Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

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Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby FrankyKnuckles on 08/12/2016, 9:48 pm

I'm interested in learning some basic 3d animation. I am green in this area.

What is the typical workflow when you begin animating in either of these programs? If you have a model with textures already do you rig and animate the model then render it with the textures once you have the animation you want? What other steps or things do you have to do before you can begin to animate?
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby Guitarboy2828 on 08/13/2016, 12:56 am

So, firstly I'd say, decide what you're interested in doing and then decide on a software. I learnt c4d and kinda regret it. I much prefer robots/characters rather than motion graphics. Maya is great for character rigging and animation, BUT has a much higher learning curve. C4d is pretty easy to pick up and start making cool stuff..

I'm not entirely sure what your question is. Usually, workflow is as such.

1. Create a model. Or buy one. Can be as simple or complex as you like.

2. You can either start with rigging or texturing. Texturing slows your viewport down, so, if you do start with textures, just turn them off until you're ready for final renders or previs.

3. If you've textured, you then rig. Put IK chains where you need them, build the rigs as you want, etc.

4. Keyframe animation.

5. Turn on textures and hit render.. And wait...

6. Done.
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby FrankyKnuckles on 08/13/2016, 8:30 am

Guitarboy you answered the question just fine, just was trying to get a high level understanding of what the process is.

I actually already have Maya but have only opened it up just to start getting familiar with the interface...it's so much different than every other software I know but there's a lot of tutorials on it which is good.

Why do you say you regret using C4D?
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby Farmfield on 08/13/2016, 2:38 pm

I know Houdini is seen as the most difficult 3D app to get into, but I kinda disagree - or rather, it's not more complicated than Maya, really, though it might be a bigger step in the beginning. But Houdini is making some huge strides in animation right now, they are dead set to give Maya a fight for it's money. :D

https://youtu.be/gWyUVNSqABk?t=533
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby FrankyKnuckles on 08/13/2016, 7:21 pm

Houdini is your weapon of choice isn't it Farmfield? What made you get into that as opposed to the other 3d apps? Is it just the type of work you do?
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby Guitarboy2828 on 08/14/2016, 6:27 am

Houdini is crazy powerful and is taking over, a lot of c4d guys are switching to Houdini now. It is just so powerful, especially with particles.

I regret c4d only because I prefer character animation and hard surface modeling. C4d is capable of both, but it's a slower journey than some other 3d apps. c4d is great for what it is able to do!
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby Farmfield on 08/14/2016, 7:40 am

FrankyKnuckles wrote:Houdini is your weapon of choice isn't it Farmfield? What made you get into that as opposed to the other 3d apps? Is it just the type of work you do?

I started with 3D using Softimage 3.x (pre XSI) back in the mid '90s, but I didn't do 3D at all between 2000 and 2010 when I got into 3ds Max. The reason I migrated to Houdini was the pricing, I save $2500 per year on licensing using Houdini Indie compared to my 3ds Max + plugins licenses.

Funny thing is, from the point where I migrated to Houdini until today, I've basically gone from being a compositor to being an FX artist, and after some setups I did in Houdini got a lot of attention, I was chosen for a "featured artist" article at Cloud Computing company 'Gridmarkets' (link), etc. - so starting to work in Houdini really was life changing for me. :D

As for Houdini in itself, due to the immense success Side Effects has had since they released the Indie license and then the Houdini Engine, the current development rate is very high. The Houdini dev's are scouring the VFX development papers all the time and they are crazy fast to implement it, from an insanely good implementation of the Bullet solver for RBD, position based dynamics (particle based grainsolver) to FEM for soft bodies and cloth, implementing the disney research on enhancing fluid simulations, and upcoming features for character animation, muscle, skin, well, it's a hell of a ride. :D
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby plae57 on 08/14/2016, 12:25 pm

Farmfield wrote:I started with 3D....


Oh horse poopie.... He uses it because it has nodes... :mrgreen:
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby FrankyKnuckles on 08/16/2016, 6:39 am

Can textures be done or adjusted after animation has been done? Or does it have to be complete before you begin animation?
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby plae57 on 08/16/2016, 7:08 am

You can change the materials and texture when ever you like. I generally add textures after modeling, then turn them off when animating, then turn them back on for rendering. I do this in Blender, but I am sure Maya or c4d can do that too.
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby Tiner on 09/3/2016, 10:47 am

I assume this is character animation we are talking about?
You have your character model (important to have a proper edge flow here), in some sort of a T pose.
You then create a uvw unwrap so you can texture that baby up.
You then want to create the rig/bone system, now this can ofc be a simple one or a very advanced one with tons of control and scripting involved.
After the rig is all done about 1-200 hours later :P you want to make sure you have proper weights so the geometry isnt looking weird when, let's say if you are bending the knees, if you havent set up weights this will just look squashed and bad, so setting up weights is important.

This all holds true no matter what program you are using, might be a simplified explanation but whatever, in the ballpark.

Then just learn to do character animation and after a couple of thousands of hours you are good to go :P unless you are a natural. I just took a number out of my ass ofc.

Character animation is imo one of the hardest things in 3d, its mostly all about doing it enough times (tons) to get good vs more technical things that you can actually get better at without really doing it, more being able to memorize it, to a certain point ofc.

I would recommend finding a free proper character with rig and just start learning and forget about the other stuff at first.
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby Farmfield on 09/3/2016, 10:56 am

^ best explanation so far on why I don't rig and animate. :D

@Plae

Nodes, or it didn't happen.
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby FrankyKnuckles on 09/3/2016, 9:22 pm

Thanks for the info Tiner -- I think I'm moreso looking at getting a free or cheap robot model that's already rigged and just figuring out how to retexture it and do some basic animation as far as walking and shooting.

Are there any good active forums for Maya beginners that anyone knows of?
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Re: Learning 3d animation in Maya and/or Cinema 4d

Postby browntimmy on 10/9/2016, 1:48 pm

Farmfield wrote:The reason I migrated to Houdini was the pricing, I save $2500 per year on licensing using Houdini Indie compared to my 3ds Max + plugins licenses.


I love that Houdini has an Indie Licence for a reasonable price. $200 a year versus $1500 for Maya or 3ds Max. I currently use 3ds Max 2013 and will probably never upgrade unless they ever offer an Indie License. 3D isn't my main source of income and Autodesk's current pricing doesn't work for me.
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