Let’s say you want to begin dabbling in computer animation, but do not have the dough to dish out for animation software classes or computer programs like Maya. There are countless animation software options available for little or no cash. Warning, though, computer animation is a vicious beast requiring some patience and a lot of taming. Even easier computer software programs can lead to hours of frustration because of buggy-ness or computer error.
You can check out a variety of free animation software options at About.com HERE. posted by animator Adrien-Luc Sanders.
Bryce is inexpensive and inexpensive animation software program and is excellent for creating landscapes and simplified animation objects. One of the benefits of Bryce is its compatibility with the DAZ Studio software. DAZ is free animation software that you can download. It is a basic program with some control over your characters’ movement, facial expressions, etc. You can opt to purchase objects and characters straight off of DAZ for a minimum cost (especially if you join the Platinum Club), but there are many computer animation websites that offer animation freebies that can be used in both DAZ and Bryce (and the competitor, Poser).
Poser is a more complicated and expensive software program that can cost hundreds brand new. You can easily find older versions of the popular software at over fifty percent off at online software resellers.
Here are some websites with computer software FREEBIES:
I personally like www.sharecg.com best, but each has something to offer.
If you are new to downloading free computer graphics from the internet, I highly recommend you read this tutorial on Integrating Third Party Products into DAZ . This article helps clear up how to properly set up computer animation freebies in your CONTENTS folder in order to access them through the computer animation program.
A few quick tips:
1) Save, save, and SAVE again! And before you embark on a radical change to your computer animation, save it under a different name.
2) Remember that RENDERING (essentially the process of computing all the information to create an animation) takes a lot of time.
3) Check your animation before rendering a full version of your piece. You can do this with wireframe, rendering versions without textures/shadows, etc., and rendering out video at smaller resolutions and sizes.
4) Figure out what your computer can handle and work within those limits. You will learn more through working on hours of simple animations, than working forever on making sure that two seconds of a highly reflective object shines right because your computer cannot handle all the additional information of refraction/reflection, etc.
5) Learn all of the computer animation vocab – refraction, render, texture, material, object, etc.
6) Get used to thinking in animation 3D. (I still mess up the axis sometimes).
7) You can save time by replacing 3D objects with 2D objects for objects that do not need dimensionality (this can be done in Photoshop).
You can learn more with these articles:
DAZ Studio Review
Animation at About.com
Video and Computer Animation
Careers in Computer Animatio
About Computer Animation