The entertainment industry members know that producing digital products like movies and games takes massive effort and budget to make scenes realistic. However, it’s necessary to make an audience believe what’s going on on screen in order to get significant box office wrap-ups. So, companies use various methods to create impressive effects most people adore. But what is the one that’s used in any remarkable project?

In fact, most of the iconic scenes in movies and video games were produced with CGI animation. In case you don’t know much about CGI, this article will help you master the essence of the method, which is crucial in top-notch 2D and 3D animation services. So, let’s start with the meaning of CG animation.

What Is CGI Animation and How Does It Work?

What does CGI animation stand for? Computer-generated imagery (CGI) means that some objects an audience sees on a screen are made with computer software instead of real reproducing and filming them. At the same time, animation makes it possible to bring those computer-generated images to life, fulfilling them with motion.

Other questions are what is the purpose of CGI animation and how does it work? The thing is, not every scene in a movie or commercial can be created with real-world materials, not to mention video games that can’t be built outside of a computer. Thus, CGI animators make characters/creatures, buildings, and props with various software, setting up their movements.

Since CGI animation is a part of the VFX (visual effects) field, specialists also create impressive explosions, transformations, weather effects, and the like. In addition, the scenes don’t have to be ultimately computer generated. On the contrary, this technique looks most effective in combination with the actual actors and environment.

The Main Types of CGI Animation

The techniques and approaches in CGI animation can differ depending on a particular project and its style. Let’s explore the 2 main computer animation types used for outstanding content creation.

2D CGI Animation

Computer-generated 2D animation is used in projects based on 2D graphics. Even though 2D animation was typically performed with real-life techniques and props some time ago, the CGI one implied the content creation and its animation with software.

Instead of hand-drawn scenes on paper, extended capabilities and tools in such applications as Photoshop and Sketchbook allow specialists easy drawing, editing, as well as bringing content to life.

With skeleton animation, there’s no more room for time-consuming stop-motion or flipbook animation methods, as specialists can simply create digital ‘bones’ to make an object move in a video or scene.

3D CGI Animation

Working on 3D computer-generated animation, specialists perform many complex processes to create an impressive scene. First, 3D models should be developed in software like Unity, Unreal Engine, 3Ds Max, and the like. Using techniques based on mathematical calculations, usually polygonal modeling, modelers create a volumetric mesh of an object from polygons so that this process resembles 3D puzzling.

Further, 3D artists create textures and wrap CG models with them, fine-tuning surfaces to a natural look. Detailing and final edits take place before moving to animation. Once a model looks as expected, animators use different techniques to bring them to life. For example, 3D characters can be animated with rigging and skinning, creating digital bones and muscles to connect them to a model for real-life movement imitation.


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CGI Animation Examples and Use Cases

Whether we realize it or not, CGI animation is all around us, from entertainment to shopping fields. In case you still can’t imagine what CGI animation is used for, we’ve prepared the list of top 3 industries implying the constant use of this animation type.

Filmmaking

Incredible plots and bold ideas of the modern film industry are impossible to visualize without computer animation. Made-up creatures and large-scale effects would cost millions of dollars to recreate on sets, and they still wouldn’t look as realistic as CGI ones. Those models are usually merged with real actors and environments, so it’s hard to believe they are created in software.

For instance, do you know what CGI animals are and how they look? A great example you can observe is The Jungle Book (2016) movie. With the appearance of an actual tiger, bear, snake, etc., those animals act and talk like humans. In order to achieve such a realistic result, CGI artists learned the anatomy of each species, created true-to-life skeletons, and worked on textures that would look like actual fur or leather. The facial expressions and body movements were copied from real animals, so the project went terrific.

Gaming

The creation of video games implies using computers and specific software, whether 2D or 3D projects. Thus, game artists usually build all the visuals, from characters to environment, in game engines like Unity and Unreal Engine, or use different software for each game production stage. Once the content is ready, it’s spiced up with stunning gaming VFX and animation applying specific techniques.

For example, the Detroit: Become Human game was made with the motion capture (mocap) technique. It means that characters were made based on the appearance of real actors who performed all the movements on sets, tracking facial expressions and body movements. Then, all those were transferred into CGI, making a game look true-to-life.

Marketing

Product promotion has been more than just a photo presentation and text description on a site for a long time. Nowadays, marketing videos are complex projects with remarkable CGI animation, graphic design, and encouraging audio accompaniment.

84% of surveyed people say they’ve been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video. Hence, most Apple company production devices are presented in the form of impressive commercials, with creative plots showcasing their smartphones, laptops, and other gadgets in exciting ways.

Get the Most Out of CGI Animation with 3D-Ace

Do you need to fill your project with impressive and realistic content? Then 3D-Ace, an experienced CGI animation agency, is ready to give you its helping hand. With our all-in-one services, you can get any kind of visualization you need, from striking game characters to product and architectural animation.

In addition, you are welcome to choose a partnership format that suits your company better.

  • Outsource the whole project either under our management or run it by yourself.
  • Rely on our resources or hire our dedicated specialists for your working environment.
  • Choose a flexible business model based on precious time and material estimates.

Contact us to learn more about new opportunities for your company.