3D design and animation is another one of those topics that I’ve wanted to learn about for a long time. It is quite a time-consuming activity though, so it was hard to keep up. However, I’ve decided I want to take another try at learning 3D modeling and animation.
The great thing about 3D animation is that there is that there are quite a few good choices for software. The bad thing is that many of them are expensive, especially just for learning or using as a hobby.
If you’re a student, one great option is to get a free license for some software from Autodesk. This software includes Maya and 3DSMax, which are both industry-standard software for 3D modeling and animation. I am a student, but I didn’t take this option due to the limits on the license (expires and non-commercial use only). While I don’t plan to make any commercial animations, I just like to have that extra safety net when possible.
Another great option is to use the open-source Blender. It is completely free and can also be used for commercial use. There are plenty of resources to learn animation with Blender all over Youtube, the Blender docs, and many other places.
A good place to learn Blender is the wikibook, Blender 3D: Noob to Pro. I went through a little bit of this about a year ago, but it is very long and requires a lot of reading. However, it is definitely very helpful and covers a lot of material. The models here are ones that I created while going through this book. There were many more, but I didn’t get as far in the book as I would have liked.
This time, I’m trying out the Blender 3D Design Course from Neal Hirsig. I find this to be a lot quicker and easier to manage on a time-constricted schedule. So far, the videos are pretty short and the tutorials are very good.
I’ve already completed the first lesson and will be posting my results of that soon. Hopefully this time, I can keep up with learning 3D animation (thank goodness for weekends).