- Fingerprint No. 2, by Joshua Chen
- The Strategic Designer, by David Holston
- Flourish, Banner, Frame: 555 Ornaments and Motifs for Design and Illustration, by Von Glitschka
Industry Perspectives: On Animation Design
Sriram Jagganathan, Animator at HeyMath!, develops animation and content for k-12 e-learning. He is a Graduate of Fashion Designing from NIFT, Chennai
What are your primary duties as an animator at HeyMath!?
HeyMath! creates mathematics e-learning courses for schools, which includes story-based and game-based lessons and activities. The Subject Matter Experts and content writers create a script and give it to me. In my role as animator, I work with the content writers to visualise what the flow of the lesson should be. After this, it’s the animator’s job to fully design the layout, elements, drawing and animation of characters – in short, to animate the whole script. I also design posters, flyers, presentations etc.
What qualifications, training and skills do you deem necessary in an aspiring animator?
The most important characteristic which I think one should have is the skill of observation. Once you start observing things around you, it is then a matter of translating that onto paper or software. This is important for any creative person and is what helps during the visualisation process of any design brief. Sketching and a sense of colour are, of course, expected. Design and layout skills are important too. Knowledge of software such as Flash, Photoshop, and 3D ones like Maya is indispensable. Institutes like NID offer degree courses in animation which are extremely useful.
How and when did you realise that this was the career for you?
I had done a three-year course in fashion designing and worked in the garment field for a couple of years. But I felt that I was stagnating, in terms of creativity. Then a friend of mine told me about animation design and I started studying this area closely. I discovered how animation could be used in creating interesting and interactive education materials, and I figured that I could give it a shot. This was in 2000, when animation as a profession was just picking up in India. I attended a couple of courses in Photoshop, Flash, and 3D. The three years of formal education I had in fashion designing helps me even today. It’s the foundation of my career, and helps me “think” as a designer, a creative person.