The 3D Pipeline: Working from start to finish in 3D
This is a brief overview of a regular 3D production pipeline. What is a 3D production pipeline?
A 3D production pipeline is the steps used by creative minds in the industry to create a 3D project. The pipeline ensures that all steps necessary to reach the goal of a short animation, a rendering for an advertisement or a video game. It is a co-ordination of many people to reach a final goal of completing a set task at hand using a variety of different techniques and disciplines in order to create a single vision. It also ensures efficiency and a step by step process from start to finish.
An example of a 3D production pipeline would be;
- Creating and designing worlds/characters as sketches
- Creating a story or script
- Creating dialogue
- Creating storyboards for the script
Modelling and Texturing
- 3D modellers receive the 2D story boards and designs and then create 3D assets from them as closely as possible
- Textures, bump-maps, normal maps, shaders, effects and materials are all created to give the model colour and depth.
- The animators will rig the model up with either a skeletal mesh or bones used to make the character or objects move
-The animators use the assets on hand to create a 3D representation of the 2D story boards in pre-production.
Rendering and Lighting
- The 3D scenes are lit with appropriate lighting and the entire scene and its assets are rendered frame by frame by a single computer or a render farm ( a series of computers designed to work together to process renders faster) to speed up the overall rendering time.
Not all pipelines need to match up like this, as there are companies that may not have the time, budget or staff size to make a big blockbuster, but catering a pipeline to suit their needs will ensure they follow a step-by step process in order to complete their projects.
Digital tutors: 3D production pipeline
The Art of TitanFall. by Andy McVitte, Published 25th Febuary 2014