I need to learn other software than Blender any suggestions for animation?

I just want to be creative with Blender. It seems to be the furthest from what I set out to do. And you are right this is not a one man show kind of software. Blender is full of landmines and I’m bouncing around with a Pogo stick.

Your lovely animations and you encouragement is gonna help me get through this. Thank you.

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I’ll take your word for it. But don’t get me started on Maya:

Oh the horror stories I could tell about being the only person I knew on my island with an interest in Maya and having no clue where to find info about it online, with slow internet, without much Maya 4.5 content on youtube at the time. You’d think the bugs in Maya would be different by 2012, they were not. I totally gave up an didn’t try again until 2018, 2019, 2022 trying to install and use the student editions of Maya. Still buggy unusable garbage. Luckily I discovered Blender in 2019 and never suffered from any bugs that weren’t fixed within a few months (and always had the option to go back to an older version or a pre-release of the next version that fixed the bug … but I should also say that I never did any animation yet. Maybe all the major bugs are in animation related areas? I did try using actions and the non linear thingamabob recently. The UI for that stuff sucks.)

But all the pros are using Maya so it can’t be garbage? You think, you are going mad? Is it just me? Are there rats gnawing on my wires inside my PC?

I had my share of using Maya too. You go to weight paint and suddenly your character looks like an unrecognizable ball of garbage. Hmm… That’s not suppose to be.

My best guess is either they can afford much better computers than the minimum requirements (–which I always surpassed but not by much, except for that year when I splurged on the best parts, unfortunately I went with ATI that year because the previous version of maya had horrible bugs with nvidia, the next version of maya had horrible bugs with ATI. The year after that I splurged even harder on hardware AND partnered with someone to buy a legit copy of maya. No luck. Maya crashed every other time I clicked the render button on an empty scene :cry: Gave up on 3d for almost a decade after that.–) or they could afford much better tech support than I could.

Lesson learned here… 3D can be a cruel mistress.

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Well, Maya strength is that it’s aimed at big studios , with big teams and it manages to get the job done.
It’s also compatible with many other tools. That doesn’t mean the users get a pleasing experience using it. In some ways it targets more the studios than individual users.

This also means that you get tons of options, because people working with it are more specialized.

On the blender side, it’s aimed at small teams, there is a great effort to make it simple and fast to use.
It’s simple, but still trying to make a lot of things with it, and that add some complexities.
If we compare some modeling apps : sketchup is simpler to use, but you can’t model a character. It’s probably more stable given that there is less options. Blender makes modeling fast and relatively simple, but it’s quite different because in blender you’re supposed to be able to model anything.

In the same way, you may find other animation software that may makes things more simple, at the price of less possibilities.

Keep in mind also, that studios change a lot the software, with custom scripts, plugins, and other software integration.
They customize a lot the software for the job they are doing. Making it faster and simpler for people working on a project.

I can totally relate to that, it takes a lot of time to be able to use blender just to be creative (even tho, there are always issues, it’s never a easy ride), especially when doing animation/short movies.
You may have that freedom of being creative in modeling a character, or making simple still images.
Because animation are generally made by teams, you need to manage a lot of things.

But it’s super cool that you work on your own projects. It’s really difficult but you can make your own ideas, your own world.
Working in a studio , having a project made by a team makes things a lot simpler, we are all payed to make the project and fit the budget. But it can also add a lot of frustrations. Because there is so much people involved it’s really hard to keep your ideas 100% yours. Most of the time it’s for the best, but if you disagree with some decisions you have no word to say. Making your own project has it’s frustrations but it also very cool in that matter.

You may want to learn more about pipelines, how studios manage to get stuff done, how they organize files, manage every step from storyboard, to layout, to anim to render. Especially if you want to keep working with blender. Maybe get a blender studio account for a few month , study their files, try to learn the most from them. You may not do exactly the same, because , their project doesn’t fit a one man army anymore, but you may find good practices, small tips that may help you in the long run !

Once again, good luck and even if it’s a tough road it’s awesome if you manage to finish your project !

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I would have agreed with this statement two years ago but not now.

Blender(via. third party retargeters free&paid)
,is now nearly on par with Autodesk Maya IMHO particularly if you invest in two paid add-ons.
Auto rig pro & the animation layers addon.

As far as the free retargeting tools, I covered both the rococco and Expy kit retargeters in video tutorials.

Expy kit is particularly useful for rigified Blender Characters (,which every Blender animator should be using )
Unless you are using custom rigs such as the ones generated by Auto rig pro.

Since 2.80, that is no more true. There is no more necessary hindsight because of shorter release cycle.
There is a gap in terms of feature and abilities, at each new release, but stability is no more always there.
Best choice is to stick to LTS release until the end of production.

Blender 3.3 is not there, yet.

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Anything too complex in your scene, that merely scaling (spacing apart) the keyframes of the falling portion is not enough to slow it down?

It slows down OK but slowing it down prevents my ability to keyframe a shape key value beyond one keyframe. I just made 3 second of animation just now such a small joy. I didn’t use frame stretching because I needed to animate shape keys on a rigged character. I ended up omitting motion blur. Maybe next time.

Hmm. What’s special about this shape key animation then? If you mean it is just inconvenient to sync timings between shape keys and bones, since they use different interfaces, then use Drivers to hook up as many parameters of your character (be it shape keys or shader effects) as possible to bone dummies inside the same Armature

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I use expy kit it has many functions, Last time I used it was to make a metarig. The tutorials I seen for retargeting to Rigify was to animate the metarig which serves no purpose for me. Why would anyone want to animate a metarig?

I’m about to add a Rigify facial animation bones to my Mixamo rig but I thought I would make 1 facial animation using a shape key to save time… Well that didn’t save any time.

You’re saying that with these addons it make Blender more stable by using their functions instead of the ones built in?

50% of the time baking animation replicates an animation correctly, just gotta check it and undo until it doesn’t mess it up. At least my machine requires these extra steps.

I see. Well, I learned the hard way that you need to control as many parameters as possible with bones+drivers, after I tried making a transformation animation that involved effects of different nature (modifiers, shape keys,custom shaders, etc). Without drivers, it became a logistical nightmare, and when I had to rescale time at some point, I was forced to do it post-render in video editor.
Cant advice you anything about meta rig or Rigify though, was using default tools.

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You don’t… in my Expy kit tutorial, you can clearly see I am retargeting to a Daz genesis 8 figure who has been rigified.

Metarigs&rigify are part of blenders default tools😌

I still have many things to learn about animating(

Animation can be done in Cascadeur.
You can get a reasonable overview on Udemy.