Friday, January 02, 2009

consumer 3d

I have been pleasantly griping to a number of people lately about the lack of 3d animation software that is approachable to non-professionals. What's interesting is the variety of responses I get back. Academic researchers always point to their favorite paper that has a sketch based interface, but these usually only solve part of the problem (by nature, as they are research projects). Engineers working on 3d software seem to be of two generations: the older group thinks people who want to use it will learn it and that's that. The younger group of engineers knows better, since they had to learn what the older group built, and they know it is not at all easy to learn. Surprisingly, animators seem to argue against the need for it, supporting the notion that you need professional training to be an animator.

Think of apple's ilife software. Pretty much anyone can make something cool with it without any training and without the manual. If you want to go professional, you can buy final cut pro or logic or aperture or whatever the fancy version of photoshop is called. But it won't make you a professional. You still need training to learn the professional skills. Why not for 3d animation? As it stands, you need training just to learn how to look around.

It's a tough problem to make something like this since you have to safeguard people from making bad animation, but the variety of opinions on the idea is interesting. These aren't all-encompassing claims about the groups of people mentioned and certainly do not apply to everyone, but they are trends.

No comments: