There’s nothing like seeing your creations come to life on screen, and for 3d animators, its realistic objects, characters, and settings are as close to reality as you can get. However, with today’s rapidly changing technology, it’s easy to forget that 3D animation hasn’t always been the standard for video games, movies, and TV shows. here, we’ll take a look at its history, including some famous examples, and think about what the future might hold for this digital art form.
- what is 3d animation?
- a brief history of 3d animation
- the future of 3d animation
- animation examples 3d
what is 3d animation?
No matter what type of animation we’re talking about, it’s the process of creating a static image that appears to be in motion. 3d animation takes things a step further by making the image three dimensional. characters and objects have depth and look more realistic within their digital world, rather than looking “flat” like those found in 2d animation.
Reading: What was the first 3d animated movie
How does the animation work? animators start by creating still images that are broken up into frames or a single full image. when the frames are added together and played in a sequence, our eyes and brains are tricked into thinking the image is moving.
To create the illusion of movement, images must be displayed at 12 frames per second or faster. For classic hand-drawing animators, 15 frames per second is the industry standard for creating the cartoon style we all know and love. but for those using 3d animation software, 24 frames per second is common.
Most 3d animation is created using a virtual skeleton known as a rig, which gives the animator the rough outline of the character or shape he is designing. from there, the individual skeleton parts can be adjusted in each frame so that, when placed in sequence, the body parts appear to move.
who invented 3d animation and when?
It’s hard to answer this specific question, as it really depends on the specific type you’re talking about.
Plasticine animation, in which clay models of objects are made and manipulated frame by frame, dates back to the early 20th century. If you’re familiar with the stop motion techniques used in claymation (think wallace and gromit or coraline), 3d animation is essentially the digitized version of this style of animation.
if we talk about computer animation, the adoption of computer generated imagery or cgi, the 1960s was the beginning of the 3d animation styles we know today. William Fetter, a Boeing employee, is often credited as the inventor of three-dimensional computer-generated graphics. His short films of manipulated pilots, used to test his ability to reach aircraft controls, are some of the earliest forms of 3D motion pictures.
a brief history of 3d animation
While 2D animation has been around since the 19th century, 3D graphics developed with the move to fully computerized graphics in the mid-20th century.
early days of 3d animation
In the late 1960s and 1970s, computer scientists worked to learn 3d animation for larger projects. Designers Edwin Catmull (who would go on to co-found Pixar) and Frederic Parke were some of the first to create realistic human hands and faces on wireframe digital platforms. his techniques were first used on film in the 1976 movie futureworld.
software continued to be refined throughout the 1980s and 3d animation became the go-to medium in the early 1990s. veggie tales was the first fully 3d animated series in the united states in 1993, and the Hollywood blockbusters Terminator 2 (1991) and Jurassic Park (1993) used the style extensively.
In 1995, 3D animation took on its biggest challenge yet: a feature film. That year, Pixar released Toy Story, and the film claimed the title of the first fully computer-animated film.
3d animation in recent history
since the 1990s, cgi and 3d animation methods have continued to evolve, creating special effects in almost every movie and television show in existence today. Movies like Avatar (2009) and Disney’s new “live action” remakes of classic 2D movies now rely heavily on combining 3D animation with human actors.
Recently, we have entered the era of photorealism and 4d animation, where graphics are so clearly defined that it is often difficult to distinguish whether they are computer generated or real life.
the future of 3d animation
As with most technologies, knowing what the future holds is difficult to predict. It’s hard to imagine 3d animation being even better than it already is! but the rise of virtual reality (vr) and augmented reality (ar) shows how much it is evolving.
As we have seen in recent years, 3d animation is likely to become even more widespread and used in business and everyday communication. Now, you’re just as likely to see a brand that uses animation in its marketing as a new animated TV show.
Machine learning, in which a computer evaluates input and automatically creates relevant output, is also likely to help animators speed up their workflows. And with all that time in your work days, we’re likely to see even more animated content on our screens.
3d animation examples
toy story (1995)
At the time of Toy Story’s creation, Pixar was still a startup led by Steve Jobs and a team of graphic designers who had never created anything in 3D beyond short films and commercials. they managed to pull it off, and the film earned over $360 million during its run in theaters.
assassin’s creed (2007)
This popular action-adventure video game uses highly detailed 3D graphics to bring the characters and setting to life. Players view events from a third party perspective within a fictional historical world and engage in quests and quests before attempting the final assassination of the enemy.
The world’s leading audiobook brand Audi has partnered with a visual effects company to add 3D animation to the 2018 commercial I Am What I Hear. in less than 30 seconds, we see three-dimensional graphics superimposed on human actors, representing the knowledge and pleasure that comes from listening to an audiobook. this is a great example of how brands are incorporating 3d animation into marketing campaigns.
learn to animate in 3d
Although perfecting the art of this style of animation takes years, starting your own projects is the best way to learn. If you’re feeling inspired to create, there’s no better time to take a class and create your own 3D character.