Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Hardware and software constraints in 3d animation

Hardware and software constraints within commercial 3d animation production.

When designing a 3d animation 3d software is rare and expensive to get hold of. I personally like to use Carrara but when I purchased this program I was confronted with a software constraint that stopped me from using it on my computer.
I use a Apple Mac computer only for my design work and I bought this software thinking that it would install as normal, but it didn't.

This type of issue is very common in 3d software and leaves designers with a problem on the hands. I had no choice but to purchace the apple version.
I felt that after I had made a purchase I shouldnt I needed to do this as they should Of thought about this before hand and made the software work on all specs of computers.
Another software issue is when I saved my 3d work and opened it on another computer with newer older versions of the program, the software cauld not find my file. This was due to me saving it in a new version. I personally found this fraustrating and very time wasteing. I believe there should be a way around this issue to prevent this from happening. Maybe they should include a new type of file exstention which can be read on all types of versions then this would prevent this.

When rendering a 3d animation there can be some constraints depending on your rendering output settings.
If your animation is a scene of high quality objects which contains objects that display hundreds of polygon counts, and the output settings are set as photorealistic with all shadows to show with indirect lighting with caustics enabled, and the progression status is set at best, also the rendering is set at best, then your animation is going to taken forever to render.
This is because your computers processor is running to slow and cannot keep up with the data being thrown at it, also you may need to upgrade in ram for better memory when dealing with 3d rendering.
To help reduce this constraint issue I have taken a quote from a website below.
Quote taken from http://forums.creativecow.net/thread/19/864225

"The best ways I've found to speed up your renders are as follows Reduce render depth (render settings>options>ray depth etc.) Dont use dispersion on transparency or reflections Dont use GI (although it will speed up your preparation time untik you are experienced at setting up lights manually) Dont use Ambient Occlusion (produces good results but is slow) Dont use Caustics Use geometry and animation settings for antialiasing (or none) Transparency setting to no refraction All of these settings will reduce the render quality to a certain degree but some in particular render depth can often have little or no visible impact. Here are a few general tips Dont have too many transparent textures, in particular over other transparent objects. Use instances where you have multiple objects that are the same Learn how to use render tags so objects outwith the view or that you dont need/want reflected aren't calculated ".

Software specs
3d animation has developed quickly over the last decade, and is getting much more higher in quality graphics and speed of frame rate.

But if we think back to our old computer games way back to the N64, our graphics and overall entertainment are a huge success over the past generations.

The N64, that everybody had was a big thing at the time, the graphics were a 2d plat form which we all thought was great.

The N64 was released in 1996 as Nintendo's front-runner in the original next-gen console wars. Although it was a much higher powered machine than Sony's Playstation

A fairly modern system is needed to play emulate the machine, and a 3D accelerated graphics card is an absolute must (on board graphics won't cut the mustard here). Game ROMs are available from ripped cartridges, ranging in size (5MB-70MB).

  • CPU: MIPS R4300i, 93.75MHz, 64-bit, 24KB L1, 125 MIPS, 250 MB/sec Bus
  • Graphics: SGI RCP, 62.5MHz, 100 MFLOPS, 150K Polygons/Sec, 32-bit Color, 500 MB/sec Bus
  • Sound: SGI RCP, 64 2D Voices, ADPCM, 500 MB/sec Bus
  • Data: 4MB (500 MB/s), Cartridge (32MB), Expansion 4MB RAM
some content was taken from http://www.emulator-zone.com/doc.php/n64/

The PS1 later came out in japen 1994 the specs of the ps1 are more improved as you can see from the results below.

  • Analog Joystick
  • Controller
  • Memory Card
  • Link Cable
  • Mouse with Pad
  • RFU Adaptor
  • Multitap Unit
  • R3000A
  • 32 bit RISC processor
  • Clock- 33.8688MHz
  • Operating performance - 30 MIPS
  • Instruction Cache - 4 KB
  • Data Cache - 1 KB
  • BUS - 132 MB/sec.
  • Data Transfer Rate (DMA TO RAM) 150 KB/sec. (Normal) 300 KB/sec. (Double speed)
  • Maximum Capacity - 660 Megabytes
  • Features Audio CD play XA Interactive Audio
  • Control Pad Two control pad connectors Expandable with multitap connector
  • Backup RAM Two removable cards 128 KB Flash Memory OS support for File Save, Retrieve and Remove
  • Serial Port I/O Link Cable Connectivity
  • Main RAM: 2 Megabytes Video RAM: 1 Megabyte Sound RAM: 512 Kilobytes CD ROM buffer: 32 Kilobytes OS ROM: 512 Kilobytes
  • 24 Channels
  • 44.1KHz sample rate
  • PCM audio source
  • Digital effects include: Envelope Looping Digital Reverb
  • Load up to 512K of sampled waveforms Supports MIDI Instruments

The PS2 came out in japen year 2000.

The graphics at this stage are more higher in quality due to the polygon models and textures applied to the models.

  • CPU: Emotion Engine 300MHz, 128-bit INT, 128-bit FP, 24KB L1, 16KB Scratch, 8KB VU0, 32KB VU1, 450 MIPS, 6.2 GFLOPS, 66M Vertices/Sec, 2.4 GB/s Internal, 1.2 GB/s Graphics, 3.2 GB/s Memory
  • Graphics: Sony GS 150MHz, 1.2G Texels/Sec, 32-bit Color, 4MB (48 GB/s), 1.2 GB/sec Bus
  • Sound: SPU2, 48 2D Voices, ADPCM, 2MB
  • Data: 24MB (2.6 GB/s), 16MB (81 MB/s), 4.7GB Discs, Expansion 56K Modem Ethernet
content is taken from here http://www.emulator-zone.com/doc.php/n64/

The ps3 came out in 2006, this console is the lastest and most recent innovation of the gameing world, along with the Wii and the Xbox.

The Ps3 has alot of improved specs as showed below.

  • 7 x SPE @3.2GHz
  • 7 x 128b 128 SIMD GPRs
  • 7 x 256KB SRAM for SPE
  • * 1 of 8 SPEs reserved for redundancy total floating point performance: 218 GFLOPS

GPU: RSX @550MHz

  • 1.8 TFLOPS floating point performance
  • Full HD (up to 1080p) x 2 channels
  • Multi-way programmable parallel floating point shader pipelines

Sound: Dolby 5.1ch, DTS, LPCM, etc. (Cell-base processing)


  • 256MB XDR Main RAM @3.2GHz
  • 256MB GDDR3 VRAM @700MHz

System Bandwidth:

  • Main RAM: 25.6GB/s
  • VRAM: 22.4GB/s
  • RSX: 20GB/s (write) + 15GB/s (read)
  • SB: 2.5GB/s (write) + 2.5GB/s (read)

System Floating Point Performance: 2 TFLOPS


  • HDD
  • Detachable 2.5” HDD slot x 1


  • USB: Front x 4, Rear x 2 (USB2.0)
  • Memory Stick: standard/Duo, PRO x 1
  • SD: standard/mini x 1
  • CompactFlash: (Type I, II) x 1

Communication: Ethernet (10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T) x3 (input x 1 + output x 2)

Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g

Bluetooth: Bluetooth 2.0 (EDR)


  • Bluetooth (up to 7)
  • USB2.0 (wired)
  • Wi-Fi (PSP®)
  • Network (over IP)

AV Output:

  • Screen size: 480i, 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
  • HDMI: HDMI out x 2
  • Analog: AV MULTI OUT x 1
  • Digital audio: DIGITAL OUT (OPTICAL) x 1

CD Disc media (read only):

  • PlayStation CD-ROM
  • PlayStation 2 CD-ROM
  • CD-DA (ROM), CD-R, CD-RW
  • SACD Hybrid (CD layer), SACD HD
  • DualDisc (audio side), DualDisc (DVD side)

DVD Disc media (read only):

  • PlayStation 2 DVD-ROM

Blu-ray Disc media (read only):

  • BD-Video: BD-ROM, BD-R, BD-RE
this content has been taken from http://playstation.about.com/od/ps3/a/PS3SpecsDetails_3.htm


The N64 was a brillant computer of it's time and we all thought the graphics were true to life because we had never seen anythink like this before, but there were problems, with this console.
When playing there might have been issues of crashing or slow performace in the game this was due to the graphics card and the slow speed of the machine processing the game, and loading information. The console cauldn't keep on track with alot of jobs at one time, so high graphics were a problem for this particular system.

The PS1 was one of the first machines to introduce the CD version of games, this was a more faster way in terms of processing data, then the cartrige way.
At this point models were also inproved with higher polygon counts due to the increase speed.

over the gerations the consoles have got better including more interactive options for us to do.
As new material is released such as HD,BlUE TOOTH, BLUE RAY and 3D, game developers make it possible for us to use these options for use with our TV's at home, the PS3, XBOX and Wii is currently the most advanced consoles with hardware and software that is able to except all these features above.