Whether you’re a mechanical engineer or just like to doodle, you may be interested in animation software. Programs from Autodesk or Blender are used by some of the entertainment industry’s top professionals, but they can also be applicable to numerous other industries. With high-end rendering features and an endless digital toolbox to create realistic animations, these types of packages can carry a high corresponding price tag. Whether or not the price is worth it will depend on your level of skill, your animation needs, and the features included in each type of software. It’s a good idea to compare and contrast these various animation packages to find one that will fit your budget and needs.
Types of Software
Before you start comparing animation software options, you’ll first want to narrow down whether you need to work in 2D or 3D. Most programs will only be geared towards one or the other. Some of the top 2D animation programs include Toon Boom and DigiCel Flip Book, while 3D animation packages can include options from Autodesk, iClone, or Blender. In addition to the dimension you prefer, you’ll also want to think about your skill level and whether you are in need of a program for a hobby or to advance your career. Novice users can have fun with cost-effective 2D programs like Flip Boom or GIF animators. At the upper end of the spectrum, you’ll find more expensive and professionally-oriented programs like Maya or Flash.
Benefits of Using Software
Animation software can be used in a variety of different industries, including engineering, architecture, entertainment, video game design, and even sales or marketing. Having access to a professional program can streamline the design process, allowing users to create professional animations in a shorter period of time. This can save you money in the long run by allowing you to take on more animation projects at home. Animation software can yield a high degree of accuracy when creating prototypes, and can be used for presentation purposes whenever accurate models are needed. This makes it useful for students and business professionals as well as graphic artists.
Features to Look for when Comparing Programs
If you’ve narrowed down your potential software to a few options based on budget, need, and type of animation, you can then start to compare more specific features. Some programs will be more interactive than others. For interactive web animation, you will want to choose something like Flash or Silverlight. These allow the users to interact with the animated scenes that you create. In addition to the level of interactivity, also look at the specific drawing tools that are offered, rendering times, and lighting tools. Find out if the program offers technical support and tutorials to get started. Reading online reviews is a good way to find out what other users think about each program. Some programs will also have a free trial available, which is the best way to get a feel for it.
It’s a good idea to compare and contrast these various animation packages to find one that will fit your budget and needs. If you’re really pushing for top of the line software, check current home equity loan rates, you may be able to finance your purchase at a low overall cost to you. If your profession requires the heavy use of animation, you will most likely wish to invest in a higher-end 3D program. Yet even novices may benefit from honing their skills on today’s slick animation programs.