3D animation has been in movies and computer games since the 1970s. The initial techniques were simplistic and were only featured for certain aspects such as the space back grounds and special effects in “Star Wars”. Since the graphics used in 3D animation are computer generated the technology followed the advances in computer software. After the release of the Apple Macintosh personal computer, programs such as 3D Studio Max made it even easier to put motion graphics into films and computer games. As the 1980s progressed, computer generated graphics and animations became a staple in most commercial media.
The technology kept getting better and better until 1995, when the film company Pixar raised the bar on 3D technology with their box office hit “Toy Story”. “Toy Story” was the first feature film created entirely with 3-dimensional animations. Since then Pixar and other film production houses have jumped on board and began producing similar films because they were guaranteed to be hits, but Pixar remains the top studio.
The main reason the technology used in 3-dimensional animations took off dealt with the amount of work it took to create a motion graphic in a digital setting creating depth to the images. The process begins with developing a primitive outline of a character or object. 3-dimensional animation differs from 2-dimensional animation because it is done entirely through a computer program rather than paper. After the initial model is created the animator begins texturing it to give the character more depth and adding realistic details. During this step the animator adds features such as hair and clothing. The last step of creating an animated character is the actual animation and adding in the last of the physical details. The animation of a character can be done in various ways such as moving the characters frame by frame or using a built in physics engine to help the characters move naturally. Once this is completed, the character is finished, but the characters that need to be created and animated are only a small part of a 3D project. Along with the characters the background needs to be created as well as the lighting that will be used and the sound for voice-overs and music. After all of these components are put together you will finally have a complete animation sequence.
3-dimensional animations are still used in movies and video games but the prevalence of its use has led to even more commercial uses. Today both television and internet ads use 3D technology and the software used to create the animations is available to the general public. TV advertising in particular has taken advantage of the use of animation. Because of the limitless possibility of characters and settings, the typical physical and location limitations virtually disappear. In the end, creating an advertisement via digital animation saves both time and money. The editing process is a part of the creation and companies paying for the ads already know the cost of the advertisement with no chance of error or problems arising to raise the final ad cost.