What Is 3D Animation and Its Applications

What Is 3D Animation and Its Applications

What Is 3D Animation and Its Applications

What Is 3D Animation and Its Applications

Everything about what is 3D animation, its types, applications, and creation process will be discussed in this article.

Everything about what is 3D animation, its types, applications, and creation process will be discussed in this article.

Everything about what is 3D animation, its types, applications, and creation process will be discussed in this article.

Jan 22, 2024

Jan 22, 2024

Jan 22, 2024

what is 3d animation
what is 3d animation
what is 3d animation

3D animation is the art of bringing digital things to life, making them seem like they're moving in a space that looks three-dimensional. Even though these animated things only show up on a flat screen, they're made to look like they exist in a 3D world. They seem to move and spin just like real items would, letting us see them from all angles.

In the past, 3D animation was mostly used for video games, TV, and movies. But these days, we see 3D animation in many more places. You might find it in a snappy advert or even a medical scan.

In this article, we'll take a closer look at 3D animation definition, its types, applications, and the process of creating it.

What Is 3D Animation?

3D animation is a type of computer-generated imagery (CGI) that simulates movement in a three-dimensional environment. It involves creating and manipulating digital models to make them appear as if they are moving in a physical space.

Unlike traditional 2D animation which uses flat images and drawings, 3D animation creates the illusion of depth and realism by using specialized software and techniques.

3D animation is like magic that brings flat images to life, making them move, jump or dance on our screens. Imagine playing with paper cut-outs and making them move like real people or animals - that's pretty much what 3D animation does, but in a digital space.

How Does 3D Animation Work?

The process of creating 3D animation is complex and requires technical skills, creativity, and attention to detail. Here's a simplified breakdown of the steps involved in this creative process:

1. Modeling

The first step in creating 3D animation is to create a digital model of the object or character you want to animate. This involves using specialized software to create a three-dimensional wireframe, which acts as the skeleton of the model. Or you can use a new technique Gaussian splatting to create a 3D object from images.

Next, artists use texturing tools and techniques to add color, texture, and details like hair or skin onto the model. The final result is a lifelike digital representation of the object or character.

2. Rigging

In order for the model to move, it needs a virtual skeleton called a rig. Rigging is the process of creating this virtual skeleton by adding joints and controls to the model.

These joints act as pivot points that allow artists to manipulate and control the movements of the model. Rigging is a crucial step in the 3D animation process as it determines how natural and realistic the movements of the model will be.

3. Animation

Once the model is rigged, artists can start animating by manipulating its joints and controls. This involves creating keyframes and poses to indicate different positions of the model at specific points in time.

The software then fills in the frames between these keyframes to create a smooth and fluid movement. This process can be quite time-consuming, as it involves creating thousands of poses and movements for each character or object.

4. Lighting

After animation comes lighting, which is essential for setting the mood and atmosphere of the scene. Artists use specialized software to add and manipulate light sources such as spotlights, ambient lights, and directional lights to achieve the desired effect.

They can also add shadows, reflections, and other visual effects to enhance the realism of the scene. Proper lighting is crucial in creating a believable and immersive 3D animation.

5. Rendering

Once all elements such as models, textures, rigging, animation, and lighting are complete, the final step is rendering. This involves using powerful computers to process all the data and create the final output in the form of an animated sequence or still image.

The amount of time it takes to render a scene depends on its complexity and the quality of the output desired. It can range from a few minutes to several days for high-end productions.

6. Post-Production

This involves editing and compositing the rendered images and adding special effects and sound to create a cohesive and visually appealing sequence.

Post-production also includes color correction and visual enhancements to improve the overall quality of the animation. The final product is then exported in various formats for distribution and viewing.

Applications of 3D Animation

Movies and Television

3D animation has revolutionized the entertainment industry. It brings stories to life in films and TV shows, creating magical, immersive experiences for audiences.

3D animation movie like Toy Story to Frozen, owe their success to this technology. It allows filmmakers to create realistic characters, fantastical worlds, and breathtaking action sequences.

Screenshot from Toy Story 4 trailer

Video Games

The gaming industry has also heavily embraced 3D animation. From simple mobile games to complex, open-world titles, 3D animation is used to create visually stunning and interactive experiences for players.

It allows developers to design detailed and realistic environments, characters, and special effects, making the gaming experience more immersive and engaging.

3d animation from a video game


3D animation has become a popular tool for advertising as well. Companies use it to create eye-catching commercials, product showcases, and brand visuals.

The use of 3D animation in advertisements has proven to be effective in capturing the audience's attention and promoting products or services.

Take a look at these 3D animated product mockups made in Pixcap. With pre-built scenes and easy customization, you can create high-quality product showcases in minutes. Click here to learn more and try it out!

Education and Training

The use of 3D animation in education and training allows students to visualize complex concepts, making it easier for them to understand and retain information.

In fields such as medicine, engineering, and architecture, video animation is used to create simulations for training purposes. This enables students to practice their skills in a safe yet realistic environment.

Architecture and Interior Design

Architects and interior designers use animation and 3D to create virtual models of buildings and spaces before they are constructed. This allows them to visualize and make changes to their designs in a more efficient and cost-effective manner.

It also helps clients better understand the final product, making it easier for them to provide feedback and make decisions during the design process.

3d animation used in architecture and interior design

2D Animation Vs. 3D Animation

For a long time, movies used 2D animation, but computer technology brought in 3D animation. Both techniques have their own ways of making films. What's the difference?

2D animation uses drawings or paintings which are put together to create motion. These can be hand-drawn on paper or made with computer software like Photoshop or Unity. Once all the frames are made, they're photographed and edited to make the final animation.

3D animation, on the other hand, turns 3D objects into 2D images. The 3D items are lit, photographed from different angles, and put into a sequence. When played fast, this sequence looks like it's moving.

3D animation typically looks more realistic, but it's also more costly and takes longer to create because it needs software. 2D animation, while usually less expensive and faster to make, can also be easily changed or fixed. But 3D animation can better handle action scenes or complex settings. Each method has its pros and cons, so the choice depends on what the project needs.

Enhancing Product Displays with 3D Animated Mockups

Pixcap's 3D animated mockup feature is a revolutionary tool that is set to redefine the way products are displayed.

With this feature, you can create realistic, high-quality 3D animations of your product in a matter of minutes. No longer will you need to rely on static images or spend hours on complex 3D modeling software.

Pixcap's user-friendly interface lets you easily design and manipulate 3D models, and even add dynamic animations. This can enhance your product presentations, making them more enticing and engaging for your audience.


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