What Is 3D Animation?

Nowadays, 3D is used in many types of imagery. But what actually is it?

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Having been a teacher for eight years, explaining “What is 3D?” comes as second nature to me. I have explained, countless times to students of all ages:

  • The different types of 3D that there are.
  • The different ways it’s been created.
  • The different industries that use it.
  • The ever-expanding opportunities there are to get a job in it.

It reels off the tongue, without a problem.

Conveying 'What is 3D?'

Trying to explain what 3D is, in an animation in less than five minutes, however, was a tad trickier. This was my first project set by MAXON UK when I started working for the company in January. MAXON makes the 3D animation software: Cinema 4D, which is used by thousands of people around the globe to create all manner of imagery - from stills for adverts and illustrations, to animation for TV and film, to product and architectural visualisation, to games, to countless other uses. I've been teaching and using Cinema 4D for many years, so although I'm new to working for MAXON, I'm no stranger to Cinema 4D or 3D. As so much 3D is animated nowadays, it makes sense to try and explain what it is and how it works in some kind of animation.

I needed to break 3D down into its salient points. What do people really need to know? And how quickly can I get that information across, without it taking too long? Well, here's my crack at it: 


Software that I used

I used Cinema 4D to create the scenes in the 'What Is 3D?' video. As well as content created by me, I've used a number of examples from some of MAXON's best customers and staff to illustrate various points. I used Adobe Affer Effects to composite everything together. It has been a lot of fun to create this movie and I've learned a lot from the process. When teaching, you rarely get time to focus on a complete piece of animation, so it was great to sink my teeth into something substantial.

Like many things in life, I'm aware that I could still make this animation better, but I think it's in a good enough state now to effectively get across the points I wanted to make. Like most things in life, this animation had a deadline and I created the best I could, in the time I had. Naturally, I'd love to make my parts as awesome as the top customer work featured in the movie. Hopefully, one day I will be able to match the amazing work they do.

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Get Your FREE How To Get Started With 3D Animation Guide

We've compiled a stack of information about how to get started in 3D animation in a handy 6 page pdf. And how much is this invaluable guide? How about I just give it to you for FREE? 

This FREE guide contains details on:

  • What is 3D?
  • Examples of 3D in action
  • 3D Disciplines
  • Types of 3D software
  • What to look for in 3D software
  • How to get started
  • Where to learn 3D
  • Jobs in 3D
  • 3D magazines and websites
  • 3D software recommendations for general-purpose, product design and architecture.

Simply fill your email on the link below and we'll send it to you and also keep you up to date with all things Cinema 4D. Fear not, we won't bombard you with email and you can unsubscribe at any point.

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About the MAXON Blog

Welcome to the official MAXON UK Blog. This blog provides the most up-to-date official information about MAXON, its products – in particular its flagship product Cinema 4D – and the Cinema 4D community. You can expect to see posts from a wide variety of MAXON UK employees.