2D animation takes you back to your childhood
That’s right. The first thing you probably saw on the television as a child was a 2D animated cartoon.
That’s because 2-dimensional animation or 2D is the most popular form of animation. It is also one of the oldest forms of animation having been introduced during the 1800s. It was created by using multiple frames together, with each frame featuring a drawing that is slightly different from the one on the next frame. For each second, 24 frames were drawn. That’s a lot of frames! While the original technique meant hand-drawing each frame, today, advanced software is used to create and animate characters and backgrounds.
3D animation brings visuals to life
The third dimension of animation explores the perception of depth, and is the key differentiator between 2D and 3D. 3D animation is far more complicated than 2D but offers a more vivid and immersive experience for the viewer thanks to the use of perspective in the form of lighting, shadows, highlights, and movement. 3D animation is painstaking and time-consuming, but the end result can be amazing when done right. Since it is not possible to animate in 3D by hand due to its complex nature, 3D animation is a completely computerised process using dedicated software and hardware.
Toy Story is the first feature-length film fully modelled and created with the help of 3D technology
The animated movie which released way back in 1995 starred Tim Allen and Tom Hanks, and spawned 3 sequels, 2 animated series, 2 television specials, 4 short films, and a direct-to-video title. That’s a lot of Toy Stories!
Steps in the Animation Process
Conceptualization and Scripting
Before we can start a project, we need to figure out the end result – and then we work backwards. In our initial meeting with a potential client, we understand the client requirement while working out the big picture. This concept determines character sketching, sequencing, and scripting outcomes. We also use this opportunity to understand the overall feel of the clip or video and learn what it is trying to achieve.
With a clear concept in mind, we start developing a storyboard. A storyboard is a graphic representation of how the video will unfold, shot by shot. It’s made up of a number of squares with illustrations or pictures representing each shot, with notes about what’s going on in the scene, as well as what’s being said as part of the script during that shot. This helps us create a clear picture of the storyline, character design, and overall production layout.
An animatic is a string of storyboard images edited together (often with sound) to illustrate how a sequence will flow in motion. It’s a next-level technique after storyboarding. It’s not always a necessary step, however, it does provide a fuller sense of what the finished project will look like. During this phase, we introduce pre-planned visual elements that are later used in the animation outcome while maintaining compatibility with the story.
Clean-up and Coloring
With an animatic skeleton in place, it’s time to work on the final product. It is in this stage where we do the final character and background drawings to produce a finished product (film, episode, explainer video etc). Once the clean-up process is done, we start adding colour to the animation.
Content and Keyframes
If the process wasn’t interesting enough so far, this is where the magic happens! The next step is to develop keyframes to determine the timing of movements of characters and background elements while developing the character skeletons used to animate and modify specific parts in these characters. This is what helps us begin to bring everything to life, whether it’s for a film or tv series, or a simple instructional video for a product or service.
Compositing, editing, and the final product
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Some of the popular use cases for 3D animation
3D modelling is great if you’re looking to create an impact or a stellar first impression in your product demos. We do this by creating realistic product models that can be incorporated into any form of media. If you want to go a step further, you can consider creating a more immersive experience by incorporating 3D models in an augmented or virtual reality using a smartphone or specialised hardware from companies such as Occulus.
3D Rendering and 3D Printing
With 3D rendering, you can accurately portray architectural or mechanical projects and e-commerce products. This is great for virtual showrooms, brochures, specifications, etc. Renders can also be used for 3D printing to create models or mechanical parts. These are great for real estate or construction projects, automobile companies, or startups looking to create prototypes for products before heading to manufacturing.
We are only limited by our imagination! Through 3D animation, we can create interactive games or augment your marketing campaigns to reach your target audience. We also create TV and Web Series, movie effects, and much more. When it comes to 3D animation, we work from end-to-end, or assist in various phases of production such as texturing, storyboarding, or colour correction.
Tour upcoming real-estate projects, stroll through a museum or art gallery, look around a virtual showroom. With 3D walkthroughs, you can bring your business to your customers. While this is best experienced in a virtual reality environment, 3D walkthroughs can also be experienced using nothing more than a smartphone and an on-screen touch navigation control. In the past few years, 3D walkthroughs have become increasingly popular, thanks in part to the popularity of apps such as Google Earth and Streetview.
3D Print Graphics
Take your branding to the next level with amazing 3D prints which are perfect for outdoor visuals on rollups, convention booths, or even billboards and large banners. 3D prints allow you to bring a touch of reality to your artwork and are great especially when you’re looking to bring a company mascot or design to life. 3D prints can also be used for branding on t-shirts, or on automobiles.
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