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3D Animation: A Virtual-Reality Tour

3D has become an inevitable part of life and it's becoming popular by day. CGI (Computer Graphics Imagery) or widely known as the 3D Animation process, creates special effects in movies, arts, video games, mobile games, television programs, and commercials. The 3D images are not hand drawn, but are mostly generated using specific 3D software. The structure being built on three axes provides- vertical, horizontal, and the depth effects. These three, clubbed together gives in a third dimension to the structure. Lately, we are seeing much advancement made in the animation industry like the 3D effects being used extensively for animated films, movies, games, interactive sessions, mobile technology, and much more. With the arrival of computer games, the computer graphics technology has advanced towards real-time rendering quality. 3D computer graphics has started appearing in games.

The oldest commercial 3D computer graphics dates back to 1976, where the first 3D wireframe was used. The animation was generated in the movie Future world. The animation was created by Edwin Catmull and Fred Parke of the University of Utah. The first 3D animated English feature film Toy story, hit the cinemas in 1995. The movie was presented by Pixar studios. The world has seen blockbusters like Shrek 2 (2004), Avatar (2009), Toy Story 3 (2010), and Cars 2(2011) that has presented the best quality 3D.

The 3D animator generates a graphical representation of the character skeleton and the model is described with the help of animation variables or mostly known as 'Avars'. These are mostly done for character modeling of animals or humans to provide specific facial or anatomical features or expressions. To give an example, the character 'Woody' from the movie Toy Story had nearly 100 Avars just on its face to provide explicit facial expressions. By changing an Avar value an animator can generate character movement from a frame to another frame. To attain realistic motion, the Avar values can be generated in multiple ways. The traditional method lets the 3D animators control Avars directly. Another alternative for this is Keyframing, a process which times the movement of an animation per frame. It provides a transition from a start point to an end point and gives control to the animator. It can be mainly associated with the traditional hand-drawn animation. One of the latest additions to 3D Animation is 'Motion Capture', which utilizes the technique of live action. The movements of a real time performer is captured and animated in this process. Later it is applied to the animated character. Each animation techniques have its own advantages, and the appropriate usage of each of these provides the best results.

Michael is a copywriter who provides information about 3d artists, iPhone game development and police pad.

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