Jayadev

Jayadev, the Teacher Who Brings Life to Art and Art to Life

Jay Dev - Game Art Mentor

Jay Dev – Game Art Mentor

When I met Jayadev, the faculty member in Arts at Backstage Pass, for the first time, he looked like a bouncer to me. Sorry for my perception. Heavy, stocky, well-built but one thing was missing. The stern look that is so typical of a bouncer. Instead, he had a broad smile on his face that lit his face brilliantly and even the room. That made all the difference.

The time flew as we started chatting and the next hour of our meeting took me through a journey of his life. When we called it a day, I knew that I came in touch with a poster boy for making it big with art, in a country where many look down upon art as something that can’t help live a prosperous life.

Jayadev loved to draw as a kid. His father, a government employee, was very supportive. He encouraged Jayadev to draw and draw more and draw even more. However, his mother was concerned that how her boy would have a bright career if he were so much into art.

Dev’s tryst with art started when a friend sent a copy of the Maya software from Australia. Dev would endlessly play with it enjoying what the software would let him do. The summer after his +2, Dev’s dad promptly took him to his friend and the Principal of the Heart Animation Academy and the famous cartoonist, Mr. Jayadev. Later he cleared the national entrance exam of the Heart Animation Academy and joined the same. Even as he was pursuing art full-time, the academy set up a 3D animation centre. It was only natural for Dev to learn the 3D animation centre. Heart Animation Academy gave him a glimpse of the utility of gaming in fields such as entertainment. Not to mention, the young Dev was blown away.

Dev joined Dataquest Entertainment, Hyderabad as a Junior Animator in 2004 and started teaching art at Arena Multimedia as a part-time faculty. In due course, he became a full-time faculty member and later the Centre Head. Today he stands certified by over 20 different software vendors such as Adobe and Maya.

Life was good and Dev wanted to pursue his studies. He looked for a school that would offer a B.F.A. recognized by the Universities Grants Commission (UGC). Meanwhile, Dev came in touch with Backstage Pass. When he met Professor Balakrishna, Bala immediately offered him a faculty position.  After long years of teaching digital arts, the Backstage Pass position was the logical next step. And Dev joined Backstage Pass as a faculty in 2013.

Jay Dev - Game Art MentorDev teaches game design and game art including 2D and 3D animation, art history, image editing, rigging, lighting and texturing, digital sculpting and so on.

When I asked Dev about what does it take for a student to be successful in an art-based career, he says: “Students of art are typically shy. They are inward looking. But the gaming industry needs people who are also outward-looking, that is communicative. Also, one cannot teach art or music to a student. The student should have a certain innate capability to pursue art. Then we add the tools to adopt the art to the digital world.”

He adds, “We find it difficult to get good students in art. How many schools conduct art classes and music classes? And the gaming industry needs artists and musicians in large numbers. I don’t find them in a regular school. Kids who study art and music on their own come to us because they are passionate about their interest.”

I had one last question, “Dev, what did your students teach you?” He laughs…“Patience. When I joined Arena as a faulty member, most of my students were at least 3 years elder to me. To command them, I had to be patient, demo my skills as a teacher, and then make them follow me. That process taught me patience. Patience is fundamental to the success of an artist in this industry. Works of art, animation films that are classics are made etched with great care.”

After my chat, I left for home. When I went to bed that night, I had a smile darting on my lips. And deep in my heart, I realized for the umpteenth time, if you follow your passion, life follows you and that I can ask parents to go around chin up if the child is good only in art or music.

Surya Prabha Vallae for Backstage Pass

Highlights of the IMAGE Policy – 2016

The Government of Telangana unveiled, among other IT policies, the IMAGE policy on April 4, 2016, for the Animation, Visual Effects, Gaming & Comics Industry (AVCGI).

Before we dive into the policy and its details, some number crunching for you to understand the opportunity size, which is Himalayan by any count:

  1. The Information and Communication Technology sector are recording a 17% growth and stand at USD 17 billion and make up 40% of exports from the state.
  2. The IT industry employs 4.5 lakh people in the state.
  3. The state’s IT industry ranks second in its performance compared to other states in India.
  4. Gartner reports that by 2019, the global IT spend will reach USD 3.9 trillion.
  5. Indian IT Industry has crossed the USD 147 billion mark recording a growth of 13%. It includes the domestic contribution worth USD 48 billion to the overall growth.

Now, on to the policy highlights:

Objectives

  • Make Hyderabad the most favoured destination for the AVCG industry.
  • Support for the development of manpower, infrastructure, and business.
  • Spread awareness about and create employment in the AVCG industry.
  • Strive for a larger share of the global outsourcing opportunity.
  • Creation of a framework for promoting IP creation and protection.
  • Promotion of local digital content for the education and entertainment for Indians.

The Government of Telangana proposes to achieve these objectives through these policy and strategy measures:

Infrastructure

Telangana State Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (TSIIC) to become the nodal agency for developing and managing the infrastructure for the AVCG industry. Also, reputed private developers are expected to play a crucial role in the infrastructure development.

IMAGE City

The IMAGE city for Animation and Gaming will be set up in the Ranga Reddy district on the lines of the Media City in Dubai, UAE, and the Dutch Games Gardens in the Netherlands. The city will be a world class facility to promote Animation and Gaming.

Training

An academy to impart training in the AVCG sector will be established to create the talent pool and foster entrepreneurship. The government will also promote AVCGI courses and expert talks.

TASK

The Telangana Academy for Skill and Knowledge (TASK) will play a major role in skill development for the AVCG sector.

Incubation

The Government of Telangana and the Software Technology Park of India (STPI) together have created an incubation centre dedicated to the AVCG industry. The Government of Telangana is also creating a funding mechanism to fund startups in the sector.

Reservation of Air Time

The Government of Telangana will coordinate with the Government of India to ensure that 5 to 15% of the air time for digital entertainment content is the content made in India.

The Government of Telangana has announced many fiscal incentives:

  1. 25% capital investment subsidy subject to terms and conditions.
  2. Reimbursement up to 20% of the production cost, if 80% of the production cost is incurred in Telangana.
  3. Exemption from the entertainment tax for animation VFX theatre film produced and released in Telangana.
  4. Reimbursement of internet charges up to 3 lakhs per annum for a maximum of 3 years.
  5. SC/ST/Women entrepreneurs will enjoy additional benefits if they have 51% stake or higher in an AVCG business.
  6. AVCG companies are exempted from statutory power cuts and will be encouraged to use renewable energy.

 

Apart from these major policy initiatives, the drive and the expectations based on realistic and optimistic industry factors and confidence were palpable on April 4, 2016, at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre, Hyderabad, where the Government of Telangana launched the policies.

The hall was filled with the bigwigs of the IT industry, the political and administrative heads of various departments and also entrepreneurs, students, and heads of IT companies of all sizes and shapes.

By arriving well ahead of the scheduled start time, the IT Minister Sri K.T. Rama Rao was the first person to send the signal to the industry, that the government means business. And the meeting started dot on time. Do we need to say more?

Happy Gaming.