Advancing Research on Animation career

Individuals graduating with a computer animation degree frequently overlook research and development. This is a shame, because researchers in the scientific and medical communities are in desperate need of qualified animators to bring their work to life. More and more, researchers are relying on animation to help them clearly present their research and findings at seminars, hospitals and to the boards that fund their work. Hospitals and clinics also use computer animation to demonstrate surgical techniques and other procedures to patients. There are so many different ways that computer animation is used today and the market is steadily growing. In the future, it will be used in more inventive and diverse ways as technology advances, increasing the demand for skilled experts with a computer animation degree. Almost everyone has played a video game these days; video game developers may hire more computer animation degree graduates than any other industry. No matter how interesting or complex the game concept is, if the graphics and animation aren’t top-notch, the game is doomed to failure.

Not only with video games, animation industry growing steadily in advertising, movies, cartoons and many more. The human characters are replaced with the animated graphics all that depends only on creativity of the humans that attracts the public. So guys don’t waste your valuable time. The companies are in need of the creative and talented individual who can serve their best to give the results.

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Gradual growth of animation industry

This is the message I would like to convey to the all the people or students who are interested in leading their life with animation career. Many Individuals have to know one thing that computer animation is a competitive field that covers inconceivable amount of Territory. The field is in need of qualified, creative and talented people. A generation ago these weren’t even dreams, but today some of the greatest money making films of all time have been computer animated. The first and most obvious opportunity and the one that usually generates someone’s initial interest is computer animated films such a cartoons and feature length movies. And you don’t have to move to Hollywood to put a computer animation degree to good use. In fact, large cities that have dynamic advertising industries are increasingly drawing computer animation specialists. Advertising firms recognize the value of unique, unusual and compelling commercials, and computer animation is a favorite method of catching viewers’ attention in today’s marketplace. Whether it is talking lizards or elaborate accidents, animation takes advertising to the next level.

Theme parks also rely heavily on those with computer animation degrees to make their rides and other features more appealing. How many times have you waited in a long line for an attraction and been entertained by a short animated feature that sets the tone for the coming attraction? Today’s haunted houses and many other entertainment venues feature some form of computer-generated animation as either the main component or to enhance the overall effect. So don’t get discouraged in considering computer animation degree.

Importance of Animations in Movies

I was in a confusion that why animations are so important in movies. Does movies have any effect using animations. In the early days animation was sketchy at best. The most we could have hoped for was less than realistic images of giant lizards and insects that terrorized the countryside. That all changed when computers came into being. The computer age helped to blur the line between fantasy and reality to give us the movies that we love so much. Using the newest technology allowed filmmakers to bring to the screen that which was deemed impossible in the early days of movies. When the special effects are a part of the movies animations are compulsory. The animation of his characters in the first film gave people their first glimpse of the future and the movie was an overnight sensation. Many of the science fiction films came in early and middle eighties. This also spawned many companies based on the new technology that are still sought out to make dreams and imagination come true. The movie animation business is now a billion dollar a year industry that employs some of the best animators and computer specialists in the entire world. This is how the world was brought the hit movie Who Framed Roger Rabbit? This film was the first of its kind where animated characters or cartoon characters interacted with the human characters in the entire story line. This was a new concept that was a smash hit in its time. The world had never seen anything like it and the trickery of the camera made everyone believe that they could touch and see a cartoon character like they did in the movie. Today the animation in movies is far more advanced. Where filmmakers were once limited to making only two-dimensional animated characters the norm now is three dimensional, fully interactive animated characters that dominate the screen. The first real advancement in this technology was the movie Toy Story. This film was created on a computer and featured no human presence in the film itself besides the voice over. The world was treated to the future of animation and movies with this film and it became an over night success.

Maya: Animation Software

I would always feel that how hard the animators work and how the animations are made. I have gone through the basic research on Internet in which I found one of the good software used for animations that is MAYA. And I would like to share my research on animations. Let us see some of the essential forms of computer animation that use the software called Maya.

Key frame Animation

This is the essential, fundamental form of computer animation. The model is placed in a starting pose or position, and a keyframe is set. Some frames later, another keyframe is set, and the model is moved as desired. This process is repeated as many times as needed. The animation software interpolates the motion needed to move the model smoothly between the keyframes. What this means is that if the animator keys a box, and moves the box across the room in the next keyframe, when the scene is scrubbed or viewed, the box will glide across the floor instead of jumping from frame to frame. This applies to anything in the scene – moving fingers, eyelids, moving lips, etc.

Nonlinear Animation

In Maya, there are two types of clip: source clips and regular clips. Maya preserves and protects a character’s original animation curves by storing them in source clips. Moving, manipulating, and blending regular clips to produce a smooth series of motions for a character is the basis of nonlinear animation. The tool with which you manage all these aspects of a character’s nonlinear animation is the Trax Editor.

Path Animation

A path animation controls the position and rotation of an object along a curve. An object must first be attached to the curve for it to become a path curve. You can also generate motion paths by animating objects using motion path keys.

Skeletons

Skeletons are hierarchical, articulated structures that let you pose and animate bound models. A skeleton provides a deformable model with a similar underlying structure as the human skeleton gives the human body. Just like in the human body, the location of joints and the number of joints you add to a skeleton determine how the skeleton’s bound model or `body’ moves. When you bind a model to a skeleton, it is called skinning. The process of making a skeleton or bones, refining the joints, using IK or FK, putting handles on the joints so animators can manipulate them, and over all making the model ready for animation is called “Rigging”

Skinning

Skinning is the process of setting up a character’s model so that it can be deformed by a skeleton.

Constraints

Constraints enable you to constrain the position, orientation, or scale of an object to other objects. Further, with constraints you can impose specific limits on objects and automate animation processes.

Leading Computer Animation

Technology used from the broadcast and print media to the multimedia is advancing almost every day. Animation in the movies and television is just one example. Animation is responsible for the funny, adorable and sometimes-tough cartoon characters we love to see on TV and in the movies. Before, it the making of cartoons was just done manually (drawn by hand) but now, computer animation is the latest trend. Walt Disney used to be synonymous to cartoons but today; numerous companies have gotten into the business of animation. The latest buzz is that Disney Animation officers are planning to return the Walt Disney studios in Burbank, California to its original status as an exclusive hand-drawn animation company. “Lilo and Stitch” was Disney’s last hand-drawn and big hit animated film. Computer animation makes use of two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics. When used in films, it is referred to as computer generated imagery or imaging (CGI). This digital technology has somehow replaced the stop motion animation of 3D models and frame-by-frame animation of two-dimensional illustrations.

In making 3D animations, objects or models are normally built on the computer monitor and 3D figures are manipulated with a so-called virtual skeleton. For 2D animations, separate drawings and separate transparent layers are used even without a virtual skeleton.

Computer-animated films usually cover animal characters such as in “Finding Nemo,” fantasy characters like “Shrek” and “Monsters, Inc.” as well as humans that are still cartoons such as “The Incredibles.” A more realistic simulation of humans has been attempted via the movie “Final Fantasy: The Spirits Within” but it needs further improvement.

Other than the U.S., another highly developed country that has a great fascination for animation is Japan. Anime (short for animation) in Japan became famous because of its unique format of storytelling compared to the country’s live-action industry. Japan is known for its robot anime like the Gundam, Voltes V and Mazinger Z that became classics in the 1980s. The origin of Japanese anime can be traced to the early 20th century when Yamamoto explored the techniques in animation that were being done in Germany, France, Russia and the United States at that time. Anime has also been greatly influenced by the Japanese manga and light novels and covers genres such as action, adventure, children’s stories, drama, comedy, fantasy, horror, science fiction and romance. Animation companies actually have a staff of creative people who can really draw well. Some of them have also outsourced their services and have put up offices in countries whose citizens are blessed with great talent in drawing and have a passion for animation.

Advantages with Flash Animations

In today’s market, it’s becoming more and more important to catch people’s attention quickly before they click away. Flash allows you to convey additional meanings to your message, more than just print or static images allow. Movement accentuates emotion, or can eliminate the need for emotion, depending on the purpose, allowing your message to be delivered to the consumer with less room for interpretation on their part. A mini-commercial for your website. If people read it, see it in action and hear it, they are more likely to remember it in the future. People love entertainment. If you can entertain and educate people they will be more likely to desire your product and services. Consumers will be more likely to stay on your website to find out more if you can capture and intrigue them.

Flash allows you to be funny, excited, determined and many other emotions, at the same time of showcasing what your company provides. This helps differentiate your business from all the others. Consumers are inundated with information that sounds and looks the same as the last guys. Flash animation gives you a chance to showcase what you do best, but you need a professional to do it. There is a tendency for many inexperienced web designers to go flash crazy. Your audience can only look at one thing at a time.

Too much flash confuses the consumer and makes your website difficult to navigate. If you overload them, or have flash that takes too long to upload, the consumer will click away and you may lose them for good. A professional graphic artist can design animation that accentuates the message, at the same time entertaining and educating the audience.

Maya: Software Package used for Animations

Maya is a high-end 3D computer graphics and 3D modeling software package originally developed by Alias Systems Corporation, but now owned by Autodesk as part of the Media and Entertainment division. Maya is used in the film and TV industry, as well as for computer and video games. Maya is a popular, integrated node-based 3D software suite, evolved from Wavefront Explorer and Alias Power Animator using technologies from both. The software is released in two versions: Maya Complete and Maya Unlimited.

Maya was originally released for the IRIX operating system, and subsequently ported to the Microsoft Windows, Linux and Mac OS X operating systems. IRIX support was discontinued after the release of version 6.5. When Autodesk acquired Alias in October 2005, they continued Maya development. The latest version, 2008 (9.0), was released in September 2007.

An important feature of Maya is its openness to third-party software, which can strip the software completely of its standard appearance and, using only the kernel, can transform it into a highly customized version of the software. Apart from its intrinsic power and flexibility, this feature in itself made Maya appealing to large studios that tend to write custom code for their productions using the provided software development kit. The core of Maya itself is written in C++. Project files, including all geometry and animation data, are stored as sequences of MEL operations which can be optionally saved as a ‘human readable’ file (.ma, for Maya ASCII), editable in any text editor outside of the Maya environment which allows for a tremendous level of flexibility when working with external tools. A marking menu is built into larger menu system called Hotbox that provides instant access to a majority of features in Maya at the press of a key.