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Home > City Resources > Advertising & Marketing > Digikore Studios

Digikore Studios is part of the Rs 200 crore Growel Group of Companies. The group's flagship company, Grauer & Weil is into chemicals and engineering while another company, Bombay Paints, is into marine and industrial paints. The company has made forays into the IT sector with Growel Softech and Digikore Design. Digikore Abhishek More:Climbing upDesign focuses on multimedia and CD-ROM development.

According to Mr Abhishek More, Director, Digikore Studios, "We were looking to get into the field of Software Development, Design and Animation. For a period of one year we were studying the market and meeting people connected with the industry."

Objectives clearly defined, the company acquired Unifor Software, an existing software house in July 2000, later they acquired Ergotech Design, an existing design house. The studio was set up from scratch.

Aware that they had to undertake tests before they could take on International projects, Digikore started with ink and paint jobs, with trial testing for a few South Korean and Philippine studios. The idea behind taking up ink and paint jobs says, Mr More, was to get a foothold in the industry and get a hands-on experience of the nitty-grittys involved in the field besides getting the much needed revenue flowing.

Digikore has also undertaken distribution of broadcast series on behalf of three of the largest South Korean animation studios - Animagic Studio Inc., Akom Production Co., and Hanho Heung Up Co. Ltd. These studios have appointed Digikore to market their animated series in India and across Asia. The Asian market will be catered to by the Growel Group's office in Singapore. The first batch of cartoon series includes Flying Superboard, Toad Patrol, Maroons, Alex and Alexis, and Marsupilami. These Korean studios, besides producing their own series, also undertake production work for major American and European studios, including Warner Bros., Disney, Universal Studios, DreamWorks, Fox, etc. All the popular series such as Casper, Dilbert, Flash Gordon, Batman, GI Joe, Ghost Busters, Winnie the Pooh, Tintin, etc., have been part-produced in these Korean studios Artists with their paints

Digikore is geared towards building up capacities to carry out any of the 'episodic' tasks from animation to compositing, including drawing, clean up, in-betweening, layout and background, scanning, ink and paint and compositing for overseas studios. It will then be up to the overseas studios to decide what jobs they want to download. Significantly, to carry out one full episodic animation work per month would require a manpower of 200 people, ranging from conceptualisers, visualisers, storyboard artists, layout artists, animators, background artists, clean up artists, in-between sketch artists, digital ink and paint artists and compositors.

The company is furiously working towards building a digital animation production centre to produce animated cartoons. "Animated cartoons, even in this day of digital advancement, need to be painstakingly drawn, picture by picture, frame by frame," explains, Mr More. "This makes it a very people-intensive and talent-intensive industry. Hence, India, with its abundance of low-cost talent, is most suited to house a production studio of this type." he averred.Computer Animation

With production costs being a quarter of that in the US, this is the field where India can play a major role, says Mr More. In his opinion, a one-episode production, which would cost $ 300,000 in the US, would cost $ 80,000 to $ 100,000 (Rs 40 lakh) in India. Further, with production costs steadily firming up in Korea and nearing US levels, a country like India would stand to gain.

However, the Studio is not being unutilised until the existing capacities are being ramped up to bag international assignments. Digikore has turned its attention to the domestic market with the creative team working on developing content for the domestic market.

Mr More felt that looking at the domestic market made a lot of business sense, as there are 110 channels, local and national.
As most channels find filling slots with quality content increasingly difficult, he is confident that even non-cartoon entertainment channels would like to include cartoon series in their 'family' slots.

First off the block in this ambitious project will be a 26-episode cartoon serial based on India-specific content, Folklore, History, and Mythology. 'Animation manAkbar-Birbal', 'Vikram-Betal', to name a few.

The company has already made a beginning by creating small-animated shots for TV channels and cable networks. Drawing on their creative resources to undertake multifarious jobs such as ink and paint, animation, compositing, etc., Digikore is steadily on its way to set up a full-fledged animation production house that would produce international quality animated serials.

To accelerate this process and simultaneously transform itself into a major production hub with an impressive pool of talent, the company proposes to have its own training school in an effort to professionalise the talent pool it already has. India is thirty years behind the others in the field of animation and Mr. More is convinced that one needed to move fast as there was a lot of catching up to do.

Address: Bungalow # 2, Nehru Marg, Pune - 411001,
Phone: 636 1423 / 636 2309

Text: Rahul Surkund
Photographs by: Hari Krishna

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