What is 3D?
The two dimensions of traditional animation are width and height, which are the only two possible on a flat piece of paper; the third dimension possible with advanced computer software is depth. 3D software allows the creation of simple or complex objects, called models, which can be manipulated, animated, and adjusted to fill the artist’s goals.
What is the advantage of 3D over 2D?
Traditionally, if animators needed to show the back of a character or a different angle on a landscape, they would have had to re-draw the entire thing. Nowadays using a computer, artisans can create a three-dimensional representation of an object that is used to create 2D images from any angle imaginable. Plus, instead of drawing every frame by hand like a 2D animator must do, 3D animators are able to choose key poses and allow the computer to fill in the between frames.
Are 3D graphics difficult to master?
Starting out, it can be quite simple to learn the rudimentary techniques to create simple objects and make them move – in fact, you can have objects created and moving about your screen in just a few minutes! However, 3D software is very complex and to really master it takes dedication, time, and practice.
Is there a specific software package I should learn over another?
Not really, you just need to learn one. Most companies have their preference but some have proprietary software they'll have to train you on anyway. It’s best put in the words of Jill Duffy from Game Developer and GameCareerGuide.com:
How much do animators earn?
In Canada, basic 3D animators earn an average of CDN$36,774 [source: jobfutures.ca, a government website] Across all of North America and all levels of experience, that average is US$65,107, and a single animator’s salary can be as high as US$86,250 [source: gamecareerguide.com].
What are the computer requirements?
These are the requirements from Autodesk’s website for the latest version of 3ds Max software:
The 32-bit version of Autodesk® 3ds Max® 2009 software is supported on any of the following operating systems:
3ds Max 2009 software requires the following browser:
3ds Max 2009 software requires the following supplemental software:
At a minimum, 3ds Max 2009 32-bit software requires a system with the following:
Note: Apple® computers based on Intel processors and running Microsoft operating systems are not currently supported.
At a minimum, 3ds Max 2009 64-bit software requires a system with the following:
DArTT provides a computer with at least 1GB of RAM, a hard drive with at least 80GB capacity, a flat-panel LCD monitor, an AMD Athlon® processor, a capable video card, and your own copy of both 3ds Max and Microsoft® Windows Vista™.
What skills will I require?
For the basic 3D Animation program, you can come to us with very little knowledge of computers or 3D software and we’ll show you the way. If you have experience in 3D software, our programs are structured in a way to allow fortification and expansion of those skills beyond what you bring to the table.
In addition, we have several advanced programs that require knowledge of 3D software before admission, so depending on your experience you might want to enroll directly in one of those.
How much time should I practice outside of class?
Every minute you spend honing your 3D skills is a minute rich with possibilities. Practice really does make perfect, and 3D studios want to hire the best. In short: as much as possible.
Why should I learn with an instructor instead of learning it on my own?
You could certainly buy the software yourself – although without being an official student, you might find the cost prohibitive – but many students before you have found it extremely beneficial to have a real person on the other end of the phone or just an email away, who is well-versed in the software and theories and can help when a book or a website just can’t. Books don’t talk and can’t answer questions, after all!
More Questions? Just Ask!