How to Minimize Time, Effort, and Budget while Making 3D Animation

How to Minimize Time, Effort, and Budget while Making 3D Animation

13min read  

4 Oct 2019

According to a definition, 3D animation involves: "animating objects that appear in a three-dimensional space." The objects can rotate and move in real-time, just like real objects do, and that's why every game and virtual reality is based on this technology. 3D animation has also become an essential element of every graphic presentation, as it adds an exceptional panache to the visuals. 

All graphic and animation companies undoubtedly want to benefit from the possibilities of animation services, including 3D animation. All those who have been in the industry for long understand that good work does not come cheap, but this is not something that every potential client understands.

Animation requires long hours of labor-intensive work, and if you try to meet the unrealistic demands of potential clients, you might end up working for long hours at very low costs. Hence, it is essential to adopt innovative and practical methods to minimize time, effort, and budgets while creating 3D animation.


Growth of the 3D Animation Industry

3D video games and motion capturing are driving the increase in the adoption of 3D animation, which exponentially increases the size of the 3D animation market. Since it revolves around the ability to display real-life movement, this motion capture technology has been globally adopted in the film and television industries.

Animated movies have become blockbusters, showing the incredible capabilities and potentials of the most advanced 3D animation, which only drives even more demand for this technology. The audiences today demand that their animations must be as realistic as possible, and this demand for realism and realistic movie experiences is what causes such rapid growth.

The growth of the media and animation industry falls into four different categories:

  • Robust demand – younger generations who prefer to use portable devices with 3G and 4G technologies drive the demand higher.
  • Attractive opportunities – while this new technology strengthens, new and more attractive opportunities within the animation industry arise.
  • Supported policy – in the era of digitized television networks, 3D animations are the cream of the crop.
  • Investment opportunities – such lucrative opportunities attract more investments.


Reducing Time Spent in Creating 3D Animations

The 3D animation creation industry is taking the world by storm, and this provides numerous opportunities for outsourcing, employment, revenue generation, and business growth. 

With all that in mind, if you're thinking of creating 3D animations for a living, it would be great to know how to minimize time, effort, and resources and to do so while getting the best results. Here are five good ways to reduce the time spent in creating 3D animations.


View Your Characters as a Whole

Refining the motion of each of your character’s limbs will take a tremendous amount of time and effort. Instead, the art of 3D animation is to see the bigger picture and not focus on just one aspect of your work.

3D animation

Every element of your animation must be on the same page for your animation to work. To achieve that, you need to view your character. You need to shift your focus to larger movements. Keep in mind that different elements move at different speeds, and they act as a whole.


Animate the Larger Movements First

Since you have very little time in hand, focus on how you can animate your objects and characters instead of trying to perfectly refine each motion. It is only after you have finished with that you must get deeper into refining each one of them.


Opt for Tools to Eliminate Repetition

3D animation involves a lot of repetitive motion, and this can be tough, as you'll be required to repeat the same things on both sides of your character. Well, thanks to the wonders of technology, there are useful tools that can save you the trouble and allow you to achieve maximum speed and flexibility. 

Utilize your wits and tools to eliminate repetition while working on your animation and remember that a simple copy and paste action might save you a lot of time and effort.


Opt for a Reliable, Flexible and Good Rig

While having some knowledge and skills will get you places, that isn't the only factor in determining the success of your 3D animation. The other important factor is your rig. A generic and quick system isn't going to cut it, as the configuration wasn't tailored to your specific 3D animation needs. 

Since every character has its own specific traits that give it the necessary edge to look as real as possible, having a sophisticated, professional 3D animation-specific rig will save a lot of time while providing the best results.


Animation Tangents and Curves Make Your Job Easier and Faster

A lot of work involved with 3D animation requires placing keyframes, but it's hard to maintain control when there are too many keyframes running all over the place. The end result is unnatural motion and a clogged scene. 

To avoid making your animation too angular, use animation tangents and curves that allow for more control and flexibility.

animation tips

Source: Concept Art Empire


Make the Power of Technology Work for You

Most animators get stuck using the traditional way, even though they're working on a cutting-edge 3D application. The trick is to utilize the power of the most advanced 3D animation software and let it work to your advantage while you're in control. 

Let the app do the animation, as it can take a huge burden off your chest and allow you to focus on more important things.


Minimizing 3D Animation Efforts

It isn't that hard to create an animated character that looks real today. All you need is a few good tips that will allow you to improve your skills, to get the most out of your efforts and surpass your competition.


Real-Life Characters Hold all the Answers

What gives you the best idea about how real-life characters move, talk, behave, walk, and so on? The answer is very simple: real-life characters. Observe them, learn all about the subtle nuances, and obtain information on how to portray emotion accurately.


The Psychology of Movement can Help

By understanding the psychology of movement, you can truly mimic a real-life movement. Just like real-life characters, the psychology of movement will give you a profound understanding of how the process of motion works, but most importantly, what the purpose of that motion is.

3D animation tips

Source: Marionette Studio


Real-World References

The more you understand how the real world works, the better and more realistic your animations will be. 

The expressions people make when they're talking can give you a lot of useful insight into how to portray emotions and make your characters more realistic and believable.


Take Yourself as an Example

The best way to understand how a certain person moves, walks or talks is by doing it yourself, to feel the moment and understand the very essence behind it. This is perhaps the best way to capture all the subtleties when trying to mimic a real-life character.


Work on Your Rig but Keep it Simple

As we already mentioned, your rig plays a vital role in determining the success of your 3D animation, but that doesn't mean that it has to be a complex system. 

3D animation production

Source: 3D Rigging and Animation on Behance

The simpler it is, the easier it will be to maintain control during your animation process, so tailor your configuration to your specific needs.


Do Your Research Really Well

Intense research is one of the vital parts of the 3D animation process. If you want to save and minimize your efforts, you need to do your groundwork very well. You must have extremely good knowledge of how the various objects and humans interact with many factors.


Mitigating 3D Animation Budgets


When it comes to keeping your animation budget under control, here are six simple tips that will allow you to make the most of what you have at your disposal:


1. Stick to Limited Characters

Keep the number of needed characters, as well as the scope of your production limited. Additionally, special effects are a spender, so keep an eye on that too.

2. Pay Attention to the Time Limit

In a world of animation, time is money, and every second matters, so keep that in mind. It is essential to tighten up your story. A few seconds here and there will result in significant savings in the overall cost.

3. Stock Models are the Best for Starters

Since stock models are already rigged and modeled for animation, use them to speed up the process.

4. Stick to a Simple Design

Stick to a simple but effective design, as realism and details require lots of time, which means more money.

simple 3D animation


5. Consult with the Experts

An expert in the field will show you how to do things more efficiently and effectively, and it's also a great opportunity to learn extremely useful things from the experts themselves.

6. Plan and Hire Only Those You Need to Accomplish the Job

Once you have planned all those you need to accomplish the tasks, start sourcing quotes from external agencies, and aligning internal resources. If you have a very tight budget to work under, consider 2D animation instead. Remember that the success of your work rests on the foundation it was built upon, and so what matters most is the message and the script that you wish to convey to your target audience.


Creating 3D Animation that Markets Effectively

Visuals are a powerful tool for increasing sales – they help convey your message to the right audience in the right way, and that's why they play a crucial role in determining your marketing strategy. It's important to choose the right type of content that will resonate with your audience.

types of videos

Source: Smart Insights

Now that we've worked every angle on how to save time, effort, and resources when creating 3D animation, it's time to point out that 3D animation can benefit your business in many ways. One of those benefits is increasing sales, and the trick to doing so is keeping these useful tips in mind.

Maximize Your Brand Image

If you want to get ahead of the competition, you need to become aware of how animated videos help leverage your brand image when spreading your marketing message.

Your Marketing Strategy is what Builds Your Reputation

Leveraging your brand image in your animated videos helps build your reputation when approaching your customers. This is where animatronics can be extremely helpful, as they make sure your message reaches the right audiences with clarity.

Choose Online Platforms to Share Your Animated Videos

This will allow you to reach wider audiences.

Animated Videos Save Time

Animated videos are far more effective in conveying a marketing message that resonates with your audience more than text or images.

Viral and Shareable Animations

One of the best things about 3D animations is that it can be shared on multiple social media profiles and platforms. This helps you to engage with various types of audiences at one time, increase your social media following, generate more views, and shares. This will in a whole generate a positive impact on your overall
marketing strategy.

Conveys Your Message

Since 3D animations are like videos in terms of the effect that it generates, you will be able to convey your message to the viewer with ease. 3D animations, unlike images and text, perform better when it comes to viewer attention, impressions, and engagement.


Wrapping it Up

There is no doubt that 3D animation is a strong way to showcase the story you want to narrate. Well, it’s true that 3D animation will not come cheap, but careful attention to minimizing the time, effort and budget while creating 3D animations will help you produce a compelling and successful video.

Helen Clark is a professional content developer at Video Caddy. She works closely with creative and videography professionals and has in-depth knowledge of video, animation, storyboard topics.

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