View Full Version : 3d animation
April 29th, 2006, 07:37 PM
Im working on characters similar to those of final fantasy. Is it possible to take my drawings of my characters and create 3d models of them that talk and such in ICLONE? Also, what all do I need to be able to make them 3d and have them talk and battle in 2d and 3d backgrounds? What is some of the best software to have to do this that is also price efficient? Any help is greatly appreciated. Thanks.
April 29th, 2006, 08:35 PM
the shortcuts in 3d are few and far between. there's no magic "make my character 3d" button anywhere. If you plan on making an animated movie or video game you need to learn a LOT of new skills. Iclone is pretty much out of the question i would think.. You need to learn modeling, rigging, unwrapping, texturing and animation, to name a few. The best software to do such thing? Maya and 3dstudio max are two big names, but both are pretty fucking FAR from being price efficient..
April 29th, 2006, 09:10 PM
Maya and 3dstudio max are two big names, but both are pretty fucking FAR from being price efficient..both Max and Maya offer (or did offer) freeware versions -- gmax and Maya PLE respectively. of the two, i found Maya PLE more appealing, as it does offer rendering capability, though all outputs are size-limited and watermarked. gmax is for game-content production only and afaik does not provide any rendering features. not sure if there are other limitations in gmax as i stopped using it in favor of Maya PLE, which has few feature limitations, mostly in the areas of advanced simulations and rendering features. i like the UI better as well.
also of note is Blender, a well-featured and popular open source 3d modeler and renderer, with some animation features as well, though i'm not as familiar with it as i am with Maya PLE.
in any case, beyond the basic modeling and texturing (complicated enough in themselves), the creation of proper skeletal rigs, skin binding, and animation are just a few aspects of a highly complex art/science that does not, as Slash said, just happen. plan to spend years learning, and months to years in actual production depending on the complexity of your project and whether you work solo or with a team. the man-hours per second of final "footage" is about as high as any artistic discipline gets. and you will never reach a point where you can say "i've learned it," because the art & science is constantly evolving given tech and 'ware advances -- compare, for example, Robert Abel's "sexy robot" to features like Advent Children and you'll see what i mean.
also be prepared to learn some basic principles of scripting (a form of higher-level computer programming), since many of the more advanced features of 3d software and rendering elements (shaders, procedural effects, etc.) require some familiarity with scripting -- it's never just "pushbutton."
April 29th, 2006, 11:12 PM
So those are the best, and most expensive. I know it takes a lot of learning to be able to achieve what I am trying to do, but are there any programs out there to build 3d character designs based on my sketches and character concepts? Im not looking for the very best right now, just something to learn with and dabble in until I can get the skills to buy the best software like maya and 3dstudio. I just want to make my characters come to life and talk and move around some, not create full length movies or games. Not yet anyway. Also, im looking for a game design/ 3d character animation school in Virginia....close to the Winchester or Harrisonburg area, anyone recommend one for me? Thanks.
April 30th, 2006, 01:57 AM
what about cinema 4d?
April 30th, 2006, 04:32 AM
hi there, i've taught myself a little maya. it's a lot of fun, but first you're quite overwhelmed with new stuff to learn. especially when you're planning to realize a complete project on your own. i have done that after 4 weeks with a very short film (60 seconds). it was as much pain as fun - and that was only a very rough character without any lip-sync and just basic facial expressions... guess why my avatar hasn't got a mouth...?! :)
having a look at maya's personal learner's edition is a good advice. but note that you can't just simply open the ple files in your full version (at least i couldn't...). if you want to attend an animation school it may be good to know what software they are using and get used to that. dunno, maybe that's a stupid advice, but i would probably do that...
i haven't worked with blender yet, but i hear good things about it. there are tons of tutorials in the net, so it shouldn't be a problem learning about it. good luck and keep us posted! :) cheers,
April 30th, 2006, 06:03 AM
just wanted to thank you guys for your input and help, i think i might attend the art institute of washington which is in arlington,va , its like 2.5 hours drive for me to and from, but i guess its worth it in the long run. thought about ITT TECH, but havent heard much on them. yeah my long term goals are cgi films like advent children. Thats what I primarirly want to do with my talents. I can think up characters in 2d, but I want to extend possibilities and put them in 3d. Also, the art insititute offers a program in game art and design.....is that the program i am looking for if i want to do stuff like the final fantasy movie and games? thanks
April 30th, 2006, 09:27 AM
what about cinema 4d?
Yup, perfectly viable option.
The thing with 3d is that any of the high end programs can do pretty much anything the others can, Max, Maya, Lightwave, C4D, XSI, Houdini, take your pick- they're all difficult to learn so there's no shortcut here.
As suggested earlier, Blender is freeware but I personally found the interface horrible to work with, I'd go with demo or learning editions of a commercial app myself, also if you attend a college you'll be eligible for academic licences.(full featured but not for commercial use).
btw free learning versions of XSI and Houdini are also available, "Mod tool" and "Apprentice" respectively.
April 30th, 2006, 09:46 AM
Also, the art insititute offers a program in game art and design.....is that the program i am looking for if i want to do stuff like the final fantasy movie and games? thanksfirst off, check the actual course descriptions for the "game art & design" curriculum -- a local tech school here in New England (USA) has something similarly named, but concentrates heavily on programming, including C++(!). probably not the best route for the artistically inclined, though the knowledge would likely be useful to some degree.
the skills base for games content production and that for CG movie production are not the same; although you'd be learning much the same stuff at first, once you get into an actual production situation (even if only a personal project), you'll find very different requirements. games have certain restrictions and limitations based on their real-time characteristics, while rendering to files (either still pics or frames for animation) is basically limited only by your software and your computer's resources (rendering can take a very long time for very complex scenes).
games require that your work meets the requirements of a particular game engine, so learning game-directed production includes learning about the game engines themselves. this often includes learning how to use the engine's scripting language. also note that the choice of 3D modeling software may be lmited by what a game engine's content editing software will accept. not all 3d software produces files easily used by all game engines.
if at first you're just looking to try out modeling and perhaps some animation, take the time to search the web for freeware such as Maya PLE or Blender. there are (or were a couple of years ago) quite a few such apps, each with varying degrees of complexity and capability. they'll at least get you started in the basic skills and knowledge. regarding classes, take the time to research the disciplines that interest you, so you can make your own more informed decisions about whether a certain course may be of value.