Animation woes: Pre-gauging my eyes/losing sanity

Eh, I have 3 weeks left of the semester. So that means I have to finish drawing the 600+ rough frames of animation, photograph them, trace them over again, color them, edit them, add sound and a soundtrack (I hope my composer comes up with a theme soon) and have it done by Dec 13th. Its a minute and a half maximum, I am hoping it will be festival worthy by Dec 13th. If not I may have to tweak it next semester. I am being graded on it on Dec 14th.

And I have to do 3 animations in maya including a 1 minute short (I think I am just going to bring in my fish and do some character animation in maya). And lots of sculpture ( 2 more wax human figure poses, and to complete the entire musculature of a woman, 12" scale non-drying clay) and a drawing/report for another class. Also 2 film shorts as well. :frowning:

Me thinks I will need Bawls, Amp, Coffee, and Hot Chocolate. I wish I had more time to do all this crap, and a legal copy of maya 7.0. That would make things so much easier than having to go to the one lab at my school that has maya and working on it.

You don’t always need the latest version of Maya. People produce great work with Maya 4. Sometimes you find newer version more bloated.

It definitely sounds like you have a lot of work ahead of you. I think people have unrealistic expectations sometimes. In a job I’m starting to do, they want me to do full human character animation, which no doubt will include hair and they are giving me a 3 month time frame. It’s better than 3 weeks I admit but it’s still not enough for me. I need another 4 years to do that ;).

I remember when I was at university and the deadlines got pretty tight. You just have to keep working through the night. Just manage your time well and divide it evenly between your projects. One mistake I made was to spend too much time on a project for one class and left very little for another.

I didn’t do animation at uni though. Where are you studying and what year are you in?

I remember skipping university totally, and using blender, too. I’m not the read-kinda dude. God bless your efforts, man. I hope you make it :slight_smile:

Maya has an educational version.
You’ll see text above your render but you can save it and export it, and
of course do everything with it.
Take your final copy to school and render it over there.

I have tried the educational version. It will not save in the .mb format. Which prevents me from taking it to school and working on it. Now if blender could export mb files, I would be able to whip out maya animations very quickly. Blender>maya right now imo, although maya has a few nice features hampered by instability. It likes to crash a lot. I have feeling I will have to use my “version” of maya to finish the class. For next semester I was thinking either to get XSI or 3d studio max for a replacement for maya.

I have been working on my animation for 3 months, so most of its done. At least the hard parts, like idea, character design, and 500 frames of animation including pencil tests and corrections. Crits are grueling at my school. I go to University of the Arts which is not very good with computer graphics, but great with animation and art in general. I think the same concepts transfer to computer art. My art seems a lot better than it was 3 years ago. I’m in my junior year.

They also disabled the devkit so you can’t write a plug-in. I started to write a mel script to do it because I think you can still write to a file. You can import files via mel too as you can with Python in Blender.

One thing you might look into is CGKit. It supports Maya ascii format and sutabi managed to use cgkit to export from Blender to Renderman with it. I don’t know how hard it is to use though.

I think it would be nice if cgkit was built into Blender somehow.

Yeah, I need to learn some traditional animation techniques. You still need good timing and things in 3D and I can’t do that very well.

Well I would get the Animators Survival Kit by Richard Williams. Its a really good book. Also Preston Blair has an amazing book on animation. I have learned a lot from both of these books. And of course practice, the program Dogwaffle seems to allow you to animate. I have mirage, which I have to install the access codes, they didn’t send them to me at first. Boo Bauhaus and being slow to send their software.

If the lab uses Linux you could always see if they’ll let you ssh in. Create a remote X-session and you can use their Maya from home, you won’t even need to move the files back and forth. Of course for this to work you will need:

A fast internet connection,
Them running Linux,
Their permission,
A LiveCD or installed Distro on your computer.

Still, best idea I have.


480 frames need to be colored by next week. Eh. The lab doesn’t use linux its a close server windows xp. No internet connection.