Over the last decade, the Indian animation industry has progressed from an outsourcing paradigm to developing its own intellectual animation property. Today, Indian animation has its own distinct presence and its own following, including international audiences and global appeal. Especially over the last decade, Indian animators have managed to develop a unique style that complements the subject but has a distinctly Indian sense of presentation which is both sophisticated in presentation and evolved in its narrative. We have progressed from being merely an ‘outsourcing’ hub for content to developing our own intellectual animation property.
It is not surprising then that the Indian animation sector has expanded by 24%, and the combined animation and VFX industry is predicted to reach Rs 180 billion by 2024, according to the FICCI EY March 2022 report.The balance of local and imported animated content is changing, and the Indian animation sector is growing in importance in the global arena. Broadcasting networks are diversifying their programming mix to include more locally produced content.
A part of the rising popularity of animation is can also be attributed to the breaking down of; language’ and ‘cultural’ barriers, with several stories now being made in multiple languages, keeping in mind the socio-cultural nuances and tastes of audiences. Similar to feature films, animation is now catching up and is becoming much more relevant to a wider set of audiences, compared to what it had been a decade ago, when only the most popular English animated content was translated in Indian languages and found a way to reach to Indian audiences.The rise of digitisation and streaming platforms, as well as efforts towards making the society digitally inclusive with local language boost, the local content has started gaining preference. Even though the characters and plot are local, it may attain global appeal as it is relevant and has human emotions that connect with the viewer.Local-language drama has obviously gotten much simpler to sell. Because of the advent of streaming services and the rising of content, consumers are embracing more subtitles and dubbed shows. Emotions and ideas can be felt in the same manner in any language, but they must be communicated in another language without sacrificing authenticity.Dubbing allows a far larger audience to have access to material and experience the massive number of shows created and disseminated globally.
A glimpse on why there is a rising popularity of animation content in non-English languages:
- Growth of OTT and its consumption
According to the data, growth will continue for the foreseeable future. The OTT sector in India is estimated to reach Rs 24 billion by 2021, with the video streaming market valued at INR 11.97K Cr by 2023.Consumption of regional material has been critical to this expansion. Its popularity has grown steadily, and according to KPMG estimates, regional language video consumption has reached 95%.
- Emergence of new technologies
The Indian industry has achieved global respect and recognition in terms of quality production and technology is now blossoming like never before. AI, VR, and AR might have a positive impact on the worldwide animation sector. To manage the simulation and user experience in animated material, animators utilise artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing in combination with a cognitive modelling technique to augment and virtualize the animation process. The storytelling community has long strived to create fresh effects, from experimenting with new approaches to incorporating pertinent cutting-edge technologies feasible in media material.
- The use of real-time workflow
The real-time render power of game engines such as Unity and Unreal can be utilised as an alternative for lighting, rendering, and compositing We are proven to be effective in using Unity for this purpose and fulfilling our digital delivery deadlines. As a future trend, we see a lot of potential in this sector, which can save more man and machine hours of production.
- Creativity and Cost-effectiveness
The most important qualities of Indian animation today are its creativity and cost-effectiveness. As a result, global industry leaders attempt to immediately establish their manufacturing facilities in India or in conjunction with existing pioneers. These production companies are youthful, well-prepared, and have an international emphasis to explore the area with zeal, and they have a firm grasp and comprehension of the ever-changing market.
India’s rich stories, culture, and creative skill are seeing a boom in unique IP development, with storylines meticulously moulded into broad appeal and beauty. In many respects, we are at the beginning of the creative potential of the Indian animation business, and we will undoubtedly see innovative themes and concepts carried to unfathomable heights as the industry’s creative side continues to grow.
(Hansa Mondal, COO, Ssoftoons)