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Author Topic: Steps to making a 3D animated short  (Read 4994 times)


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Steps to making a 3D animated short
« on: May 10, 2010, 11:52:42 am »

Hi everyone!
I want to create a 5 min 3d animated short with anim8or and here are the steps I'm planning to take-
.Creating the storyboard
.Sketch the characters
.Model,texture & rig the characters
.Create animation
.Add sound effects

Am I going in the right direction ??? ???


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Re: Steps to making a 3D animated short
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2010, 12:54:33 pm »

That is the way to go, Josmic8or! It's good to see that you are going at it systematically.

As a first point I would think of making a story first - before making the storyboard.

A lot of artists like to show this pipeline (the word for these 'steps') in a diagram with arrows, to see what you have to do first and what comes later. I can't find an example this quickly but I'll try to look for one to use as reference.
In this diagram you can color parts that are done (or even %'s of steps that are done) So you know exactly how much you have to go.

Another step that might be easy is making a preview-animation with blocked-out characters/scene so you can get your camera angle, speed, etc right!

Good luck on starting your framework for your animation! Be sure to post your work (even your pipeline if you want) in the WIP section!

edit: on this page is a simplified diagram visible:
« Last Edit: May 10, 2010, 12:58:56 pm by $imon »


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Re: Steps to making a 3D animated short
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2010, 12:32:11 am »

So here's the only criticism I have:
5 min is WAY too long.

I was talking with a professional animator today, he's been working at an animation studio for about 2.5 years now, straight out of college.  His recommendation for me was quality over quantity.  Too many animators try to go for long stories with a strong plot, etc.  If you're going for a good animation, this is not what you want to do (it will take you way too long, and the quality will suffer immensely.)  He told me that even a 2 minute short is pretty long, more than that and you'll be digging yourself into a hole.[/youtube]]This was his senior thesis and what helped to get him a job.  Notice that it's not even 2 minutes long with credits/titles (he told me his credits were too long.)

You'll especially find a longer video more troubling using Anim8or, as without things like IK, animation takes MUCH longer.


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Re: Steps to making a 3D animated short
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2010, 09:11:48 pm »

 Having a story is really important.
 Case in hand. I was playing with 'unijuggler' from character animation thread in WIP. Its now hitting 2 minutes long, and i've never had an ending in mind. Now, most of my time is wondering how/where it will end.
 Really frustrating, coz i want a good ending. Theres a possibility that i won't come up with one, in which case, its pretty well been a huge waste of time and effort.
 Would much rather be working to a storyline, where you know what is required, and time can be spent achieving necessary steps to finish the project, rather than moving along blindly.
 ( yeah, i should know better, but wasn't intending for it to be much more than an experiment to begin with. Just got carried away)


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Re: Steps to making a 3D animated short
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2010, 11:02:53 pm »

I totally agree with all the comments above.  Before you go anywhere near your computer you need to have a good story in mind, and sketching a storyboard with pencil and paper is a great idea.  Keeping it short is also a great tip, your audience will appreciate a short animation that is engaging and well done more than a long video with a wandering storyline.  Once you have your storyboard laid out STICK TO IT, don't be tempted to make changes once modelling/rigging is in place other than minor modelling or background tweaks, as they can very easily get you off track.  $imon's tip regarding using temporary "block" elements is an excellent one, as this method allows you to "direct" your animation and iron out the wrinkles without being bogged down with slow rendering.  Let's face it, it's the non-technical elements of an animation, such as the rhythm, pace, mood etc that are hardest to get right and are most likely to turn a good animation into an amazing one.