Since the turn of the 21st century, 3-D animation has taken over as the predominant method to produce animated films. DreamWorks, Pixar and even Disney rely on 3-D character animation tools to put together their films. To create lifelike characters, visual artists and character animators need dependable animation tools.
Maya is a piece of software for animation used in a wide range of industries, including film, television and video games. Maya features animation tools, including the ability to play back animation in real time, edit keyframes via a curves editor, motion tracking tools and integration with Autodesk’s compositing software. Maya’s features also include fluid dynamics, cloth and hair simulators and particle effects. In addition to animation, Maya is also a tool for modeling, texturing and rendering.
Cinema 4D is a 3-D suite in the television motion graphics and design/visualisation industries. Like Maya, Cinema 4D is an all-in-one package that includes animation, modeling, texturing and rendering tools. Some of its features include the MOCCA tools, which facilitate character animation and cloth simulation; a tool set for procedural modeling and animation; and tools for cel shading, cartoons and technical drawings.
3D Studio MAX
3D Studio MAX, also referred to as 3ds Max, is a 3-D modeling, animation and rendering package. It is known for its flexible plug-in architecture, which offers users community-created add-ons; shaders, such as ambient occlusion and subsurface scattering; particle systems; normal map creation; a customizable user interface; and its own scripting language. Video game developers and TV commercial and architectural visualization studios use 3ds Max extensively.
Blender is a lightweight, open-source 3-D graphics application that has the distinction of being completely free. Blender is not quite as powerful or feature heavy as Maya, 3ds Max and Cinema 4D. Still, Blender comes with tools for many of the jobs that 3-D artists need, including animation, modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging, water and smoke simulations, rendering and simulations.