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The Project

Normally, particle systems are used in a subset of animation techniques called effects animation. With the exception of effects sequences, they are usually created later in the production pipeline when primary object animation has been completed. In the case of the ongoing project within this book they are being added when the camera has been tracked, the scene stand-in geometry has been matched, and the character and objects have been modeled and animated.

Effects animators are specialists similar to the way character animators are, focusing most of their attention on a complex aspect of animation as a whole. Effects animators tend to differ from character animators in their emphasis and approach to the technique of animation. Character animation focuses heavily on communication through motion and is hands-on, and effects animation tends to be more technical in nature. One isn’t necessarily more difficult than the other, but their disciplines are different. There is definitely more art in character animation and more science in the production of effects animation. Thus many character animators are less package-specific, and effects animators are often married to their packages because they focus so strongly on their implementation of procedural tools.


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