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Survey for animation program options

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Drew CornellSurvey for animation program options
by on Apr 7, 2011 at 3:35:05 pm

I am converting my curriculum to contain 3d animation and I was wanting your input on what program to teach with. I had thought Maya would be industry standard, but after further review I feel it might be best to have a survey of the options out there. If you can also provide a description of the program that you feel would be most beneficial for an entry level designer to learn in 1 year. They would be creating character animation, landscapes as well as logo design. Any help would be appreciated.


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Survey for animation program options
by on Apr 11, 2011 at 4:41:22 pm

Hi Drew -

I am currently using 3DS Max 2011, and have been a Max user for over 10 years. Prior to that I used Truespace (no longer supported). I have played around a bit with Blender, but find its' interface too arcane (perhaps because I have been using Max for so long) for practical use. It is free, however.

You should look at Max, Maya, Cinema 4D (used a lot in the broadcast television industry), and some specialized landscape packages - Terragen 2 is very powerful, but render intensive - its' skies are unsurpassed in quality. There are several adjunct packages in the 3DS Max stable - Mudbox being an incredible sculpting one. There is an educational suite available from Autodesk which includes Max, Maya, Mudbox, MotionBuilder, Sketchbook Pro, and Softimage - an incredible value (but impossible to teach in a year):

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?siteID=123112&id=13395078


A look at the above, plus your own decisions on whether the course is for gaming, entertainment, architecture, etc. will further help you make the decision. There are many tools out there, and also key to the 3D world is a strong working knowledge of Photoshop, Illustrator, and a few other 2D tools that can be essential to 3d modeling and texture mapping. Good luck.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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Drew CornellRe: Survey for animation program options
by on Apr 13, 2011 at 3:29:35 pm

Thanks Joe,
I truly value that info. The first semester is photoshop and illustrator with principles and elements of design coinciding with the applications. Then there is after effects and final cut pro with filming 101 and finally animation. The concept is to give my students the option to pursue film editing and compositing or if they enjoyed the animation and want to pursue that course they can take there final semester in either. sort of a level two.
Are there any entry level certifications available for maya, cinema 4d or 3d studio max?

Thanks
Drew Cornell
Acadiana Technical College


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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Survey for animation program options
by on Apr 13, 2011 at 10:12:03 pm

Hi Drew -

I see that Autodesk offers certification programs:

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/index?id=14238652&siteID=123112

There also seem to be some independent certification sites out there, but I'm doubtful how they would be recognized in the industry. Maxon Cinema 4D has no such program, but they say that they are working on one. The bottom line in this industry is the demo reel, but I'm sure that certification couldn't hurt either.

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media
http://www.bourkemedia.com


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