What Is 3D Computer Animation?
Computer 3D animation technology allows the average person to bring images to life and create cartoons, 3D games, product demos, graphic modes and more. Software is available at affordable prices and can be used on most computers.
Computer 3D animation involves the creation of moving pictures in a digital environment. This is the only technology that allows easy control of animations compared to physical processes such as constructing miniatures or hiring extras for shots of crowds. T o create the illusion of movement, an image is displayed on the computer screen and repeatedly replaced by a new image, or “frame”, that is similar to the previous one, but advanced slightly in time. The viewer believes there is actual motion taking place, but this is only because consecutive images are passed through very quickly.
The use of the computer to produce moving images was preceded by the stop motion animation of 3D models and frame-by-frame animation of 2D illustrations. In stop motion animation an object or person was physically moved in tiny increments. Each movement was photographed and when the series of frames was played, the illusion of movement was created. This same frame by frame technique was also used for two-dimensional geometric models.
In this new art form of 3D animation, software is used to create and bring to life objects and characters in digital landscapes. Computer-generated animation is three-dimensional; that is characters and objects are modeled on a plane with an X,Y,and Z axis. Highly advanced computer tools are then used to further modify and manipulate the characters.
The first feature film to incorporate realistic and completely computer-generated characters into a live action movie was “Jurassic Park” in 1993. Then in 1995, Pixar produced the first full-length cartoon, “Toy Story”, which was produced entirely with computer-generated 3-D animation.
Due to the tremendous growth in computer processing power, 3-D animation has become increasingly sophisticated. Basic computer animation technology has much more affordable for the average person. There are numerous animation packages available but some brands like Maya remain immortal because of its high-end 3D computer graphics as well as its highly powerful 3D modeling software package. Because this is very popular with the film as well as the entertainment industry it's a good choice. Take note that Maya has two versions, namely Maya Complete as well as Maya Unlimited. The former is less powerful and the latter is considered highly powerful and expensive. So it would be best to choose only according to your requirements as an animator.
Included in these software programs are basic 3-D shapes, which are the building blocks for modeling complex objects such as a car. Simply connect the different sizes and shapes of cubes, pyramids, spheres, cylinders to construct your object. They can then be rotated and viewed from different angles.
Keep in mind that a lot of these off-the-shelf computer animation packages are helpful but they differ in the levels of complexity and features that come along with them. So it would be advisable to learn about computer 3d animation as well as the basic principles of 2D before you actually go out and get yourself any package.
For more information on 3D animation software, go to http://tinyurl.com/lngrrem
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