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What should a high school student expect?

Posted: June 15, 2011
I was looking at doing some 3D character animation for a senior project that we're required to do as part of my Digital Graphic Design class. My teacher told me to seek the input of those that are already involved in the field. If I were to do this, I would be using an outdated version of Maya; he also said picking it up and trying to teach myself the software from scratch was sure to be difficult and frustrating, which I'm sure is true. Is this something I should still look into? I would have the entire year to complete the project, and would probably work on it with one of my classmates.
Posted: June 16, 2011
The question you should ask yourself is "Am I REALLY excited about this?" Because the information is out their. LOADS of tutorials exist and I think that modeling, texturing, rigging, skinning, and animating some simple animations is perfectly reasonable for a year. But you must realize that you are going to have to find all of your own resources. No one will be there to hold your hand and there are going to be tons of little things (Can't find the right button, accidentally changed a setting, ETC.) that are going to be very frustrating and will hold you up.

Your idea is doable, but how much headache are you willing to put up with? How many times are you willing to go back to google in order to fix some random mistake that you made that might not even have to do with what you are trying to do? In these programs simply accidentally hitting a letter on the keyboard can stall you for hours because you are not familiar with the program.

As for doing it as a group... well it would probably be better if you each did your own, as you cant really co-op these things as much as take it in stages. If you both do one side by side, it would probably be very helpful to have a wingman. Just make sure you write down your steps and take notes on the tutorials you watch.

Whatever you decide, Good luck! It is a challenging thing to pick up on your own, but not impossible. Stay active on several forums like this one because a support community will be your best friend.