First and foremost, let’s define what is 3D animation in clear and straightforward language. From the word “3D”, it stands for “three – dimensional” and according to the popular worldwide web – “3D animation is when computer-generated objects appear to move through three-dimensional space. In 3D animation, objects can be moved and rotated following the same principles as in real life. Computer animation makes use of 3D computer graphics to create a two-dimensional moving picture that depicts three dimensions”
Clay animation or “claymation’ or ‘stop-motion” was the very first 3D animation style that came to life in the early 1900s. Gumby (which first aired in 1956), Wallace and Gromit (1990), Shawn the Sheep (1995), and Robot Chicken (2005) were all produced this way. In the 1960’s an employee at Boeing, the world’s largest aerospace company and leading manufacturer of commercial jetliners, defense, space, and security systems, and service provider of aftermarket support, William Alan Fetter or Bill Fetter, started to experiment on the computer with early forms of 3-D imagery of airline pilots. He was a graphic designer and artist, who invented the first real 3D image of the human form and was used in short films for Boeing. He’s popularly known as the artist who created or invented computer graphics.
There are 5 types of animation, namely; Traditional Animation, 2D Animation, 3D Animation, Motion Graphics and Stop Motion. As technology continues to evolve, 3D becomes affordable and the demands of using the 3D from manufacturing to animation and rendering had increased over the past years. The ability and skill in creating 3D animations have become a necessity in the world of animation and entertainment.
It is given that a successful 3D Designer should have the qualities like creativity, attention to detail, and problem-solving skills however, those are not enough to beat the new demands in the animation.
This article will allow you to discover the 6 best 3D modeling techniques in 2021 that can help you produce a perfect masterpiece.
It is a type of 3D modeling that works by tweaking and fine-tuning parameters to create or deform objects as opposed to directly focusing on the shape. It is used by creating the movement of characters or NPC’s (Non-Playable Characters) and also used to create weather effects e.g. the wind blowing the trees.
2. Box Modeling
This type of modeling technique is most suitable for hard-surface objects like architectural visualization because its primary purpose is to make a basic shape of the final model from a primitive shape such as a box, a cylinder, sphere, etc. The main goal is on manipulating larger portions and whole shapes of an object at a time that’s why the process uses several repetitive steps to reach the final and desired outcome. The advantage of this technique is it is quick and easy to learn. It is also appreciably faster than placing each point individually. However, it is difficult to add high amounts of detail to models created using this technique without patience, persistence, and a lot more practice.
3. Nurbs Modeling
NURBS stands for ‘Non-Uniform Rational B-Splines’ and is used to mathematically represent 3D geometry. It has the potential of precisely describing all types of digital shapes from circles, arcs, 2D shapes to 3D solids and highly intricate freeform organic surfaces. This is one of the popular methods in 3D animation because it helps to achieve accuracy in the representation of standard geometric objects. Here are the advantages of using this modeling technique:
- Different types of organic 3D curves and shapes can be constructed
- Curves are of the smoothened type and minimal nature
- NURBS surface can be constructed with ease
- Surfaces can be constructed with ease
- Surface types find wide application in different domains
- Games, visualizations, industry modeling, animations, etc. are done with NURBS
- 3D NURBS data type can be exported to CAD software applications with ease
- IGES file format is used for surface export to Cad programs
- In Maya, Bezier curves can be imported as well as the NURBS data type
- NURBS data can be imported from different CAD applications in Maya
- NURBS curve can be open, closed, or clamped
This method is best used in the creation of simple as well as complex 3D shapes.
4. Polygon Modeling
This is similar to box modeling; it starts with a simple shape or a single vertex and works piece by piece. The emphasis of this technique is highly focused on the vertices and edges in a detailing way. This is perfect for hard surface objects that have more organic shapes such as circles, triangles, squares, and trapezoids.
This requires a camera to capture an object several times from all angles in an even lighting condition. The basic principle is just like taking a photo using a panorama feature, stitching together overlapping photographs into a 2D mosaic. Most of the realistic 3D images are created through the use of this modeling technique.
6. Digital 3D Sculpting
This technique is more focused on the artistic side. It uses faces, vertices, and edges to create 3D objects. Digital 3D sculpting uses brushes to manipulate shapes and is popular with animal, character, or creature design. It can also sculpt details that are way difficult to create with the other modeling techniques.
A great designer/animator will always allow himself to learn and embrace new techniques, he can either stick to one or choose multiple techniques, but what’s more important is the passion to bring life to his creations.