3D Animation and its Variants

2 min read

3D animation is a powerful medium of expression in today’s digital world, and its presence can be felt with its extensive use in several applications as per the needs of customers. Animation is used in short & feature film modes, moving images, gifs, motion graphics, video games, IT interfaces, special effects, and smartphone apps.

3D-Animation

Traditional Animation

Traditional animation, classical animation, or hand-drawn animation is a long-drawn process. In this technique, each frame is hand-drawn on a paper or physical medium.

An animator draws the characters, layout, and backgrounds on paper. Each of these drawings is different than the one before and after it, only slightly though. This creates an illusion of movement when all are put onto film together. Traditional animation is a time-consuming and expensive process that demands the involvement of a large team.

2D Animation

2D animation figures are created and edited on the computer using 2D bitmap and 2D vector graphics. In this process, a computer and software programs, such as Adobe Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, and Encore are used to animate the key frames instead of hand-drawing. 2D animation focuses on creating characters, storyboards, and backgrounds in two-dimensional environments.

The final line advection technique is used to provide artists more influence and control over the final product. A part of the body or animated object can move in this animation. The interim key frames adjust accordingly and achieve seamless motion.

3D Animation

3D animation is digitally modeled and manipulated by an animator. The animator creates a 3D polygon mesh to manipulate the object by using special 3D modeling software. A mesh usually includes many vertices that are connected by edges and faces, which results in the visual appearance of a 3D environment.

In this process, only 3D objects are made to move onscreen in a manner that simulates real-time motion. The animator needs to be technically proficient to use the various tools and techniques required to form the object.

Animation through Motion Graphics

Motion graphics involve pieces of digital footage which create the illusion of rotation and are usually combined with audio effects to form an effective impression. Motion graphics are usually showed via electronic media technology. This can be displayed via manual powered technology such as thaumatrope, phenakistoscope, stroboscope, zoetrope, praxinoscope, and flip book.  Motion graphics are commonly seen in film titles, advertisements, promotional campaigns, infotainment videos, and animated logos.

Motion graphics can be used beyond the methods of frame-by-frame footage. It is not like a typical animation where the objects are not strictly character driven or story-based. They always represent an animated abstract shape or form in logos or logo elements.

Stop Motion Animation

Stop motion is a technique in which objects are physically manipulated in small increments between individually photographed frames to make them appear as an independent motion when the series of frames is played back in rapid sequence. An object is photographed in a particular sequence of images that represent a slight movement of the object. These movements need to be captured in the correct order. The animation is fluid without breaks in the scene. The different types of stop motion animation include pixilation, Claymation, cut-outs, and lego figures.

Cutout and Collage Animation

In the cutout animation method, flat characters, props, and backgrounds were cut from materials such as paper, card, stiff fabric, or even photographs. Currently, the cutout animation method uses computers, scanned images, or vector graphics instead of physically cut materials.

In collage animation, the parts that have to be animated are cut out of magazines, books, and images. In this process, different textures are used within the same frame. Several animated shows use the cutout and collage animation type to produce motion pictures.

Rotoscoping

Rotoscoping is a technique used to draw motion picture footage, frame by frame, to produce realistic actions. The footage of live motion of human actors is captured, and then characters are drawn over the same. Here, the images are projected onto a glass panel and traced over the images by projection equipment called a rotoscope. It has been replaced by computers, but the process is still called rotoscoping.

Cel Animation

A cel is a transparent sheet on which objects are drawn or painted for animation. In this model, an animated frame is painted over. The cel is transparent, which thereby allows it to be placed over other such cels. All cels are placed against a background that is painted and later photographed. A storyboard is initially created for communication of the storyline to the production crew in a visual manner, followed by animation. Once, the story and timeline are approved, characters and backgrounds that complement the overall theme are created by artists. Animation is considered a unique branch of technology that can render matchless value to the business and entertainment industry. The possibilities are limitless.

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