A Contest With Blender

Ok, heres the deal: In april I am in a SKillsUSA competition with my school. I will be in 3d animation. SO…in 7 hours, I will be givena concept, a character, an enviroment idea, whatever they pick, then I have to make a movie with it in it. not a movie per say, just an animation. Anyway, I’ve messed with animation alot, I just never got it to work. Whenever i make armartures (sp?) they move BACKWARDs then foward; not to mention making objects follow paths the way I want. My question is, where can I get some tutorials that are still applicable to blender with these new animation tools it has?

And my other question: Any advice on how I could prepare for this contest? If I win, I go to nationals. Oh, and there are some pretty hefty prizes for each category. Last year I my teacher says they gave away $700 worth of software to the winner.

One more question: Is the blender guide book thing worth buying still? :-?

I think you should learn how to use envelopes: http://www.blender.org/cms/Armature_Envelopes.647.0.html

They are fast and easy to use so I would believe that might be valuable in a contest.

Try to rig the gingerbread man first with the “normal” way and then with the envelopes and you’ll see the difference: http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/PartI/Your_First_Animation_in_30_plus_30_Minutes_Part_I

Also learn how to track camera: http://mediawiki.blender.org/index.php/Manual/PartII/ObjectMode

Stride feature looks interesting: http://www.blender.org/cms/Advanced_Stride_suppor.720.0.html

Also the blenderart magazines (they are free) are well worth reading. They contain a lot of useful information.

The best way to train after you have learned the basic techniques is of course to make short animations and post them for other people to see and comment.