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90mustang
12-18-2006, 08:00 AM
I have a friend whose son is interested in animation. Does anyone know of a good animation program that would be good for a 14 y/o just starting out?

Dodgy
12-18-2006, 08:43 AM
Blender is free, and of a high standard, might be a bit complex though.

flakester
12-18-2006, 09:13 AM
If the person in question is into 2D as well as 3D, there's an app called 'plastic animation paper'. [ http://plasticanimationpaper.dk/ ]

I have not used it, but it gets talked of quite highly. Apparently the interface can be a little confusing, but what do I know- I'm a bear, I suck the heads off fish! :p

hth

flakester.

edit::typo

Speedmonk42
12-18-2006, 12:15 PM
If he is 14, is he not a student?

The Educational edition of LW is very cheap.

You are absolutely not going to get anything better for te money. I think it is 179bux, and there is a free trial out now.

90mustang
12-18-2006, 12:33 PM
I don't really think price is an issue. I guess my main question is: is there anything that would be more simple for him to use then LW (I could see it being frustrating at that age starting out with LW)

RudySchneider
12-18-2006, 01:00 PM
You might look into Anim8or. Like Blender, it's free (www.Anim8or.com), and it's a good program to cut one's teeth on. It doesn't have some of the extra features and bells and whistles that Blender does, but it's very easy to get started with, and a good stepping stone to bigger and better packages. Moreover, Steve Glanville, who works at nVidia and wrote Anim8or, keeps adding features and capabilities. The latest is scripting capability, which offers a programming challenge.

MiniFireDragon
12-18-2006, 01:41 PM
It's not learning the 3d package that he should start with, it's learning the terms/meanings and such that is used in the 3d package. At that point, the software becomes figuring out how to do the 3d stuff.

The problem one has with jumping from one package to the next is the learning curve. Each is different. I went from 3d Studio 4 to Lightwave [6] and it took me a bit to start doing anything. Then I picked up blender a few months past and let me tell u, I opened it, did a small tut and closed it and never went back. It's not because the app sucked, it's more because I am so use to lightwave now that the interface was different and I didn't have the time to learn it. Some day I will pick it up again, as it does things other apps don't do.

Look at this thread: http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=60781

A good example of what happens when you jump ship.

So in short, find the 3d package one would stay with, then use it to learn 3d animation.

lilrayray77
12-18-2006, 04:16 PM
He should be fine with lightwave Id think. I bought last year, not long after my 14th birthday, and really didnt have much trouble picking it up. Before this purchase, I used blender for a bit which may have helped me become acquainted with the 3d lingo. Anyway, I think Lightwave + Inside lightwave would be an excellent starting point.

SplineGod
12-18-2006, 04:37 PM
I wouldnt worry too much about age. Ive taught LW for years and kids usually pick it up faster then adults. :)

Silkrooster
12-18-2006, 04:50 PM
I have to agree with Splinegod, kids pick things up like a sponge. Its the attention span you would have to worry about. Being their friend you should already know that answer.
Silk

KillMe
12-18-2006, 04:53 PM
i was about that age when i started with 3d and though it started with truespace ( oh the horrendous memories ) i really wish i could have started with lightwave - its got a gentle learning curve compared to most 3d apps

and as larry mentioned kids pick thigns up pretty fast - 14 hes probally quite computer litterate and after that its just a question of learning where the tools are and natural artistic talent

so if price isn't a prob then yeah lightwave is pretty good place to start

hairy_llama
12-18-2006, 05:31 PM
I started with Lightwave at age 14. I recommend buying the Inside Lightwave books. They will make learning a lot easier.

Extent
12-18-2006, 05:59 PM
I also got my start in 3d when I was 14 on Lightwave on the Amiga. And I think things make much more sense for a beginner today than they did back then, even if the interface is a fair bit more cluttered.

If they're any more than passingly interested in animation they should have no problems picking it up. If I was to go back again I wouldn't do it any other way.

jlyon
12-19-2006, 03:28 PM
1. Google Sketchup: Free, easy fast with lots of support [edit] not really animation though.. sorry. Guess i better read the original post more carefully. But the little you have not posted banner in so long got me...[edit]
2. Cosmic Blobs: It's fun and cheap buy 14 may be at the top of it's target audience...
3. LIGHTWAVE: Get it all! It's the pricey one on this list but it opens a lot of doors for the future.

That's just my 2 cents.

Good luck.

cresshead
12-19-2006, 08:49 PM
i know it's 2d but it's fun and free!:)

http://www.benettonplay.com/toys/flipbook/flipbook_maker.php

http://www.benettonplay.com/toys/flipbook/gifs/2006/12/07/1165512179-82161166.gif

:thumbsup:

i'd also agree with splinegod...about lw being fine for youngsters to learn.

mattclary
12-19-2006, 08:53 PM
LW is well within the grasp of a 14 year old and very cheap with the educational version. It's a no-brainer.