Anu Handa



What is Animation?

Animation is the art of storytelling created by manipulation of still images to appear as moving objects on screen, which may be drawn, painted or computer generated. A flip book is the simplest example of hand made animation.

Animation Designers create visual effects to be used in various industries like films, video games, websites, user interfaces and commercials with the help of computer softwares.


Lets have a look at some different types of Animation:

  1. 3D Animation
  2. Hand Drawn Animation
  3. 2D Vector Animation
  4. Stop Motion Animation
  5. Motion Graphics Animation



1. Story - The first and the most fundamental thing to do before starting an animation film is to come up with a good story idea. On the basis of the story then decide your characters, location, theme ie the story is a comedy or suspense thriller etc. Also decide which type of animation you are planning to use in the film and how much time you can devote for the project.

2. Writing the script - When you have the story idea in your mind, its time to put it on paper. You discover more ideas when you translate your ideas into words & give your idea a concrete form by putting it on paper. This also helps you to find out whether the story actually works or not. Writing a script also helps you in finding any flaws or loopholes in the story, adjusting the pace of the story and revising the characters if needed.

3. Storyboard - A Storyboard can look like a comic-strip but is very different in functionality. It is a series of ordered drawings which help you to pre-visualize the film, with camera direction, dialogue etc. and shows how a story will play out, scene by scene. Storyboards can be hand-drawn or created with the help of a software. It also allows you to find out any flaws to the story narration and saves you time and money in the long run. Most laymen understand storyboard better than script so it’s a better idea if you want to have some feedback. Before starting to storyboard, read & re-read your script & write down the dialogues if you have any. Storyboarding is one step ahead of script-writing and adds life to your story. It is visual and the script is text based.

4. Animatic - Like a storyboard, Animatic is also used to pre-visualize the film to see if any changes are needed before going to production. Animatic is where you can see your film come to life for the first time. The boards are edited with the dialogue recordings, sound and timer. Animatic is important as after this step, the film goes into production and further changes will prove costly.


5. Character Modelling – The next step is to do 3D modelling of characters, props etc in a software, according to your story. The models are then rigged so that they can be animated later.

6. Animation - After the characters are ready, its time to move them, bring action and life to the film.


7. Texturing – Lighting – Rendering - When the Animation is ready, its time to put textures to 3D Modelling. For Example, the face of the character has to be given texture of skin. Similarly, other objects may have to be textured for glass or metal. Once texturing is done, lighting is applied to various scenes as required, like daylight or night time lighting. Once all the shots are textured and lighting applied, the film is rendered for the final output.

8. Editing – Colour Correction - Sound Design - Colour correction is done so that the colours in the shots of the film match that of the scene before and after the shot. Sound and dialogues are inserted to match the action of the film. After the editing and applying the above steps, credits are added and the final film is ready to be exported.

How to get into Animation

The first step to get into the Animation Industry is to get yourself a Bachelors Degree in Animation Design. The study course ensures that the student is equipped with the technical know-how of the field and the relevant softwares along with the creative strengths required for the field. After graduation students prepare their portfolios which showcase their abilities. An internship in the field is the next step towards getting some practical experience in the field. A Masters Degree provides you with that competitive edge in the job industry, where you can start working as a specialist.

Most entry-level jobs require a Bachelors Degree, but many creative Animators who self-studied, without any formal education have also made a name for themselves in the industry. Many Animators work in the industry on freelance basis. The freelance work with established firms add to their portfolio and experience, further enriching their chances of landing with promising works.

Animation Design Eligibility Criteria

For Graduation Degree: Though eligibility criteria may vary, but most colleges allow candidates who have completed 10+2 (Science/Commerce/Arts stream) from a recognized board to take part in their admission process.

For Postgraduation Degree: To pursue a Masters in Animation Design, a Bachelors Degree in design is required. 

Animation Design Entrance Exams

All popular colleges conduct entrance exams in order to offer admissions to aspiring candidates. Some of the top Entrance Exams for Design are conducted by NID, NIFT and CEPT.

Animation Design Course Curriculum

Though the curriculum may vary from college to college, some of the common subjects include:

  • Kinematics
  • Cinema & Animation Studies
  • Visual Effects
  • Pre Production
  • Digital Film Making
  • Sound Design


There are many animation softwares available in the market. Some are free and some are paid. Lets have a look at the ones most popular with the animators:

  1. Common softwares used for 3D Animation include Blender, Autodesk Maya and Cinema 4D.
  2. For 2D Animation, Animate CC, After Effects, Character Animator, Toon Boom Harmony and TV Paint are some good choices.
  3. Stop Motion Studio and Dragonframe are some of the softwares used in the industry for Stop- Motion Animation.

CAREER IN Animation can be in the following fields:

  1. TV Industry
  2. Ads or Commercials
  3. Films
  4. Video Gaming Industry
  5. Freelancer

About the Author: Anu Handa is an Interior Designer, DIY Artist, Co-Founder and Educator at Mosaic Institute of Design. She has been the lead blogpost writer at since 2009. Her educational background in Interior Design, Urban Planning and the English Language has given her a broad base to cover a range of topics in her articles. Anu has spent 15+ years training Design & B.Arch Aspirants for entrance exams.

Passionate about Design Education, she’s briefly worked with Annamalai University as a paper setter for Design Exams. Likes to write about Design, Architecture and related fields, on online platforms like Quora. Aims at challenging the conventional & age old teaching methodology