India's Paprikaas a toon boomtown


Paprikaas Animation Studios is planning a major expansion of its business, including a doubling of its staff with 150 new jobs.

Bangalore, India-based Paprikaas is a computer animation studio that provides services for feature films, television programming, commercials and video games. It received an investment this year from Thomson through its Technicolor Content Services business. That deal made Thomson the majority owner of Paprikaas.

"Our strategic partnership with Technicolor paves the way for us to provide a unique service offering to the global animation and gaming industry," Paprikaas co-founder and CEO Nandish Domlur said. "Our synergies will provide a perfect balance between the front-office competencies of Technicolor through their global network in the marketplace and high-quality, cost-efficient back-office resources of Paprikaas."

Technicolor Content Services president Ahmad Ouri said: "Animation is part of Technicolor's digital content production growth strategy. This strategy encompasses visual effects, animation and games development. Our (London-based) Moving Picture Co. business is an industry leader in VFX, and we have made significant progress in organically growing our games division. Our investment and expansion will continue in VFX and games with additional focus on establishing and growing our animation presence. As part of our overall growth strategy, we are establishing a center of excellence for digital content production in Bangalore."

Plans call for Paprikaas to double its staff, while growing its operation space from slightly less than 10,000 square feet to a 100,000-square-foot facility with new technology. Its 3-D pipeline will center on Autodesk's Maya and 3ds max, with Intel and AMD hardware.

Paprikaas co-founder Srini Raghavan said the plan also involves leveraging the synergies with Technicolor companies, notably MPC.

Attention on India's animation and VFX industry has been growing. For example, Sony Pictures Imageworks this year acquired a majority stake in India's FrameFlow, now using the moniker Imageworks India, which employs about 80 people.

"The Indian animation and VFX industry is experiencing tremendous growth and is poised for the next level of expansion," Raghavan said. "This is driven by key factors such as demand in the U.S. market and studios for high-quality and lower-cost production centers like India, and also an increasing crop of world-class animation studios like Paprikaas/Technicolor."