Animation, in a simple understanding, can be defined as creation of a succession of image frames which are combined into a film. Likewise, computer animation can be defined as an art of giving life and realism to computer-generated graphics or an art form that involves bringing still images to life using computer technology. It encompasses the integration of certain macro rules; the synchronization of complete multi-media where graphics, sound and motion are integrated. In fact the word ‘animation’ is derived from the phrase ‘giving life’. Computer animation is one of the youngest, most dynamic and most rewarding sector of today's Multi-media industry.
Animation has come a long way in the last few decades. It has been used from advertising to movies and from online pages to special effects to video games. Animation is not just for kids to enjoy after school cartoons or fairy tales in their TV screens. They are used exquisitely in education sector, business projects, Advertisements, Manufacturing industries, Medical science and engineering. Whether online or on the big screen, animation is in high demand— making animation a rewarding sector for making a good career. Animation can be a great contributor to the national revenue if government does its share to develop animation as a full-fledged industry in Nepal. But, though we won’t dare call animation an industry in case of Nepal, there are some self-taught, some qualified and some polished professionals doing their bits around to push the business volume up, to convince the local industries, the media, the corporates and the common people about what animation is and what it takes to create a mute character and breathe life into it.
Creating an animation consists of idea development, pre-production, production and post-production. The characters are created in idea development. In pre-production, the ideas are converted into layouts. Scriptwriting, storyboarding, character development, backgrounds, layout designing, animatics and voice comes under per-production. The actual result of the story can be visualised in the production stage which is a blend of animation, in-betweening or tweening (i.e the creation of intermediate frames between two main images to give the appearance that the first image flows smoothly into the second one), scanning, compositing (i.e combining images from different sources to create a finished frame of animation), background preparation and colouring. Final sound recordings, colour editing, testing and special sound effects are all added at the post-production stage. Post production stage activities includes editing, special effects (SFX), colour correction, compositing, voice and music editing and rendering. Rendering is the final touches to an animation scene, in which the data is converted to the raster image or animation.
To become an animator, one doesn't require any specific academic qualification. There are abundance of sources and tutorials available online. Those with a basic sketching skill and a passion for animation can enter this field. But having a degree or diploma in animation would always be an additional attribute for getting a better job as while pursuing a degree a student develops skills in drawing, acting, direction, camera movements for animation and digital animation, all of which are essential for 2D and 3D animation. Minimum qualification for a degree and diploma course in animation is plus two or equivalent.