There are many uses for 3D animation, from a basic caption to an entertaining cartoon. Something as simple as a logo acquires extra punch when rendered in 3D. A product demo, as part of a presentation, trade show booth, or infomercial, can quickly illustrate the utility of the product. That's where a 3D animation company like Zco comes in.
Any 3D asset produced by Zco can be provided in multiple formats: raw models and textures, rendered images and videos, etc. Zco can also work from scratch or with existing assets from many applications.
There are three major stages in the 3D animation process, or pipeline: Pre-Production, Production, and Post-Production.
Pre-Production: Concept, Character, Background Designs, Storyboard and Animatics
Customers come to the Zco animation studio at various points in their own pre-production process. Most bring the Concept, the core idea at the heart of an animation project. Many have at least some rough Character Design and Background Design sketches, perhaps in pencil, ink, or paint, perhaps already in a 2D or 3D digital format. They may have even created a Story Board, an outline in visual form showing the progression of the animation.
The first stage of the animation pipeline is dedicated to refining and finalizing these elements. With the overall visual assets decided upon, the story board can evolve into Animatics, a pre-visualization of the entire concept in motion using simplified 3D models.
Production: 3D Modeling, Texturing, Rigging, Animation, Dynamics, and Lighting & Rendering
During 3D modeling, engineers give physical dimensions to objects and characters, ensuring consistency in the appearance and behavior of one model with others. Texturing supplies the visible skin of each creation, transforming it from a monochrome figure into an object or character with colors and shading. Articulating models require a digital skeleton; how one part of a model moves in relation to other parts is just as important as the whole model's interactions with other models. This is called rigging, and provides the basis for realistic motion in the final product.
Animation is that step where the story comes to life. With powerful 3D animation software like Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max, 3D animators give the models the power to move. The animator can also use motion capture technology to the movement of people or objects. By using 3D animation markers, the animated 3D characters can have perfect movements.
Some parts of a scene, like particles, fluids, and cloth, are animated using Dynamics, which simulate laws of physics to create realistic motion. Lighting and Rendering is the final stage in the production pipeline, where the raw animated scene is illuminated and output.
Post-Production: Visual Effects & Compositing, Video Editing, and Sound Editing
Visual Effects and Compositing create the final image by combining layers from various sources: -rendered computer animation, special effects, graphics, live action, and static background plates. Compositing ensures that consistency is maintained by creatively combining all these elements into the final video.
Video Editing completes the transition between scenes, to ensure the continuity in the storyline is maintained. Sound Editing consists of voiceovers, dialogues, and background music, all edited and blended to sync with the characters and background of the animated video.
After the customer has approved the creation, Zco can export the project to a variety of formats to fit the client’s needs.