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Bengal government to set up animation academy in Sector V

The new academy will offer 3-year degree courses from the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology

By Snehal Sengupta in Calcutta
  • Published 20.07.19, 1:44 AM
  • Updated 20.07.19, 1:44 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Participants at the workshop on animation, gaming and VFX technologies with the finance and information technology and electronics minister, Amit Mitra (centre), at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in New Town on Friday. Picture by Sanat Kr Sinha

The state government will set up an academy in Sector V where students will learn tricks that go into the making of films such as Avengers Endgame and Lion King.

The academy will come up on a 1.5-acre plot near the College More intersection.

The “Centre for Innovation” will offer courses in animation — a method in which pictures are manipulated to appear as moving images, visual effects or VFX that helps to recreate natural disasters, bomb blasts, flying objects, super heroes, volcanoes in the movies.

VFX was widely used in all films including Avatar, Spiderman: Far from Home and the Transformers series. Another course will train students in cyber security.

Finance minister Amit Mitra, who is also the minister for information technology and electronics, said the state government wanted to develop a talent pool in these fields that were growing exponentially each year.

Mitra was speaking at a workshop on animation, gaming and VFX technologies organised by the Webel DQE Animation Academy held at the Biswa Bangla Convention Centre in New Town on Friday. Students of the academy who completed their one-year diploma courses were awarded certificates at the event.

“We want the centre that we will build to have the best of features. The existing set-up that we have in Sector V is also on a par with the best in the country,” Mitra said.

He said the industry was slated to grow fast because of increased penetration of broadband Internet and would require a skilled workforce to create content for it.

The new academy will be built on a plot earmarked for it in Sector V’s DP block and it will offer three-year degree courses from the Maulana Abul Kalam Azad University of Technology (MAKAUT), Debashis Sen, the additional chief secretary, IT and electronics department said.

“The 3D plan for the building is already complete,” said Sen.

More than 500 participants, mostly students from various educational institutes such as Jadavpur University, Burdwan University, Techno India University and Guru Nanak Institute of Technology, participated in the workshop that had several industry experts showcasing presentations about the various facets of the industry.

Nand Kumar Nair, an associate shoot supervisor for Yash Raj Films, in his presentation demonstrated how visual effects were used to augment scenes and create characters such as wolves and helicopters in Salman Khan-starrer Tiger Zinda Hai and Uri: The Surgical Strike that propelled Vicky Kaushal into stardom.

“The wolves pack that attacked Salman in Tiger Zinda Hai were all created using VFX. We had to study actual wolves and their behaviour to create their 3D models,” said Nair. Rajat Ojha, the CEO of Gamitronics, said that the future of gaming was in artificial intelligence.

“Right now it’s PUBG but artificial intelligence enabled games are going to take the market by storm,” Ojha said.

An IT and electronics department official said that the academy would be built within the next couple of years.