In recent times animation, especially 3D animation, has become a vogue. Lots of students aspire to be a 3D artist. But rest assured it is not a cake walk. You need sincere hard work and dedication. One really needs to understand the basics of 3D animation.
For now there are two established ways of 3D animation production namely:
o Keyframe Animation
o Motion Capture
Let us learn more about these two techniques:
It is the oldest technique of 3D animation production. It can be dated back to somewhere 1600 BC Egypt. We have some frame-by-frame masterpieces of then preserved. In modern times this technique can be dated back to Walt Disney and Winsor McCay. Although, not much has been changed since 1900's. Almost the same old principals are applicable, without any new additions. Keyframes essentially involves changes in shape, position, space and timing of the object in consecutive frames. All the changes are made significantly in the object being in the key frames.
Keyframing software has significantly made the process simpler and effective. This helps the animators accomplish their task in less amount of time with increased efficiency. 3D software makes use of 'tweening' or 'interpolating' the in-between frames. The software working can be understood by the following example:
While animating a falling object, one frame would be object in the mid-air and the next would be the object touching the ground whereas its key frame would be object getting squished and getting deformed. The software then calculates the in-between frames automatically. With the software now animation is just a matter of creating few but immense key frames.
It is also popularly known as mocap. This technique was used initially because of the technological limitations. But in present times its usage has been accepted at a vast platform as a result of technological advancement. It is now brought in use of CG effects, video games and many more. In comparison to Keyframing, Motion Capture is fast and offers immediacy. This technique is effective as subjects of Mocap are made to wear specifically designed suits with sensors to record their limb movements. This data is then related to the rig of 3D character which in turn is translated by a 3D software into animations.
But this technique is not fit for the beginners. The first and foremost limit is its cost. Its cost may run down to several tens of thousands dollars. Utmost to make most of this technique, you can conveniently import Mocap data from a commercially accessible Mocap library. The other limitation being the output is never perfect. Keyframe finishing is always required to give it a finished and a realistic look. It becomes all the more necessary in case the anatomy of the object to be animated in unlike human beings.