What is the difference between Animation and Visual Effects (VFX)

At present, we are experiencing a huge increase in content with respect to Animation with the expansion of cable, satellite TV and the OTT platform. Animation & VFX content is not only being consumed in Netflix, Disney Hotstar, Amazon Prime, Sony Liv, Zee TV but also on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, YouTube etc. Streaming video content is growing so fast that it is experiencing more than double growth in terms of viewership across the globe and this is further going to rise. Also, there has been rapid development in Visual Effects(VFX) as more and more moviegoers are demanding better and more engaging visual effects in movies and streaming content. If we follow the last 10 years trend, the present demand for Animation and Visual Effects has crossed all boundaries. 

Today, viewers are more likely to watch TV shows and movies that seem to be more realistic and have value for money. Thus we are seeing a whole lot of content being developed using Animation and Visual Effects (VFX) which are being available to the masses. The media & entertainment industry has seen a huge boost with the growth of these segments.

So, if you want to choose which career is a more lucrative option, then you have to understand the difference between VFX and animation. Along with that, try to understand what are its possible uses. Only after acquiring the correct skill sets, can you flourish and opt for different career options in these industries.

To begin with, you have to get admission to any animation course in Kolkata. Try to select an institute that has a good reputation and all the advanced facilities. 

What is animation?

Animation is the art of giving life to images, illustrations, characters etc. and these combined with motions gives us what we know as Animation. The main emphasis in animation goes on painting, sketching, or drawing, and these are brought to life by implementing the effects. 

If you go through any Disney movies, then it works as a classic example of how animation works. Here the different forms of animation used are stop motion, computational animation, traditional animation, etc. 

Now, if you are creating any animation, you need to move frame by frame where objects are made to appear as if they are moving. Animations are usually referred to as 2D or 3D. A popular example of 2D imagery goes back to our childhood, which includes Aladdin, Lion King, etc. And, if you consider 3D depictions, then they are movies like Toy Story, Frozen, Gravity, Avatar and every animated blockbuster that are being produced these days.

Isn’t it a very entertaining and exciting profession? But to be part of it, you cannot apply any DIY hacks; rather get a proper course from a reputed institute. This will help you to learn from scratch and grow as an animator. Now, to learn the basics, you must join the best animation course in Kolkata. This would help you to get details about the industry, how it works and how you should move ahead in your career path.

What is VFX? 

These are computer-generated graphics where you get the illustration of real-life images. Moreover, a person needs to have knowledge of art and how to handle the software. This is mostly used by filmmakers who want to amplify the effect and provide a reality-based transformation. 

The best example of VFX is the most popular movie Baahubali. VFX effects are usually added to the background of any movie by using the software. This process is implemented during filming and is part of the post-production phase of any filmmaking.

Now, there are various ways that are used to provide a VFX effect, such as rotoscoping, compositing, matte painting, and digital animation. They are actually a blend of digital compositing techniques and computer-generated images. You can find many institutes offering a VFX course in Kolkata. This is just a stepping stone towards a professional career as a VFX artist. 

At present, 3D Animation & VFX  are widely being used, and you can see combining motion in the form of capture footage, along with animated figures in movies such as Dawn of the Planet of the Apes. In this case, visual artists need to create clay models, get them scanned, and then use the software to make them look like real objects or visuals.

6 Core Differences between Animation and VFX

Often, it has been seen that the words VFX and Animation are being used interchangeably, but it is a total misconception. They have separate working formats and also require different sets of skills. 

Further, you need to debunk the myths, and for that, you have to understand the differences between Animation and VFX. This will also help you to make a choice in terms of your career path.

Application of animation and visual effects

Animation is being used in every field, starting from advertisements, website designs, campaigns to gaming. The media industry is entirely filled with animated projects. So, one needs to be skilled enough to create illustrations and graphics to be part of this industry.

On the other hand, VFX effects are only used in documentaries, movies, and TV shows. In this case, no images are manipulated, rather, models are created, and then they are scanned to create realistic visuals. Moreover, the VFX industry is slowly occupying the gaming industry and has become an important aspect of creating mind-blowing online games.

Software skills used for animation and VFX

Autodesk Maya is the most popular animation software, which is being used both by animators and VFX artists. Also, 3D graphics can also be processed along with Autodesk 3DS Max software. There is also a lot of other software that is being used in this industry for all the modern days graphic and visual effects like Blender, After Effects, Houdini etc.. 

If you particularly concentrate on VFX, then Adobe After Effects and Foundry Nuke are the core softwares based on which digital visuals are being created. This helps to create complex graphics, and most production houses use this software. 

Along with this, the most standard software that is quite popular is Photoshop. It has all the features that are required to provide a realistic visual and high-end design. To learn more about the usage of the software and its features, it is always recommended to be part of any VFX course in Kolkata. This actually gives the leverage to wrap up the work without any downtime. 

There are other various software that can be used by both animators and visual effect artists. But, while choosing, it is quite important to understand their difference. Based on your requirement, you must choose the right software for your usage. Rest we leave it to you to find out.

Courses to join the industry

There are certain basic requirements that you need to fulfill to apply for either animation or a VFX course. The requirements are quite minimal, and you can easily get admission to the top design or animation schools in India. However, the eligibility criteria might differ along with the fees for animation courses, structure, faculties, staff, and curriculum.

So, always look for classrooms that are offering high-end courses, follow the latest updates, and the classroom is advanced. Right after completing your 10 + 2 course from any recognized school, you can enroll in an animation or VFX course.

You can join an animation course in Kolkata without much hassle. An understanding of computers and a passion for drawing are enough to help you get a chance at the most reputed institution.

These institutes usually have a connection with film production houses or reputed animation studios. So, it also gives you the chance to know about the professional industry by being a part of it.

Career map of animation and VFX

If you want to understand VFX and animation in terms of career opportunities, then they do overlap. However, there are a lot of attributes, start from – you must understand the core difference lies in the skills. As an animator, you have to draw cartoons and use software that makes the cartoons appear realistic.

On the other hand, VFX artists have to spend their time on digital painting, understanding the principles of compositing and rotoscoping. They need to have the skills to take out the raw footage or real-life videos and then merge them with creative elements. Usually, VFX artists work for the production houses; it can be on the field or remotely based. But, to reach this career point, one needs to start by joining a VFX course in Kolkata.

Job profile you should choose 

When there is a vacancy for a creative artists in the media industry, the job profiles tend to differ for an animator and a VFX artist. If you are an animator, then you need to look out for job profiles, such as 3D Animator, 2D Flash animator, 3D Modeler, Light/Texture artist, Rigger Graphic designer or Director of Art, etc. 

On the other hand, VFX experts mostly apply for job profiles that include lightning artist, matte painter, layout artist, visual effects composer, and more. There are different requirements that are placed by the companies based on the job profile. 

So, if you ask an expert, they would always ask you to polish your basics, join an animation and Visual effects course and make a proper portfolio of your works. Along with skill, companies will evaluate you on your work portfolio or showreel which you have compiled towards the end of your course. This will help you get a job in the industry. 

Career growth in the industry

It is quite obvious that you would like to select a career that has immense growth opportunities and VFX and Animation are, at present, the most high paying jobs. Both these job profiles offer you high growth and lucrative salaries. 

Creative people are getting opportunities and recognition that they deserve, owing to animation and VFX careers. The salary is likely to start from Rs 20000-30000 and it keeps on growing. The sole reason is that both these fields are in high demand at present. Moreover, there is also a scarcity of people who are willing to engage in this career path. 

Moreover, you can also opt for freelancing work. But, when compared with VFX experts, an animator has more scope to get a job as a freelancer. But, to begin with, you must have completed a proper course and have a passion for creating out-of-the-box designs. Thus, for that, you must join an animation course in Kolkata.

How to get admission to animation and VFX courses?

There are various institutes offering animation and visual effects courses either in the form of a Certificate or Diploma. So, you first need to decide whether you would opt for a Certificate course or a diploma.

Both have high value, but while applying for a job, you might find that the company that you are targeting will have preset criteria to screen candidates and your job selection will be done on the basis of your work portfolio or showreel. So, make sure that you prepare a proper showreel before you apply for the job.

Also, do not just hop into any institute. Rather, choose the one that has a good reputation and infrastructure. To know more about this, you can go through the official website of the institute and check the details, such as when the institute started, what are its student portfolios, placement strategies, and syllabus. You will also get to know about the fees for animation courses and the payment structure.

However you need to be very cautious when it comes to online courses. When you are choosing any course, always look for potential opportunities for designing and enhancing skills. You must have knowledge of photography also and how the film production industry works. 


Kolkata has always been quite progressive for creative minds. Here you get to showcase your talent, be it in traditional form or digital. Thus, you can find various institutes offering the best courses to enhance your skills, making the animation and VFX industry both as potential choices for your career.

Moreover, with the latest demand in OTT platforms, VFX and animation both have opened a strong window for the creative minds. Along with that, it is predicted that the film production industry is going to receive a boom in the new future. This would make VFX and animation the core pillar of the film and TV series world. So, what are you waiting for? Join the best animation institute in Kolkata today!