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Sable0411

Animation Software Recommendations.

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So, as I think I said when I first joined, I got into 3D Modeling for the eventual end goal to do something with it.  3DC thus far has proven to be a great choice for getting started in my learning, and for any actual modeling I need to do, I doubt I will need much else, probably.  I could always move up to ZBrush, but at the moment to really do that.  However, despite this, 3DC is built for modeling and texturing, and that alone.  To use it further, I have to add a 3D Animation program to my repertoire.  However, this seems to be proving a whole lot harder to figure out what to go with.  I've been trying out Blender, and I know if I worked with it long enough, it would become second hand.  But I am also still in a learning phase for this part of the pipeline, as it were, so I don't have a predisposition toward anything, so it would be better to have a selected program I can learn from the start and not have it conflict with preconceptions of how other programs work.

 

It's just really hard to figure out what is a good starting point.

 

First is obviously a price range, as I'm sure you know is that animation programs are vastly more expensive, which I shouldn't just be buying something outright anyways, I did try 3DC before I bought it, if to a very basic level, before I even started out at the education price before moving up to the Pro once I was sure.  And admittedly there are free trial periods, it's just when faced with what comes after, I'm a bit cautious of trying something if I'm not going to be able to get it afterward.  The ones I have tried were Shade3D, which I was turned off of immediately as there are practically no tutorials and those that are there cover only modeling, with the animation and rigging, particularly advanced methods not covered, or possible not even covered.  I looked at Lightwave, but it's setup looks somewhat obtrusive like blender a bit, but at least it has plenty of documentation.  Though, I also have heard rumors about Lightwave being on the out, and not as good as it used to be.

 

Then there are the big guns in Maya and 3DS Max.  But, at this point, those are also subscription based products, and I have my issues with jumping into that, even if the full program would be vastly too expensive regardless, so a subscription is kind of the only way I could use it for any length of time.  

 

Either way, I'm just looking for what anyone else might be using, suggestions, recommendations, and what not.

 

Edit:  I guess to add a bit of specification, I will note that going into games is the end goal as a consideration.  Though, I intend to do some simple animations to EXTREMELY short cartoons to brush up skills along the way.

Edited by Sable0411
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Sounds like you want to do character animation, which you can do in Blender.  Personally I would just stick with Blender as most of the skills will transfer to other 3D packages, and you can see if you really want to continue doing this type of animation work.  Later you will be in a much better position to decide which package you would like to move to, if any.  Games are a different beast, but Blender can be used for them as well.  

 

Jason

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I had 3 animation packages and Grimm is right skills plus concepts can be carried over to other software.

Animation Master--- not a good pipeline for 3DC though...

Messiah Studio--- I enjoyed this one, easy to rig as far as rigging that is... It appears to be on the wane, last update was awhile ago...

Blender--- I found the rigging not quite as friendly as Messiah but not bad either...

 

David Ward made some good tutorials on rigging.... Done with an earlier version of Blender but nearly all still applies.

Watch part 13 to  part 22... Maybe it will give you an idea if you want to test Blender.

Rigging and animation is well, I will quote Winston Churchill here.  "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat."

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL2ACD3BDD66D4DC4E

Edited by digman
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Maya LT and you are done.

 

Then Houdini Indie and you got yourself a full suite for $200 per year.

 

Of course there is always 3d max but price , i know trust me.

 

Have all 3 and i can quarantine that if you want to go pro route stick on those.

 

 

EDIT 

 

Just to clarify , stick with those not so much because they are better ones , but because pro industry use those , fortunately or unfortunately.

 

EDIT 2

 

All other alternatives will work too , but again if you want to take a pro route later on you will be forced to use the above at least for animation.

Edited by Michaelgdrs
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Pro would be the ideal, though admittedly I'm completely not in the realm of that right now.  But, yeah, if that's the case, learning the ones that would apply later one would probably be best.  As of right now, due to it having a proper trial version I don't have to pre-setup for a subscription, I'm trying out Houdini first.  And I like what I've been seeing so far, especially coming from blender.  Also has plenty of tutorials to draw from, I'm signed up with pluralsight, so I can use their Tutorials as well, though some of it I've been figuring out on my own, which I like, means the tools aren't completely unintuitive.  Though, getting my UVs applied properly did take a bit, but I did figure it out in the end.  Right now I'm brushing up on all the facets of how they handle bones, probably will do that for the rest of the day, but it definitely looks hopeful.

 

I still would maybe want to look at the others, but for that price, and looking at the features, seems you get access to a lot more for the Houdini Indie vs Maya LT.  At least from what I can tell without being super well versed in everything.  

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True , Houdini Indie offers more vs Maya LT.

 

There are always the student versions of Maya and Max that anyone can use if you dont do commercial work with them.

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Well, I'm not a student anymore, so I wouldn't be able to get a hold of those at this point.  And I just double checked, their policy is is pretty set on being a student, vs where you can be a hobbyist and still get the education level for 3DC. 

 

Well, actually, doublechecking it, as I had downloaded something back from them when I was in school, one of which was Mudbox I remember, and turns out I did download the 2013 version of Maya back in the day, actually.  At the time, it was in the middle of school, and I didn't actually have any 3D Classes, so I was simply trying to learn it myself, as I am now, but had less success and school work prevented me from focusing on it.  So, I could use that if I need to for awhile, I suppose, but any more recent versions, I can't get those.

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I see.

 

On the other hand I believe getting it for pure learning wont hurt anyone.

 

Anyway , you need to get a good grasp , and when pro time comes you will be most likely given custom software to use and learn (many studios use custom software for several  reasons).

 

But knowing Maya , Max , Houdini is a huge plus , at least where ever i worked those where the 3 basics.

 

 

So far in pro level i have work with 

 

Houdini 

3ds max

Maya

Zbrush

3D Coat

Mari

Substance Designer

Fusion

After effects

 

those in studios , in freelance i have work and can handle numerous softwares , list goes on and on and on.

 

What counts at the end?

 

Quality and speed , error / problem solving , solid workflow and new workflow adaptation  , more than 50% they let me work and suggest my own workflow / softwares i prefer using / feel more comfortable with , so there is a freedom if you

know the basics.

 

P.S

 

And dont forget good old Photoshop that saved my @ss numerous times lol 

Edited by Michaelgdrs

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Okay, good to know.  At least the aftereffects and photoshop I have down, though I don't actually have Aftereffects on hand unfortunately, that wasn't part of the suite I could get in school.  I'll check out those other 3, Mari, Fusion, and Substance designer just to read up on them at some point.

 

And yeah, you are right, and I've seen someone try and make that argument before, but doesn't matter if Autodesk won't let it happen

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For software always keep your eyes on discounts.

 

I remember buying Photoshop Master suite CS6 for around $200 on a big Black Friday discount , i was on subscription until then and we had at the studio 2 CS2 licences back at the days.

 

Anyway , only that i see you are taking it so seriously i can only say that best are about to come for you.

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Worth noting, and I'm not surprised by this, but that license has actually expired at this point, so just using maya 2013 for any length of time isn't too much of an option either.  However, I will do some tests with it compared to what I've done so far in Houdini.

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