Our team is trying to complete the safety animation, but we have no prior experience with Autodesk, although we do have lots of experiance with other animation tools. Are there any resources you can point us to? Is there any advice you can give us? Are there any pitfalls that we should try to avoid?
There’s tons of tutorials available on the internet, in addition to the stuff that comes with the program. I’d start with the Autodesk tutorials, and try out a little of everything so each student can figure out what they’re good at. It takes a lot of practice and patience to feel like you really know what you’re doing, and there’s a number of aspects to the program.
I’ve found it’s best to avoid characters/animals/organic shapes when you’re starting out. People are difficult to model and to animate, no matter how cartoony you make them; you’ll just give yourself a headache if you’re not comfortable with the program.
Get good at choosing, creating, and applying materials. A good material will make a very simple, low-poly object look fantastic, and a bad material can make a detailed object look like blah.
My one last piece of advice is to study or find a student who has studied photography or videography. Framing a good shot is important to make your animation look professional and not like just some 3d items strewn about the place.
Good luck! It takes dedication, but when you love animating, it feels more like play than work. Can’t wait to see your submission!
I’m not much help in animation, but in terms of different countries there are different shall we say “styles” of safety that you should keep in mind. What might be the standard in Australia may not be what a US judge thinks is standard. I can’t think of anything offhand, and from what I’ve seen in past FRC safety videos I doubt you’ll get technical enough for a “gotcha”, but there is always that one rule that isn’t quite the same.
As Church said, Autodesk has some great tutorials. http://www.tbmax.net/blog/cmd=search_keyword/k=tutorial May also have some decent tutorials. Ted is usually at the FRC World Championships so he knows a thing or two. Barring that, Googling around for specifics can be useful.
as a first year team, just start simple. Easy, very basic comprehensive tutorials are found on the first base site (http://firstbase.autodesk.com/)
After that, if you are looking to find a tutorial of a specific thing, google is great. If you google 3ds Max tutorials, you’ll find a lot of stuff out there. Some of it cost money, but you’ll defiantly be able to find a lot of good free sources.
Also, spread the idea that your team is using 3ds Max. There’s a chance that someone else might know how to use the program, even if they are not interested in robotics. In my school, a person in my computer class who I expected to have no knowledge of 3ds, was actually very very experienced in it, using it to design Halo environments instead of animations.
There’s a lot of stuff and a lot of people. I’m sure that if you start small and work up, you’ll get quite far.
Thanks everyone for your help, if you have any other ideas just let me know! We are looking forward to getting started on our animation. Where can we download the software? It says online that we can use the 2009 or 2010 FRC Autodesk software, but we obviously don’t have the program from last year. We tried following the links on the FIRST website, but we got lost on some Autodesk website. Has anyone found the correct place to download the software?