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3 Types of 3D Animation

What do you think of when you hear 3D? The Matrix, video games, Pixar movies, weird glasses? Those are all 3D. Each example is using a different type of 3D with varying levels of complexity. We have found that 3D is becoming more and more common in corporate training and selling, so I wanted to share my insights into what 3D animation is so you can determine what type might work best for your project.


3D Film/Video

Think Pixar’s Toy Story. As a user you’re passively watching (3D) toys moving around in a 3D world. There is nothing interactive about this type of animation, it is purely visual. While it is still a significant amount of work to create a quality 3D Video, this is the least complicated 3D animation to create, relatively speaking.

Here is an example of a 3D video we created for medical device company, Stryker, to help educate and hype up their sales reps about a new product. This particular example is using motion graphics to enhance the message.


Interactive 3D

Think video games. Interactive 3D allows the user to be in first person and move around the 3D space while actively deciding what actions they want to take in real time.

Here is an example of interactive 3D that we created to help Cubist reinforce safety in their labs. Notice that once you enter the lab, it feels like you really entered the lab and you get to decide where you go next.


Virtual Reality 3D

Think Google Glass. This type of 3D requires an input/output device - such as Google Glass, Oculus or Microsoft’s HoloLens - that allows you to interact with the physical space around you. This type is fully immersive and also the most complicated to create.

Check out Microsoft’s HoloLens website for some interesting images and videos that depicts what Virtual Reality 3D can really do.


Keep in mind that the examples provided are just a glimpse into what you can do with 3D and I have a lot more to share. Stay tuned for my next post that covers why and how to use 3D animation for training & selling content.

*In 3D animation, the term “rendered” refers to the process of using a computer program to generate an image/video/scene from a 3D model or several models. It puts all of the pieces together for the final product.

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