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8 Stages of 3D Animation – Phase by Phase

Author: Ray Watson
by Ray Watson
Posted: Sep 08, 2019
software programs

3D mechanical animation plays a significant role in showcasing the functionality of a prototype. It becomes apparent how a product or concept would turn out to be useful for users. Getting a mechanical 3D animation in-house will bring down the overall operational costs and pave way for a better product.

A well-designed animation will not just help build the perfect prototype but lead to the optimum product design. Both your engineers as well as prospective buyers will get an accurate idea of the final product.

Creating accurate, detailed mechanical 3D models is a complex task and you need to have seasoned engineers and animation experts on board to accomplish it. They would create engineering drawings, CAD files, or product samples, depending upon your exact requirements. Using sketches with 2D CAD data and hand drawings, they would create exemplary 3D models.

You may use 3D models to present product samples to prospects and get an insight into their expectations. However, it is important that these models be exact replicas of the products in the line. This brings down the time consumed for the process enabling you to verify wireframe geometry creation, kinematics, and specs.

The process of 3D animation goes through 8 stages:

1. Storyboarding

Storyboarding determines how a process should move. The process would usually begin with the conceptualization and creation of a narrative that pulls together various frames. The storyboard would transform the concepts into visual form. Narration is displayed in the context of time and interaction. Time-based storyboarding would indicate the sequence of the scenes, while interaction-based storyboarding would reflect how the voiceover, effects, soundtrack, transition, and other components confluence.

2. 3D Modeling

Contrary to what many think, 3D modeling is quite ahead of a simple drawing. This phase would see 3D character and game props designs. Generally, professionals would develop a simple object and later add details to it. Potent 3D animation software programs can be used to reshape or manipulate the primitives. Competent modelers would ensure all their 3D models have a distinct identity.

3. Texturing

2D images are superimposed on the 3D models to create the impression of colors, design, and textures. Referred to as mapping, this phase involves the coloring of elements in animations. You may use software programs like Photoshop to add textures. Real images can be used for providing diverse patterns. For instance, if you need to create skin, you would make a suitable skin patch and superimpose it on the model to get the desired texture.

4. Rigging & Skinning

The skeleton is ready now and the next step is to add a 3D character to it. The process of rigging and skinning would put in place a system that governs all the mobility patterns of a character. Rigging is nothing but an establishment of control over the skeleton to make the character move as desired. Various rigs would be used, depending upon the subject. The model is now perfected to facilitate manipulation of the same.

5. Actual Process

This is the stage when the actual animal process starts. Many would rely on keyframe animation techniques to manage the frame of the object by frame. Another popular method is to utilize motion capture to ship the movement data from an external source. Software programs also have an internal mechanism to set the movement pattern.

6. Lighting

Lighting in the 3D world is always perceived. The impression is created by the manipulation of images to make it resemble the real-world lighting. The realistic appearance of lighting is imperative to make the animation relatable. You may need to apply an array of settings on the materials to create the lighting effect as you desire.

7. Camera Angles

Cinematography is all about the intelligent use of camera angles and techniques. The advantage of an animator is that there are no physical limitations on the camera angles. Using imagination, the animator may create arresting camera angles that provoke wow from the viewers.

8. Rendering

The process involves usage of the graphics on the 3D models. Many a time, beginners would overlook this step, putting in all their attention on creating the models. However, this is a big mistake. Using convincing graphical elements would make your animations look as intended.

Summing Up

Sticking to these basics is sort of mandatory for creating an animation that would capture people’s imagination. You may hire mechanical design services with a robust track record to visualize your idea about animation. Hire a mechanical designer with adequate competency and you can be quite sure of the efficacy of the animation that would come into being.

About the Author

Watson Ray is a famous content writer in Delhi NCR. Currently I am working for Multimedia Animators as a senior content writer.

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Author: Ray Watson

Ray Watson

Member since: Apr 08, 2019
Published articles: 8

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