View Full Version : Moving from Engineering Design to 3D Animation, how should I do it?

12-02-2003, 01:23 AM

I am a student at Portsmouth University in England, and I am currently studying Engineering Design at Masters level. But my real interest is in 3D Animation, and I am beginning to learn and use as many packages as possible in my free time. I will be moving to London in one year in order to follow the opportunities within animation. I was wondering if there are any other engineering designers that have made this transition, and if so, how? Am I taking the right steps? Or should I try another approach?

Any replies will be much appreciated


12-02-2003, 05:47 AM
Well, have you ever done any animation (i asume you want to be a character animator)??? That's the first thing i would ask my self...

Animation (whether it's 3d or traditional...is there a fundamental difference anyway?) is a full time job, you can't just go from modeling/designing to animation, or atleast don't expect to be any good in the beginning...

I guess there no real 'way' or 'trick' to get to animation other than just 'trying' it out...

12-02-2003, 05:54 AM
Hi Albert....

Thanks for replying. I have been working with realsoft for 2 months and also 3D Max5 and Maya for a couple of weeks. Therefore my experience with it is pretty poor.

The main reason why I want to get into animation, is my stronge hobby for art and imaginative cartoons. However, I would like to get my characters onto the computer screen and in motion within a 3D package.

Can you suggest the best package for me to do so?

And how long have you been in the business of computer animation (or what ever your specific animation field is)?

Thanks again, hope to hear from you soon


12-03-2003, 03:16 AM
Well, first off...the names of the people who write you are the ones above their avatars, below my post is a qoute by Albert Einstein...anyway...my real name isn't even Red_Oddity (can you imagine :D )

I'd say to start out simple...
Buy a decent animation book, and try to avoid any books that claim to specialize in 3D animation...buy a book that discribes the roots of animation and does well by telling you the principals of animation...
Books like these two are the best:

The Animator's Survival Kit (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0571202284/qid=1070445360/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_1/104-1224083-4518322?v=glance&n=507846)
Illusion of Life (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/0786860707/ref=pd_sim_books_1/104-1224083-4518322?v=glance&s=books)

I'm telling you this because most (new/wannabee) 3d animators think 3d animation is a totally different world and has nothing to do with 2d/traditional animation...

Further more, if you have acces to some software (Max/Maya/LW) try downloading a fully rigged (rigged for animtion, not for render posing) model and start screwing about with that (i'm telling you this, because learning to do good character setups is a full time job aswell (not for everyone though))
Or do as the 2d animation books propose and start off really simple by modeling, rigging and animating the tradional bag of flour (you'll get this one once you've obtained one of those books)
As for animation programs, LW will do, Maya has more animation tools geared towards the animator (and has it's own quirks), there's allways Character Studio for 3D Max which is excellent software, or you could try out a somewhat cheaper piece of software (but very very good) like Kaydara's Motion Builder.

As for me, i'm NOT an animator, let's get that out of the way...i am a bachelor however at an animation school in Holland though...i did character modeling, character rigging, but i gave up on animation as it needs someone with dicipline and has to live and breath animation to get any good...i found it more satifying to see animators work pleasantly with my characters and setups and give me feedback on what they liked to see improved or what they found working well.
Besides, the modeling, setups, texturing, lighting, rendering and compositing was enough to handle already in most projects

Anyway, i hope this might have helped a bit.

and here's some links to get you inspired some more and give you some more advise on the topics above

Animation World Magazine (http://www.awn.com/)

AnimWatch (http://www.animwatch.com/)

The 10 second club (http://10secondclub.net/)