Game On: Karnataka Government To Set Up Exclusive Centre Of Excellence in Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming and Comics in Bengaluru Ministry of IT, BT, to set up centre in association with Association of Bangalore Animation Industry

Bengaluru 19th January, 2018: It is no secret that Bengaluru is leading the country in terms of high-tech products and services, as well as in design and development. Now, the city will add one more feather in its cap, with a brand new Centre Of Excellence that will serve the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming, and Comics industry.

The AVGC industry is a fast growing sector in India, with many new games, animations and cartoons, comics, being produced in India for local and international consumption. The industry has transformed – from being a simple back-office for outsourcing, to creating its own intellectual property, and its own unique look and feel.

The Indian animation industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 8.5% (INR 20.9 billion) during 2016-20 and the VFX and post-production segments are expected to grow at a CAGR of 18.5% (INR 87.1 billion) during 2016-20. Today, more and more animated films, video games, are being made in India even as the comics and graphic novel sector is finding new takers across age groups. Bengaluru is also home to the annual ComiCon convention which sees international studios, designers and creators, and fans interacting with each other.

It is against such a backdrop that the Government of Karnataka, under the ministry of Information Technology is setting up the AVGC Centre of Excellence.

The centre, to be set up in collaboration with the Association of Bangalore Animation Industry – the apex body for the sector, is designed as a holistic, state-of-the-art centre with a host of facilities and features.
Announcing the decision, Shri Priyank Kharge, minister of IT, BT, S&T, Govt of Karnataka said, “We already know that Bengaluru leads the country in high tech. We already know that some of the most ardent fans for design, development, animation, comics, and video games, are in the city. This is the logical next step for us. We would like to see Karnataka in general, and Bengaluru in particular, be the world leaders for great content and high tech. This Centre of Excellence will be a great boost for the Animation and allied industries.”

The Centre of Excellence will feature a digital post-production lab with technologies such as motion capture, 2D and 3D animation and high speed rendering Performance capture, AR/VR Lab, VFX camera systems and Imaging and DI color correction, a High speed camera, Mastering station and a Render farm. The centre will also provide services such as film scanner, restoration and more. Further, an AVGC Finishing School will be set up that will train the next generation of talent for the industry. The finishing school will offer a number of courses and programmes, and will be supported by the industry members and academia in mentorship, networking, and more.

Shri Kharge said, “This is the highlight of the Centre. It is not enough to just have the physical infrastructure. We need the minds and the hands to use it effectively. The finishing school will create world leaders, and offer employment to our many talented individuals.”

This move is intended to give a shot in the arm to the animation sector. The fully equipped post production lab will help create original IP content and bridge the gap between the animators and content aggregators like Amazon Prime or Netflix. The finishing school will help groom local talent and also invite talent from rest of the nation in the AVGC sector, considered a sunrise industry. Animation has seen a lot of interest from entrepreneurs who are content rich and are looking for broadcasters for a platform.

The Finishing School will offer rigorous apprenticeship programs ranging from 3 to 12 months depending on the discipline. It will be industry-driven in terms of curriculum, course material design and pedagogy. The training and mentoring will be provided by a pool of senior / lead level professionals from the studios. The curriculum will be designed with emphasis on hands-on exercises; the participants will be assigned test shots with increasing complexity; they will receive critique and will have to turn around iterations simulating real-world production. The program will look at the all-round development of the participants by laying emphasis on tool proficiency, workflow as well as nuances of communication and collaboration.

The Government of Karnataka, department of IT, BT, & S&T will set up the Centre of Excellence and AVGC Finishing school, and will support its activities for a 3 year period. The industry body ABAI, and mentors, talent, and professionals from the industry will support the centre with their technical expertise, real-time projects and work, and mentorship. The centre is expected to become self-sustaining in 3 years time, and is expected to be a great revenue earner for the state of Karnataka, and be a huge employment source for its citizens.

With the Centre of Excellence, the government of Karnataka scripts another success story by giving impetus to a sector which till date had been identified a low lying sector. Initiatives like these will help the animation, visual effects and gaming industry to witness the kind of surge it deserves.