Safety Animation soft ware

WE are rookie team 5920 the VIKotics. Some students are interested in doing a safety animation this year. What software are teams using to do this ?
Just starting out dollars are a problem so is there free software to do this ? The Garfield- Palouse high school may be able to purchase software to do this.

3dsMax might be the way to go?

We used it when we made our winning safety animation about 5 years ago.

Blender ( is free and works very well, although it has a slightly steeper learning curve for beginners than some other software suites.

All Autodesk software is free. SolidWorks is free. Some PTC software is free. Don’t buy any software until you make sure it is not already available to FIRST teams / education programs for free. If it’s not free, don’t hesitate to ask the company to sponsor your team with a donation of their software.

I think 3ds Max and Maya are two good options. Blender is a good option if you are already on the learning curve or can get up to speed quickly. YouTube is one of the best sources of training for any of these programs.

Best of luck with the video!

Probably the most intuitive program is Autodesk 3DS MAX, which, though it is expensive for the commercial version, the Student version is free. There are no limitations on the student version, it is identical software, but the only difference is the license so you may not sell any work you do in it or make any profit off it. The download link has already been posted above so for sake of redundancy I won’t link it a second time. There is also their Maya software package, but 3DS MAX is again IMO the easier program to use.

Blender is another free package, but it is not as easy to pick up quickly without an understanding of 3D modeling procedures and animation techniques as well as basic programming if you want to take it further. 3DS MAX is super easy to figure out quickly and their included tutorials teach you most of what you need to know for the level of animation you need to create a short safety animation. :slight_smile:

As a side note, if you go with 3DS MAX, I would suggest the 3DS MAX Design package. It has a lot more features and a huge built-in material library.

Solidworks and the PTC software lean much more toward CAD modeling though, rather than animation :wink: Still good to have on hand for the build season when it comes time to design the robot! Also, great tip on looking for the sponsors! That can be applied to many different areas of the team.

Understood. It seemed that they were not aware of any available free software, so I figure I’d point as many out as possible.