Programmer to Animator

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  05 May 2013
Programmer to Animator

I want to learn animation/modelling, basically be able to create short films (5-10 mins) using 3D graphics involving 3D animated characters with good amount of facial details etc.
Being a C/C++/python programmer for a while I started learning blender to be able to create art work + scriptize as an when required. I want do create digital art and take my skills to next level. Today as a hobby but may be a profession tomorrow.

Now my Q is: Is blender worth to spend good amount of time to do professional quality art work for long run? I am sure there are now open movies etc and blender in limelight. If license is not an issue for other graphics s/w than which one is quicker and easy for self learning.

Appreciate your input.
 
  05 May 2013
The short answer is: Yes, you can use Blender for professional quality work, but be prepared to use the software used by companies that you gain employment with.

Oh, and don't try to second guess which software you will most likely be using - at best it will be either Max or Maya. Although they are the safest choices, it could be XSI, Modo, Houdini, C4D...or maybe even Blender in the future...

Seriously, stick with Blender for your personal work, but be willing and able to learn other packages when you need to.
 
  05 May 2013
Currently going through teaching myself Blender 2.67's armature and driver system.

Must say it feels a lot like Programming... the way the Drivers work and how you link Properties between bones and other objects.

Actually Blender is very Object Oriented in the same sense of many programming languages.

Short answer: You will be comfortable.
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  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by rsdevgun: I want to learn animation/modelling, basically be able to create short films (5-10 mins) using 3D graphics involving 3D animated characters with good amount of facial details etc.
Being a C/C++/python programmer for a while I started learning blender to be able to create art work + scriptize as an when required. I want do create digital art and take my skills to next level. Today as a hobby but may be a profession tomorrow.

Now my Q is: Is blender worth to spend good amount of time to do professional quality art work for long run? I am sure there are now open movies etc and blender in limelight. If license is not an issue for other graphics s/w than which one is quicker and easy for self learning.

Appreciate your input.


if you're really serious, you'll want to learn Hudini and it's particle effects.

if you want to do freelancing work, you can do well learning Blender.
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  05 May 2013
Use whatever you find to be the most comfortable. All of the programs mentioned do the same thing.

EDIT: If you want to learn parts of Blender quickly then I cannot recommend http://cgcookie.com/blender/ enough!
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  05 May 2013
Hi.

I'm new here and also a Blender novice. This thread caught my attention because I program in a number of languages, including, in passť, C/C++, however have settled into using Pascal (Delphi) and EBasic (now IWBasic).

I'm a physicist, still have been painting in oils since age 7 and animating, frame by frame, in those early years as well. I'm 60 now, so it's never too late to start a new learning project.

Blender is pretty decent, from what I can tell thus far. Memory hungry and does better on a faster machine, still it has many features others don't. I plan to learn it to it's entirety. I've been at it for a month or two now and like the results I get.
 
  05 May 2013
Blender is indeed capable. And long after one gains the ability to use other apps, it's hard to put Blender down - particularly the 2.65 line and up.

It is a tad inefficient (you need about 6GB RAM just to avoid problems), but it's nice to be able to open the same application from modeling, to sculpting, to rigging, all the way to Compositing and editing.
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"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
My ArtStation
 
  05 May 2013
Another benevolent trait of the software is the (so far) absence of potential memory leaks. As rsdevgon would know, there's nothing worse than a program with routines that someone forgot to release a memory block that holds a graphic element. It can easily crash the program, but, DAZ Studio for example, nice as it is for many functions, it can even crash the machine. Fortunately, this usually occurs before a block of code can be pushed onto a critical interrupt and WHAM! you ruin some hardware.

Blender seems very well behaved. The worst I've seen is (as in the less than 6GbRAM case) it has to swap space with the HD, for virtual memory space, a few bytes at a time, thus seems to not be responding at all. Best solution at those times? Go grab a beer and watch an episode of The Big Bang Theory...
 
  05 May 2013
All the 3D cg software work on the same fundamental principals.

And yes, you can use it to make money. I'm not very active in the Blender community anymore, and I use things like Autodesk Revit and Navisworks at my day job, but I'm using Blender right now for a couple of paid archviz projects. Its awesome, especially that Cycles renderer.

You really can't go wrong with it, just don't marry it. If your a student, you can get free EDU licensed versions of all the Autodesk softwares. After you learn all you can about Blender, be sure to learn and practice in Max and Maya as well. Remember that these are all just tools, not religions, and you may need to at least be familiar with them depending on the job you apply for.

Although I prefer Blender for 3D art, I also practice in Max on occasion just to do it. Also check out 3rd party companion apps such as zBrush, Mudbox, or 3D Coat if you're into sculpting at all.
 
  05 May 2013
Now this is odd: CGIPadawan says 6GBRAM at least, but in a thread I started, way, way down in the Blender category, concerning memory, Hvanderwegen says otherwise and offers some tips that seem to help on modest systems. For example, he recommends turning off double sided faces and I have seen he is correct in what amounts to each vertex using about 1 Kb of RAM.

My own protocol, as of now, is to learn Blender inside and out, do the rendering work on my own production list, then start programming a new algorithm on my own... again. What I truly want is a cross between Blender and Mathcad.

I find that not all CG programs are alike. Not all CAD programs are alike. Autodesk products are an industry leader, but have had a separate path of development since R13. One of the AutoCAD prime programmers left to create "Personal Designer," then one of his people broke out on his own (no not with acne) to begin DesignCAD 3D, then came TurboCAD and eventually ProE.

Still, few programmers are artists and few artists are programmers. Same goes for scientists and engineers, but few does not mean "none."
 
  05 May 2013
Originally Posted by DrCharbonneau: Now this is odd: CGIPadawan says 6GBRAM at least, but in a thread I started, way, way down in the Blender category, concerning memory, Hvanderwegen says otherwise and offers some tips that seem to help on modest systems. For example, he recommends turning off double sided faces and I have seen he is correct in what amounts to each vertex using about 1 Kb of RAM.


Wasn't aware of double-sided faces.. the 6GB observation is one we had trying to render REVERSION on single PC's in two parts of the world. Only the 6GB RAM units could punch out the heaviest sequences without crashing in the middle.

We found that you could get by on less, but that Blender 2.49b (note: VERY OLD VERSION) suffered Memory Overrun at anything lower than 6GB and an Intel Quad Core with the vertex-weight of scenes we used.

But, remember, I was not aware of double-faces.
__________________
"Your most creative work is pre-production, once the film is in production, demands on time force you to produce rather than create."
My ArtStation
 
  05 May 2013
I was aware of the double faces quite by accident, at first. I was trying to get rid of a texture on an imported DAZ figure and deselected the choice while experimenting. I was unaware that the function could slow down rendering, but it makes sense if you have twice as many faces to trace. I haven't seen yet where it changes any data or memory, but I haven't attempted to render with that function off yet either.

I'm trying to find out what CPU will work with an intel LGA 2011X79 board that will accept 64Gb RAM. The i7's only take up to 32Gb. Nonetheless, 32Gb should be one gnarly machine.

I have a desktop with a dual core Celeron and only 2Gb RAM. It bogs down to a near standstill (thus the earlier "beer break" comment that never made it to the thread...) with too many vertices, but the opinion has been I need a decent graphics card.

As time goes on and I become more experienced at Blender (and now Gimp) the system will grow. It's comparable to learning a difficult Jimmy Page riff on a cheap guitar with heavy strings. When you switch over to the Stratocaster, everything flies along like a magic carpet
 
  05 May 2013
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