Ways To Create Better 3D Environments

By Michael Jones

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One of the primary goals of any 3D animator is to create eye-catching backdrops that enhance their content. You can use several different techniques to help flesh out your environments, no matter what type of medium you are crafting with. Here are some diverse ways to create better 3D environments.

Have References on Hand

When constructing people, animals, or other entities, having a photograph or image to refer to is essential for creating realistic 3D objects and environments. You’ll be able to ensure that the geometry and motion are precisely aligned. Even if your animations take place on planets lightyears away or in a futuristic alien society, having reference points to jump off from can be helpful.

Focus on the Little Things

You can flesh out environments by adding more minor details. People will subconsciously notice these smaller details even if they don’t directly focus on them. For example, you could put a toy on a child’s desk or a television in the living room. The more details you add to the environment, the more realistic they become.

Emphasize Proper Scaling

Imagine watching a 3D movie, and in one scene there’s a fruit bowl, except one orange is ten times larger than the other fruit there. Or, perhaps you notice one hand on a character is much smaller than the other. When models aren’t the right size in an environment, they can clash with their surroundings and break the immersion for the viewer. Try to measure the length of objects you’ll include in a scene. There are exceptions to scale, however, such as deliberate artistic choice.

Use a Photographer’s Eye

Finding the right angle can be all it takes to bring out the best in a shot. Learning various photography and filming techniques will help you arrange your shots in the most attractive way possible. Most 3D animation software has multiple features for simulating different camera settings, positions, and even lenses.

Have the Right Lighting

Lighting can emphasize the minute details of objects in nearly any setting. One object might benefit from sky and backlighting, while another needs to have the lighting come from the side. Play around with your environments to figure out the best light sources to highlight the different properties of your objects.

One of the best ways to create better 3D environments is to practice as much as possible. MoGraph Mentor can help provide you with the perfect guidance to grow your skills as an animator. We offer different courses such as an after-effects workshop that allow new and experienced students to create diverse portfolios. Feel free to contact us with any questions about our various classes. ‘


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