FRAMEBOXX 2.0 – Capturing Creative Excellence with an Eye for Quality

Rajesh R. Turakhia Founder Frameboxx 2.0 | Insights Success | Business Magazine

In an exclusive interview, Rajesh R. TurakhiaFounder of Frameboxx talks about his journey and the state of current Animation and Visual Effects industry.

  1. Kindly brief us about the inception story of Frameboxx?

Frameboxx was founded in 2008 with the idea of providing industry relevant courses, so that student can come up as an industry ready artist.
There was always a huge gap of proper on-job environment during student’s education cycle. We fulfilled this void by a concept called ‘Incubation Centre’ at Frameboxx. We trained students through live projects. There was the pressure cooker environment of client handling, providing quality output within deadline, working as team and other such challenges that come from typical production processes. Various studios appreciated this methodology very well. The whole idea was to make Frameboxx to become very industrial relevant education training institute.

  1. With over 2 decades of experience in Animation and Visual effects, kindly talk about your professional journey– starting from your initial days, success stories, and challenges, to name a few.

I started my first journey with an educational training institute named MAAC (Maya Academy of Advanced Cinematics) as a Founder in 2001. My biggest challenge was that there was not enough manpower available to take up that demand which was coming. We designed a course which encompasses softwares, required by an Animator. It was named as ‘Techno Artist Training’. So, if you are an artist, we teach you technical skills and you become a Techno Artist, who in turn becomes viable artist in the industry.
The other challenge was that the parents were not willing to let their children enter into this industry. We held many seminars all across India to give them exact idea of prospects that this industry offers. Another challenge was on software and hardware side. They were pretty expensive. But, around 2002-03, we saw decline in prices. This also helped to get boom in the industry.
We saw tremendous success because the employment was very good at that time and all our students were picked up by leading Animation and VFX studios. We were successful in providing the industry with much required artists. This led us to have phenomenal growth of almost 100%, year on year, for all our institutes.
Later on, in 2008, I started Frameboxx. During this time, we also tied up with leading education brands including Seneca College, Canada to and Anglia Ruskin University, UK to give international certification to our students. Apart from ‘Frameflixx Awards’, our student movies have also won in FICCI BAF Awards, Golden Cursor Animation Awards, AAROHI Film Festival, Mofilm, CGT Awards and many more.
Working on the notion of continuous development, we launched our self in a completely new avatar named ‘Frameboxx 2.0’. It is ‘Premier Academy for Media & Creative Arts’ which is amalgamation of various creative and technical skills, required by Media & Entertainment industry. We enlarged our gamut of creative design and visual art, by adding new verticals of new media technologies and creative research.

  1. After completing your MBA from University of Hartford in Finance & Marketing, what inspired you to indulge into this world of creativity?

I started off in a business of importing and selling high-end computer equipments to Animation and VFX studios. I sensed it as very attractive business. I saw great potential in Indian industry to become hub for Animation outsourcing.
As I was always inclined towards education training side, it attracted me to launch business of education training. I got this opportunity when I joined Maya Entertainment Limited in 2000. In 2001, I launched this initiative of training institute.

  1. Kindly elaborate your views on the evolution of the Indian Animation Industry over the last decade along with the key areas that have driven this growth?

The Indian animator is very well versed with English language and is computer savvy, which have been the major key factors. Our artists understand the language of international directors, their instructions and scripts. It made possible to get quality work from foreign market. Majority of today’s Hollywood block buster movies have some components of Indian work, as they are outsourced to us. Credentials of artists range from entry level to lead job roles. Many important sequences of ‘The Jungle Book’ movie were executed by Indian artists at MPC, Bengaluru. Baahubali 1 and 2 are also majorly conceived, supervised, produced and executed by Indian artists.
It also led to lot of international Animation and VFX studios to open their own setups. Some of the best examples are Dneg, Method Studios, MPC, Mr. X, The Mill and Framestore.
The second stage of the growth was mainly due to increased number of TV channels along-with local and international OTT platforms (Netflix, Amazon Prime, Voot, ALTBalaji, Sonly LIV, Eros Now, ZEE5, Hotstar).

  1. Frameboxx is run and managed by Industry experts and professionals – kindly elaborate on the contribution of these experts.

From day one, every course designed in my education ventures, have always been in consultation with industry professionals to make course industry relevant. We have continued to keep them on our advisory board and governing panel to keep constant watch on quality content. Seeing this professional approach, lots of software companies gave us huge technical support by providing us latest updates and trends of the market.

  1. Kindly explain the various courses offered by Frameboxx. How does an industry-orientated course differ from the traditional courses offered by other institutes and organization?

Basics of the courses are the same regardless of them being taught by any institute. But the fact is that, when the teaching is done by industry people, they teach you what is relevant with its complete set of tips and tricks used by the industry. The examples are also taken from post production pipeline, not from books.
Frameboxx focuses on teaching techniques and creativity, not just the software tools. How would an artist approach a software is more important rather somebody teaching how to use the software. We blend this very artistic approach in our teaching methodology to give the best knowledge to the student.

  1. Kindly brief us about the various collaborations with internationally acclaimed technologists along with animation & VFX studios that have helped you to gain a breakthrough in creating jobs in this field.

We are associated with Unity as ‘Authorized Training Partner’ for AR, VR and Gaming. Unity is already working on new technology to make animation artist’s life easy by truncating the time of animation process.
We are also associated with MESC to ascertain that our students are trained as per industry parameters and norms. Pixel Digital Studios is our industry partner. We are affiliated with Jagannath University to provide B.Voc. MAV (Media, Animation & VFX) and YCMOU to provide B.Sc. MGA Degree (B.Sc. in Media Graphics & Animation).

  1. Kindly share a piece of advice for the budding students who aspire to make it big in the Animation industry?

My one piece of advice which has been constant from last 20 years is that anybody who wants to enter in the industry must work as per international standards and expectations, when it comes to quality and deliverables.
We in India tend to compromise for giving quality output, we don’t hesitate to deliver less than 100%. While abroad, as I have seen, they have mindset and determination level to provide more than 110% quality output in stipulated timeline. They also don’t hesitate to say no, instead of accepting whatever work that comes in their way.
I realized it when some of test projects were submitted to international studios and got rejected. International supervisor pointed out small details that were overlooked by our Indian animators. I understood that, to get success in the foreign market, we will have to give more than 100%. To overcome this technical challenge, I roped in international supervisors in our production work to check our quality and making sure that we deliver the best output.
So, my first and only advice is that make sure your commitment to quality, deliverables and timing are 110%. Don’t mess on these three and you will have the world’s work handed to you.

  1. With your expertise and knowledge, what kind of challenges do you incur – in terms of emerging market players and freelancers, Animation industry, costs, and in projecting these courses as a career alternative?

Apart from India, there are also other countries which are delivering various local and international projects of Animation and VFX, including China and Singapore.
We are seeing a new wave in software market which cut down production cost. There are so many open source softwares which permits an artist to work on commercial purpose. Blender, Krita, Synfig, Pencil2D to name a few. Even for AR and VR, there are open source softwares / engines available like HoloKit and Apertus VR.
There was a time, when VFX was a part of miscellaneous budget of a movie. But, now-a-days, VFX had become an integral part of the movie. Ra-One, Krissh, Robot, 2.0, Baahubali 1 and 2, Eega are most known. Many people are switching from typical studies to Animation and VFX to cater this huge market.

  1. How do you analyze the key differences or shortfalls (if any) while comparing with the global VFX standards?

As I stated earlier, we intend to compromise in our output. ’Chalega’ and ‘unnes-bees’ are common terminologies in our production and post production pipeline. It will not help us to receive outsourced projects from international market, as they seek for 110% quality.

  1. “Hard work has no substitute” – how do you relate your journey with this quote?

I completely agree with the said sentence that to succeed, you have to work hard but also work smart. If you follow these two, surely you see success coming. In this industry specifically, there is a very different kind of commitment, it requires passion. If you have these three, then definitely this industry is for you.

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