Have you ever watched Toy Stories? Or, you might be a little bit more familiar with Finding Nemo? If you have encountered those films, you have met what we called 3d animation.

When it was first launched, 3D animation was a game-changer, and today, it is one of the most widely used forms of animation. This type of animation uses computer software to modify components rather than hand-drawn frames.

3D Animation: Definition, Phases, and Best Software

Movements, like 2D animation, are still done frame by frame, although in a digitalized form. This indicates that the procedure is still time-consuming. It is still not totally automated, despite the use of more computers.

Now, we’ll look at the definition of 3d animation, the difference between 3d animation and 2d animation, 3d animation uses, 3d animation software, and how do you make them for your brand.

What is 3d animation?

A 3D animation meaning is a computer-generated animation created in a three-dimensional space. Its entire process is made in a digital environment that uses motion capture to bring people, props, and other things to life.

Though the process is technically different from traditional animation, it is still related to character animation. Companies are now using computer-generated animations to help them sell their products and services.

3D animation is created by using computer graphics and a rendering software.

What is the difference between 3d and 2d animation?

When you see the final output, it’s simple to tell the difference between 2D and 3D animation. Cinderella and the Little Mermaid are two examples of 2D animation films, whereas Minions and Frozen are examples of 3D animation films.

2D animation can be made in a non-digital environment (traditional animation can be made by sketching without computer graphics), as well as in a digital environment. On the other hand, 3D animation absolutely requires a digital environment to create computer-generated imagery.

All pictures and actions in 2D animation are flat and occur on the x and y axes. Actions and objects may now move along the third z-axis thanks to 3D animation, which includes depth display and other 3D capabilities.

The essential difference between 2D and 3D animation, though, is how they’re made. The whole 2D animation process takes place in two dimensions. 3D animation is a type of computer animation that is made into three-dimensional moving images. Three-dimensional moving images are the initial step of the 3D animation development process.

3 General Phases of Making A 3D Animation

Modeling, layout and animation, and rendering are the three basic aspects of the process of providing life to motion animation.

1. Modeling

There are two main sources of modeling. The first is when an engineer or artist uses a 3D modeling tool to create 3D objects inside a computer. The second is when real-world objects are scanned to a computer to create a model.

The pattern, in its simplest form, consists of a series of polygons delimited by points or vertices. A polygon requires at least 3 vertices (a triangle in this case), but it can have any number of vertices. A polygon with n vertices is called an n-gon. It is the polygon that determines the overall integration of the model.

The surface of a polygon can also be referred to as a face, where the lines drawn between the vertices are the edges. Although a computer reads these perfectly geometric shapes and will display them as such, the actual process of creating them using 3D modeling tools is not much different from sculpting out of clay. Tools can be used to progress from general shapes to finer details. Other modeling programs use grids that can be manipulated with tools to give objects shape.

Materials and textures are then added to the model created with the polygons. Materials provide the rendering engine with information about how it deals with light when it strikes the surface of an object. Textures add color to materials, use whiteness maps, and can also add features to surfaces using bump maps.

2. Layout & Animation

The models are then transported to the layout and animation stage after they are finished. They’re placed and animated into a specific scene here. To begin, create a set and add objects to it to establish the layout. Assigning animation variables (Avar) must be done for objects and characters to be animated. Keyframing or motion capture can then be used to bring the models in the scene to life. For keyframing methods, each Avar gives the animator a controller that can move objects across the set, like a very complex doll. This process is what we call keyframing.

Another method that is becoming increasingly popular is motion capture. Actors’ movements and movements are recorded live using tags and video. This is then applied directly to the model. The planning stage involves creating groups and placing things inside them. This includes determining the location and size of objects in relation to each other and the group.

3. Rendering

Similar to video, rendering in 3D animation is what completes the process, describing the final result of the process. Depending on the animation studio you will contact to create 3D animation for you, artists will use a variety of software for this task.

Compared to 2D animation, 3D animation is more expensive, time-consuming and tedious. This is the extra depth perspective of 3D animation that requires artists to do almost twice the work on traditional 2D animation. The best way to compare the two is to look at 2D paintings and 3D sculptures.

While painting allows you to see the whole picture, sculpture allows you to touch and feel the actual depth of the object. Apart from the three main stages involved in 3D animation, there are individual steps followed by the 3D team including:

  • Visualize and create storyboards.

  • Create 3D models.

  • Installation, processing, and animation.

  • Lighting and camera installation.

  • Rendering

  • Composition and application of special effects.

  • Music, Foley, and Editing.

  • Final output.

3 General Phases of Making A 3D Animation

3D animation uses

3D animation is used in a wide variety of industries, now more than ever.

Initially, as much as 3D animation was developed for art, it was also used for research and science. Let’s take a look at some of the many ways 3D animation is used.

1. TV and Film

Whether for special effects in live-action films and TV shows or for creating fully animated programs, 3D animation is ubiquitous in television and film in the 21st century. Usually, this field needs more professional animators seeing as it requires tedious work and longer project duration.

2. Games

Be it video games, computer games, or mobile games, 3D animation is essential to this fast-growing industry.

3. Marketing

3D animation can enhance many marketing campaigns and help reach more people. Make a corporate videos or brand videos to generate not only ads but also online and in extended platforms, such as social media and in-app advertising.

4. Retail

With the spread of online shopping, more and more retailers are finding 3D animation invaluable in supporting product descriptions, truly enabling their companies to stand out and present products to consumers in a way they can easily understand.

5. Medicine

In the medical field, 3D animation is used in various tasks and has been used since the dawn of computer graphics. Some of its uses include simulating anatomy and surgery, educating patients, and assisting the pharmaceutical and medical device market.

6. Education

Research has shown that people remember videos better than other forms of media, mainly because videos often get better attention. This is a great way to showcase concepts, especially with the improvement of distance learning.

Best Computer Animation Software To Make 3D Computer Graphics

Although there is various software that you can use, generally there are 3 computer animation app that is commonly used by animators to make theirs. 

1. Adobe 3d Animation Suite

Adobe 3d Animation Suite software consists of Adobe Animate,  Adobe Character Animator, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Illustrator Draw, and Adobe Photoshop Sketch. This comprehensive set of apps covers all aspects of modern design, layout, animation, and filmmaking. It is one of the best software to collaborate quickly and effectively with integrated applications as well as online cloud storage and sharing.

2. Daz 3D

Daz 3D is a figure pose, animation, rendering application designed for animators and designers. This allows them to create human models in 3D. The latest version of this tool lets you add light and texture to your images.

3. Adobe Character Animator

Another software from the Adobe family, Adobe Character Animator is a software product that helps you animate characters in real-time. You can take advantage of this software to turn any art into animated characters with a webcam.

Make Your 3D Animation Videos With Us!

We are delighted to help you make your 3D animation videos. Superpixel is ready to create an animation video that is truly you. Check out our animation videos below that help our clients stand out from their competitors.

Share this