How to Create an Attractive 3D Character Animation Video

3D animation is one of the most challenging disciplines in modern art. 

It requires not just an understanding of the 3D models used in its construction but a solid grasp of shot composition, the game engine, the renderer, and the animation software. 

And most importantly, you must be a skilled storyteller to convey your point.

You may create a 3D character or a whole video, movie, or game using different 3D models. 3D characters are frequently used in explainer videos, product demo videos, and marketing videos.

Before we go into the stages that will make your character animation easier, let’s first define what 3D character animation is.

INDEX

Defining 3D Character Animation
Key Factors in 3D Animation Price
3D Character Animation Workflow
Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas For an Animation Topic and Create a Storyboard
Step 2: Model 3D Characters
Step 3: Character Texturing
Step 4: Rigging and Skinning
Step 5: Animation
Step 6: Camera Movement And Lighting Adjustment
Step 7: Rendering And Composition
Step 8: Music and Foley
Step 9: Editing and Final Product
Conclusion

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Defining 3D Character Animation

3D character animation is the art of creating three-dimensional moving graphics. 

Creating character animation in 3D entails integrating the characters with thinking, personality, and expressions similar to real life.

There are various software programs animators use in creating 3D animations. Some of them are free, while some are paid subscriptions. 

Here is a list of some software programs you can use to create animated characters:

Software Program Price
Motionbuilder $1,950/year
Blender free
Cinema 4D  $737/year
Daz Studio free
Maya $1,700/year
Mixamo  free
Terragen $349/year
Animate $20.99/month
Autodesk 3ds Max $1,700/year

 

Each software program has different uses and features to create your animations. Animators also have their software preferences.

Key Factors in 3D Animation Price

Animation companies might charge varying prices for various aspects of the production. 

Below, we have listed the different aspects that influence the ultimate cost of 3D animation.

  • duration
  • complexity
  • animation type
  • 3D character design and art style
  • scope of work
  • animation experts and their qualifications

Now that we have an overview of 3D character animation, we will now discuss the steps in animation creation.

3D Character Animation Workflow

3D animation brings the characters to life, making them more appealing to viewers and grabbing their attention. 

You can start creating characters by doing the following:

Step 1: Brainstorm Ideas For an Animation Topic and Create a Storyboard

One of the most important aspects of making an animated 3D character is analysing and developing a concept. 

You may figure out how to add subtlety to your video characters if you properly conceive your ideas and clearly understand your animation topic, goals, and importance.

Don’t forget to put your ideas into visuals by generating a storyboard after brainstorming ideas for an animation theme.

A storyboard is a series of pictures depicting how the full narrative will appear. The storyboard will provide you with a two-dimensional representation of the story.

This is the stage at which you may consider the effect of your character animation on the audience.

Step 2: Model 3D Characters

Once the storyboard has been approved, you may begin to create and animate characters through modelling. 

Modelling is a process in which things take shape and are moulded into a full 3D mesh. The modelling will help you build and mould a character’s final appearance.

To create models, this procedure entails extending a simple object known as a primitive into a shape that may be polished and customised. It can range from a single point to a two-dimensional line, curve, or three-dimensional object.

In this phase, you can draw or create objects in various dimensions and styles. You can build models using suitable animation software.

Step 3: Character Texturing

After you’ve successfully modelled the characters, it’s time to dress your 3D models.

2D pictures will be layered with designs, colours, and textures during the texturing stage, and this overlapping is known as mapping.

Adobe Photoshop and Mixamo are excellent texturing tools offering a diverse choice of animation techniques.

Texturing artists are in charge of colouring and panting textures based on the needs of the scene, whether they are designing from scratch or modifying an existing image. 

The texture is painted by following the concept art and the design texture. It is made in the form of maps given to the model.

Step 4: Rigging and Skinning

Rigging, often known as skeleton animation, is the process of defining a 3D model’s motions and movement. The animator uses this approach by using a series of interconnected bones. 

Rigging is not limited to figures inspired by actual beings. It is possible to rig any model, including a galaxy, building, car, or almost anything.

Every rig is unique, and so are the related controls, depending on the subject matter. 

Skinning is the technique of attaching a 3D model to a rigged skeleton so that the 3D model may be modified by the rig’s controls.

Step 5: Animation

Animation is one of the most important and time-consuming steps in bringing your 3D figures into motion. 

The animator will alter the objects on a frame-by-frame basis in this stage. It is similar to the traditional notion of drawing cartoons with one’s hands.

Timing, fluidity of motion, and expressiveness are crucial for character animation. 

For forensic or commercial animations, motion precision or technical correctness is important. 

Animation software creates the movements and facial expressions in each scene. Each scene’s motion is made by identifying key frames or positions. 

To define key postures, computer controls are used. The computer then generates the “in-between” frames, which the animator may tweak as needed for a smooth transition to the next frame.

In this stage, you may place the objects on splines and configure them to follow the route of the curves. 

Also, you may utilise 3D apps to ensure that the objects are correctly adjusted.

Step 6: Camera Movement And Lighting Adjustment

Animation films require appropriate camera angles, skills, and lighting.

Several 3D and real-life cameras on the market may be utilised to select an extraordinary perspective in the film.

Aside from keeping track of camera movement, ensure you also use proper lighting. Proper lighting may make a scene compelling or produce a realistic scenario.

Poor lighting on your animation may ruin your entire work.

Step 7: Rendering And Composition

Rendering uses all of your work and calculates each frame’s pixels based on models, materials, lighting, and effects. Different rendering algorithms may provide a variety of effects, ranging from photorealistic to cartoon drawn.

When creating a final scene render, consider all variables, including camera positioning. When the rendering is finished, it’s time to start the compositing.

Composting involves anything from special effects to where objects blow up, vanish, transform, and so on. It also includes the construction of an environment based on the requirements.

Compositing may also be thought of as producing a computer-generated film from live footage.

The renderings are imported into compositing software for editing, touch-ups, and additional effects.

Step 8: Music and Foley

Music and foley provide animation with a new layer of depth and increase aural pleasure. 

The composer makes music soundtracks and companion music to build the tone for the animation.

A foley artist’s job is to generate sound effects with various shoes and props, such as vehicle fenders, plates, glasses, chairs, etc. 

To produce a deeper recording, foley artists develop or replace original sounds altogether or enrich existing sounds.

Step 9: Editing and Final Product

When everything is finished, it’s time to make the last adjustments. 

This phase essentially ensures that everything is created perfectly. Before you share the complete 3D character animation movie, double-check that everything is in order.

Conclusion

Now that we have listed the various processes usually involved in the 3D character animation process, we hope that this guide will help you achieve your goals for your next animated projects.

There is no doubt that the process of 3D character animation requires significant effort and hard work. However, if you stick to the pointers, you can create your character animation video.

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