What Is 3D Animation?

3D Animation Overview

3D animation involves creating moving images in a digital three-dimensional environment, providing the illusion that objects are navigating through a virtual space. This technique utilizes computer software and sometimes specialized hardware, such as motion capture devices, to design and manipulate these digital objects.

If you’re unfamiliar with 3D animation, in this article, our animators will help you get a better understanding for what it is, and what it all entails. Let’s get started.


Table of Contents

Here are the main topics we’ll be discussing:

  1. How 3D Animation is Created
  2. The Importance of 3D Animation
  3. Real-Time Animation
  4. Comparing 2D and 3D Animation
  5. Contact Us

1. How 3D Animation is Created

The creation of 3D animation begins with the use of software like:

An artist crafts 3D models or meshes, which are then rigged with a skeleton system, enabling them to be animated in line with the creator’s vision. These animations are rendered into a sequence of images, typically at 30 frames per second, producing a continuous flow that simulates movement within a virtually constructed world filled with characters, props, and scenery.

Animating objects within this environment involves setting up keyframes, which are specific snapshots that define how objects look and move at certain moments. The software interpolates these keyframes in a process called tweening, allowing for smooth transitions and realistic animations.

2. The Importance of 3D Animation

Professional VFX studios are specialized in various techniques, including:

  • CGI: The backbone of modern VFX, computer-generated imagery brings to life digital creations, from fantastical creatures to impossible landscapes.
  • Compositing: This technique merges various visual elements into a cohesive scene, often utilizing green screens to integrate live-action footage with digital enhancements.
  • Motion Capture: By capturing the movements of actors, motion capture technology translates real performances into digital models, adding authenticity to animated characters.

3D animation offers significant advantages over traditional methods by allowing for more realistic representations of objects in motion. It is especially useful in scenes requiring complex movements, like flying or explosions, due to its ability to convey depth and scale effectively.

Moreover, 3D models enable the depiction of scenarios that would be challenging or impossible to achieve with 2D animation. This capability is essential for filmmakers and video game developers aiming to produce visually striking and high-quality scenes.

Read More: Guide to the 3D Animation Process

3. Real-Time Animation

Real-time animation, powered by game engines, is designed to produce animations that can display instantly, without render delays. This technology is integral in video games and is increasingly used in the virtual animated production of films, TV shows, and live events. Animators create a 3D model, rig it with a skeletal system, and apply motion data, which animates the character in real time.

This method allows for immediate adjustments and is adaptable across different projects, enhancing interactivity and realism in simulations and other applications.

Related: Ditch Photography for 3D Rendering

4. Comparing 2D and 3D Animation

Historically, animation was predominantly 2D, created through drawings or paintings on celluloid sheets. However, the advent of computer-generated imagery (CGI) has brought 3D animation to the forefront.

While 2D animation is produced frame by frame, either by hand or computer, 3D animation involves rendering objects in three dimensions on a two-dimensional plane, creating a more lifelike illusion of depth and movement with three-dimensional graphics.

3D animation tends to be more costly and time-intensive but offers a more immersive experience, particularly suitable for action scenes or complex settings. Conversely, 2D animation is generally quicker and less expensive to produce and allows for easier changes.

The choice between 2D and 3D animation depends on the specific requirements of the project.

5. Contact FUSE for 3D Animation Services

If you’re looking to bring your creative visions to life with cutting-edge 3D animation, consider partnering with our 3D animation studio. Our team of professionals is equipped to deliver top-tier 3D animation services, utilizing the latest tools and technologies to produce engaging and dynamic visuals that meet your project’s needs.

To get started with your 3D animation project, please reach out to FUSE Animation today to see how we can help you create stunning animations that captivate and inspire. Our commercial animation studio will help you transform any ideas you have for your 3D animation and turn them into a reality! Let our team help you set a new standard for your projects, like marketing campaigns, tradeshows, and more.

Explore a year of possibility with FUSE!