Creating a 3D character for a logo or commercial is only half the battle. As soon as the appearance of your character is ready, coordinated and approved, the fun begins – the creation of 3d animation. This is a laborious and incredibly interesting process that allows you to eventually “revive” any idea … For example, teach a character to talk to a client, be sad and happy, think and move, “get involved” in adventures and show on fingers how to apply your product.
The work of 3d animators is a colossal work that allows you to create not just a moving picture, but also a completely reliable reality around. How three-dimensional animation is created and what miracles can be done skillfully, we will analyze in more detail in the article.
To quote Dr. Frankenstein: It’s alive!
Animation of three-dimensional objects differs significantly from 2d animation – “flat” cartoons, where volume was achieved with the help of perspective and correct painting of characters and surroundings. Today technologies allow immediately create a volumetric model and show its shape with lighting and camera movement. In this case, the concept of animation changes:
2d animation – creating the illusion of movement or changing the shape of objects using techniques.
Animation 3d – automatic movement or transformation of objects in space and time.
Simply put, before it was necessary to draw the movement of each character frame by frame. Now it is enough to create a three-dimensional model of the character, after which it can be moved in space without additional effort and drawing. But it’s simple to say, but in fact – the revitalization of a 3d model of characters is a rather complicated process. To make a figurine move, it is not enough to have access to a computer and smart programs. It is also necessary to imagine how the hero can move, what forces affect him at the same time (not those that are higher, but, for example, gravity, the force of friction and resistance).
If you want to get a living character with character – it is important to contact animators who are aware of all the subtleties and are ready to fanatically work out every detail. Not only gait, but also facial expressions, and movement of hairs, and slipping of fabric (if the hero, of course, wears clothes).
To take everything into account at once, you need to be a bit of a magician and a bit of a genius – quite apt description for the animators of the KLONA studio.
How to create non-zombies: features of 3d character animation
As modern wisdom says: nothing is a zombie but a zombie. And if your hero is not him, then the animation of the character must be “alive”, or, as they say today, verable. The viewer must believe that the hero really walks, looks, grimaces or smiles. , interacts with the environment.
Creating and animating a 3d character is about creating a story that is told not by words on paper (or a screen), but by movement. For example, a hero’s facial expressions can tell a lot about a character. But for this he must have a sufficiently “high quality” face to make the muscles move.
When the question is approached without due diligence or half-heartedly, as a rule, it turns out something at least unnatural, and sometimes even frightening.
So let’s take perfect model as a starting point, and see what you can do with it:
- Animate by keyframes;
- Animate along a path;
- Create animation in a dynamic environment;
- Animate using motion capture.
Each of the methods is easiest to explain by considering not only the technology, but also examples.
Keyframe animation: from point A to point B
Keyframes creation Is one of the most common ways to create 3D character animation. The essence of the method is as follows: on the time scale, several main points are set at which the position or shape of the object changes. The animator sets the required parameters of the model in the specified frames, and the program calculates the “intermediate” states automatically.
Example : For simplicity, let’s take a rubber ball that hits the ground and bounces up. To represent one such “jump”, the process must be divided into three stages: the ball at the top point – the ball on the ground – the ball again at the top point. In an amicable way, you should set more key frames, take into account a bunch of little things. Like the fact that when dropped, the rubber body stretches, and when hit, it flattens.
If you deform the object correctly at every fixed point in time, the 3d animation will be as natural as possible.
Not always 3d models of characters are people or animals. Our hero can be any object, for example, a flying camera or a UFO (in general, everything that has enough imagination). In this case, the blinking of lights and rotation along the axis will not be enough – not interesting. But to make the object fly along the trajectory, and even “send” the camera to follow the movement, approaching and moving away in time …
Trajectory animation and skillful handling of focus (that’s what a 3d animation studio should be able to do for sure) will turn a simple spinning of an object in space – into an exciting almost blockbuster.
The essence of the method is to:
- set the starting point (the beginning of the object’s path);
- designate the trajectory (the path that the object makes);
- specify the end point (where the model should stop).
After the character / object “snaps” to the trajectory, the program itself calculates and creates the movement. If you add animation of the object itself (flapping wings, opening air gates, extending the landing gear) and playing with the camera, you can achieve very interesting effects.
The CLONE studio team knows exactly how to make a simple movement along the paved route visually appealing and breathtakingly dynamic.
Animation in a dynamic environment
Our hero is not in a vacuum. Any character is surrounded by some kind of reality , in which there is necessarily gravity (if it is not in space), the movement of air masses and other types of oscillations. All this should be taken into account so that the animation of the character is realistic enough.
What does the result of such an animation look like and where can it be observed?
In details. When a character walks through the city, and a cloak flutters in a gust of wind, or when hair sticks to his face under water – all this is due to animation taking into account the surrounding factors.
Strictly speaking, animation in a dynamic environment – rather, computational work with deep immersion in the physical characteristics of objects. But without all this, even the most detailed 3d modeling with elaboration of textures will not make the character livelier.
Motion capture: turning a movie into a cartoon
Motion capture technology – young, but very popular. Today motion capture is used in almost all science fiction films. The essence of this method is extremely simple:
- sensors are attached to the actor;
- while the actor is moving, cameras fix the position of the sensors;
- their displacement is processed by the program and creates a moving “skeleton” with a set of key frames;
- the resulting package of information is “wrapped” in a shell – for this, 3d character modeling is used.
As a result, the hero’s actions turn out to be realistic, convincing, and the animators do not have to struggle with physics and remember where what is bending.
Where to poke to move: the complexity of animation of 3d characters
Today it is easy to find programs for 3d modeling and character animation. But alas, it’s not enough just to download free software or buy a licensed copy of a cool specialized software. The transformation of a three-dimensional blank into a living creature is a painstaking work that requires skill and practice.
Although there are a variety of tutorials on how to create 3D animation, there are often contacting specialists significantly saves time, nerves and money … The animators of the KLONA design studio know exactly what needs to be done to make your hero not only beautiful, but also lively, convincing, and memorable!