3D animation is the art of using motion to bring characters, vehicles, props, and more to life within TV shows, films, and games. 3D Artists are often involved in several early steps of the VFX pipeline in order to ensure they deliver an animation-ready model. For example, in order to give a character the right personality traits and movements, the Animator needs to make sure that whoever is rigging the model does it with those things in mind. During the rigging process, the character is given bones, skin weights, and constraints that allow it to move in specific ways. If this is not done with the Animator’s needs in mind, the model will be sent back.
Animators are responsible for giving objects weight and timing that result in the object feeling like it truly exists in the world we see it in. A great example of this would be baby Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2. Though this movie takes place in a fantasy world, Groot’s body movements and facial expressions are so fluid and realistic, they cause viewers to laugh and feel sentimental. He truly fits seamlessly into the world around him. Animation is a huge part of bringing characters to this point.