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WHAT IS 3D ANIMATION?

Before we even go getting into 3D animation, we need to understand and admire the art of animation itself. The art of animation has most certainly come a long way today. In this modern day and age, most animations are done through computer technology. Famously known as CGI (computer-generated imagery). But the important detail to notice here is that It wasn’t always such a tech-savvy process back then.

Back in the days, the word ‘animation’ reminded people traditionally of hand-drawn and painted images – that were then photographed and showcased afterward. Celluloid was developed in 1913; and bam! The rest is history.

The next big thing in animation was the development of 3D Animation, thanks to the designers Edwin Catmull and Frederic Parke. Until then, 2D animation was the only real animation style available to animators. These two designers changed the two-dimensional animation world forever. From paper to digital to 3D, animation has risen to a whole new level. In Today’s world: 3D Animation is the peak of animation technology.

In this article, we will talk about What is 3D Animation, 3D animation evolvements, 3D Animation techniques with an explanation of 3D Animation, and much more.

WHAT IS ANIMATION?

This is the art of manipulating pictures to appear as moving images. This process includes designing, drawing, creating layouts and then preparing photographic sequences. From the cartoons of the 60’s to the Avengers End Game type of movies you may have seen this 2020, animation has definitely come a long way; And It still has the potential to go much much further.

SO WHAT IS 3D ANIMATION?

3D Animation is the process of animating/moving objects in a digital Three-dimensional space. These 3D models or objects can be moved and rotated like real objects using the art of motion. This is the peak of animation right now, at least at the time of writing this article anyway.

3D animation is currently used in TV shows, films, games and it forms the heart of virtual reality. It may also be used in presentation graphics as well. As a whole, 3D Animation is used in a lot of visual related artworks of the modern-day world. Does anybody remember the movie Avatar (2012)? Arguably one of the reasons it was so damn popular was because it was the first-ever movie released in 3D. From Toy Story to a nickelodeon tv show like Jimmy Neutron – you just can’t feel anything but happiness and nostalgia for the evolution of animation technology.

3D Animation has 3 main sections:

  • Layouts –The process of layout is used in the positioning of objects.
  • Modeling – Generating process of 3D objects.
  • Rendering – Completed 3D Animation output creating process

These sections are followed by a 3D animator day in and day out.  It differentiates based on the Types of 3D Animation, although the process remains the same.

3D Animation can be divided into these types of animations as well:

  • 3D Video & Film:  Among all the well-known types of 3D animation, 3D video and film remain as the most widely known
  • Interactive 3D: This is a complete 3D production that features in a purely digital environment – created by using 3D software.
  • Virtual Reality 3D: Users are immersed yet capable of interacting with 3D objects in a 3D world where a computer creates a simulated environment.
  • Clay Motion: Also known as Stop motion animation
  • Digital 3D: This is a non-specific 3D standard where normally video games, films and television shows are presented using digital 3D technology. Fun fact: one of the first-ever studios to use this digital 3D technology was Walt Disney Pictures.
  • Cell-shaded Animation
  • Pixilation: Film or record movements of real people; To later edit them in a way that they seem to move and animate like artificial animations.
  • Typography : Also known as Motion Graphics
  • Stop Motion: This is a well-known animated filmmaking technique.
  • Pinscreen: Used in creating instant 3D avatars of people. These are personalized and user-generated avatars.
  • Paint-on-glass
what is 3d animation

DIFFERENCES BETWEEN A 3D ANIMATOR AND A 2D ANIMATOR

In the field of animation, there are 2 main types of animators:  2D animators and 3D animators. Basically, they provide the same set of skills: Both of them find new ideas and then they undertake a considerable amount of research to ensure their ideas and thought processes are unique, original, and engaging. Then they render those ideas on paper or with the use of computer software. But, that’s where the similarities between the 2 animating types end.

Essentially, 2D animators design 2D flat images: They have width and height to contend with but obviously don’t have to worry about depth as much. 3D animation, on the other hand, is ultimately more realistic because of the significant addition of depth. Adding depth makes way for more life-like characters, and it is far easier for 3D animators to create changes to a specific scene because of the ability to move or transfer an object more comfortably. But in 2D animation, the animator has to draw the scenery all over again if any changes are needed.

On the other hand – People who work in the three-dimensional (3D) animation field develop visual effects and animated characters for video games, TV, and other electronic media. Many 3D animators work in the film and movie industry as well. 3D animators make moving images with the use of digital models. So, adding details to pictures, such as clothing, skin color or landscapes comes quite naturally as an alternate activity.  So basically, a 3D Animator generally holds a more advanced position in the industry, compared to a 2D animator. However there exceptions to everything.

A 3D ANIMATOR’S LIFE

A 3D Animation artist does have an advanced position in the industry. But as the saying goes: With great power, comes great responsibility.  A 3D animator indeed has lots of responsibilities at the working place. They may also have the job title of multimedia artists. In an ordinary day, they take on a variety of work and responsibilities for the purpose of planning, crafting, and developing their art. Some of the main duties of a 3D animator have:

  • Making animation and graphics with the use of computer-made illustrations and computer software programs.
  • Researching the project to find ideas and thought processes for animation.
  • Getting feedback from clients & the design staff: incorporating the responses from them into project edits.

3D Animation is indeed an interesting field; but as a 3D animator, you will have to be interested in different responsibilities as well.

REQUIREMENTS TO BECOME A 3D ANIMATOR

Education wise:

Successfully completing a bachelor’s degree in computer graphics, fine art, animation, and/or graphic design. Students must look into programs that focus on art and computer courses.

Most of the schools ask students to create and manage their portfolios online.

Some special items to include in a portfolio:  Prop and Location Designs, Original Character Designs, Life Drawings, and Other Original Work.

RELATED CAREERS FROM 3D ANIMATION

A 3D animator is not the only role you must follow through if you learn 3D animation. There are various animation-related careers based on your interests!

  • Graphic Designer – The main focus of a graphic designer is to follow the system of using visual communications and resolving issues through the use of photography, typography and illustrations.
  • Web Designer – Requires many different sets of skills and disciplines in the creation and maintenance of websites. The areas of web design mainly have designing of interfaces; designing of web graphics; including standardized code, authoring and proprietary software.
  • Web Developer – This is a person having knowledge in programming; who has special skills and is especially active in the development of Web applications; by using a client–server model. The used applications typically are HTML, C#, CSS, PHP, JavaScript or Java in the server.
  • Multimedia Designer- These are the creative minds behind informational videos, advertisements and other types of content you come across while watching television or while online.
  • 3D Modeler- This is a type of animator or multimedia artist who creates three-dimensional visuals or models of items by using a variety of computer software tools and programs.
  • Logo Designer- These are graphic designers that create distinctive branding for representing companies and/or products. They could be working for a design firm, advertising agency, publishing house or as a freelancing graphic artist.
  • Computer Animator– These people create and design 3D and 2D motion graphics for different platforms, including computer games, videos and mobile devices.
  • Video Game Designer- They do design of video game rules and content of video games in the stages before production. And then designing the story environment, gameplay, characters and storyline in the production stage.
  • UI UX Designer – They make sure a product makes sense to the individual using it; They do this by creating a path that flows from 1 step to another. A UI designer makes sure that each page visually connects the above-mentioned path.

CONCLUSION

Visual preferences of people always play a significant role in helping to decide the individual’s likings between 3D and 2D Animation. Anyway, there are some other important factors like target audience, timelines, and budgets: which also help an individual’s choice of animation. But at the end of the day, 3D animation is the future of animation. 3D animation will always be the base and core of evolving animation art.

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