How to begin creating 3D animation


Everybody has seen 3D animation in movies, video games, ads, and TV shows. It is a kind of art that began as experimentation in the 1960s and didn’t gain popularity until the release of the beloved Toy Story in 1995. These days, 3D animation is a very competitive, widely-used, and rapidly growing genre. The first thing you’ll want to know if you want to pursue this as a career is where to begin and how to create 3D animation

11 steps to creating a 3D animation

The stages involved in the intricate process of 3d cartoon animation are similar to those of early and late filmmaking.To provide an overview of the steps involved, let us examine them more closely.

1. Idea

The piece’s original idea or plot is known as the concept. Before ever drawing a sketch, companies like Pixar will spend up to two years perfecting the script. Their ability to refine the story before beginning production has been the key to their success. Any changes to the story made during the animation process, in contrast to live-action filmmaking, would blow the budget and derail the project.

2. Using storyboards

After the script is finalized, a storyboard is employed to provide a previsualization of the text. A storyboard artist sketches out each scene, indicating character action, shot choice, action flow, and cinematic direction. It is a crucial blueprint that directs the manufacturing procedure.

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3. Using 3D modeling

The process of creating objects and characters by using a mathematical representation of each component is known as modeling. Software such as Autodesk Maya, Z-Brush, and Blender is utilized, with vertices—points in virtual space—being employed to form a mesh for the creation of rudimentary compositions of primitive shapes like cubes, spheres, or planes. Three-dimensional objects are crafted by mapping these points onto a three-dimensional grid.

4. Texture

Texturing is the process of giving a 3D object its outer layer finish after it has been created. This could be an animal’s fur, a character’s skin, clothes, or hair, the brickwork of a building or home, a car or machine’s metal finish, etc. Teams of texture artists concentrate on this phase of the process in a studio setting.

5. Deploying and preparing

Rigging, known as the process of building the musculoskeletal framework for your animation, involves enabling an object’s joints and moving components so that it can move realistically. Character rigs are created by riggers for 3D animation projects, providing these functional skeletons.

Smoothing out these joints, or providing the skin that covers the mechanics underneath the object, is the next step in the process.

6. Graphics

Here, the entire storyboard is animated in order to bring the script to life.After creating your 3D object or character from scratch, you can animate it by creating a series of movements or a scene, usually with the aid of a program like Maya. Do I need to be able to draw in order to work as a 3D animator? Drawing proficiency is not a requirement for 3D animation, but it can be helpful because the medium requires far more technical knowledge than 2D animation.

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A rough animation of the scene will be created before the actions are fine-tuned. A 3D animator will frequently go through several approval stages after blocking is approved before it is deemed “final.” Visit our blog post on the top 6 forms of animation to learn about additional animation genres.

7. Creating

The process of creating the 3D animation with a graphics processing unit is known as rendering, or image synthesis (GPU). This is accomplished by entering the render equation into the program, which generates an animated sequence in its entirety. This process allows for the incorporation of various elements into the sequence, including depth of field, motion blur, reflection, shading, texture mapping, and shadows.

8. VFX and Compositing

The process of combining multiple render passes to create the final animation is known as compositing. It is a technique that entails adding layers to a single image or set of images in order to refine aspects like lighting, shading, colors, etc. VFX compositors are in charge of compiling all live-action plates, 2D elements, and any CG (such as animation and FX) using programs like Nuke. The final stage of the visual effects pipeline is compositing.

The process of adding visual effects is similar to that of compositing. Using a compositing program, the illusions and visual tricks that improve the scenes and characters are added as separate renders and layered onto the already-animated footage.

9. Foley & Music

A sound studio is where all of the audio for animation is produced. This covers recording the score as well as all the melodies and special effects needed for the animation. The timing of the music matches and enhances the images.

The creation of all the sound effects needed for the piece is called foley. After these audio components are completed, they go through a sound mixing and editing process to match the action.

10. Revision

Despite being strictly storyboarded, animation still requires editing to time out sequences, transition between scenes, and produce a final sound edit.

11. The finished product

The final render is initiated once every element has been rendered, animated, and refined. Once the production process is completed and the last touches are applied, the render button is pressed, and there’s no going back! The animation is brought to its completion!

How to launch a career in 3D animation

This is the procedure for creating large-scale 3D animation, which calls for the skills of numerous artists, including both generalists and specialists. You can begin creating your own short animations if it sounds like something you’d love to be involved in. A scaled-down version of this procedure is under your control.

Draft your screenplay. Which characters are you? What is the plot of your story? It might only be a brief scene or situation. Practice using sound, character, and visuals to tell a story.

Maya is the most widely used among the many 3D animation platforms that are available. You can begin by learning on your own through your own 3D animation experiments, but as you push yourself to create more complex work, figuring out how to navigate the genre’s complexities can be intimidating.

Launching your career as a 3D animator requires mastering intricate software features and seeking assistance when needed. Official training, such as the 3D animation courses offered by CG Spectrum, provides personalized feedback, industry insights, and technical support from experienced animators, helping you build an outstanding portfolio and advance your skills.

Even after you graduate, CG Spectrum provides you with individualized career services to help you succeed in the cutthroat industry of animation!

Is a 3D animation from the ground up prepared to be created by you?

We provide thorough 3D animation courses at CG Spectrum that will walk you through the production process and give you the tools you need to get employment in the field. You will receive instruction in the fundamentals of animation.

workflow setup, and the creation of a polished portfolio showcasing your own work from experienced animators who will serve as mentors throughout the course.

By studying the fundamentals of animation and downloading 3D animation software from the internet, anyone can learn how to make 3D animation on their own. If you wish to pursue it as a career, think about the insightful advice that professionals in the area can give you. You should consider it a priceless investment in your career as a 3D animator.

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