What Will 3D Animation Be Like in Coming Years?

It seems like 3D animation has hit its peak and is now declining, at least in terms of movie making. However, if you think that the future of 3D animation is limited to its application to the world of film, it might be time to rethink things. Not only is 3D not going anywhere, chances are good you’ll start seeing it in many other places in the not too distant future. What should you know about how this technology will be applied to other areas?

3D Is More than “Pop-Out” Effects

When you think of 3D animation, chances are good that the first thing that comes to mind are blockbuster Hollywood movies that were filmed in 2D and then enhanced to “jump” off the screen at the viewer. While that’s certainly one aspect of 3D technology, it’s not even close to what it can be used to achieve.

Perhaps the best illustration of the current use of 3D animation is the world of animated movies – companies like Pixar and DreamWorks have created stunning films geared for both children and adults using 3D animation. Think Toy Story, Avatar, and even Disney hits like Frozen and Tangled (to name just a couple of the massive number of 3D animated hit feature films). In many ways, the future of 3D animation is much the same, with an increased focus on including 3D animation in ever more subtle ways. Most blockbuster movies now use computer animation for the special effects, and while those are still maturing, they’re far superior to the results achieved just a couple of years ago.

Augmenting and Even Replacing Reality

3D animation is the key to both augmented reality and virtual reality. If you think those are technologies that won’t mature for decades, think again. Google Glasses is just one of many augmented reality solutions that’s being tested and will soon roll out to consumers around the world. Augmented reality combines the physical world with a viewing device that renders 2D and 3D animation and graphics as an overlay, enhancing and adding to what you can see with the naked eye.

Virtual reality is the ultimate test of 3D animation, and it’s been in the wings for a very long time now. VR has been possible for a long time, but it has been limited by lagging technology, limited mobility, heavy gear and other problems. Those hurdles are rapidly falling behind now. The Oculus Rift is perhaps the most famous of the new VR solutions, but it’s far from the only one. Sony has their own VR headset in the works, and there are plenty of others that are building on new technology, mobile capabilities and better technology. Virtual reality is the future of 3D animation in many ways, allowing you to don an avatar and interact with other people in a completely virtual world, whether you’re battling dragons in a fantasy RPG, or learning cutting edge cosmetic surgical techniques in a new VR-based medical course.

The future is bright for 3D animation and the possibilities are limitless.