Creating a 3D character for a logo or commercial is only half the battle. As soon as the appearance of your hero is ready, agreed, and approved, the most interesting 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 skillfully done, we will analyze in more detail in the article.
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 you to immediately create a three-dimensional model and show its shape by 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.
3d animation – 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 the figurine move, it is not enough to have access to a computer and smart programs. You also need 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).
creating a volumetric model
If you want to get a living character with character, it is important to turn to animators who are aware of all the subtleties and are ready to fanatically work through 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 into account everything 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.
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 is really walking, looking, grimacing or smiling , interacting 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 “high quality” face to make the muscles move.
When a question is approached without due diligence or half-heartedly, as a rule, it turns out to be something at least unnatural, and sometimes even frightening.
3d character animations
So let’s take the ideal model as a starting point and see what you can do with it:
Animate by keyframes;
Animate along the path;
Create animation in a dynamic environment;
Animate using motion capture.
Each of the methods is easier to explain by considering not only the technology, but also examples.
Keyframe animation: from point A to point B
Keyframes are one of the most common ways to create 3D character animations. 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 each fixed point in time, the architectural 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 …
Animation along a trajectory and skillful handling of focus (that’s what an architectural 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 endpoint (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 of the 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 a paved route visually attractive 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 vibrations. All this should be taken into account so that the character animation is realistic enough.
What does the result of this 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 underwater – all this is due to animation, taking into account the surrounding factors.
Animation in a dynamic environment
Strictly speaking, animation in a dynamic environment is more of a computational work with deep immersion in the physical characteristics of objects. But without all this, even the most detailed 3d modeling with the elaboration of textures will not make the character livelier.
Motion capture: turning a movie into a cartoon
Motion capture technology is 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 keyframes;
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 is bending.
Motion capture: turning a movie into a cartoon
Today it is easy to find programs for 3d modeling and character animation. But, alas, it is not enough just to download free software or buy a licensed copy of cool specialized software. The transformation of a three-dimensional blank into a living creature is painstaking work that requires skill and practice.
Difficulties of 3d character animation
Although a variety of tutorials on creating three-dimensional animation are posted on the network, 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!