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Post  Admin on Mon Dec 21, 2009 11:39 am

Different verticals of Animation and Gaming

Although entertainment forms the major chunk of the animation industry in India, there are many other streams that find application of this skill set. And it is crucial for animation professionals to consider these alternative streams as a career option as not all are skilled enough for the creative and technical requirements of the entertainment sector. A glimpse into some of these alternative streams was given at session 'Emerging Niches: Simulation, Medical Animation and Serious Gaming' paneled by Rajat Ojha, Head-Gaming and Projects, Zen Technologies, Vikram Vishwanathan, Director, Mark IV Animation and Chandra Shekhar Ghildiyal, Head Serious Gaming, Tata Interactive Systems and moderated by A K Madhavan, CEO, Crest.

(Chandra Shekhar Ghildiyal, Head Serious Gaming, Tata Interactive Systems, Rajat Ojha, Head-Gaming & Projects, Zen Technologies, A K Madhavan, CEO, Crest andVikram Vishwanathan, Director, Mark IV Animation)

Rajat Ojha spoke about his company that has been the leading name in India when it comes to simulation. Hyderabad based Zen Technologies has been doing simulation for training purposes since its inception in 1993. The simulators developed by Zen have been mostly for Indian Security Forces and Zen has also tied up with Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) for developing Heavy Equipment Mining Simulators. Recently the company decided to club its expertise in 3D application development, robotics and electronics and foray into gaming and is currently developing a PS3 game titled SnS.

Talking about simulators, Rajat said, "It's all about making games from the software aspect but these games have to be technically accurate, visually correct and all possible "IF" conditions must be considered. The complete pipeline remains the same as game development but preproduction is filled with collecting technical data and collecting real life references."

Giving an overview of the simulation industry worth in India Rajat said, "The simulation industry has annual revenue of USD 5 billion globally and most importantly this industry is recession proof."

“Medical animation is the fusion of art and science” says Vikram Vishwanathan, “it not only has to be visually correct but should also have technically accurate animation as it is used for purposes like visual representation of complex surgical procedures. It is a form of animation which is very detail oriented.

This form of animation finds application in industries like pharmaceutical, healthcare, medical equipment, publishing and e learning and CME and medical innovation amongst others. Vikram adds, “The tools used by us are the same as the ones used for the entertainment sector and one doesn’t need to have a science background to get into the same. Medical Animation is the Siberia of animation, unexplored and full of possibilities.”

Giving another dimension to games was the talk by Chandra Shekhar Ghildiyal on Serious Games. The games which are made specifically to achieve certain objectives come under the category of serious games. These objectives could be as diverse as creating awareness around political topics (news games), products and services (advergames), war tactics and strategies (war games) etc. Using games like Sept 12 (www.newsgaming.com/newsgames.htm), Get the Glass (www.gettheglass.com) and America's Army (www.americasarmy.com) as examples, he explained how important messages can be effectively communicated with games.

"My team at Tata Interactive Systems specializes in making exciting, game-based programmes to teach difficult, boring concepts in the education sector. Our games have also helped the corporate sector train people on business critical skills, leading to higher efficiency and productivity. We teach skills, concepts, processes, regulations etc through games," added Shekhar.

Knowing that these alternative verticals of animation and gaming also have such a large scale existence and consumption in India was very heartening. Goes on to say, entertainment is not the only solace for the huge number of animation students passing out year after year.

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