Any field as vast as 3D animation is bound to have many software tools to choose from and logically for someone starting it’s hard to decide which one to pick. While experiencing it yourself can be the best way to decide which software appeals the most to your taste, it is bothersome to download a trial or in some cases the only option is to buy and then notice it’s not what you’re looking for. Well this article is for you, interested in getting into 3D animation or 3D modelling? Not sure where to start? This article might be of help to you.
-In no particular order
Everyone knows or at least has heard of flash, its extensive use in web pages and pretty much everything on the internet from video players to flash only sites to games. It is an absolute giant in the realm of animation or creation of anything interactive. Although being ditched by Apple was a long lasting stain, it hasn’t stopped the millions of applications and assets being created on Flash. Use of Flash on web pages has been long debated, the new wave of advertisement thanks to Flash has made some sites unquestionably frustrating to navigate although it has also created some spectacular sites only made with Flash from ground up. In terms of animation, Flash is still largely the same, it is very much the simple yet with great depths if you so wish to explore them type of program. Many educational institution still prefer Flash over the other choices for its widespread usability. There is a version free to try in their official site.
Maya is like a jack of all trades that does everything amazingly. The quality you can get from drawing something (although it’s still suggested to use another app specialized for drawing objects) and then animating is beautiful. Unlike Flash, Maya’s most prominent use is for applications outside the web such as video games, movies, effects. The community for Flash is certainly bigger internationally but Maya has a decent community behind it too. Also the full version is easily available for educational purposes. The possibility are truly endless with Maya but that’s if you’re willing to go through the learning curve.
Autodesk 3D Max (Formerly known as 3D Studio Max)
Another top notch tool from Autodesk, this one has been around for a long time like Flash. Its use and features have changed tremendously from each iteration it’s had. This one is more oriented to make longer scenes than Maya or Flash. The animation can be as good as motion capture thanks to the IK(inverse kinematics) which is an great achievement by the developers. For longer animated works, 3D studio max is the best possible choice. Polygon modelling is also possible on this but Maya has more tools for that. Many believe the best quality for CGI is only possible with 3D Max. Find out for yourself.