A simple language about computer animation

A simple language about computer animation. When you watch your favorite TV show, what do you see? People, cars, buildings – everything that is in our three-dimensional world. But the images themselves in the video are not three-dimensional. The TV screen is a two-dimensional surface, and the telecast is a sequence of two-dimensional images. They are perceived by us as three-dimensional due to the work of our brain.

Brain and three-dimensional animation

In fact, the sight itself is for the most part two-dimensional. We cannot see behind the rocks, trees and other opaque objects. We can only see what is in front of us. For clarity, consider the following experiment. Look at something. Then take a photo of what you looked at. The image on the photo will be two-dimensional, but it will be identical to what your eyes perceived by looking at the real object. No matter how we look at it, our vision and video are essentially two-dimensional. But let’s consider the contradicting to this technologically exciting form of video – computer animation, the illustration and design of the characters in which sometimes do not differ from real creatures.

The process of creating computer animation

3d visualization, animation is presented now everywhere: from “Toy Story” to “Avatar” and posts on websites. We can watch these animated videos on a two-dimensional screen. But the process of creating these videos is absolutely amazing.


To get the most realistic images, animators start with three-dimensional descriptions of a spaceship, or talking potatoes, or whatever they want to depict – it can even be visualization of a house in 3d max, because the animation characters also need to live somewhere. These descriptions are completely mathematical, expressed in the language of three-dimensional mathematics. The problem is to take these “three-dimensional” descriptions and translate them into a two-dimensional view. This process is similar to creating an image with your camera. Only in this case the role of the object will be played by a computer 3D-description, the role of the camera is the algorithm of the computer, and the image will be the image – the same as that created by your digital camera.

A small funny cartoon with three-dimensional characters but computer animation has its own peculiarities: it takes a lot of time to create high-quality images. Images are not created with a single click. This may take many hours. With this speed, you can easily spend 100 years creating a two-hour film of computer animation with 30 frames per second.

This is if you use one computer. But the work becomes easier if you divide it into many different computers connected in what are called executing blocks. Consisting of thousands of specialized computers, the executing blocks use sophisticated algorithms to solve what engineers call the executing equation. This equation, the solution of which ensures the transformation of 3D into 2D, which creates an image. With the help of the executing equation, every nuance of illumination can be expressed. Direct light. Reflected light. Reflection of reflected light. All these effects we can see in the performance of nature, if we look out the window. But creating them using a computer requires a lot of work.

The role of 3D animation is surprisingly modest. But its capabilities continue to develop rapidly. The creation of faster computers and improved algorithms is an important part of the process of this development. But the main thing that leads to the development of computer animation is the new ideas of artists: the ideas embodied in life by creative engineers.