3D Animation Creation – What Does It Take in Practice

Author: Bob Jun 09, 2021 6 min read

The other day, I watched for a bit how our 3D animation team is working on creating graphics and animation, and I definitely have something to tell you. In this article, our 3D Department Team Lead, Alex Chan, shares some insights into 3D model creation from a practical standpoint. This process is as difficult as it is fun. But this isn’t the end. This is just the beginning. 


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How 3D Animation Is Used? 


Creating 3D animation is quite a popular approach in video production. It combines the opportunities to create stunning graphics, better visualize the concept and achieve different marketing goals. For example:

  • 3D is often used in architecture modeling to plan and showcase how a future object will look like;
  • you may use this approach for medical projects, for example, clearly show how a pill affect the cells;
  • 3D is one of the best approaches to prove the concept and visualize the prototype since it shows how an innovation or some kind of complex mechanism works in three dimensions. That’s why our creative specialists often use 3D animation to create a product demo or explainer video. 


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3D Animation – Is It Difficult to Create? 


Creating 3D models is equally challenging, something difficult but still interesting and engaging. 3D animation requires much more creative and technical work to be accomplished. A 3D model should never be static since it loses its realistic look. 

Still, the 3D animation workflow is quite standard. It consists of pre-production, production, and post-production stages. But before we get a fully animated model, we have to do a lot of preparatory work. The process of creating a 3D model begins with sketching. 

Next, an artist will create a high-poly model – a 3D object of a high level of detail followed by a low-poly model that has to be textured and rigged. Only then, an artist may proceed with the most creative and engaging 3d animation job – animation itself. 

At this point, some customers may get frustrated since they are already willing to see some kind of result, but in practice, the process of preparing a character for animation may take 50-70% of the time estimate. On average, creating a 3D model takes up to 80 hours.


Why Do 3D Animations Take Ages to Render?


Rendering is one of the most challenging tasks in the process of 3D animation. Rendering means creating an image with the help of 3d animation software. At the next stage, an artist will compose all the images into a single flow. 3D animation movies, for example, the ones created by Disney or Pixar, need even more time to be rendered. 

That’s why the process of rendering can be really slow. What’s more, this is the process when you can’t afford to make a mistake since it may cost getting back to the beginning.


3 Goal-Specific Software for Animation to Use Right Now


There are a lot of paid and free 3d animation software applications modern artists chose to create top-notch 3D animation. Our creative team and I agree that the following picks are the most effective tools to create something great, and the choice of the tool to use is always goal-dependent. 

  1. Maya. This is quite a famous 3D animation maker. Maya is a great tool for animation development thanks to its ability to help you with assets creation and their clear naming. 
  2. 3Ds Max. While 3Ds Max is well suitable for film production, it is also often used for architecture modeling and visualization.
  3. Houdini. This is a top-notch choice to create visual effects. Our experts agree that their creation may be time-consuming as well since you still have to keep all the objects as realistic as possible. For example, the effect of a wave rolling ashore looks simple, but there are many details that you need to consider, for example, the effect of wet sand, splashes, and the noise of the surf. 


How to Choose a 3D Animation Studio for a Project? 


There are a lot of 3D animation studios you may get in touch with, but how to choose the perfect match for your 3D? Let me share some tips our customers often follow as well. 

  • Take a careful look at the portfolio and pay attention to the projects from a semi-business niche. Don’t hesitate to use the experience of the agency to do their best for your project. 
  • Research their reviews. Pay attention not only to the reviews published on the official website but also to the ones hosted by independent platforms like Clutch and Google My Business. Take a closer look at specific reviews filled with details; they are more likely to be authentic. 
  • Make sure they have well-established communication practices. Most video production and game development projects are created according to Agile/Scrum methodology, which implies constant communication within the team and frequent updating the customer on the progress. 
  • Consider location and pricing. On average, 3D animation services cost $30 per hour. Top-notch US companies may charge more. 


But Can I Learn 3D Animation on My Own? 


Of course, you can. To get started, make sure you understand the basic definitions and concepts of 3D modeling, graphic design, and video production industry, and proceed with online courses that you may access on Coursera or Udemy. 

Getting through an online course will be beneficial to figure out how basic things work and then prepare for the most exciting part learning from your own experience. This is an integral part of professional development for any 3D artist, and it is also a way to find your own unique style. Here are two more simple tips.

  1. Experiment with a 3d animation maker online or 3d animation software for beginners. 
  2. Subscribe to Bob’s blog to stay tuned into industry updates, useful tips, and the best practices from the world of 3D and video production. 


I sincerely wish you to succeed. You are also welcome to get in touch with our creative team that will gladly help you create stunning 3D animation for your video project! 


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