Animation and workflow

Hello all,

I have a good understanding of Studiotools, however, I have not learned about animating. I thought this could be good or bad depending on the answers I get here.

Is it worthwile to learn animating in Studiotools? Or should you export your model to maya or something like 3D studio Max for animating?

I have a deep understanding of Flash, and when I looked through the Studiotools animating a lot of it made sense, but some of it seemed a little…tedious maybe.

Can anyone comment on this workflow issue?

I am basing this post off of the Nike post in the finished products forum. I There is a movie which was made in 3D Studio Max I think.

Im not so much interested in modeling/animating people, I think thats outside my timeframe for learning animation.

Thanks for the replies and help.


iirc StudioTools has basic animation. turntable and stuff. you should play with that first. not hard. decide if the results are acceptable first. how you render may be an issue, but that’s somewhat separate. a big issue is compositing. whatever you use, you’ll want to look at a compositing tool like AfterEffects. there are some free ones out there. might be good enough for you. but that’s down the road whichever 3D app you use.

if you need/want more for animation, i’d recommend Maya. it reads Studio files natively. it’s cheaper for Complete (which is extremely powerful). and the render options are good. Max is nice, but probably gets more business from Rhino users.

to embellish ykh’s reply, i suggest first working out a few answers that will make your quest for knowledge easier.

there are roughly two types of animation: entertainment and design. the nike anim has both, but parts are very much entertainment. “simple” design animation is never as flashy, usually involves turntables, parts moving, sometimes the camera moves. design anim is shown to marketing, management, engineers, meant to convey a function or aesthetic. entertainment anim in the context of design is shown to the public or to a client to sell a product by way of lifestyle or fashion. to be hip.

do you want to do design anim or go all the way to entertainment?

after that, figure out what software will do the job. for the moment you need to decide if you can afford it and if you want to spend half a year mastering another package. maya ui is not identical to studio, so learning it will not be tremendously easier with studio knowledge than learning 3ds or lightwave. what will be easier is data trans, as maya reads and writes studio (but not completely).

any of those, or cinema4d, or probably some others will do decent entertainment anim in the right hands, but as ykh says, do you want to get into compositing, adding mocap, sfx like particles, all the bells and whistles? or do you want to simply show off your designs with some solid, interesting motion and a good look?

once you decide what you want to acheive and what your time and money allow, then you can evaluate and proceed. i personally think studio has plenty of anim tools, even designstudio, to keep a designer busy learning the anim ropes for awhile.

Just to add to the converation, everybody here only mentions 3DS Max. Viz 2005 is essentially Max 6 without the more advanced features like Reactor and bone/character animation which are pretty much useless to design visualization anyways. It does still retain all the other advanced lighting,animation and material features (GI, MentalRay, Radiosity, IK) from Max and costs $1400 less. You can purchase Viz 2005 for $1900 - Max goes for around $3400.

good point. applies more broadly. there are apps only for rendering/animation. like Project Messiah.

should also mention SoftImage has come out with a very low-cost version of their app. people are loving it from what i’ve read. very full-featured for like $500. if it imports what most CAD exports, it’s definitely worth checking out.