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The Many Sides of 3D: How 3D Animation Is Used in Different Fields and Industries

Gripping your audience’s attention with your message is the first step toward your company’s success. This truth applies to all types of businesses, independent of niche or industry. And unsurprisingly, one of the most common ways companies convey their message, whatever that may be, is by employing 3D animation.

You might initially think there is no relation between the two. But effective communication and 3D animation go hand in hand in many types of media. Simply look at video games or marketing collaterals. In them, you will find endless examples of 3D art and animation.

A 2012 study entitled The Effectiveness of an Interactive 3-Dimensional Computer Graphics Model for Medical Education found that 3D computer graphics enhanced the participants’ — composed of medical students — motivation to learn, making it an effective tool for instruction. This is an interesting finding, but what does it have to do with 3D animation and business communication? 

Medicine is a far more complex subject than any subject businesses would want to convey to their target audience. That 3D computer graphics improved medical students’ learning experience is telling of 3D’s ability to grab your attention and aid recall.

Three-dimensional art and animation definitely have the power to immerse and captivate your audience. But what exactly are they? 

Layers of Depth: The Definition and Uses of 3D Animation

What Is 3D Art and Animation?

Three-dimensional art, or more specifically three-dimensional graphics, is any lifelike object engineered on a special type of software. The object is generally plotted on a Cartesian plane to simulate depth, and the software can add elements such as lighting and shadows to give the object a realistic form. The real magic, however, happens once artists incorporate movement. This is where 3D animation comes in.

3D animation is the art of using motion to bring characters, vehicles, props, and more to life within TV shows, films, and games.

CG Spectrum

Much of 3D animation’s allure comes from the immersive experience it affords viewers. We can simplify the concept of 3D animation by deconstructing its elements, which are:

  1. Three-dimensional models — often objects and characters
  2. Diverse movement that goes beyond side- and vertical-scrolling

We often think of video games when we think of 3D animation. After all, the popularity of experiencing three-dimensional objects in the digital space can be traced back to arcade games, such as Battlezone, that aimed to engage players better. 

But 3D animation has branched out to other fields outside gaming, and it continues to show its amazing ability to educate and influence until today.

How NarraSoft Uses 3D Animation in Different Fields

Video Explainers & eLearning Modules

Customers are almost always in a rush, which means they want to understand new products as quickly as possible. Let’s say a new pharmaceutical company is introducing an extremely effective anti-aging pill to the market. Because the technology is costly and the ingredients rare, the pharmaceutical company’s new product is pricier. But it yields better results than other anti-aging pills. It says so on the back of the packaging!

Consumers, however, don’t have the time to get to know a new product — or understand why it’s so expensive — so they go to their trusted drugstore and purchase their usual anti-aging pills. Sales plummet, leaving the company with no other choice but to dissolve.

This scenario happens in real life more often than you might think. Companies want people to see the value of their output, and they want to be able to communicate its effectiveness. That’s why video explainers come in handy for many businesses — new or otherwise.

Dropbox, for example, was able to increase its conversion rate to about 10% after releasing their 2009 hybrid of a video explainer and demo video, which people still talk about today. This was a massive feat for Dropbox as it was able to clearly and concisely explain an idea that was considered novel more than ten years ago.

Imagine the power of pairing video explainers and 3D animation. Not only will you convey your message effectively through video, but you will also engage and immerse your target audience through 3D animation. The great thing about explainer videos is viewers can learn and understand things better. And they do so in a way that will help them recall easily, which is an equally amazing thing when applied to learning.

As illustrated by the 2012 study on the effectiveness of applying three-dimensional computer graphics to medical education, 3D animation also significantly improves the learning experience of students, regardless of their course or program. Other studies support this, finding students engage and learn complex ideas better when demonstrated in video format.

Marketing Materials

Time and again, studies have shown how much visual art influences the brain: retention rate increases and so does recall. Statistics show about 74% of users downloaded an application or software after watching the brand’s video; 84% of consumers were convinced through the brand’s video to buy a product or service; and 80% of marketers found videos to be instrumental in their sales increase.

Couple the effectiveness of video with the charm of 3D animation, and you’ve got a winning combination. Of course, the decision to use 3D animation is still dependent on a brand’s marketing objectives. There are, however, some things you should know:

  • Great for 3D Games

According to a survey by Fyber, 28% of marketers found playable ads to be the most effective in-app ad format. So if you are launching your 3D game, then a playable 3D ad will pique the interest of your target audience. This is because you’re able to demonstrate your product’s gameplay and display your game aesthetics in the most effective way possible.

  • Helps with Understanding Complex Ideas

The 3D approach is the most compatible with new companies that have innovative products or services. Similar to video explainers, 3D animated ads can convey a new idea to an audience better. It’s visual, engaging, and capable of being immersive.

  • Reusable 3D Assets

Having reusable 3D assets is perfect for advertising that wants to tell a story — specifically, in series. Your marketing collaterals remain consistent throughout your customer journey, enhancing the experience of your target audience toward brand love and conversion.

Video Gaming

The three-dimensional experience in video games gained popularity when companies started releasing unique 3D games, such as the arcade game I, Robot and video game Quake. Needless to say, the quality of 3D animation and graphics in modern games is far better compared to that of their predecessors, some of which are even presently considered 2.5D games

Three-dimensional video games really made its mark in the gaming industry once the likes of Resident Evil hit the stores. What followed was a plethora of similar games, allowing users to experience different game environments almost tangibly. Some of the greatest examples are Silent Hill, Heavy Rain, Final Fantasy, and Skyrim

If the storytelling and 3D animation and graphics mesh so well, a video game can launch into stardom — even if it’s only a playable teaser. Such was the case for P.T., the playable teaser for a series called Silent Hills, an installment in a series for Silent Hill. Unfortunately, Konami decided to cancel Silent Hills’ release, but P.T. became an instant fan favorite because of how eerily immersive the gameplay was and how well it goes with the story.

Good storytelling enhances the experience of playing 3D games, but integral to its immersiveness is, and has always been, flawless 3D animation.

How We Bring 3D Assets to Life for Our Clients

Our company has produced 3D assets and engineered 3D animation for numerous clients in the past. We want to share with you how we do it. The first thing we do is create 3D graphics, which — as we discussed — is integral to 3D animation.

Want to know how we create 3D assets for our clients? Check out our Video Game Industry page!

Once we’re done creating the 3D assets, we move on to animating them. The process is fairly simple: We rig and skin characters and objects, which is where we create the bones that we will then merge with the 3D assets, and then we add a sequence of movements to the assets. Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Some companies might wonder what value they gain from outsourcing 3D animation when the process is as easy as we described it.

The truth is there is a lot of skill involved in 3D animation. Remember you have to create the assets first before incorporating movement into them. And the complexity of animation differs depending on the approach, which can be as complicated and costly as Motion Capture. 

By outsourcing 3D animation, you get to channel your resources to more productive work. So let the outsourcing company bring 3D assets to life for you.

In Summary

In a nutshell, 3D animation is the process of giving 3D models, such as objects and characters, diverse movement. The uses of 3D animation span far and wide, influencing every industry you can think of. You can use it for:

  • Video Games
  • Video Explainers
  • eLearning Modules
  • Marketing Collaterals

Outsourcing 3D animation saves you time and guarantees high-quality output if the outsourcing company of your choice has years of experience in this line of work. 

NarraSoft’s outsourcing services range from project development to business processes. You can expect services involving video editing, data entry, technical support, 3D art creation, software development, and so many more. If you’re interested in outsourcing to NarraSoft, send an email to sales@narrasoft.com!

Note: This article, published in July 2020, has been updated in October 2021.