I’m the project lead for a group of animators from several FRC teams around the San Francisco Bay Area (including some now-alumni) who collectively make up ‘Totako Studios’. (Don’t be fooled by the ‘Studios’ part, it just sounds less messy that way but we are not an official registered entity. Yet.) We came together early last year as a response to the cancellation of the Autodesk Award, in hopes of building a single greater animation through collaboration rather than competition, and (albeit with some significant personnel changes and changes of direction) this endeavor has persisted into the new season.
So, this year we’d like to extend our collective knowledge back to the FIRST community by starting an open animation help thread to augment 116’s competition. Feel free to ask any question you might have - not just about production, but also animation in general - and one of us will get back to you as soon as we can!
Currently I can only answer questions involving Maya as that’s what I’m personally familiar with, but I’m working on reaching a member who knows 3DS and has the time to answer things on here. In the meantime three helpful folks from other teams (directly below this post) have stepped up to cover that side of things
As for other software like Blender and Cinema 4D…unfortunately you are on your own as far as we are concerned, but as usual there are already slews of excellent tutorials available online.