Animation creators are slowly gaining acceptance in Kenya as marketers embrace use in commercials especially those targeting children. The moving pictures of drawn-up images or caricatures are also being used in situations where real people are not desired or where complex and abstract ideas need to be communicated in a simple way, for instance, how drugs work in the body.
The increasing sophistication of brand promotion through use of websites has also opened up demand for animated content on the websites. The growing use has led to opening up of colleges to train animators. There are currently three colleges teaching animation and the total number of animators in the country is estimated at 200, though not all are active in the profession. Nairobi Institute of Technology and Shang Tao are among the new entrants. It takes about one year to complete a basic course in animation and more for a 3D (three dimensional) animation course which is more complex.
Analysts say that for one to take a course in animation, it is assumed that the person is already a visual artist; a graphic designer who can work with the various graphics software. The sector is gaining recognition from local and international clients, adding that international stakeholders were impressed by the level of sophistication of local exhibitors at a recent animation forum.
"There is a perception that animation is fast and easy. The truth is that it can take a month or more to create an animation, especially if it is complex. While they are capable of producing smaller projects, they are facing competition from other markets."