Computer animation has turned out to be one of the biggest and most lucrative industries today. Since past few years, the technology of computer animation is getting simpler day by day; at the same time, window of opportunities for talented computer animators is also increasing at a radical pace. Let us have a brief insight at this computer animation.
Traditionally, in the absence of computer technology, animations were done manually. The most widely used method was making a series of drawings, which were later blended into a film. Another method popularly adopted was by using physical objects or models. Using this method objects or models were placed at a certain place, and images were captured. The objects or models were then moved, and again a set of images were captured, and this process kept on recurring.
Eventually, with the advent of technology, traditional ways were replaced by computer animation. Computer animation or CG animation is the method of creating moving images with the help of computers. Using computers both 2D as well as 3D animation can be created. CG animation is also sometimes referred to as CGI (computer-generated imagery) animation. Images are created on the computer and then are manipulated using various sophisticated CGI software packages. Photorealistic animation involves motion capture, which is a process of recording the movement of people or objects.
CGI Software Packages
Computer animation entirely depends on the use of various CGI software packages. Maya, Cinema 4D, 3ds Max, Softimage, V-Ray, Mental Ray, and Z-Brush are some of the examples of CGI software packages. There are plenty of CGI software package options available, although, prices varies according to the functionality of the program.
Using these high-tech CGI software packages, computer animators can create amazing animations. Although, the key reason of amazing computer generated imagery lies with creative vision of the animators.
These days, computer generated animation has a diverse and extensive use ranging from the field of movies, video games, televisions, advertisements, web designs, and even education and research. Since it has a wide range of application, computer generated imagery has seen a steep upward surge over a past few years or so.
People all over the world, especially the young ones, are simply mesmerized by the hyper-real graphics and sound effects that have been introduced in movies, television programs, as well as in commercial adverts. The use of multimedia aspects makes the presentation more alluring as well as effective.
Realism in 3d computer Animation has a huge impact on whether an animation production is a success or a failure. With the advance in technology, has come the expectation of the audience to have an experience where the animation is more alive. This can be achieved by producing character whose movements mimic those of real people. Technology has brought into play various software packages and devices for movement tracking that allow characters is film are video games to come to life before the audiences eyes.
The first way to create realism in 3d computer animation is to produce characters that can mimic actual facial movements. Let’s face it, when we communicate or look at one another we focus on facial features and their movements. Everything from the blink of the eye to the flaring of the nostrils creates life like movements in characters. Another facial movement that creates realism is speech movements. The characters mouth should form specific shapes with each syllable spoken. If careful attention was not placed on speech patterns and movements, the outcome would appear like some old martial arts film with English language dobbed over the original language.
The second way to create realism in 3d computer animation is to create realistic characters and objects. The more realistic a car appears in an animated film, the more the audience can put themselves into that car. Feature software has also brought a variety of palettes with varying colors and textures that simulate real life people and objects. For the car I mentioned earlier, which creates a more real experience for the viewer? Would you feel like the car is real if you were to get into the care with brown colored seats or brown leather seats that show the grain of the leather when the lighting is focused correctly off them? Lighting and shadows can also create realism. Caution should be used however as over use of any of the above items can really kill the effect you’re trying to achieve.
Above all, what really makes this all come together is believability. In order to make anything believable, you need to be able to take a step back and observe a character or object in real life. Then simply recreate whatever aspects of it you need. Believability becomes realism simply because as humans we live in reality. We tell stories based on our reality inclusive of the elements that surround us. The primary protagonist of a story is human or human-like and we relate to the character because of the human element. From there we surround the character with the elements that make sense and hence we believe in the realism of that story.