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Beginner animation questions!

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Jake SedgeBeginner animation questions!
by 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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Joseph W. BourkeRe: Beginner animation questions!
by on Jan 12, 2012 at 3:36:11 pm

Jake -

This is not advice you're asking for, this is a complete education in a field which is very complex. I suggest you start at:


Playing around will only get you so far in a discipline in which randomly fiddling with settings often gets you nothing, or in deep trouble. I would suggest getting started with the tutorials of the 3D software you have, going through the Neil Blevins site, and then coming back with specific questions. It's going to be fun, daunting, and frustrating at times. Good luck!

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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