The Animation Guild blog had a post related to DreamWorks Animation and there was a good discussion by some anonymous workers when a commenter posted the video above.
The video would have you think that there’s an explosion of quality and talent in India that DW just could not resist sending animation work to. But not so fast.
If you talk to any of the workers at DW they will tell you something similar to this comment in the TAG post:
VFX Soldier, the truth is that the sequences that came back from the Indian studio were underwhelming, and required a lot of fixing. Not to mention that they were slow to delivery. Knowing what the actual salaries of the Indian animators are, and how many supervisors and trainers had to be sent over, I defy anyone to claim that it actually saved a single dime.
I’ve posted that the problem with India is that it’s built on the idea that it’s cheap. but the cost of labor is rising rapidly. One example is India’s IT industry. Forbes released an article this week about India’s tech industry challenge in part due to the rise in wages:
But now, the industry finds itself fast approaching another crucial juncture, possibly its most significant in more than a decade. Indian wage inflation is the highest in Asia; salaries haveposted double-digit gains over much of the last decade.
For the record I think this is great news. I want to see people’s wages go up. That’s a good thing. The problem is Indian VFX has marketed itself as the cheap place to do VFX work. Other VFX markets like NZ, UK, and California have marketed themselves on something else that an Indian VFX writer discovered: Quality Matters.