3D animation, the progeny of the huge animation industry which has evolved from numerous distinctive phases, is the most utilized animation technology currently. The history of animation travels back to cell animation, the technology used for creating traditional caricatures and cartoon movies where each scene frame was literally handmade. This was gradually replaced by more decent animation techniques such as stop motion animation, also called stop frame animation and clay animation, also known as “claymation.” Currently, Computer-Generated Imagery (CGI) and Motion Capture (mocap) animation are the most trending 3D animation technologies utilized in the latest 3D animated movies and 3D gaming.
Lately, the 3D animation technology has found comprehensive applications in a number of verticals. Media and entertainment industry, and research and education industry have witnessed a steep rise in the adoption of this technology in their respective functionalities. For instance, in the past few years, 3D animated content creation as well as utilization has undergone drastic changes. Traditional animation technologies such as clay animation, stop motion animation are continuously being dominated by state-of-the-art technologies such as CGI and motion capture animation. The entertainment sector has seen a shift from conventional animation movies to recent animated movies such as “Life of Pi,” which used extensive CGI techniques in producing “Richard Parker,” the life-like Tiger around which the whole movie revolves. In research and education, 3D animation has also gained great impetus as a number of educational institutes are adopting 3D modeling tools to impart improved and easily understandable educational insights to the students. This adoption trend of latest animation techniques in educational institutes is still on a rise as a result of a number of global surveys that have inferred the students’ perspective of learning visual concepts better than textual materials.
3D modeling and simulation is another significant aspect of the 3D animation industry which is utilized in understanding the intricacies of a complex system that is otherwise profoundly difficult to study. 3D animated models and visuals are used in a broad spectrum of industries such as aerospace, automotive, architecture, building and construction, and utilities such as oil and gas rigs, refineries, power plants, and others. In the 3D animation industry, Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) software offered by a number of vendors such as Autodesk, Inc., Dassault Systemes, Bentley Systems, and others are used for generating such high-end 3D animated models. These models are designed to study various critical facilities and equipment such as storage tanks, engines, vehicular chassis, pumps, and others mostly before they are manufactured. This helps the manufacturers to understand the complexities involved in the functioning areas of these equipment, the scope of flaws, and the rectifications that would be required. Building Information Modeling (BIM), for instance, is a process significantly used in the building and construction industry. This process utilizes 3D modeling to design an intelligent information carrying model of a building, city, or other infrastructure system. This model can further be used as a benchmark or a reference model for improved construction results. Other prominent 3D modeling, designing, and simulation software available in the market are SolidWorks and Catia, which are also taught comprehensively in higher educational institutions.