When we started using computers to generate breathtaking animations and special effects, it revolutionized the entire graphic design and animation industry. Computer-generated Imagery, popularly called as CGI, is a form of animation that is created using computer graphics. CGI technology was initially used for creating 2D images, however it was the 3D animations that blew everyone away thanks to movies, television and video games.
CGI animations are developed in various phases using 3D animation software tools. Let’s have a look at the steps involved in CGI animation individually.
The very first step is to create a script that contains detailed information on the project. The details include the background scene, details of the characters and various poses, dialogues and how it will be delivered by the characters etc. This is mainly done so that the animators have a clear idea of what are the things that they need to take into consideration so that they can plan things accordingly.
Next, the script is used to create 2D image of the scenes and the characters. These images basically defines what a character will look like. 2D drawings are created using various camera angles along with character positioning. So, storyboard gives you a rough impression of each animated character.
The actual graphics are created in this step. The animators use the rough 2D designs from the storyboard to create basic character models and environment in the scene. Details like the character’s appearance, hair colour and lighting effects are not considered in this step. Layout design basically focuses on the positioning and scene setting.
The graphics that are generated in the previous steps are used to create the movement of characters and give them different poses. All the details like movement of limbs, opening and closing of a character’s mouth as per the dialogues is created in this step. This process is repeated until we have a number of frames, with each frame representing the character’s movement at a point it time. These frames are then stacked together and a motion picture is obtained.
These are just the basic steps in CGI animation. Even after the frames are obtained, there are tons of post-processing things to take care of. Things like hair colour, lighting and texture are added and then the animation is finalized.
So, next time when you catch an animated movie, you will be aware about all the hard work that is involved in creating such spectacular animations. If you have anything to add to this, do let us know in the comment section below.