3D animation is the process of creating animated images. The procedure is often referred to as computer animation or even CGI (computer-generated imagery), although CGI also encompasses static scenes and thus is technically outside the scope of 3D animation.
The entertainment and advertising industry rely heavily on computer animation for use in games, movies, television or digital content. Common animation requests include character design, movement cycles, 3D modeling, texturing, sculpting, visual effects and post production. Skilled artists use popular computer applications such as After Effects, Maya or 3ds Max to produce professional quality animated characters.
Routinely, an animator builds or models a simplified representation of an object or character - such as a stick figure or virtual skeleton. Components such as arms, legs or mouth are then moved with the assistance of key frames. Instead of painstakingly completing every movement, changes in appearance are then calculated by computer software and an animation rendered. This process is commonly called morphing or tweening.
More recently an alternative method of animation called Motion capture (Mo-cap for short) has become popular in games and films. Motion capture utilizes a live performer to act out a required movement. The action is video recorded and utilizing biomechanics markers it is applied to an animated character using a computer application.
Currently, a mix of animation and Motion capture is applied to the creation of 3D animations. While Motion capture can be alarmingly realistic, keyframe animation is preferred when specific actions prove difficult for an actor to reproduce.
An ongoing challenge for 3D animators is achieving a high degree of human realism. Sizeable advancements continue to be made in this quest, but delivering characters that look and move identically to humans still requires further evolution. Some materials tend to be more difficult to replicate and animate than others, for example, human hair and clothing. Almost inevitably computer animation will reach the point of becoming indistinguishable from human performance; this could have wide-ranging repercussions on the entertainment industry.
Are you looking for a 3D computer animation for your business project? Do you have a tight timeline and seemingly shrinking budget? Hiring a freelance 3D animator might be the optimal solution.
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Budget - A freelancer typically works from home or at the least has lower overheads. Employing the services of a freelancer on a project basis is typically most cost effective than engaging a larger animation studio.
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