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  #1  
Old 08-27-2007, 11:40 AM
neverquit's Avatar
neverquit neverquit is offline
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Default Graphic and Animation software

My 14 year old son's a self-proclaimed computer geek. He's currently hooked on animation software. He and his friends like surfing the net for these websites. I thought of getting him Flash for his birthday but at $700 a pop I think it's not quite entry level stuff. I thought it would at least be fun to make animations from paint shop or something like that but not sure where to turn. These emoticons for instance, or the little cartoon skits you see in the net. Where does that stuff come from? The big box and office stores want to sell you MS Office support and games. Beyond that they're clueless. Pretty much like me on this topic. Any ideas out there?
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  #2  
Old 08-27-2007, 11:50 AM
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TMann TMann is offline
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

Microsoft has a new product called Silverlight. It's their version of Flash.

http://www.microsoft.com/silverlight/default_ns.aspx
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  #3  
Old 08-27-2007, 12:50 PM
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Kumaros Kumaros is offline
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

I know you are asking for animation "software", but what your son first and foremost needs is a Wacom tablet and pen instead of a mouse. They start at less than a 100 bucks and are indispensable for graphics. What's more they come bundled with a couple of basic programs. Given that your son is a computer genius and artist in one, forget about flash, in fact forget about Adobe at all, even for PDF viewing get Foxit. What your son really needs is a linux box and the corresponding graphics software, Gimp to begin with. Most big studios use whole farms of Linux boxen for their animated films. Karoliina is much more qualified to give an opinion.
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  #4  
Old 08-27-2007, 03:01 PM
chasingmars chasingmars is offline
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kumaros View Post
is a linux box and the corresponding graphics software, Gimp to begin with.
Yeah, I would suggest the same, GIMP, running on linux, and then he can explore the tools from there, there's a lot of good free stuff out there. POV-Ray is also a great thing if there's an interest in 3D rendering too, and has the added bonus that to get good at it will encourage a good grasp of math, trig and geometry in specific. I'd recommend Ubuntu as the Linux flavour for anyone who's not already versed in Unix as it's very user friendly. I don't have a huge amount of experience in animation, but I did do some a couple years ago for data visualization of some of my MSc work, and found that there may be a couple "big ticket" tools (and $700 is cheap for this), but that a huge amount can, and often must, be done with a series of special purpose small applications that do one thing well. In the example I'm talking about for example, the geometry was developed in visualNastran, the kinematics in Maple, these equations went into a C program I wrote that calculated the visualization I wanted, and output a PovRay text file, PovRay produced a series of a few hundred still images for a slightly different perspective to simulate motion, and another program stitched these into a 30 second compressed video file. Only the first two were commercial products, and they weren't directly even involved in the production of the visualization.

As to your questions about these emoticons, and such, they're just a type of GIF file called animated Gifs (usually, there are other animated formats, but last I checked it was the most common) You don't need anything fancy for them, it's just a series of images one after another, just like we used to do in corners of books when we were kids, then fan the pages to get the dancing stick-man.

Besides, at 14, interests aren't always long term, and moreover, a given software product's technology will change a lot in the years to come, I like the idea of a piece of good hardware like a tablet that will be useful for an artist (or if he decided to be an engineer and gets into CAD ) and a lot of open source stuff has become very stable, well featured, and well maintained.
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Last edited by chasingmars : 08-27-2007 at 03:11 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-27-2007, 06:54 PM
Homeschool Homeschool is offline
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

Hi,

I'm a someday builder! Have to homeschool my kids and pay for everybody elses too first!

My son thinks he's a geek too. We do things on the cheap so we got him a free 3D progaming package called Alice. Carnegie Melon distributes this software and use it for programing classes. Great GUI and learns object oriented programing too.

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  #6  
Old 08-28-2007, 08:35 AM
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

Quote:
Besides, at 14, interests aren't always long term
Not long term? Heh, look for two 90 hp quad bikes with about 10 hours on them w/trailer on Ebay this week.

Quote:
I like the idea of a piece of good hardware like a tablet that will be useful for an artist (or if he decided to be an engineer and gets into CAD ) and a lot of open source stuff has become very stable, well featured, and well maintained.
The tablet sounds like a good start. Something he can build on. Although, still fearful of it landing in the back of the closet with other great stuff I wish I had once. Seems like the software is so pricey you just buy it for a business. How on earth do people learn this stuff unless they're dolling out boocoo bucks or get it in a specialized college (also big bucks).
Quote:
Yeah, I would suggest the same, GIMP, running on linux,
GIMP is non-animation, right? With Linux, you're saying for me to get rid of my Windows operating system or get another PC with Linux?
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  #7  
Old 08-28-2007, 08:42 AM
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neverquit neverquit is offline
G.Norman
 
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

Quote:
My son thinks he's a geek too. We do things on the cheap so we got him a free 3D progaming package called Alice. Carnegie Melon distributes this software and use it for programing classes. Great GUI and learns object oriented programing too.
Good idea. I'll check this out tonight. Carnegie Mellon sounds like a great place. I've never heard of it. Is it a well known accredited college?
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  #8  
Old 08-28-2007, 12:57 PM
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Kumaros Kumaros is offline
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

You can dual-boot your existing computer, no problem. You can get free Ubuntu Linux CD's by mail or download the ISO image and burn them yourself. Even better, there is a Ktoon (a free animation program, able to generate flash content) live CD you can download. This way you don't have to change anything on your PC, just boot from your CD and go. See:
http://ktoon.toonka.com/index.php?op...id=30&Itemi d
If your internet connection is slow, or you don't have the means to burn an ISO file to CD, I'd gladly do it for you, just holler.
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  #9  
Old 08-28-2007, 01:15 PM
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karoliina karoliina is offline
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

Quote:
Originally Posted by neverquit View Post
GIMP is non-animation, right? With Linux, you're saying for me to get rid of my Windows operating system or get another PC with Linux?
Linux distros can nowadays resize Windows partition automatically for dual booting. It is also possible to try out Linux without installing it. Ubuntu installation begins actually that way - you put a CD into CD-ROM and boot. And not so long time after you have the Ubuntu Linux running. To install it just click the "install" icon on the desktop. Installing Linux is nowadays a lot easier than installing Windows.

For 3D-animation, one could start from Blender. It is free like Gimp. Creating models in AC3D might be easier. It costs something like 79 USD and runs on Linux of course.

Buying Flash for 14 years old person is complete waste of money in my opinion. The abovementioned Ubuntu Linux doesn't cost anything and there is plenty of things to learn on it first. You can even have install CD shipped for free if you don't want to burn it on CD by yourself - Mark Shuttleworth (the space tourist) is pretty generous with his operating system. You may also get some nice Ubuntu-stickers if you order the CD.
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Last edited by karoliina : 08-28-2007 at 01:25 PM.
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  #10  
Old 08-29-2007, 09:16 AM
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

Wow! You're making me curiously dive into the depths of no return open sourcing. This is like free love communing of the 60s for software. This is totally cool underground stuff!
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  #11  
Old 08-30-2007, 11:19 AM
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neverquit neverquit is offline
G.Norman
 
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

Okay, in a nut shell:
*Buy a Wacom tablet and pens
*Get free Linux and download
*download Ubantu
*download Alice
*download Ktoon
*download Blender
*download Gimp
Hope there's enough space. Halo 3 is out in November.

That should keep him occupied until Xmas. Thank you
If not, I'm dragging him to Dust's to play with wood and big mean power tools once a week.
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  #12  
Old 08-31-2007, 04:16 AM
Supereri Supereri is offline
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

Check out http://www.journeyed.com . Lots of student/teacher discounts on various software.
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  #13  
Old 08-31-2007, 08:16 PM
coolamber coolamber is offline
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Default Re: Graphic and Animation software

I'm suprised nobody has mentioned it yet so here goes. By far the best platform for creativity is the Mac. The latest versions can even run Windows & Linux. The Mac is an amazing content creation machine, and most shops I know use macs when doing any kind of creative design work.

I should also state that I am a huge open source proponent. I use Ubuntu as my installed distro and I use several different bootable distros like knoppix, helix, backtrack etc.
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