Computer animation is the process used for generating animated or moving images using computer graphics. Animators are artists who specialize in the creation of animation. Nowadays, there are many factors to take into consideration when looking into a 3D animation software package. Most software provides plenty of features which are beneficial for professionals while allowing room to grow for newcomers.
History of Animation
Early digital computer animation was developed in the 1960s at Bell Telephone Laboratories by Edward E. Zajac, Frank W. Sinden, Kenneth C. Knowlton, and A. Michael Noll.
1973: An early step in the history of computer animation was the sequel to the film Westworld, a science-fiction film about a society in which robots live and work among humans
1976: The sequel, Futureworld, used the 3D wire-frame imagery, which featured a computer-animated hand and faces both created by University of Utah graduates, Edwin Catmull and Fred Parke.
1994: The very first full-length computer animated television series was ReBoot, which debuted.
1995: The first computer animated film was Toy Story which was made by Pixar.
With the help of computer animation many blockbuster films were created like:
- Shrek 2 (2004)
- Avatar (2009)
- Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
- Toy Story 3 (2010)
- Cars 2 (2011)
- Life of Pi (2012)
- Frozen (2013)
- Minions (2015)
- Inside Out (2015)
- Sing (2016)
Steps for designing animation sequences
- Storyboard Layout
- Object Definitions
- Key Frame Specifications
- Generation of in-between Frames
Best Animation Applications:
1. Autodesk’s 3D animation software
Autodesk applications allow the user to generate characters, scenery, and animations that are perfect for movies, games and broadcast television. Its software emphasis on customizable workflow and numerous built-in features for creating realistic characters make it a great 3D animation software option for both novices and professionals.
Some of Autodesk’s software options are:
Maya offers solid texturing features with great materials. It gives the models a sense of form and pragmatism. Its toon shader is perfect for creating cartoons and imitating hand-drawn art.
- 3ds Max
The 3ds Max software is primarily based on polygon modeling. One can create a wide array of primitives to serve as a base for the models, like cubes, cones, pyramids and teapots. It is also well equipped for creating game-friendly textures with artificial lighting.
2. Maxon’s Application
Maxon 3D animation software is known for its fast rendering, and it also has great Photoshop-friendly capabilities. It is best for newcomers to 3D animation, but it still has the flexibility which can be useful for professional animators. It is a user-friendly 3D animation option.
- Cinema 4D
It is a 3D animation software which is easier to learn than most other applications. The great toolset and friendliness make it appropriate to graphic artists who have less familiarity with traditional 3D tools.
It comes in four categories:
- Prime: For starters, it’s a good application. It has less feature set like lacking soft body, cloth, hair and spline dynamics.
- Broadcast: Broadcast adds much-needed animation tools, including tracers and deformers.
- Visualize: This is recommended for professional architects and designers.
- Studio: This covers all the features like advanced character tools, motion/object tracker, hair system, sculpting etc.
3. SideFX Animation Software
It comes with extension capabilities. One can integrate their own plugins, which makes its software flexible. The application in SideFX is known as Houdini, which provides great options and precise control.
It is fully capable of modeling, texturing, rigging and animating 3D models. This software is consists of large-scale cinematic projects which requires involvement from numerous applications because it is an ideal tool to draw all elements together into one place.
With an intuitive 3D animation software application, one can build characters, objects, and landscapes. One can bring them to life as well using colors, textures, and movement. It is recommended that technical skills required to master the best 3D animation application and it can be achieved by joining the best animation institute. ADMEC Multimedia Institute offers diploma and certificate animation courses which focus on how to create and embed special effects and digitally imitate events in 3D.