3D Animation – Essential Tools Of The Trade


Hardware and Software for your Animation

Was wondering what was out there in terms of the basic hardware and software needed for animation.

From the Animation School Online, they give you a list of what you will need.


A PC or Mac that you can run the chosen software on, such as a free student version.

A pen and graphics tablet, instead of a mouse to reduce Repetitive Strain injuries and more than one screen is suggested. If you are following a course you will need one to watch the tutorials and the other to carry out the instructions while creating your animation.

One graphics tables suggested is the Wacom Intuos5.

So going over to the Wacom website:


On the website we learn that: “Wacom plays a fundamental role in film, video, animation and the world of 3D development. For game developers, animators and designers working in 3D, Wacom offers natural, intuitive control for more life-like model texturing and painting.

“For film and video professionals, Wacom products provide the precise performance vital to both pre-production storyboarding and shot diagraming and post-production tasks like keying colors, tweaking key frames, designing text, rotoscoping, masking and more.”


Source image: http://www.wacom.com/en/de/creative.


For the software the Animation School Online suggests Premiere or Final Cut for editing and Quick Time Pro for basic editing. Others suggest Lightwave, Maya or 3DMax.

So, if you are planning on making a full-length 3D animation, you may need to consider rendering in the cloud.

Rendering Farms

These are high performance computer systems that optimize throughput. While researching for this post, I read that Industrial Light and magic had a rendering farm made up of 5 700 processor cores.


3d_animarion_rebus_farm Source image: https://www.rebusfarm.net/en/lets-go/download

On the RebusFarm website we learn that, “The Rebus Renderfarm Farminizer software checks and starts your render job from inside your 3D software. When finished, the Renderfarm automatically saves the rendered frames to a local folder of your choice. Using AutoMode, the Renderfarm can do the entire rendering process with just one mouseclick.”

You can calculate the cost of using their Render farm for your work here https://www.rebusfarm.net/en/lets-go/calculator.

Other people recommend building your own rendering farm, Jon K. Carroll on tomshardware, writes, “A good render time for television visual effects is anywhere between 30 minutes to one hour per frame, while multiple hours per frame is common for feature films”.

Carroll goes on to explain how to build your own render farm here: http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/render-farm-node,2340.html.

Animation Tutorials

Finally, for those of us who have yet to start animating … Here is a short tutorial on animation using Photoshop, for beginners, with Russell Stasiuk on YouTube :

For the professionals out there, you maybe interested in to boosting processing power.


An article by the BBC states that SanDisk has created an SD card, destined for film makers shooting in high-quality 4K format. It has 512 gigabytes of storage space and is the size of a postage stamp. It is to sell for US$800 (around 617 Euro).

For more on this story go here: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-29175093.

Going over to the SanDisk website, Dinesh Bahal, vice president, product marketing states: “The performance demands for media and broadcast professionals continue to rise and SanDisk is committed to delivering leading-edge capture and storage technologies”.

“The new SanDisk Extreme PRO CFast 2.0 card and SanDisk Extreme PRO SSD will help produce the highest quality content possible, and significantly improve workflow efficiency.”


Source image and for more information go here http://www.sandisk.com/.

Melanie Phillibert

Dreamlight Content Management and Support

PS: If you want to have a look at a wide selection of cool 3D Animation Tutorials you can check out our very own Dreamlight 3D Selection right HERE


Happily sharing how to create great 3D & 2D art in DAZ Studio, Lightwave and Photoshop, Val Cameron, CEO and founder of Dreamlight, has been coaching and mentoring hundreds of thousands of artists since 2005. Bestselling DAZ 3D vendor with over 230+ video tutorials, plug ins and light sets.

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