March 12, 2021

Heard of Blender?

It’s an open-source piece of software that’s free to download and allows users to create 3D models and animation.

Get it right and master Blender (which is always evolving) and you could create something to give Pixar a run for their money. That’s no exaggeration; on YouTube, just shy of eight minutes, is the magnificent Spring, a 3D short created entirely in Blender’s free software.

Blender isn’t the only free 3D software out there, either. Houdini Apprentice, and Daz3D are all available to download right now for the same price as a glass of tap water. 

Google Sketch Up is also a favourite; it’s easy to pick up and great for live activations and event planning. On our own end, we use leading, standard industry software including Cinema 4D, ZBrush, 3DS Max and Maya.

But while 3D animation is on the up (the global 3D animation market is expected to expand at a CAGR of 11% to 2025), the learning curve for 3D is still incredibly steep, even for experienced users.

Don’t believe us? Boot up Blender and play with it for five minutes. We’ll wait…

All’s well that Blends well?

There’s an avalanche of helpful material on the internet designed to help people learn Blender.

There are tutorials on its site to help people learn the basics, and a huge amount of YouTube tutorials available to show you the ropes (the doughnut one is our favourite).

Even with time available to you though, it will likely take you months to learn about modelling, rigging, lighting and more. And that’s just for a static model – doing something on the scale of Spring will take even the most talented amateur years to create.

There’s a reason 3D animation courses are expensive and take years to complete. Despite the accessibility of free 3D animation software, too, not every programme may unilaterally publish your creation in the format you want it to.

Imagine painstakingly creating a 3D model in a free programme, for instance, and sending it to your 3D printer, only to be told the file format isn’t optimised.

It’s a key consideration when people choose to work with an experienced creative studio with an extensive 3D portfolio. Our team lives and breathes 3D, for example, are all highly trained and like to play around and refine their skills in their own time.

That equals efficient and effective 3D projects for our clients. Strong 3D mock ups at the start of the project; fluent 3D event builds that show footfall and flow; 3D packaging and influencer kit designs that pack a punch – it’s all part of our DNA.  

Those considerations and many more are all things that brands and marketers need to consider when they want to commission 3D elements in their project.

Look at the brief from all dimensions

The most important thing they need to consider is what exactly they want their 3D models and animations to be used for. 

The software our animation team uses is also highly-effective at creating packaging mock ups and influencer kits, for instance – a software saving that can be passed on to the client.

An agency may be able to create some stunning 3D models for you, but they won’t be very effective if they aren’t part of a wider picture.

What do you want your characters to do? Has a strong storyboard been created with a script that complements the quality of the animation? Has it been created with audience data and market research in mind? Is it aimed at the right audience? Can the campaign pivot to social media easily?

3D animation does indeed like incredible when done right, but so much more thought has to go into a campaign (read: reversing the brief) to get the impact, returns and brand recognition that your brand’s investment in 3D truly deserves.

A trusted, respected creative agency with experience in 3D modelling and animation will work with you to flesh out your ideas and use leading 3D techniques to plan ahead and execute that content in creative ways.   

Find out more about 3D and how we use industry-leading software to create truly special 3D content for our clients by speaking to the TAKEOFF Team today