View Full Version : yet another --"which package should i use?"

04 April 2002, 12:07 AM
sooo i want to get more into character animation(basically i suck at char anim at the moment)

which package should i use
at the moment i'm a max user(modeler and texturer), but from what i've heard it's not to good for anim

04 April 2002, 08:26 AM
Bottom line is, all the packages have their high points and low points, if your comfortable using Max, use that for animating at first and then just learn how the toolsets differ in the other animation programs. What you really want to do is focus more on the principles of animation if you want to be a good character animator (timing, acting, squash and stretch, blah blah blah...). Scope out the net, rent some videos, go to the bookstore. There are lots of great resources on Character Animation to check out.

Personally I use 3DMax and Maya. Don't sell Max short either it's becoming quit a strong animation package.

04 April 2002, 10:45 AM
thx :)

what about xsi? anyone?

04 April 2002, 12:16 PM
I find Max very excellent as far as character anim.

Learn to know the In/out keys and use the f-Curves in trackview, and you can do some really good timing with that tool!
With some creativty and patience you should find yourself having a nice anim, before you know it!

But as it has been said million times before, it's not really the program that makes good anim, but the artist...

So damn cliché, but it's one nice little reminder, in these days where the software is made as easy as possible to use and we pretty much just have to click twice and we have walk-cycle going!

Best of lucks dude


04 April 2002, 09:06 AM
The infamous question: which package should I use?

Having used all three packages fairly in depth, I have a few things to say...

I beleive XSI and Maya to be the best package for character animation. They both have a proven track record for high end animation solutions...

Character Studio has a totally "left feild" way of approaching character animation. Personally I do not like it, mostly because I have been spoiled by the functionality [and the f-curves] that Maya/XSI can offer.

It isn't that you cant do animation in MAX or CS [the bones features in MAX4 have made considerable headway]...but I know that I can hammer a nail faster with an actual hammer, than a frozen bananna.

In the end, it is the classicaly trained user [traditional art skills] that will get the most out of the package...

My 2.5 cents...

04 April 2002, 05:05 PM

Doesnt matter what tool you use, they all rely on the f-curve approach, so its just a matter of how much money you have, or what to find. Ive used Max, Maya and softimage and even dabbled in motion capture. And they all use the fcurve aproach, hash animation master in one of the best packages out there for only £300. If you know the key techniques, in-out, squash-stretch, timing, staging, overlap etc. Then its the artist behind the tool NOT the tool itself.


05 May 2002, 01:42 AM
well i have also used max until recently XSI where i have found my heaven doing character animating.

IMO i think it all depends on the user's needs.

like i like XSI
people like maya
people like max
people like hash
people like messiah

i do think it is the talent, but i think the correct tool can utilise that talent much more.

05 May 2002, 07:31 AM
Originally posted by eek

they all rely on the f-curve approach

Character Studio does not rely on can be a bear to work with because of that...F-curves are so essential to an efficient animation pipeline...

My 2.5 cents...

05 May 2002, 11:56 AM
you can use f-curves in CS 2.5 though it's not obvious where to find them. They seem to have buggered it up for the latest version though...but that's o.k. because Max has introduced Hierarchy Independant IK into 4.0. so NOW, you can rig up a beautiful character in Max just as nicely as Maya, and skip the whole damn "does CS have f-curves or not" fiasco. Max's f-curves are beautiful. Maya curves are beautiful. Softimage??? oh christ that's too long ago...though I'm sure it's even better now.

I agree, f-curve is the killer app. but TCB can be good. Just keep working on it.

05 May 2002, 07:20 PM
Its funny, my first short film i didnt use the f-curve approach at all, i didnt even know about it! Only till i started work, using Softimage did i learn the f-curve. Now going back to Max its virtually the only aproach i use, as well a the TCB and in-out controls.

ahh...those were the days!


05 May 2002, 12:58 PM
I find Project:Messiah simply unbeatable when it comes to fast, easy character rigging and animation.

05 May 2002, 08:03 AM
Lately, majority of these tools have the same functionality. It's really the talent behind the machine that produces enchanting animation. Learn your principals of animation and study Illusion of Life. To truly understand character animation I recommend learning traditional methodology - cell, stop motion. And apply those knowledge in a cg realm using the package you feel comfortable with. I've used 3D Studio DOS, Power Animator, Infini-D, Softimage 3D, Maya and most recently XSI. Although I'm more familar with Maya it's my background in animation that assist the techniques.


05 May 2002, 07:23 PM
I couldnt agree more!!!....

:applause: :buttrock: :buttrock:


05 May 2002, 10:57 AM

This is more important then the program you use.

05 May 2002, 12:25 PM
I personally use "The Animators Survival Kit" , its fantastic and covers absolutely everything. But its also what i got taught at college, nothing can beat that--observation is the key, as well as everyhing else!
(it takes a whole lifetime....)

05 May 2002, 06:45 PM
I usually go to my Sheraton College and Disney lecture notes (Glen Keane, Eric Goldberg, Ollie Johnson, etc.) when it comes character animation. The Richard Williams book is almost an institution for animation - highly recommended.


05 May 2002, 11:49 PM
I would say if you feel comfortable using max you might as well stick with it. If you don't perhaps you can demo out other packages until you find what you like alot of these packages have great tools now. I was going to make the switch to Maya because I liked the better set of character animation tools. Then Max 4 came out and I've never really felt the need to. I do however agree with Bentllama, Character Studio can be a nightmare, and tcb does suck compared to curves. If you stick with max I suggest using the standard bones and IK, they work almost exactly like Maya's. As the other guys have said though the importance definately should be stressed on the basic principles of animation.

05 May 2002, 08:57 PM
Its amazing how everyone, talks about using bones and IK setups, as before my first film did'nt use any of that just FK and parenting!

(but now, I use it a virtually standard with everything else.)
Those were the days!:rolleyes:


05 May 2002, 08:16 AM
just save your money & stick with what you have already (max)

p.n: blur studio uses max for everything (modeling,character animation & rendering), is it not enough? are you going to kick ass blur guys very soon?! :)

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