A 3D motion effect is a three-dimensional computer-generated (CG) visual effect that simulates the appearance of motion through space. These graphics are most often created for films, videos, television programs, video games, and interactive multimedia content. A 3D motion effect can range from simple text to complicated photo-realistic characters and environments.
The first 3D motion effect was created during the 1970s by pioneering visual effects artists like Douglas Trumbull for film and television, mostly for title sequences and effects for films or on-air displays for newscasts, but as computing technology increased in power and declined in costs over the next few years, the 3D motion effect became more prominent in the visual communication industries. Into the 1980s, the 3D motion effect gained ground as high-profile visual effects films began utilizing the tool to produce some of the most memorable moments in film and helped to usher in a new era of visual effects.
The usage of the 3D motion effect continued to grow in the 1990s with the advent of the first generation of 3D gaming systems like Sony's PlayStation. As 3D games quickly grew to dominate the gaming landscape, the 3D motion effect went from being a mere tool for creating interesting motion graphics and effects to becoming the premiere mainstay of the most successful games in the industry.
At the turn of the century, 3D motion effects became even more accessible and affordable, which paved the way for a new generation of filmmakers, visual effects artists, animators, 3D artists, and game developers. Video game consoles like the PlayStation 2 and XBOX developed an even more impressive list of titles. Film and television studios, independent production companies, visual effects and post-production houses, along with motion graphics designers began setting up a number of productions that allowed them to create and collaborate on bigger projects that could now be achieved visually with the help of these advanced 3D effects.
In the age of digital communications, the 3D motion effect is now ubiquitous to the point that this tool has become nearly invisible in its utilization. Motion graphic designers and visual effects artists continue to push the limits of what the 3D motion effect can do, and the future of 3D effects looks to only become even more prominent as artists, technicians, and developers grow in parallel with the technology itself. The next generation of 3D visual effects and motion graphics will undoubtedly continue to impress us and change the way we can interpret our imaginations.