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Beginner animation questions!

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Jake Sedge
Beginner animation questions!
on Jan 12, 2012 at 9:28:36 am

I make mock action movies as an excuse to test out and advance my skill at visual effects. In my next film, I want to try something out which I have never attempted before- 3D animation. I havea .3DS of the Millenium Falcon (don't ask!) which I want to incorporate into a few clips. These are

- A shot of Earth and the camera pans past the ship (should be easy)
- A shot of the ship with the sky in the background, it moves forwards, the turret moves and shoots
- A shot of the ship landing in a field shot on location, perhaps with the ramp opening

I understand roughly how 3D animation works in other programs with a virtual camera and keyframing, but I'd like advice on how to:

- Do basic animation (is it like keyframing?)
- Import background footage from my camera
- How to get virtual lights to cast shadows on unlit parts of the model and the background clip I filmed (ie. The field it lands in)
- How to texture the 3D model correctly rather than my hit and miss Photoshop attempts (I have the textures)
- How to animate individual parts of the model, ie. The ramp or turret (if possible)

Thanks in advance for your advice, I look forward to learning about this software the only way I know how- playing about with it until I get it right!

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