Media and storytelling have caused humankind to consume information and stories uniquely. Technological advancements in this space have progressed beyond imagination, and one such technique that has surpassed expectations is 3D animation.
3-dimensional is a method that generates moving pictures and images in a three-dimensional environment (3D). This type of animation usually gives the illusion that the objects perceived are often moving through a 3-dimensional space.
The visual form of storytelling has become a pioneer of creativity in cinema because 3D animation has enhanced its overall quality. Bringing creative ideas to life is not easy, but the application of 3D animation has made it extremely beautiful and effortless. Let’s explore more about 3D animation here:
Table of Contents
What is 3D animation
3D animation is a digital method of generating a moving three-dimensional image. Unlike conventional 2D animation, which utilizes soporific hand-drawn images, 3D animation puts realism, intensity, and authenticity into the art of storytelling. Numerous industries actively use 3D animation as a vital tool, employing it almost everywhere. Some of the fields that utilize this technique are advertising, video games, television, cinema, and architecture.
Most of us are familiar with movies like “Shrek” and “Toy Story,” so it is no surprise that these animated movies have become a household name worldwide. The software that went behind these animations is entirely 3D. This method utilizes motion to guide objects and characters and propel them to life.
As technologies like computer graphics and animation software have advanced over the years with more automated quality, 3D animation has become a famous medium for generating stunning visuals. The first desktop-generated 3D animation emerged around the 1970s, and the 1990s marked a complete transformation of this field as professionals began utilizing this technology for cinema and motion graphics.
Read more: 5 trends shaping animation design in 2023
How does 3D animation differ from 2D animation
The table below properly explains what qualities distinguish 3D animation from 2D.
|This technology uses conventional animation software and tools
|Here, some of the most advanced software like Blender and Maya are used
|The amount of realism it can bring is limited, the visual is mostly cartoonish
|Has a lot of room for realism and intensity, it can make visuals look realistic and stunning
|It has a limited perception of depth
|It has a realistic perception of depth
|2D animation is mostly hand-drawn
|3D animation is generated by a computer, aka, CGI
|It is created using frame by frame method or online images
|It is created by the processes like modelling, rigging, animation and rendering
|Some examples are: Disney classic cartoons, anime
|Some examples are DreamWorks, Pixar etc
Advantages of 3-dimensional animation
3D animation is an advanced piece of technology that brings realism better than 2D animation. It is a new form of technology compared to 2D animation, and this section lets us understand the advantages.
- Realistic: The element of realism is enhanced in 3D animation. The depiction of objects makes it feel like the events are taking place in the actual world;
- Versatility: It covers many styles in animation, and almost every field, from education to entertainment, utilizes it;
- Flexibility: Because you can generate 3D animation once, you can use and manipulate it for many applications, making it very flexible;
- Visualization: Occasionally, people use it to imitate the real-world framework. For example, in the world of architecture, it helps create an immersive experience through architectural walkthroughs.
Disadvantages of 3D animation
Just like the advantages, 3D animation possesses some disadvantages as well. This section is all about understanding them.
- Complex: As attractive as the end results look in 3-dimensional animation, the process is not easy at all. This method demands knowledge in the art of texturing, rigging lighting, and rendering;
- Time-consuming: Compared to 2D animation, creating visuals in 3D animation is greatly time-consuming as it involves going through many processes;
- Artificial results: 3D animations run the risk of producing artificial characters where realism is not quite imbibed;
- Excessive dependency on technology: 3D animation is extremely reliant upon technology, so it is extremely important to keep up with the latest updates; if not, one might run a risk of generating mediocre visuals.
Tools and technique used in 3D animation
An interesting fact to note: The first 3D animated series ever to be produced was “ReBoot.” 3D animation utilizes many tools and techniques, a few of which are described below.
- Stop Motion Technique: The animator does each frame, brings them together, and plays them at a certain speed to create the end result. Although considered wearisome and time-consuming, this technique greatly helps in understanding 3D animation;
- CG Cutout: The artists slit characters and objects out of paper fabric, carbs, and pictures, and then they bring them together to form the whole visual. Afterward, they move these animations to their full speed to render the illusion of them moving;
- Digital 3D: Basically, we use the digital 3-dimensional technique here. We insert an element called autostereograms in the visuals. When a person puts on 3D glasses and focuses on one certain point, they will experience 3D images;
- Stereoscopic 3D Videos: A typical Stereoscopic video has a right and left side but when the animator adds a third side (third dimension) it creates some of the most realistic graphics one has ever set their eyes on.
The realm of 3D animation is so much more than what is presently witnessed. As the technology progresses, one can be a part of such an immersive experience that it will be impossible to tell the difference between the real world and the stimulation. This technique is here to stay and make a profound mark in humankind’s history.