How To Make A 3D Animation? 9 Steps of Animation For 3D Models

Nowadays, 3D animation is gradually gaining popularity and impacts on all fields of life. People can use 3D animated videos in movies, games, or other entertaining methods. Many companies also utilize 3D animation production to develop marketing pieces for their goods and services. So how to make a 3D animation? Is it simple or complicated? This article will give you a reasonable answer.

3D Animation

What Is 3D Animation?

3D animation is the process of giving digital objects life by making the impression that they are moving through three-dimensional space. These computer-generated things appear on a two-dimensional screen, but they were designed to replicate the characteristics of a three-dimensional world. 

3D animation models give the impression of moving, turning, and rotating like a real-world object. More importantly, people can have a full 360-degree view from all angles. More importantly, understanding what 3D animation is will make it easier to learn how to animate 3D.

Making Concept

How to create 3D animation if you don’t have any idea in mind? The first thing you have to do before creating 3D animations is thinking about the concept or the storyline of the piece. Because any adjustments during the animation process would make you go over budget and cause the project to fall apart.


It is impossible to create 3D animations without modeling. This is the first and vital step in process of 3D animation where you will create 3D objects within a scene.

During this process, you will create characters and objects using a mathematical representation of each component. 

You also use vertices (points in virtual space) to form a mesh for generating crude compositions of basic objects like cubes, spheres, or planes. Then, these points will be mapped onto a 3D grid and rendered into three-dimensional objects.



The next step in the 3D animation process is texturing which gives an object its exterior layer finish. This could be the character’s skin, hair, or clothing; the metal finish of a car or machine; the brickwork of a home or other structure; the fur of an animal, etc. 

Rigging and skinning

This is an important stage among all steps of animation. After finishing the object’s texture, rigging is necessary to build your 3d model animation’s skeletal and muscular framework. Character rigs enable the object’s joints and moving components so that it can move realistically. You can construct these functional skeletons in 3D animation production.

The next step is skinning, which involves smoothing out these joints. You can imagine this step as creating the skin that covers the object’s underlying mechanics.

Rigging and skinning

Creating Animation

Now it is time to animate your 3D objects through a series of movements or a scene. This is the most important step in the process of 3D animation. The object will appear as if movement is actually happening on screen.


How to create 3D animation through rendering? Rendering creates 3D animation using a graphics processing unit. By entering the render equation into the software, it will produce an entire animated sequence. During this process, you also can formulate some components like depth of field, motion blur, translucency, reflection, shading, texture mapping, and shading into the sequence.

Compositing and VFX

After getting several renderings, you will need to combine them to produce the final animation. It is a method that involves adding layers to a single image or collection of photographs in order to improve elements like lighting, shading, colors, etc.

Compositing and VFX

Adding Music

In this stage, you will produce the animation’s audio components at a sound studio. This covers the score’s recording as well as every musical flourish and ingredient needed for the animated modeling. The music is synchronized to go along with and enhance the pictures.


This is the final step to finish the process of creating 3D animation. Even if you already went through all the above steps successfully, you still need time to edit to get the final smooth and lively 3D animation models.

You may also be interested in: how does 3d animation work?


How to make 3D animated videos?

There are various processes involved when making 3D animated videos. They include creating concepts, modeling, texturing, rigging and skinning, making animation, rendering, compositing, adding sounds, and editing. It sounds complicated. 

However, you have many supporting animation software with cross-platform flexibility and closely integrated workflow to create amazing animated videos as you wish.

Which software is best for creating 3D animation?

ERA, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3Ds Max, Blender, Cinema 4D, ZBrush, and LightWave 3D are some of the most used and well-liked animation applications. Each software has its pros and cons. You have to depend on which product type you need to make and your expected budget to choose the best one on your own.

See more: best 3D animation software

How to do 3D animation for free?

It is possible to make a 3D animation for free. All you have to do is downloading a free 3D animation software that provides enough tools and templates for you to make your project. There is some famous free 3D animation software in the market such as Blender, Cinema 4D, K-3D, etc.

Is 3D animation harder than 2D?

2D animation seems to be harder than 3D animation. There are roughly 24 drawings per second in 2D animation, often known as frame-by-frame, making it more difficult than 3D. The animator must possess years of training in anatomy, physics, animation concepts, and drawing techniques to transmit this through the pencil. 

The amount of work required to create both the current 2D and 3D animation techniques is comparable. The artistic creation processes may require diverse skills, yet they follow largely the same paths.

How long does it take to animate a 1-minute 3D video?

The average time to make make a 1-minute 3D animation video is considered around 6 weeks.

You may also wonder how to make 3D animated videos in the shortest time. Overall, the timing depends much on your skillset, the story content, and the workforce. The higher your skillset is, the less time you will need. The more complicated content it has, the more time is needed. And the more people you have, the quicker you can finish the project. 

Is it cheaper to animate in 3D?

2D animation is less expensive than 3D animation, though this might vary from project to project. A 60-second regular 2D film typically costs between $1,000 and $5,000, whereas a 60-second 3D video often costs between $7,000 and $9,000.


Generally speaking, it is simple to understand how to animate a 3D model. But to go through all the necessary steps to create a final product that can effectively communicate your idea and story, you’ll need a lot of practice and dedication. You can locate a reliable 3D animation service in the market to assist you if you don’t have much time to do it by yourself.

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