The art of 3D animation is a relatively new art medium compared to other forms of animation. Art dates back to the age of the caveman and for as long as man has roamed the Earth, there has always been the artist and the critic. For me animation dates back to sometime in the 1980’s when I used to watch Saturday morning cartoons and make flip books. However, 3D animation is an art form associated more with the information age and the growth of computer technology. Advances in technology have created what is now far more advanced than Saturday morning cartoons.
3D animation art challenges the intellectual artist. The artist now must be creative in how he or she uses traditional methods in conjunction with newer technology. To study this art form, the student must develop an understanding of all the elements needed to produce a computer animation. The animator must be able to take a concept from its infancy through maturation with the end result being a finished production displayed to an audience.
The 3D animation art student should be able to conceptualize taking an inanimate object and bringing it to life through character modeling. Once the object has been created or chosen, the animator needs to create a sequence of detailed views of the model in sketches on storyboards. Software suites can play a major role in this process providing tools that can create bring clarity to the storyline while providing time saving guidance during the planning stages.
The technique used in acquiring old school 3D animation involves is the creation of a set designing, the character (sometimes made of clay or other inanimate objects), a camera, and audio equipment. With today’s newer technology, creation of art of 3D animation involves 3D modeling and character animation which can be done entirely on a computer. No filming is required as the character and each movement can be created with software.
3D animators need to understand that the art of 3D animation can be excessive for the viewer if the professional cannot define the viewer’s line of equilibrium. To clarify this, think back to the last time you were just the right distance from a chain link fence. Did the fence appear toward and away from you when you looked at it long enough. The same sensation can occur if the viewer’s senses are overwhelmed. When it comes to 3D animation less really is sometimes more. The art of 3D animation has the capability to simplify the most complex ideas that would require creative genius.