3D animation and game design is a fusion of art and technology. It is a team effort where both, the creative and IT veterans pitch in their best to develop a stellar product.

The whole 3D animation process can be divided into three segments:

  • Pre-Production
  • Production
  • Post-Production

Each segment is an intense process, with numerous phases within each. The following is a more detailed description of 3D animation productions segments.

Pre-Production

The first phase of 3D animation production is the script. The script covers details such as movement, action, expression and dialogue

The next phase is storyboarding. The words from the script are translated into images. The storyboard artist will draw the scenes depicting the character, actions and the environment.

Storyboarding is followed by concept design. A lot of detail goes into the designing process to make the design look exceptional and accurate to the client’s request.

Then modeling beings. This is the process of building the objects that are going to be place in front of the virtual camera. There are numerous animation software packages that provide the modeler with basic three-dimensional geometric shapes. The parts are then fused together to become one homogeneous piece.

The final pre-production phase, for 3D animation is rigging. This simply means adding a skeleton to the model. After a model is rigged when one body part is moved, the rest of the body moves proportionately.

Production

The first phase is called skinning. This is where muscle formation and skin coverage is added.

Skinning is then followed up with texturing. Texturing is very important to make the surfaces of the models look like they should appear. The main thing to creating textures is how to combine light and color to get the desired look.

Next is animation. An animator brings life to a character with personality and the ability to move and interact. To be a 3D animator you must be fluent with physics and the science of motion.

Lighting is then used to create the mood in the scene. It enhances the personality of an animation. The most basic virtual lights are spotlight, point light and parallel light. Lighting takes a lot of work to maintain continuity within the scene.

All of the elements above in the production segment lead to the final phase called effects. Visual effects are instrumental in creating a mood an atmosphere. The visual artwork includes items ranging from furniture to vehicles to natural elements such as shadows, mist, fog, wind, fire etc. Visual effects are developed in unison with the lighting to ensure proper integration.

Post-Production

The first phase in post-production is rendering. Rendering is applied once the lighting and shadowing is done for the scenes or characters.

The final stage in 3D animation production is compositing. Here, the scene is broken up into separate elements and then layered back together in preparation for final film or video output.


Tags: 3d animation, 3D animation production, 3d animation production process, 3D animator, animation, 3d animation process

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