This may be considered by some as a tad off topic but we are talking about video on this forum.
I was wondering if anyone has come across a good Animation creation forum?
Thank you so kindly.
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I'm trying to do a sort of reverse engineering in the sense that I have an animation (about a minute) and I want to try to ascertain what software was used to create it.
I'm trying to teach myself animation creation in the simplest way with the easiest to learn and use software.
ok... still too vague...
Do you want to post the animation or at the very least describe it ?
The term "Animation" is too broad. There are dozens of types of subtypes and different forums and software / hardware might deal with them
For example, 2d/3d character lipsync animation would be very different than say stop motion camera animation for "claymation" . 2d anime cel drawn character animation would be very different than retargetting mocap animation for bipeds. Spline based 3d hair simulation would be very different than motion graphics logo animation for a broadcast trailer. A particle based fire simulation would be very different than dynamic 3d cloth based animation, etc...
Here it is.
This falls under the category of "generic" 3d animation
The main concepts that you can break it down into are: some low poly character animation (snowman, kids playing) , camera animation, 3d text animation . Both the small snow, and snow transition effect is likely composited in a 2d application afterwards (not part of the 3d scene)
It can be done in basically any 3d software package (e.g. maya, c4d, 3dsmax, houdini). Most of them are expensive.
The only "good" free 3d software package is blender . (By "package" I mean complete, with everything you need including rendering, there are other good free 3d tools , but not complete - for example you might be able to model , but not do a camera animation or light the scene) . The blender GUI is a bit non intuitive but there are a large number of users, many free tutorials (youtube and similar sites) , and active forums dealing with blender
Thank you so very much for all your kind and appreciated help.
Can you pls. share the link to the best/official site to download blender?
Also, can you pls share any bender forums you've found helpful?
Would you happen to know the minimum specs to run blender? e.g. do I need i7 with a new graphics card?
Thank you again so very much!
Best to you.
Always download from the official blender foundation site
Not sure about the minimum specs, but you should be able to find that info on their info page, as well as older versions archived that should be able to be run on very old hardware
Personally , I'm not a big blender user (I'm a C4D user) , but their forums are very active with many helpful people . I don't know which blender forums are the best offhand. There are thousands of tutorials of all skill levels on youtube
I can appreciate your comment about it not being intuitive.
I've learned some GIMP which I would share is also not intuitive but with help from forums and others I can now do many tasks without having to subscribe to Photoshop as a non-paid amateur. I don't know what Photo Shop can do which GIMP can't but I probably will never need to know those advanced skills.
My goal is not to become an animator and land a job at Pixar but to create simple animations for my own enjoyment and maybe share with friends.
Thank you so much for all your kind and informed help.
I'm not sure that's a representative analogy . GIMP is a lot more straightfoward than blender . The folks that designed blender's GUI seem to have gone out of their way to make it confusing. It's non standard / non conventional - compared to other software . If you're only exposed to blender, then it might not "seem" that confusing, but if you play with some of the other packages I think even the most fanatic blender user will have to agree the GUI could use some polish. But if you use it a lot , you will get used to the way things are done in blender. It's a very very powerful piece of software that easily rivals commercial packages. The amount of 3rd party plugins , addons for blender - is astronomical and most of them are free. It even has 2d compositing (like AE), simple NLE functions - other "3d" software typically do not.
Sounds like I'll need a lot of coaching!
I'll take whatever baby steps are necessary as I don't have any budget for animation software.
Thanks for prepping me!
I can give you some some basic tips that will be valid in any 3d software:
In many ways, this is like live action shooting with you (the director) , and planning & framing the camera shots , timing, scenes, etc...
1) Do storyboards. Plan the thing out. Each scene. Ahead of time. Many people like to sketch it out, but if you can visualize it in your mind then go ahead. This helps to keep you on track, but also serves to to divide up everything into manageable pieces. Very rarely will you do a massive animation piece that is one continuous shot.
Some render engines are limited by memory, especially some GPU renderers. When you have massive amounts of models , textures you can bog down everything. So dividing and conquering makes sense. Optimize and only use what you have to for that scene.
2) (final) Rendering is time consuming. Maybe not as much with this style of animation (low poly, "plastic" -like ie. not going for a "realism" look ), but it can be very very slow depending the style of animation, the type of illumination used, the settings. So do rough shot, low quality (fast rendering), animation story boards just to get the animation timing, and camera framing down pat , then go back and make adjustments. You might have low poly "blocks" or placeholders for scene, which you replace with the "real" assets later . Even in this simple animation there are multiple things going on simultaneously - if you don't frame up the camera animation correctly, you might "cut off" the text animation, for example. So "blocking out" the scene in rough similar to paper storyboards will save you lots of headache later
3) make use of free resources. Lots of legit free models and assets that can save lots of time - so you don't have to model or do everything from scratch . (sometimes you might want to model or make more detailed models yourself, but for things in the background that are barely visible, maybe blurred from depth of field - background assets like a chair, a picture hanging on a wall, desk in the BG, etc...)
Thank you ever so very much!
Very kind and helpful of you.
I will follow your lead in prep and visit those sites.
So many people involved in projects (whether it's working with trees/house repair or creating graphics) fail to take the time to plan.
It's been my experience success projects are based on 95% proper planning, 4% careful execution and 1% good luck.
Far too many just wing it and rely on dumb luck which sometimes lands them in the ER.
Thank you again for all your kind help.