Computer 3D animation refers to the work of creating moving pictures in a digital environment that is three-dimensional due to careful sequencing of consecutive images, that are technically referred to also as "frames" so as to ensure that it is possible to simulate motion. This simulation of motion is done when each image continues in a very gradual manner to show the next image, step by step.
What happens in animation is that motion is simulated in a way that the eyes tend to believe that actual motion has taken place while the fact is the perceived sense of motion is only because of the consecutive images that are passed through very fast.
You already may know that computer animation comprises 2D animation and computer 3d animation.
The traditional aspect of computer animation as an art form is well established in the application of 2D animation or two-dimensional animation is the more traditional face of the art form. In 2D animation, whatever drawings are done or created on paper are utilized and so are celluloid transparencies. In this form, it is also termed as cell animation and hand-drawn animation.
Let's get back to our main area of interest namely 3D animation which emerged as a new kind of art form that depends more on computers to bring forth characters or objects using a construct environment that is three dimensional in nature. So instead of any kind of hand drawings, the characters are all created within the computer not anywherelse because the character is subject to further modifications or manipulations in the online environment using highly advanced computer tools.
So if your ambition is to create your own remarkably unique 3D characters and animations, you should then procure a very good quality 3D animation software and we assume that you already have a good computer. Be aware of the fact that most studios currently make use of proprietary computer 3d animation software but for a beginner like yourself, you can check out a whole variety of software options in computer 3d animation.
Keep in mind that a lot of these off-the-shelf computer animation packages are helpful but they differ in the levels of complexity and features that come along with them. So it would be advisable to learn computer 3d animation as well as the basic principles of 2D before you actually go out and get yourself any package.
Animation packages are plenty but some brands like Maya remain immortal because of its high-end 3D computer graphics as well as its highly powerful 3D modeling software package. This is so popular with the film as well as the entertainment industry so it's a good choice. Take note that Maya has two versions, namely Maya Complete as well as Maya Unlimited. The former is less powerful and the latter is considered highly powerful and expensive. So it would be best to choose only according to your requirements as an animator.