Bandung. Hollywood studios are outsourcing some of their animating work to Indonesia in a nod to the improving quality of the country’s artists, but more still needs to be done before locally produced animations can rival American releases, officials say.
Triharso, the Industry Ministry’s director for the electronics and IT industries, said on Thursday that Indonesian animators were fast being acknowledged as competent internationally.
“Several local studios have received orders for work from the United States, Japan and Europe,” he said on the sidelines of the 2012 Creative Industry Festival (Increfest) in Bandung.
He did not name any of the major studios that outsourced their work here or any of the movies on which Indonesian studios had contributed.
“In terms of the competency of our human resources, Indonesian animators are ahead of their Malaysian counterparts,” Triharso said.
He added that this could be seen in the large number of Indonesian artists working at Malaysian studios, conceding that government support for the industry there was better than in Indonesia.
M. Suyanto, the director of Yogyakarta’s Amikom College of IT and Computer Management, said that although the technical abilities of Indonesian animators were now world-class, animated movies produced in the country still fell short of the quality of foreign productions.
He said that was because local animators lacked the cinematographic techniques that gave Hollywood productions their polished quality.
“Local animators need to have a better understanding of cinematographic subtext, which is one of the secrets that makes the US animated film industry what it is,” he said at a discussion during the festival.
He said “subtext” in this sense referred to creative nuances such as body language, facial expressions and changes in vocal intonation in the animated characters, which required artistic rather than technical expertise to master.
“Unfortunately, locally made animated movies lack this kind of subtext,” Suyanto said. He added that funding was crucial to ensuring the quality of a production, citing the high budgets for Hollywood animations.