3D Rendering for Motion Graphics, Where is the future at?

A few words from our Stephen, Senior Motion Graphics Artist….
The world of motion graphics has always been fast paced, the pressure to evolve and adapt is non-stop. 3D graphics being up there with the most innovative advancements. They are now an integral part of motion design, with quality and innovation ever increasing, even in to the realms of film-grade CGI (computer generated imagery). Previously restricted to big agencies, advancements in technology (both software and hardware) have opened up the creation of high-end 3D visuals to a wider range of professionals. A one-man-band motion designer can produce a full pipeline of assets incorporated with high quality 3D design. The rapid development in GPU (graphics processing unit) rendering has opened up the possibilities. With CPU (central processing unit) rendering reaching a bit of a ceiling, hardware developers have been forced to innovate to crunch those numbers quicker and this has driven the development of graphics cards. This has left many motion design studios questioning the future of CPU rendering and whether an investment in new hardware and training is necessary.

The fact is that if you’re a PC user then it’s pretty straight forward to purchase a good quality graphics card and simply plug it straight in to your existing setup. With CUDA technology also adding speed to the Adobe products Premiere and After Effects it’s almost a no-brainer. For Mac users, like us here at Boardwalk Studios, the chances are you will be looking ahead to the upcoming iMac Pros (which we suspect may be a long term replacement for the Mac Pro ‘bins’). There is still some concern that they have stuck with AMD graphics cards but at Boardwalk we are hopeful GPU rendering will support such cards in the not too distant future.

As for software and what should be top of the list for new learning, there’s no wrong or right answer to this. There’s a lot of different 3D packages that do some things better than others. Cinema 4D tends to be a favourite for the motion graphics industry due to its ease of use, MoGraph tools, procedural ability and the amount of resources out there for it. There’s also more and more render engines available for Cinema 4D with Octane by OTOY proving a favourable route in to the GPU rendering world.

Which ever way you look at it, it seems the CPU renderers out there are increasingly recognising the need to develop their software to facilitate GPU rendering. Simply put, it is the ‘future’.