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What is 3D animation and where is it used?

3D Animation

Often called CGI or CG (computer-generated) animation, 3D animation is the baby of animated videos and considered by many as the present and future of animation. Nowadays, 3D animation is the norm; from feature-length hits like Disney’s “Moana”, to children’s TV series such as the “How to Train Your Dragon” spin-off animations, as well as being extensively used in film for visual effects and compositing, and let’s not forget video games.

Whilst 3D animation must abide by the same principles of animation as 2D animation, it comes with a very different skillset. In comparison, 3D animation is more akin to stop-motion puppet animation than the hand-drawn artistry used in traditional and 2D animated videos.

Due to 3D animated videos dealing with a puppet-like character within a 3D environment, 3D animators must keep in mind that every part of the 3D model needs to be animated. In 2D animations, any part of a character or object that isn’t in view is not drawn and therefore does not exist. On the other hand, in 3D animated videos every part of the character or object exists at all times, even when not in shot, and must therefore be animated to some degree.


Whilst 3D animated videos can portray highly realistic movement created from scratch by an animator, technological advancements mean that motion capture has become a great tool for creating highly realistic animated videos and games. This method involves an live actor whose movements, speech, and expressions are tracked by a camera and computer programme. This data is then conveyed onto the 3D model and refined by an animator. Motion capture has famously been used for animated character such as Gollum in “The Lord of the Rings” films, as well as in the video game “Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice”.

Our animators have gained experience over the years, working on 3D animations for clients but also on original content, a short film co-produced by Zedem Media called 'Dragon Recipes'. Take a look at our teaser and check out our Cinema & TV page to find out more about this short and other upcoming projects we are working on!