accurate detail. Good enough for you to make out his life and transform into a movie or an animation.

Human beings learn maximum when the essence is delivered in terms of a story. This is especially in case of conceptual learning. To tell a story we have to put together a crew. Now sometimes our story becomes too difficult to tell when the setting is a fantasy, or if the risk involved is too much (like acting with a lion – over come in Narnia). And most of the folklore which build our character are fantasies of one’s mind. So it became important that man was able to create such imagery and animation became important.

Since the animators have to deal with such complex decisions. Art decisions are the toughest decisions and no computer has reached the point where it can take artistic decisions yet. Hence animation and storytelling require people who are artists by heart and willing to experiment and toil till they find the right answer.

Typically an animator is a person who is full of patience and reads voraciously (bookworm for the less initiated) and love literature and languages. The animator would usually be good at drawing and/ or painting. Some of them are good at acting or love to perform on stage in form of dancing. A few of these even write stories or poems. In short they are dreamers and usually can be expected to learn disciplines which give wings to their dreams. They do not care about money and are more likely to lend money on hunch than an engineer since they are emotional. This empathy is what makes them achieve emotion of screen.

Mouse Character - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

Mouse Character - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

To make a good career in animation you must start working on your drawing and there are some good books like “Drawing from the right side of brain” (Betty Edwards) which claim that anyone can learn drawing within 5 days. There are other experts too who claim similarly that drawing is a skill that can be acquired.

Parallely you could be working on your drama or literary skills as well. Being able to develop communication skills like these would anyway serve you all your life so do not hesitate just because your education board doesn’t know how to rate these skills and they go missing from your marksheet. I must state here that there are much more subjects you need to learn in your life that are not there on your high school marksheet than those that are on it. It can easily be stated that a little less knowledge of mathematics would not be so detrimental as a small lack of confidence that the stage can give.

Now once you’re ready to learn, there are 2 kinds of paths that you can take. One is the path of self learning that the best take (people like Gandhi, Chaplin, Einstein, Disney, Ghalib, Steve Jobs, CV Raman, Kabir, etc fall in this category). This is no way a safe path and more people fail than succeed in this path. The other is the path for lesser mortals. There are more chances of a safe career but consequently lesser chances of astounding success. However, it ensures that you go through structured learning within a reasonable time frame. However, this method is not able to keep pace with rare/ exceptional people, but is the best for the rest. Anyway not to confuse you further, mostly this path would be apt for you. Now you must choose a curriculum or an institute. If you are very clear about what you want to do, choose a curriculum and enroll for it. If you want to create a solid base go for an institute you like. Nothing but your innermost talent and passion should lead you to the course and the institute you choose. Go speak to people over there and see if you like their philosophy and they change your perspective. Try their website for more details. Typically go for a school which offers all the information including faculty on their website if all other things are the same.

The leading institutes in this field in the world are CalArts, USFCA, Sheridan, Vanarts, Seneca, Gobelins, George Mieles, Animation Mentor, Gnomon, Ringling, Savannah, USCLA, etc. Closer home in India some of the best would include IIT-IDC, NID etc. Then there’re the Arena, MAAC franchises (always research which centres are the good ones). There’re even some new colleges that are coming up and it would take some time before a college stands out from others in terms of quality.

Typically you must try to learn both the art of 2D as well as 3D animation to start with. Later on in life you may opt for one of these once you’re surer on what works best for you. Also, there’d be many options in 3D like lighting, rendering, texturing, modeling, rigging, blend shapes, animating etc. Similarly in 2D, like background artist, key animator, in betweener, in and paint artist, key compositor. There are some common areas too, like storyboarding, character design, background design, art research, compositing. There are some periphery areas too like sound design, voice artist, actors, story writers, screenplay writers etc. In fact, similarly there are many techniques of animation that you can work in – like clay animation, paper animation, light animation, sand animation, paint animation, jib jab animation, puppetry animation, pixilation etc besides the usual ones like flash animation, 2d animation, and 3d animation. There’re even periphery and neo-animation areas like Visual Effects, Motion Graphics, Web Design, Graphic Design, Matchmoving, Motion Capture, Stereography, etc.

While you are learning the art of animation do also work alongside on other creative areas like film making, photography, clay modeling, drawing, theatre, etc. Get reviews by knowledgeable people and take feedback without responding emotionally to it. Keep on visiting art galleries and improving your art appreciation ability. This would develop your creative eye and judgment. All this is immensely useful in creative decision making. Do also attend all workshops in your college and also take up paid workshop if a good expert is visiting. These workshops would help build your perspective. Try to find a faculty you resonate with and if you feel confident about the faculty do take suggestion and mentoring from him/ her. Do remember that faculty can change and do not respond personally to it, try to adapt yourself to change in environment and take everything in the right spirit. Also learn life skills by working with people you don’t personally like, when they are in your teams, especially if their skill set is good. Do also take faculty help in identifying good books and make it a habit to read a minimum of one page per day. You can mail me for a list of books if you like at

Scene Setup - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

Scene Setup - Storyboard sketch © VirtualSoft Studio, Chandigarh

Finally once you’re ready to step out of college, do build your portfolio to the desired level even if it delays your start. You can also go for an internship before going into the real market. This would help develop your skill to the next higher level. You can also form a group with some of your likeminded friends and work on a personal movie. A good movie can kick start your career like nothing. Also, if the movie wins a prestigious award you can expect to grow exponentially as the studios would not like to miss out of talent. For e.g. two of the students of gobelins school production “oktapodi” were hired for good sums and send to india to rhythm and hues to work on Hollywood films.

And when in doubt and short of answers, you can mail me. I shall try my best to solve your queries. 9872546753.,


Art and Craft Workshop

Today a workshop for Art and Craft was conducted inside the premise of Arena Chandigarh.
In this work shop students learned how to do an art work with thermocol and colour paints.
They learned in workshop how to design and colour in making the Cartoon character’s.
In the workshop students has shown group work, team strength as well as team spirit with utmost
dedication and enjoyment. This kind of workshop is typically usefull for Character designing for animation.

Nature Study Tour

Today a out door visit of Rock garden for sketching and nature study was conducted by Arena Animation 17 chandigarh for 2d animation classical batch. In this out door visit students learned study to nature and sketch with shade in open place. In this visit students has done Individual work ,with team strength as well as team spirit with utmost dedication and enjoyment. This kind of out door visit is typically useful for animation, background, layout design, camera angle and storyboard.

Arena 17 Animation Faculty Rated Best in India

Animation Artist and Mentor, Parminder Singh, fully nurtured in the premises of Arena Animation Chandigarh, Sector 17 and VirtualSoft Studio, has been rated best by Head Office on All India ground in a 3D character animation conducted by them.

A 10 second audio clip was given to all the faculty members across India by Head Office. Faculty members from all the centres were supposed to animate a character on the dialogue and submit to the Head Office. HO was to rate the quality of animation based on the final product as well as the working method the faculty member follows to get that final product.

Parminder secured 91 out of 100 and landed top in the entire country.


To rejoice the moment Parminder preferred to celebrate a cake party with all his animation students and team members. In the party all centre management and staff members joined to pat on his back for this success.

“..I would like to give all due credits to the most healthy learning environment of Arena Sector 17 premises.

Arena 17 Animation Faculty Rated Best in India

Arena 17 Animation Faculty Rated Best in India

Being associated with the academy for about 8 years I am in a position to give feedback on it to all the students. The academy is not only a perfect place to learn all creative skills, it has been excellent in teaching work ethos, work culture and management which are highly important parts in growth of an artist..”, Parminder stated on being congratulated by all the students and team members.

He added, “..I cannot forget the part strong mentoring and guidance of chief mentor, Mr. Vineet Raj Kapoor has played in my growth in the past years..”

Student Speak:

His animation students couldn’t stop commenting upon the 3D character animation training they are enjoying with him.

Ramandeep Ashal

linken..the way he communicates with us is simply too good. He know very well that how to teach low to high level

students…I have never seen any animation teacher like him with these top level skills. He is having so many skills in him…”- Linken, BSc 3rd year.

“..I am very happy and feeling lucky to attend animation classes of Parminder Sir… We are doing animation very deeply which are not normally taught by anyone anywhere..”- Ramandeep Ashal, BSc 3rd year.

Shubham“..he is very good in animator. The animation exercises are very enjoyable and it takes lot of patience to do them..I have to thank Parminder Sir for giving us professional training of animation”- Shubham Saini, BSc 3rd year.Mangat

“..he teaches us with emotions. If we fail then it hurts him more than us. I only want to say that we are lucky because we have a teacher like him..”  – Mangat, BSc 3rd year.

Ramandeep Kaur“..before his classes I thought I am not able to do animation, but after attending Parminder Sir’s classes, my thinking has totally changed…”  – Ramandeep Kaur, BSc 3rd year.

Arena Chandigarh Bags 3 Film and 3 3D Model Nominations

For the first time ever Arena Chandigarh bagged 3 student film nominations and 3 3D Character Model nominations at the prestigious Creative Minds Awards. For the first time they went beyond mere pixilation work and created more arty stop motion, live and 3d animations. Arena Chandigarh faculty came together to inspire their students to create animation films alongwith their studies. The students worked hard during the months of August and September to complete their films and artwork. It was noticed that the students with passion ended up outdoing many students with more talent. Dedicated groups working with their faculty produced quality much better than their predecessors from earlier years. You could see Walt Disney’s “a boy with a dream..” while seeing them work!

Art Orientation Workshop for BSc I Year and AAIP Batches
Art Orientation Workshop for BSc 2011 First Year and AAIP Batches

Art Orientation Workshop for BSc 2011 First Year and AAIP Batches

An Art Orientation Workshop was held early this week with participation from the BSc I Year and AAIP Batches. Conducted by Highly experienced and Expert Design and Classical Animation Faculty Sanjay Kumar, this was a Half Day Workshop. The students eagerly participated in the understanding of colors and shapes in the physical domain. The end results were interesting with students showing their interpretation of the chosen object of study – the symbolic chakra representing the Sun Temple of Konark.

New BSc and AAIP Batches begin classes
BSc Batch Photograph alongwith AAIP new Batch

BSc Batch Photograph alongwith AAIP new Batch

The new BSc 2011 (First Year) and AAIP Batches began classes in the end of July. They are currently experiencing a journey of rediscovery. They have done some time travel through the last 100 years in the world history and got to learn about how animation grew to the current stage. They also went through various exercises which inculcate the right values and attitude required to learn and perform animation.

Arena Chandigarh students make second Claymation Short Movie

Fibre, A group of 5 students of Arena Chandigarh alongwith Animation Mentor and Director, Vineet Raj Kapoor created an Animation Short titled “The Label” based on a short story by the Director-Storywriter Vineet Raj Kapoor. The students premiered the movie on 15 April 2011 in front of their faculties and co-students. The students explained the process adopted by them to make the movie. The Feedback was mixed with some very positive and some normal feedback. The enthused students and their director immediately announced the launch of their second film. Watch this space for more updates…

Acting for Animation Workshop held for BSc (Multimedia and Animation) and other students
Acting for Animation Workshop for BSc Multimedia and Animation

Acting for Animation Workshop for BSc Multimedia and Animation

An intensive workshop on Acting for Animation was held for 3D Animation Students of BSc 3rd year on 21st July 2011.

It was based on developed methodologies and techniques used by Renowned Trainer – Neeraj Kabi, who has trained around 350 professional animators in the art of acting at Mumbai’s biggest animation studios- CREST ANIMATION STUDIOS, TATA ELXSI, RHYTHM & HUES and PAPRIKAAS [Bangalore],

Workshop was conducted by Animation Artist and Faculty Parminder Singh, who personally got trained from Neeraj Kabi.

The students participating clearly felt the magical effect within the first few minutes. Within 2 hours they were into the effect of the scientific technique used in it, and started getting transported into other time and emotion.

Exercises included – Mind-Body, Mind-Emotion, Breath-Body-Mind-Face-Voice, Transporting to another time using action memory, Travelling into another creature’s mind and becoming that creature using perceptual memory.

Also during the workshop they got to learn the face exercises that all actor or animators using their face as reference must do daily. Gesture study of facial expression was also an important aspect.

Then there were more high end exercises for characterization. Wherein methodologies of chanting were used. Within this the Drunkard exercise actually produced all attributes of drunkard in all the acting students. It took around half an hour to bring them back to normal.

The last show of Street Fight joined all the exercises to create a performance that anybody watching would find it to be performed by professional actors.

Within one day all animation students got a hang of impulse that should be generated for any performance which is the most essential part to create living performance in animated character.


“After this workshop, whatever doubts I had about acting, got totally resolved. We came to know while attending this workshop, what is the difference between Natural acting and Theatrical acting.

Got informed about those shortcoming at personal level which I could not have learnt from any book.

We came to know what characterization is and what it takes to absorb and represent a character.

All in all it was great and entertaining experience. Thank you Arena for providing us such a great Workshop” – Anurag Shandilya (BSc 3rd year)

“In one Act, I started actually crying while doing acting. I myself was unable to know what was happening to me. I came to know a lot about myself also.. Thanks to everyone, Parminder Sir, Arena and my friends…” - Nitin Doda (BSc 3rd year)

..gained lots of knowledge about how the acting is done in animation as well as in real life… I came to know about different types of characterization techinques..” – Divya (BSc 3rd year)

” I am feeling a big change in myself after attending this acting workshop. Thank you Arena” – Varinder (BSc 3rd year)

“I learnt very important thing for acting, that acting is not fake. Acting is that which is original, if the soul of actor is not in the character it is not a good actor..” – Ramandeep Ashal

“Its a awsome experience of this workshop… It reduces my tensions, take my mind to clear track of my life… I want that this same session will again take place in future..” – Tejasvi (BSc 3rd year)

“I learnt so much from this workshop. I am very glad to be part of it….we did lots of things, acting scene, action, games and all the things really enjoyed… Lots of things learnt from him..” – Shubham Saini (BSc 3rd year)

SCULPTING FOR 3D Workshop held for students

A SCULPTING FOR 3D Workshop was held for students on 13 June 2011.

It goes without doubt that before a student starts sculpting in the CG created 3D world it would be a huge advantage if he gets a chance to try his hands on sculpting in real world.

The students find difficulty in creating 3D characters when they start working in 3D environment just because they are not able connect it to real world. Learning the feel of sculpting character with hands and sticking to that experience even in CG platform is the trick to learn 3D Modeling naturally, efficiently and fast.

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