General Question

f4a's avatar

Animators, especially 3d animators, what materials are you using?

Asked by f4a (596 points ) May 10th, 2010

if someone enters college and take this as a course, what should one do to prepare himself/herself? what software and materials should one buy? what additional knowledge should be learned in order to be a great animator (3d animator) Thanks. Appreciate the help so much.

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6 Answers

zophu's avatar

Blender is opensource. I doubt it’s used much in schools, but if you want something to play around with before you decide on something to purchase you might be interested in that.

you were probably already aware of Blender, but I like promoting free stuff.

TogoldorMandar's avatar

First a good laptop ,mouse , maybe a usb-tablet for drawing and modding. And begin with Google sketch up, its easy to work with and has the basics for 3D animation . Later if you want you can use other softwares like MAYA,

f4a's avatar

these are great answers..keep those answeres coming..

simpleD's avatar

I’m teaching a 2D animation course for the first time this summer. Check out the book Animators Survival Kit and Principles of Traditional Animation Applied to 3D Computer Animation 3D tools will change. What will last is your ability to see, draw, and understand the psychology of how we perceive objects in motion.

RocketSquid's avatar

@simpleD hit the nail on the head. Form, anatomy, motion, time, basically anything and everything you need to know to be a good 2D animator will factor into 3D as well.

Software wise, you may want to pick up trial version of Maya or 3D studio Max, depending on what your class is going to use, and a lot of times you may even be able to get student versions for a far lower price than the professional versions. Blender’s good too, but the interface is very different from other 3D programs (that I’ve used, anyway).

Another good idea is to read up on set lighting and scene composition. Lighting in most 3D programs is just like set lighting except you don’t have to worry about mundane things like heat or gravity, and can add an extra impact to an animation. Composition will also help add impact, and help you focus on the important aspects of a scene while saving time (why animate something that isn’t going to appear on camera?)

martyjacobs's avatar

If you’re serious about animation, you must get The Animator’s Survival Kit.

In terms of 3D software, Lightwave is the most cost effective. I trained using Maya, so I have a preference for it. Unfortunatley, Maya is very expensive. 3DS Max is also a popular choice, especially in the computer games industry. Oh and I have friends that swear by Softimage.

At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what package you use, it’s the end result that counts. Employers just want to see a show reel that proves you can animate and have mastered the basic techniques.

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