Have you tried 3D animation? Many scenes and characters in movies and video games are results of 3D animations. Today every one probably have seen some 3D animation effects. What is more, if you have used a presentation tool, like PowerPoint or Keynote, you probably have some experience creating 3D animations. Most presentation tools let you add certain animation effects, like the image dancing on the screen, or flying into the screen. But most of these presentation tools have limited options. You can only use the images and effects offered to you. If you want to design your own images and animation effects, or making a short movie with 3D images with animation, you will need special tools specially designed for animation.
I have heard some 3D animation tools, like Autodesk, Maya. But these are all paid software packages. For kids to learn 3D animation, especially when you are not sure if the child is going to stick with it long enough, it is hard to decide if you should invest the money or not. Recently I found a free 3D animation tool called Blender. It is a very sophisticated tool. Many professional designers are also using it. I also find some really good online 3D Animation Tutorials for beginners using Blender. I just started on this subject, so if you know any other resources, please let me know.
3D Animation with Blender is a short training on Udemy. It covers topics like Introduction, Adding Material, Setting the Environment, Creating Movements (such as people walking), Animate the camera, Adjusting, … There are a total of 20 units, each running from 5-15 minutes, so the total course is 3 hours. You can view the first 5 units for free before purchase the whole course. It is $30 for life long access, which I think is a very good value.
3D Animation is a program designed for kids by Fresh I Learning. It starts by explaining what is animation, and then what is Blender, then breaks down into 18 short units of 2 to 10 minutes with more detailed contents. Each unit has quizzes to test comprehension. Some units has some pre-created Blender files for kids to play around. So far this is one that I found most appropriate for kids who just start on 3D animation. It is $79 for a year access. If you are interested in other courses offered at Fresh I Learning, you can buy a year access of all courses for $299. Some other courses they offer: digital filmmaking, video game design, Stop Motion Animation, Scriptwriting, Digital Animation, Digital Comic Book Creation.
Beginner’s Guide to Blender is a quick guide on Instructable. It is quick to go through and a good place to see some basic functions and features you have access through Blender. However, there are no detailed step-by-step how to guide, and not much information on 3D animation.
Create 3D Animation Using Blender is a nine-unit training. The training page listed all the highlights of each unit, and all the training videos are on YouTube. It is a good tutorial for beginners, starting how to open the software. Kids will also learn how to add objects, how to adjust shape, light, … It is a good series to get started. Each video is about 30-40 minutes long, and the whole series is about 9 hours long. Kids who don’t have enough attention span may have difficulties to finish. It doesn’t have quizzes.
Introduction to Blender is an 8 units course, with 8 hours in total. The units are: Blender Basics, Mesh Modeling, Texturing, Shading, Animation, Lighting, Rendering, and Compositing. Each unit is 30 minutes to 90 minutes long, and includes several shorter videos. The first unit and the first video of each unit are free. Each unit also has exercises and quizzes. For the whole course, you need sign up as a member to the eCourse site, it is $23 a month, or $234 a year, and during the time period, you also have access to many other courses.
Do you have any online course on 3D Animation you’d like to recommend?
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