You may have heard about 3D animation through your experience with film, video games, cartoons, and computers. It is a media that has quickly grown into an all-encompassing form of entertainment, according to one of the most experienced animation studios in Singapore, Gram Pte Ltd.
There have even been 3D printers created to bring these animations or objects to life. With all the excitement around this media, it’s only natural to wonder how it’s made.
So, how is 3D animation created? It is created over a series of steps. First, you start with the modeling of the object you want to animate. Then you move on to the layout and animation phase where you make it look like it’s three dimensional. Lastly, is the rendering where your animation comes to life through a series of strung-together images.
This article will go into detail about how to create a 3D animation and go into further detail about how to do each of these steps.
It can be a lengthy process when you’re first starting out, but it can quickly become easier the more you practice and play around with it. If you have ever wondered how to create the 3D images you’ve seen on screen, here’s how!
Step 1: Modeling
Create your representation of any object or surface. The first step is to create your image. Whether it’s for a movie or video game, anything can be created in the modeling process. You start by creating your image with the use of special software that allows you to manipulate points in virtual space called vertices.
You can create an image automatically or manually. Depending on what kind of project you are working on, you may choose to automatically create an image or object or do it manually. Automatic can be great for landscapes or images that aren’t very intricate. You’ll want to go manual for objects or images that you want to make unique.
Other fields use modeling to help plan out their work. Other fields like engineers and architects use modeling to help bring their plans to life. It helps them visualize what their structures will do and how they will work. So, while 3D animation may be linked more with entertainment, it also has other functional uses as well.
You have multiple choices in 3D modeling programs to choose from. Some examples are:
● Maya by Autodesk is the program most students will use when taking classes on how to create 3D models.
● Cinema 4D is a very popular choice among 3D animators.
● Blender is a free and open-source modeling program for those who would like to try it for a hobby or just learn how it all works.
● Sketch Up is the perfect program for architects and landscapers since it gives great picture design for structures.
Step 2: Layout and Animation
This is where the action happens. Literally. In this step, you start creating the various images that you will string together to put your object into motion. Similar to hand-drawn pictures, you put them together to create the illusion that your object is moving in space. This brings your object or character to life and allows you to see it in motion.
You can start focusing on other factors around your object. In this stage, you can work on the world around your object. You can play around with lighting, rigging/skinning, texturing, and camera angles. This will let you ensure that your object is, in fact, in 3D from all angles. This can help when creating various media or when checking blueprints.
You can have your object on splines and have it follow a curve for 3D motion. This is an alternative to having your object move from a frame-to-frame basis like hand-drawn pictures. You can also play around with the physics of motion, such as falling, by using your 3D application. This can help speed up the process of motion without needing multiple frames.
Step 3: Rendering
The last step of the 3D process. This process can be often overlooked since you’ve done most of the legwork in the previous steps. However, that is a rookie mistake. Rendering is the last step for a reason. You can perfect the previous parts of your animation like the lighting or camera placement. This can totally change the mood of your animation.
Renderings are brought into compositing programs to add special effects. Once you are happy with your rendering, you can send it over to a compositing program to add things like special effects. These are things like fireworks, explosions, morphing, etc. You can also add blue/green screen replacement for any real-life motion actors may have provided.
Finals edits close out your animation creation. This is the last, last step! You can add things like music and make any final cuts or edits to the footage you have created. This is the perfect time to double-check your work and make sure the motion and scenes are flawless. You put it into a format that can be broadcast and shipped to the client!
We’ve discussed how 3D animation is created and the steps you need to do to make creations of your own. Have fun out there!