Filipino artists have played a big role in the global animation industry for decades, turning imagination into reality in some of the world’s most prominent computer-animated films and games.
Little do most people know, Pinoy animators were among the artists behind popular animated films like Inside Out, Monsters University, Wall-E, Zootopia, and Big Hero 6. Filipino artists were even able to provide graphics for global video game firms like Sega and Nintendo.
The animation business has existed in the Philippines for decades. Notwithstanding the growth of technology today, the industry is thriving more than ever before.
The need to embrace digital transformation is now evident as technology has revolutionized how entertainment is consumed.
Local schools such as the Cordillera School of Digital Arts (CSDA) in Baguio City aim to produce graduates who can use their talents in digital arts to serve the Filipino public.
CSDA offers training programs in digital animation, creative web design, and game development, among others. With a digitized training school and studio, CSDA is able to expose its students to the digital animation industry.
“Growing this talent is really a great fruit from our whole program as a school,” said Raul Boncan Jr., Founder and President of CSDA. “The training school is our manner of bringing in talent into the picture so they can have a career. The studio is the output where the students can now move into the pipeline for work.”
Running a training school and a studio in the animation industry is a profitable venture, Raul said, emphasizing the vast career options and various business opportunities available for animation graduates.
“Animation is not a very easy business. It’s a high barrier-to-entry business, (but) it’s now a very lucrative career for people, and also a lucrative business for individuals or entrepreneurs who wish to venture into animation as a studio or even as a school,” he said.
Success does not come easy in starting a business in animation, but Raul shared some essential tips on how to succeed in the local animation industry.
For Raul, succeeding in the animation industry is all about competency. Making the most out of animation school can greatly help animators, he said, noting the importance of practical activities while in school.
“I think it’s really about the competency, [namely] spending a lot of time doing the work that is required, hitting that level of requirement, and [understanding] the demands of the client [from this industry],” he said.
Enthusiasm is essential in learning animation. To be well-trained in using digital tools to create animation, the learner must take the initiative to learn and practice the art.
“I think you just have to keep on going and pushing yourself. Just challenge yourself to learn more,” he said.
It is also important for young animators to learn from and collaborate with their peers, Raul said. He highlights the country’s alliance of animation institutions—the Animation Council of the Philippines (ACPI)—which banded together to ensure the growth of the industry.
“ACPI is our key representative who sees that our interests are met within the industry, so that as the industry grows we can bring in more graduates into the pipeline for work,” he said.
“In a small way, we do a lot of collaboration amongst ourselves; like in the past, an animation studio [would] send outsourced work to us in Baguio… so that our new graduates could work already,” he noted. “Everybody needs to collaborate; everybody needs to learn from everybody; everybody needs to share.”
Communication and collaboration—this is how the rapid advancement of technology helped animators across the world create stunning design.
It is not just the tools and software, but also the connection that has helped animators share creative ideas, collaborate with each other, and produce good animation.
Starting a business in animation can be worthwhile, but running and managing the operations makes it challenging.
But, with technology helping the animation industry, Raul sees limitless possibilities. “As an artist, I think there is no limit. I think you just have to keep on going and pushing yourself, and just challenge yourself to learn more,” he added.
In addition, cutting-edge digital solutions made for animation allows your business to create worry-free operations that can help you stay ahead of the game.
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