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Recently Hollywood blockbusters have largely fallen into 2 categories. Films that heavily feature CGI, ex, superhero or disaster movies, or fully animated films produced by Pixar or Dream Works. The reason is pretty clear, 3D animated computer graphics are very, very, pretty. Able to create anything desired in any artistic direction, 3D animation is even showcasing its use in the eLearning world. Over the last year, our programming team has utilized 3D animation in a variety of projects with varying scopes. But there is an important factor to consider before implementing 3D animation to your project.

Traditional animation requires a lot of time. For 2 reasons,

1.Everything has to be built.

Based on the requirements of the animation, all of the assets will need to be modelled, and designated materials, and in some cases custom textures as well, and complex particle effects. Essentially, the more complex the demand, the more tools and processes will be required to build it. Think about the differences between your


But, having made those assets, they are now part of your asset library and are ready to go for future use.

2.Everything has to be rendered.

To keep it simple, rendering is the act of taking the 3D scene and creating a 2D image out of it, and during this process all the calculations take place, (lighting, particle, bounce, to name a few). This typically requires maximum use of your computer and you have to wait for the process to run its course. If you want to learn more check out the link below.

The primary stumbling block of rendering is the sheer quantity of the frames required. For an example think about the following scenario. At 25 fps (frames per second) a 3 minute animation would require 4500 frames to be rendered. To put things into context it took the masters over at Pixar 29 hours to render a single frame of Monsters University. And 100 million CPU hours to render the film in it’s final form.

Let’s hope there are errors found later that need to be corrected and then re-rendered. Yikes!

With all that in mind, using careful project planning, and creative design that keeps within project scope we are able utilize the power of 3D animation to create truly dazzling elements to supplement our eLearning modules.

In the next chapter of this blog I will explore the applications and functions of Real Time Rendering and its viability with regards to eLearning.

If you would like to learn more about eLearning development, please visit

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