In the post season I want to help in starting a new animation crew for our team. Although, we’ve had animators in the past I want to help create a more organized group. The problem is that I have no idea how to start it. My skills and another student’s are limited. Before graduating I hope to set a foundation for it so it can be built upon over the next few seasons. I need the FIRST community’s help on this one. For those with a strong animation subteam, how did your group start it? What resources did you use? What troubles did you face? Maya or 3Ds Max? Any links or tips to teaching and improving the skills of both novice and proficient animators? Any help will be appreciated.
Well, to get started you need interested people, software, and knowledge of the program you are using. Once you have people dedicated to doing animation, you need to get the software and learn it.
To get the software, students.autodesk.com has all of their software for free to use be students. A great place for tutorials on both 3DS MAX and Maya is area.autodesk.com and curriculum.autodesk.com. For videos for total beginners to experts, go here. http://area.autodesk.com/channels. From there you can choose your software.
The way I learned 3DS MAX was by sitting down and taking the basic tutorials so I didn’t feel totally lost and then just played with it for about 2 hours. That was about 2 years ago. Over the summer, I’ve been working on my own movie just for the learning process and to keep my skills up to date. I am in the process of learning Maya right now too but from what I can tell, 3DS MAX is more user-friendly (at least for me).
I can’t help you too much in any animation specific things, but I can provide several tips for running a subteam in general.
-Get your training materials/software ASAP. As with anything, the sooner you get your materials, the sooner you can get started.
-A solid training plan/schedule - The more organized your training regiment is, the more you can cover before the prompt is released.
-A group of dedicated members - Your core(2-3 members) group of subteam members has to be focused and dedicated to the task at hand. You can have a larger subteam than this, but I recommend having a focused group to take charge when things get tough.
-As with robot build, a focused plan generated in the first 2-3 days will go a long way when you start to follow it.
-Weekly progress reports + Weekly plans - The more often you step back and look at your progress, the better off you are. I recommend weekly subteam meetings with everyone to discuss what has been done, what is happening now, and what needs to be done.
-A task list is helpful. Assign and delegate certain tasks to certain members.