VFX & 3D Animation Takes the Film Industry by Storm

VFX & 3D Animation Takes the Film Industry by Storm

January 27, 2023


October 09, 2023

Table of Contents

The advent of 3D animation technology with the advancement of computer hardware and 3D animation software & VFX software has significantly altered the field of cinema and television production. The creation of 3D animation special effects is a brand-new multimedia technology that is descended from computer technology. In order to enhance the perception of characters or objects in the movie, 3D animation special effects technology can present challenging, abstract, and beautiful visual effects in movies or special effects through computer operation.

The eye-catching effects and bizarre space display in 1977's Star Wars helped people comprehend three-dimensional animation special effects technology being the first 3d animated movie. 

The global phenomenon “Avatar” which made astounding box office gains in 2009, signaled the dawn of the 3D cartoons and special effects era. It doesn’t end here! The gaming industry is running parallel with the cinema industry and utilizing VFX and 3D animation processes for game development.

You might have heard of some famous games like Assassin’s Creed, GTA V, Last of Us, and other games that look surprisingly realistic.

Assassin's Creed
Grand Theft Auto V

Undoubtedly, we have advanced far beyond from just movies, in our time. Through a variety of media platforms, we are currently creating parallel universes, with visual media being, predictably, the most well-liked. But we know one thing for sure: the fast-paced and exciting world of VFX and 3d animation is expanding quickly.

First, Let’s Talk About What VFX And 3D Animation Are

Animation is the quick succession of still pictures displayed as art. Since each image is slightly different from the one before, movement is created when they are displayed swiftly one after the other. A standard frame rate for this movement is 24 frames per second, roughly resembling the speed of movement we experience in real life. By doing this, the scenario appears lifelike to the viewer despite the characters being animations. To create animation, a type of visual effect, an animator creates movements for objects and characters in either 2D or 3D.

Let’s take an example, how many of you have been mesmerized by The Lion King's characters? 

Each character is as lovely as the animal on which they are based. Simba, Kiara, Zazu, and the other lions display remarkably human-like facial expressions in contrast to genuine lions. Animators create, sketch, and then alter still images using a range of applications. We refer to this as animation.

Moving on, what is VFX in film? And what does VFX mean? 

Visual effects (VFX) are used to produce pictures that conventional photography is unable to capture. This could entail furnishing a setting with a realistic appearance or enhancing a scene with special effects.

Both of these are widely employed in today’s film industry. In a nutshell, 3D animation styles are used to produce realistic characters and objects that would be difficult to build using conventional filmmaking processes, and 3D VFX is used to generate visuals that cannot be recorded by standard photography.

How have VFX and 3D Animation Changed the Film Industry?

VFX and 3D Animation have enabled the production of 3D animation movies that would not have been feasible in the past. For instance, 3D VFX can produce lifelike representations of objects or settings that don’t exist. Realistic characters can be produced using 3D animation, which is far easier than using conventional filming methods. Have a look at the Transformers or Marvel series for an obvious illustration. Without VFX and 3D animation, it would not have been able to produce these movies, either the first one or the impending sequels.

Advancements in VFX and 3D animation have made it possible to create incredibly realistic 3D animated films and cartoons. 

The technology available at the time was used to limit movies in the past. Filmmakers can now construct movies that appear and feel much more lifelike than anything before possible. Even science fiction and fantasy movies, like the more recent “Jurassic World” or “ The Matrix” 3D animation movies, strive to make you feel as though you might live in such worlds and personally experience the events depicted in the movie.

The cost of VFX and 3D animation has also significantly decreased. VFX was previously frequently only accessible to high-budget Hollywood studios. However, due to immense technological advancements, independent filmmakers now have considerably more access to VFX and 3D animation. Why is that so? particularly in light of inflation? This is due to the fact that VFX and 3D animation software and hardware have significantly decreased in price and ease of use, making it far more accessible to everyday people outside of the film industry.

The global 3D animation and visual effects market is expected to grow significantly between 2022 and 2028. The market is likely to increase over the anticipated period of time in 2021 because major companies are adopting strategies at an increasing rate. It is predicted that the story will go beyond building a better visual version, generating believable facial animation, and initiating a massive synthetic environment.

Evolution of 3D Animation

While three-dimensional animation has been known since the 1800s, three-dimensional graphics emerged in the middle of the 20th century with the transition to entirely digital graphics.

When did 3D Animation start?

The first 3D animation was created in the late 1950s, with the first feature-length 3D animated film debuting in 1995. However, the popularity of 3D animation in various media, including films, TV, and video games, has grown significantly since the 1990s.

The Birth and Early Days of 3D Animation

Let’s begin the history of 3D animation at the very beginning. The term “Claymation” refers to an original and previously unheard-of kind of animation that emerged in the early 1900s. This type of animation involved molding clay into replicas of real-world objects and characters. People would frequently categorize the clay such that the limbs, heads, and torsos of the characters could also move.

Some well-known Claymation films from the 1990s include “Chicken Run” (2000) and “Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit” (2005).

Claymation Animation

What’s the History of 3D Animation?

These characters served as the basis for the stop-motion technique. Early animations consisted of taking a picture, moving a clay art piece, and repeating another picture.

The Sculptor's Welsh Rarebit Dream, a trick film produced by Edison Manufacturing in 1908, was one of the well-known Claymation movies of the time. 

Claymation, despite being innovative, never really caught on. The difficulties of clay sculpting and the labor-intensiveness of stop motion put a stop to the development of Claymation. The future of 3D animation is essentially undetermined as of right now.

The advent of Star Wars: Episode IV — A New Hope in 1977 altered the course of events. Lucas and the newly established visual effects studio Industrial Light and Magic mostly used 3D animation to improve the looks of models, puppets, and sets. Tron, a seminal picture in 3D animation, continued what Star Wars began. It included computer-generated animation and was released in 1892. This was the first animated 3d movie that took center stage in a movie as opposed to being used sparingly throughout.

In the 70s

After Claymation ended, it took a while before animation made a comeback on the entertainment landscape. So, first come to mind that who invented 3d animation?

The “Boeing Man” in the early 1960s served as the catalyst for the resurgence of 3D animation as a common tool. It was invented by Boeing employee William Fetter. His responsibility there was to develop 3D models for the corporation utilizing computers to animate and design them. This model was created to represent how a person would sit and move in an airplane cockpit. Short videos of these rigged pilots would later be produced by Fetter, who used them to comprehend the best practices for cockpit design. Fetter gained recognition for his work by having it recognized as the earliest example of 3D moving visuals and was called the father of 3D animation generated through the computer.

3d model

Hollywood could not ignore

Through the 1980s, 3D animation was finally getting attention and entering the movie business. Future world’s premiere undoubtedly had a significant impact, but George Lucas’ Star Wars movies gave 3D animation the last boost it required to become a Hollywood staple.

Later in the 1980s, Hollywood was unable to resist 3D animation. Its financial success and rising suitability for use in various contexts and genres were undeniable. And from there on, we were gifted with some remarkable action animated movies  and realistic animated movies in 2001, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2013, 2018, and beyond.

Today’s 3D Animation

Frozen, Zootopia or Harry Potter may come to mind when you think of recent 3D animation. Kids’ 3D funny animated movies and 3D cartoons are frequently seen as the current face of animation. However, 3D animation as a medium has never been more accessible or adaptable. Animation is employed across a wide variety of media, despite the fact that it may not be what first comes to mind.

In fact, it will be difficult to think of a recent movie that doesn’t make use of 3D animation technology in some capacity. Even blockbusters like Tenet, Dune and every Marvel movie make use of 3D animation. Another fantastic invention to come out of the 21st century is the seamless blending of live-action and 3D animation in these movies.

There is a clear emphasis on realism because the line between what is created and what is real is frequently blurred by 3D animation technology. And more often than not, we don’t even realize that animated items are substituting for actual ones! This is just the beginning of movies. In addition to video games, virtual reality, advertisements, and education, 3D animation and its techniques can be found everywhere. 3D animation is making phenomenal progress and still growing.

Future of 3D Animation & VFX in Film: Trends and Predictions

As an industry and a kind of art, 3D animation has advanced significantly. Between 2018 and 2023, the global animation market is anticipated to develop at a rate of 4.79 percent annually, reaching a market value of $404.83 billion. This expansion is the result of improved methods and cutting-edge technology, which have also cleared the path for a greater acceptance of various animation techniques and styles.

It is challenging to anticipate the future of technology, as it is with most fields of study. It’s difficult to think that 3D animation could get any better than it already is. However, the emergence of augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) indicates how rapidly it is already changing.

Some of the existing and upcoming trends in 3D animation are Mascot Characters, Kinetic Typography, Flat Style Characters, Experimental and Indie, Lo-Fi, 3D Forever, Psychedelic and Surrealistic Animation, Old School Animation, Hyper-Realistic CGI, and Outline Animation.

As we’ve seen in recent years, 3D animation techniques will probably become even more frequent and be utilized in everyday communication and business. Now, companies use animation in marketing just as frequently as in fresh animated television programs.

Additionally, it’s likely that animators will be able to work more quickly thanks to machine learning, which involves a computer evaluating an input and automatically creating a pertinent result. And since they now have so much time to devote to their jobs, we may expect to see even more animated entertainment on our televisions.

Examples Of 3D Animation in Films

The Lion King (1994)

Created by: Irene Mecchi, Jonathan Roberts, and Linda Woolverton.

Owner: The Walt Disney Company.

Earned: $763.5 million.

Toy Story (1995)

Created by: John Lasseter, Pete Doctor, Andrew Stanton, and Joe Ranft.

Owner: Disney Enterprises, Inc./Pixar.

Earned: $360 million.

Avatar (2009)

Created by: James Cameron.

Owner: 20th Century Studios.

Earned: $3 billion.

How can I add VFX or 3D Animation to my Film?

You should make a few considerations if you plan to incorporate VFX or 3D animation into your movie.

First, there are numerous uses for VFX and 3D animation. As we’ve just discussed, 3D VFX can be used to produce lifelike representations of objects or settings that don’t actually exist. The creation of lifelike characters and objects is possible with 3D animation. To give the appearance of movement, such as a character strolling or a car driving down a road, VFX and 3D animation can also be employed.

Second, 3D animation and action VFX movies may be highly costly. You must be aware of the expenditures related to VFX and 3D animation if you have a limited budget. Fortunately, there are many methods to cut costs for VFX and 3D animation, such as working with a skilled VFX artist who can help you get the most for your money.
Third, developing VFX and 3D animation might take a lot of time. You should be aware that creating VFX and 3D animation can take weeks or even months if you're on a tight timetable. For this reason, it's crucial to prepare in advance and allow enough time to finish your VFX and 3D animation projects.

Of course, it would be a good idea to get assistance from a professional if you are new to film production or if you have little to no expertise with VFX or 3D animation.

Where can I get help with VFX and 3D Animation?

Starting your own projects is the greatest way to learn, even though mastering the craft of this kind of animation takes years. The best help can be to ask for guidance from any expert or link with any professional 3D animation production platform for your assistance. There has never been a better moment to enroll in a class and construct your own 3D character if you’re feeling creatively motivated.

Amongst the top 100 animation companies is Ideas Animation. A professional 3d animation company that provides a wide range of film production services. That includes rendering for 3D animation and VFX, so you can have knowledge of the subject. To produce top-notch VFX and 3D animated movies for our clients, we exclusively employ the greatest hardware and 3D animation software. We also collaborate with a group of skilled VFX artists who are professionals in their field. With our assistance, you can produce 3D animation and VFX that will astound your audience and leave them wanting more.

Contact IdeasAnimation right away if you want to use animation to strengthen your marketing plan. As a premier provider of top animated movies, we have worked with many clients from a variety of industries.

Alternatively, you can rent production gear from Ideas Animation, including post-production tools like PCs outfitted with the greatest VFX and 3D animation software, to be able to learn how to animate and apply VFX to your movie on your own.

Our team is big and diverse, with directors of animation, motion graphic designers, visual effects artists, and sound designers. Whiteboard, motion infographics, and other sorts of best animation movies can all be produced via Ideas Animation with the necessary infrastructure and skill. Our experts would love to help you and assist you with all the best things possible.


The animation industry is evolving quickly, and this change won’t stop anytime soon. You should expect to see even more rapid changes in the years to come as technology advances and preferences shift to reflect our capabilities. It is obvious that the animation industry will grow in demand and meet consumer demands given the confluence of all these animation trends and the quality of animation’s increasing realism.

Using VFX and 3D animation can be a fantastic approach to give your movie more style, realism, and excitement. The drawback is that VFX and 3D animation can be both costly and time-consuming. It’s crucial to plan ahead and keep in mind the costs and time involved with VFX and 3D animation if your budget or schedule is constrained.

In addition, Ideas Animation will be delighted to assist you with any VFX and 3D animation needs you may have. 

Find an estimate for your video project in minutes.
Schedule a free 15-minute video consultation with our experts

Schedule a free 15-minute video consultation with our experts. 


We help you produce a perfect animation video. Wondering how to make animated videos like a pro? we will help even newbies create a classy animated video! If you need any assistance. Schedule a free 15-minute video consultation with our experts. 

Animation Ideas

Schedule a free 15-minute video consultation with our experts. 


Related Articles

Suggested articles related to the Animation Industry.