FASS Fuel 3D Technical Animation
The FASS Fuel 3D Technical Animation was created for FASS Fuel Systems in Marthasville, Missouri to demonstrate the technical aspects of their diesel fuel pump.. The final movie consisted of 3:00 minutes of animation and custom audio soundtrack and narration. The following briefly outlines the process we typically take in this type of demonstrative animation.
During the initial phase of the project we visited the manufacturer and conducted a hands on interview with the client. We walked through the production of the FASS Fuel 3D Technical Animation and discussed the technical process to gain a better understanding of the product for the animation. In our conversations with our clients we try to focus in on the key points and how best to convey the product to their audience.
Also, at this time we gather any resources that might be available. In this case the basic 3D model was available as a SolidWorks file.
After our initial meeting we created a very quick storyboard animation to show the client. A storyboard animation is a very rough representation of how the final animation will appear. It serves as a visual tool that conveys the key points of the animation. The storyboard also serves as a tool to explore new and interesting ways of conveying the ideas without spending allot of much needed time.
3D Modeling is generally the first step in the production phase. Depending on the project we may start with a fully modeled CAD file or we may have to work from engineering plans. Either way we must first get the object cleaned up and in the computer properly. Thinking ahead and consulting with our storyboard will give us a good indication of where the detail should be built up and what preparations we would need to make.
Lighting and Textures:
Within the computer we are able to match color and surface properties exactly. We call these materials or shaders. Textures are bitmap images that go into the shader to add additional detail such as bump or embossed lettering. Simultaneously, we will do a lighting pass and feel out the exact style we are after and begin rendering out work in progress renders for approval.
Rendering is a calculated process of generating an image from the scene. Every aspect of the scene setup has options and various ways to setup the lighting and materials. Through this process we are constantly making test renders until we arrive at the desired look. A rendering can take anywhere from seconds to hours depending on the project.
Animation & Rigging:
At this stage the storyboard comes into play more than ever. Cameras are animated. Cogs are rotated and particles are added to the model giving it life. As we discussed earlier renders are created. This time instead of single renderings we now are dealing with 30 renders or frames for every second of animation.
At composite time we have thousand of frames to deal with and several sequences of animation have composite frames that need additional work. A composite frame is a layer that goes on top of or is used in creating an effect for the final sequence. In terms of the FASS Fuel Pump 3D Technical Animation the particles were added separately to control color and opacity.
Narration & Soundtrack:
This is pretty self explanatory but generally we work with a script of narration and after that is overlaid we will add a bit of background sound to add more life to the animation.
Output is the final animation file that is delivered. This can arrive on any number of formats and medias.