The process of Pre-production is really just putting an idea onto paper so to speak and is one of if not the first step in making an idea become a reality, a 3D rendering of reality anyways. Pre-production can be a broad term, meaning anything from Concept designing where ideas and a visions are put onto paper, Story boarding where all of the concepts are developed and turned into a series of story boards (Almost little comics), or even Pipeline testing in which a scene of the animation is chosen and put through all the phases of production and tested to see how the end product might turn out.
Blog – Storyofanimation.blogspot.com. (2012). Pre-Production. [online] Available at: http://storyofanimation.blogspot.com/p/concept-art.html [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Image one – https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/509540145314739489/
Image two – https://www.videogamesartwork.com/games/elder-scrolls-v-skyrim/random-sketches-2
With all of the ideas mapped out and all of the concept designs refined, the 3D modelling can begin. Whether using sculpting software like Zbrush or Polygonal Modelling with primitive objects in 3Ds max, an idea can be made into something incredible and is only limited by your imagination, and to a certain extent your skill. According to Justin Slick of Lifewire “Box modelling is probably the most common form of polygonal modelling and is often used in conjunction with edge modelling techniques…Edge modelling is another polygonal technique, though fundamentally different from its box modelling counterpart.” Some programs on the other hand do the modelling for you, known as procedural modelling, usually used to create things like environments or organic structures which can be extremely useful if you want to create a large environment in a matter of minutes.
First image – Professor 3D. (n.d.). 3D Models – Professor 3D. [online] Available at: http://www.professor3d.com/3d-models/ [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Second image – Gambody. (2018). Link Game Figurine for 3D Printing | Static Model. [online] Available at: https://www.gambody.com/3d-models/legend-of-zelda-link-3d-model-for-print [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Quote 1 – Slick, J. (2017). 7 Common Modeling Techniques for Film and Games. [online] Lifewire. Available at: https://www.lifewire.com/common-modeling-techniques-for-film-1953 [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Love it or hate it, UV mapping is a thing and it is essentially takes a 3D model and turns it into something that not just anyone can do, to something that very little people can do let alone master. “UV mapping is also the glue that binds models, bakes and textures together. It’s a crucial task, too, as a bad set of UV’s and their resulting output can make a great model look awful.”
Quote 1 – Bech-Yagher, C. (2017). UV mapping for beginners. [online] Creative Bloq. Available at: https://www.creativebloq.com/features/uv-mapping-for-beginners [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Image 1 – Andrew Moore. (n.d.). Week 2 – UV mapping, Texturing & Shaders, Rigging and Animation. [online] Available at: https://andmoor1.wordpress.com/2015/03/03/week-2-uv-mapping-texturing-shaders-rigging-and-animation/ [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Image 2 – Pluralsight.com. (n.d.). UV Mapping Techniques for Games in 3ds Max. [online] Available at: https://www.pluralsight.com/courses/uv-mapping-techniques-games-3ds-max-1431 [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Texturing and Shaders
To put it simply “Textures are flat images that get applied to 3D objects” and “If the texture of a model determines what is drawn on its surface, the shader is what determines how it is drawn.” Geig, 2013. This is honestly the simplest way of putting it, to elaborate on this a bit more, Texturing is in essence a 3D models skin. The skin gives the object colour, roughness or smoothness and then there are shaders. Shaders are essentially the dictators of what the shading and lighting inputs on the material through complicated mathematical algorithms which figure out what colour certain pixels should be.
Quote 1- Geig, M. (2013). Textures, Shaders, and Materials | Working with Models, Materials, and Textures in Unity Game Development | InformIT. [online] Informit.com. Available at: http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=2162089&seqNum=2 [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Technologies, U. (2017). Unity – Manual: Materials, Shaders & Textures. [online] Docs.unity3d.com. Available at: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/Shaders.html [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Essentially, rigging is putting muscles onto a skeleton, without the work of a rigger, the model would be stuck in a position that it was created in as the model would not be able to be deformed. Rigging can be a tedious task, however it is worth the time it takes to do it properly. Whether its creating the joints or bones, programming the constraints or creating the driven keys. All of these tasks can either make or break a model…literally.
Pluralsight.com. (2014). Key 3D Rigging Terms to Get You Moving. [online] Available at: https://www.pluralsight.com/blog/film-games/key-rigging-terms-get-moving [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Image 1 – http://www.fudgeanimation.com/experiments/top-5-rigging-tips/
Image 2 – https://kaylah3dmodelling.wordpress.com/2015/03/04/rigging/
3D Animation is taking all the previous point, countless amounts of time and effort and making the 3D assets and models come to life. This is where the animator gets to become the puppet master. The animator has to move their puppet through a 3 Dimensional space and try to create movements that are a realistic or as animated as the project requires. This means everything from the way the hair blows in the breeze, down to the way that the character walks and talks. Animation is where the final product starts coming into shape.
iNurture. (n.d.). What is 3D Animation? How is it Different from 2D Animation? – iNurture. [online] Available at: http://www.inurture.co.in/what-is-3d-animation-how-is-it-different-from-2d-animation/ [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Image 1 – https://www.acc-gdamg.com/3d-animation.html
Image 2 – https://lotusart.de/3d-computer-animation/
“…having a well-implemented lighting solution can very well make or break a render. Without great lighting, even a fantastic 3D model can end up looking flat and unconvincing…” Slick, 2018. In this regard Slick is right, no matter how good your animation is and no matter how much time and effort goes into the project, if your animation doesn’t have decent lighting, all of your efforts might be in vain. Well, that is a bit drastic but in essence having the wrong lighting in the scene can make the animation so much less engaging. There are so many different ways that lighting can be implemented, through Spot lighting where the light is just concentrated on a single spot or ambient light, where the rays of sunshine are subtle and yet add atmosphere to the surrounding area. Slick, J. (2018). A Guide to 3D Lighting Techniques for Digital Animation. [online] Lifewire. Available at: https://www.lifewire.com/3d-lighting-techniques-2090 [Accessed 22 Jun. 2018].
Image 1 – http://digianimate.blogspot.com/2016/03/lighting-in-animation.html