3D animation is very similar to videography and involves the process of combining multiple images (otherwise known as frames) to create a video, which then can be used for demonstrative and advertisement purposes. 3D animation is usually thought of regarding the film industry. This is certainly not the case, but first we need to understand what it is and how it is created.
To create 3D animations 30 frames are rendered for every second of video required. These frames when played one after another at more than 24 fps (frames per second), it appears as a video. Although it is not always common knowledge, this is how every video content has been created. The industrial standard is for video content to be played at 24 fps, however the gaming industry are expected to aim for 60 fps.
What separates 3D animations from videography is that the individual frames need to be created using a computer. This process is called 3D rendering and is the premise of all 3D animations.
Before the introduction of CGI (Computer Generated Imagery), animations were created using hand drawn sketches. As each frame progressed the character or object would be marginally moved, so when the frames were viewed one after another it gave the impression that it was animated. This method of creation animations is very time consuming and was very limited by the creative talent of the curators. To reduce the amount of work needed, animators began to look at alternative methods.
Claymation is the process of using clay to create lengthy animations, such as “Wallace and Grommit” and is a form of stop motion animation. The scenery and characters were all modelled using colour clay moulded around a wire frame. The wire frame and clay meant that the characters could be adapted into different positions. By taking photographs of the characters slowly moving through the scene, an animation could be created.
With the development of the computer, 2D animation began to be created in a digital from. The hand drawn sketches were replaced with 2D digital sketches, that were created using software. This development meant that the animations could be created much faster and to a higher quality. It is still common to see 2D animation being created, a great example is Disney.
3D animations are created using 3D rendered images. 3D animation software’s use algorithms to convert a 3D virtual environment, including several 3D models, materials and a range of lights, allowing the creation of a final 3D rendered images. This process has significantly developed over the last 20 years and now surrounds us in advertisement and films.