3D animation presents various pictures and images in a life-like fashion. It is basically creation of pictures that move around in a three dimensional digital environment. 3D models serve as the objects in such pictures, and they are made to move with the help of specialized 3D animation software. That's what 3D animation is about, in a nutshell.

However, movement on the screen is not actual motion of the objects. It is merely the swift shifting of picture slides, which gives an illusion to the viewer. And the product is absolutely delightful for the viewer. But one must know that it is not an easy job for the animator. Even though 3D animation is created through using specialize software, there is a lot of creativity that the animator needs to put in.

What comprises 3D animation?

Creation of 3D animation is a systematic process which involves three stages:

Modelling: Objects that form the characters of a 3D animation film are called 3D models; and modelling is the name given to the process for creating these objects and giving them shape & form. A 3D animation artist creates these objects with the help of 3D modelling tools. Sometimes, it can be done by scanning images onto a computer and giving them a 3D model-like form.

Layout and animation: Layout involves placing the models within a frame, maintaining their spatial relationships and giving them proper sizes and locations. Layouts are prepared based on the requirements of various scenes. And animation refers to the movement and shape-transformation of models to create the scenes. There are various methods and techniques that are used in order to create animation effects. In fact, the perfect animation is achieved through combining and using more than one method. Two popular techniques are - Key frame animation and motion capture animation.

In key frame animation, a group of frames are taken together and with the factors of time and space, the objects in those frames are gradually changed so as to create movement. Basically, it involves making changes to the key frame for motion effects.

Motion capture: This involves capturing the movement of an actor (only the motion bit) and mapping it to the model that has been created in the previous step. The end result is a model that replicates the motion of actor.

Rendering: 3D computer graphics software are utilized to perform this step. Rendering involves conversion of a model into an image; and various techniques are used to create the desired visual effects.

Software for 3D animation are readily available in the market and may range from simple ones for the amateur animator to high-end variety for the professionals. The 3D animation software programs have not only automated the process of creating 3D animations but also improved the productivity of 3D animation artists. But still you need a creative mind and good aptitude for tools (software programs) and technology in order to produce good results.

This booming industry has tremendous capacity to absorb the skilled professionals; and career options in this field are growing by the day. Yes, it is tough for a beginner to break into the animation industry and only those equipped with great technical skills, a firm determination and the conviction to succeed will survive.

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