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I've been lurking here a while and thought I'd finally start posting. I've decided to take up 3d animation in a effort to make a living through art. I was wondering if there are any websites or books that folk here could recommend.
I've found tons of 3d sites but I wonder which ones are the best. I have 3ds Max 6.0 (not sure if character studio works though) and Maya Personal Learning Edition at my disposal. I have made progress, the programs are just far too dense for me to sit down and learn on my own as I did Photoshop.
Great site by the way. This is by far the best art resource site I have found on the web.
You were probably thinking the same thing I was thinking before I learned Maya. "I taught myself Photoshop, I can teach myself this 3D crap."
Some people can actually reach a point with Photoshop or other 2D graphics programs where they might be considered a Master of that program. Maya just might be one of the few programs out there that can't be mastered because it is so deep.
Take a class. That is one of the best ways to get started. People who are veterans with the programs can give you some great quick-start exercises and techniques that will save you hours upon hours of trying to figure things out yourself. Some books are a good help. I used the Maya tutorial book that Alias made back in version 3, and I would guess that they still make those books (or something similar) now. But they are no substitute for a good instructor.
Don't be afraid to play with stuff. There's a whole help file that describes each window available and what the options will lead to. At school I used to just go through each menu and see if there was something I hadnt learned yet, check it out and see what it did.. oh it works on geometry? lets see what it does to this poly cube.. that kind of thing.. if you can't find a class, try tutorials, and if you really want more instruction try the gnomon or alias dvd's.. they're expensive but beats the hell out of paying for the school i went to..
If you want to be an animator...you MUST read this book
Being good at 3D doesn't make you a good animator, being good at animation does. 3D is just a tool...you've got to learn the principles of animation, and to be honest, it would be best if you learned them traditionally. I went to school for animation, and I spent 6 of my 8 quarters there focused on traditional animation. I had friends who started animating in 3D the 3rd and 4th quarters, but I ended up (by the 8th quarter) being way better at animation because I had practiced traditionally longer. The 3D package is just a tool, and can be taught in a class, the animation is the art, and takes a while to get good at, and a longer while to master. Don't get them mixed up.
Word. Ever see that stick figure fighting flash movie? Maybe not the best example, but that guy did more with a 2D stick figure than most people can do in 3D. Same goes for concepts, storyboards, etc. There is alot more 2D art in 3D animation than most people realize.Originally Posted by jetpack42
I agree about studying traditional animation. My girlfriend is getting me The Animator's Survival Kit for x-mas. I intend to pick up The Illusion of Life as
soon as all this holiday foolishness is over. I definitely intend to study how old school classic animators used body language an how they created motion in their characters.
I think that is something that is lacking in game animation. Rendering over the motions of actors just doesn't cut it in my opinion. I am aware that I won't even be able to make a character walk decently without studying animation.
I'll study this concurrenty with the modeling and hopefully in the end they will gel. I expect that it will take longer to become a decent animator that it takes to become proficient with a 3d program. Right now I'm looking for some decent resources for the 3d programs.
I think I'm gonna go with the Maya because I don't seem to have all the 3Dsmax program, nothing comes up when I go to help or tutorials. Does anybody know if you can open files created in the learning edition of Maya in the full version and render them, or export them, or whatever without the watermark? I think it'd look bad to have the stamp on them when I start sending out reels.