What is 3D Animation, And How Do You Use it?

by Morenikeji Odebiyi
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a girl in 3d

3D animation is the process of creating moving characters in a three-dimensional environment, making them look like they are moving through a 3D space. 

These characters are crafted to move, turn, swirl, and do things real-life objects would normally do so that viewers can get a 360 view. An early example of 3D animation is Pixar’s “Toy Story”, and the animation process has been used majorly in movie making, video game creation, and television. 

Today, there is a wide call for 3D animation, ranging from architecture to medicine, and marketing. 3D animations serve so many purposes, and this article will explain in detail what 3D animation is and areas where it is of relevance.

What is 3D Animation?

3D animation is the process of adding life to digital objects that appear on a two-dimensional screen but are crafted to mimic the principles of a three-dimensional world. It is the process of making digital objects come to life by creating an illusion that they are moving in a three-dimensional space. 

3D animation can also be defined as the process of creating three-dimensional images and giving them life in a digital context. 

These characters are made using 3D software which further allows animators to create 3D characters that have more life even though they are on a 2D surface. With precise coordination and timing, an animator can bring to life a character like it is moving in a three-dimensional space.

Why is 3D Animation Important?

3D animation allows animators to create environments, characters, and objects that are more realistic and life-like than 2D animation. An example of 2D animation is Rick and Morty, and The Simpsons.

This is because objects or characters in three dimensions can be better represented than two-dimensional objects. Two-dimensional characters are flat-placed and cannot do a real-life turn or swirl. But three-dimensional objects allow for a 360 view and give a real-life look at these characters.

3D animation provides depth, and scale and allows landscapes and altered realities ideal and pleasing to the eye. It also allows for three-dimensional models that would necessarily not be compatible with traditional animation.

This new upgrade has allowed the compulsory use of Cinemachine for moviemakers and game creators who want high-quality scenes in their products.

Read also: Top 7 Graphic Packages for Nigerian Visual Designers

Differences Between 2D And 3D Animation

In the past years, movie creators and directors have only created movies in two dimensions, until the introduction of the technology age, which ushered in the use of CGI. So below are the major differences between 2D and 3D animation:

  1. Planes

In a two-dimensional world, the images and characters are all flat and consist of x-axis and y-axis in horizontal and vertical planes respectively. But with 3D animation, it adds the missing piece that adds life to the character which is the z-axis. Examples of 2D animation include; Rick and Morty, while 3D animation include the likes of Frozen and Encanto.

  1. Mode of creation

The technical procedures of creating 2D animation include creating a sequence of drawings on a flat plane. The animation figure’s position is subtly changed between frames, which are then played back-to-back quickly to produce the impression of movement and a dynamic image.

In the past years, 2D animations were mostly drawn, but in the digital age, computers can be used to create 2D and 3D animations even more quickly. However, the characters are created in a three-dimensional world based on physical 3D models.

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How to Use 3D Animations

3D animation first graced our screens in the form of gaming, movie-making, and TV shows. Over the years, these processes have grown and have added other concepts to its product. From corporate to medicals, to architecture, 3D animation has grown. Below are what 3D animation is mostly used for;

  1. Television and movies

From the beginning, 3D has been widely used in TV shows and movies. It has been used to portray animated characters, by giving them life and making them look real. This process helps the viewer connect with the movie emotionally. By using 3D animation, it engages the viewers and creates a bond. It is the process of bringing to life in a vivid and real way that keeps viewers glued to their screens. 

And to bring this to effect, 3D is mostly used for kids’ entertainment. These kinds of animations enchant them. Take for example, ‘Frozen,’ in scenes where “Elsa” was creating the snowman,” Olaf” and the ones where Anna became frozen, and Elsa thawed the ice, are 3D scenery that would appeal to children.

  1. Company presentations

PowerPoint Presentations have been in existence for too long, and those days are over. You can use 3D to create your slides and even add animated characters to your slides, to give them more life and create a vivid animation for your company or clients. This can give them a real feel and a good look at what you are trying to tell them. 

This Microsoft know-how gives a detailed explanation of how you go about it and how to create your slides to attract your clients.

  1. Marketing

A proficient person can make use of 3D as an upper tool in marketing and as a technique to portray all the plan, product features and how it would look in real life. This of course, depends on the type of product they are pushing. 

This way, they can get a better and clearer vision of what the product looks like. Brands most times, can also use 3D animation for demos and presentations at master classes. And since 3D animation has a captivating sense to it, it is the best to use, when trying to land business clients, or when pitching yourself to clients.

Read also: 10 Types of Marketing Every Business Should Try out

  1. Interior design

3D animation can also be used in the architectural and interior design of homes even before the construction is erected. 

By combining AR and VR tools, architects, interior decorators, and homeowners can have a feel of what their homes would look and feel like, and this gives them the privilege to make changes, as they please. LCP360 gives an idea of what this technology can do.

Read also: Benefits of Virtual Reality to Nigeria’s Digital Space.


3D animation has grown widely and is used in nations all over the world. This new technology has come to stay and makes a lot of things easier from movie-making, to gaming, to shows and the like. It has also proven to increase consumer engagement, drive profit for brands through marketing, create larger audience attraction, and is a great branding tool.

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Edited by Oluwanifemi Akintomide.

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