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February 28, 2010

A Little Glimpse Into the 3D Animation Process

First off, I would like to show you another character sketch.
I bet your tired of seeing these,
but they are necessary evil in the animation process.
Ok, lets show you the animation process.

It all starts with a script. Once you have a basic script written, a first draft, you can start doing character sketches. In my case, I have to sketch 6 characters: 1 human kid, and 5 Skeletons (each with different personalities).

Then you make character turnaround sheets. These sheets are a big help when you have to model the character in 3D space.

Then you have to think of environments. And do sketches on those. In my case, I have to build two sets; a graveyard, and a house in the middle of a suburban neighborhood.

Then you have to sketch the objects that are used in your animation.
In my case, a puppy, a tricycle, and a pair of hands.

Once your final script is complete, you can start recording the voices. This is usually where the voice actors come in.

Then you can start modeling in 3D space.
While your modeling, it is essential that you pump out a storyboard for your script.

Once everything is modeled it becomes time to add armature. Armature can be compared to the human bone structure. The function as bones that distort the mesh, allowing you to animate. Once you have the armature done you can Add Constraints. Constrains just make it easier to Animate.

Then its on to facial rigging. If your character talks, or even bats an eye, you have to make a special blend shape for it. A blend shape takes two, almost similar, shapes and blends them together. The face also requires a bone structure.

Then, once you model your environments, it's off to the animation process. Luckily, unlike 2D animating, you dont have to animate every single frame. You do, however, have to have key frames.

Then, after the body animation, you have to animate the face. Facial movements and talking.

Once you have animated it becomes time for a quick clean up, and then rendering (witch can take a few hours to a few months to do).

Then, after editing, Your final animation is complete.

Hope this is helpful,
Jonathan Hudgens

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