How Are Animations Produced? The Guide To 3D and 2D Animations

Animation is defined as the rapid display of a sequence of images in order to create an illusion of movement. There are several techniques used in animation, namely traditional animation, stop motion animation, and computer animation. Nowadays, computer animation seems to be the way to go whether it be for a motion picture, video program or any other means of presenting animation.

Computer animation covers a plethora of techniques, with the unifying factor being that it is digitally created on a computer. There are two kinds of computer animation, namely 2D and 3D animation.

2D figures are created on the computer using 2D bitmap graphics or vector graphics. This includes computerized versions of a number of traditional animations techniques. 3D animation is digitally modeled and manipulated by an animator. While the results of the two techniques vary greatly, 3D animation actually relies on many of the same algorithms used in 2D.

A lot goes in to making a 3D animation, namely a variety of algorithms, mathematical functions, simulated fur or hair, effects such as fire and water and so much more. These can be achieved by using different techniques, including photo realism, cel-shaded and motion capture.

Photo realism is used mainly if the animator’s goal is for the animation to resemble real life. Using advanced rendering techniques, an animator can make detailed skin, plants, water, fire, clouds and just about everything under the sun, as close to real life as they can. Cel-shaded animations is used to mimic traditional animation using computer graphics software. It can make shading look stark and lessen the blending of colors. Motion capture is when a live actor wears a special suit that allows computer to copy their movements into computer generated characters. And that’s just a few of the techniques that fall under 3D dynamics. I believe that this is what makes it so popular these days.

3D techniques allow us to create a virtual world in which characters and objects move and interact. These techniques, when applied one on top of the other, also allows the images to seem more realistic. It is for this reason that many 3D animations are used as visual effects for movies, or make up whole movies, that have been released for the better part of the past decade.