Figure animation software

jimN

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 23, 2005
934
10
London
I am looking for software suggestions that might allow me to animate a character to present within a video presentation.

I work in medicine and medical education and have been encouraging my students to create teaching sessions and improve their presentation skills. One of my students created an excellent presentation and I have asked that they record it for other students to refer to. During the in-person lecture he got all the students to stand up and copy his movements to try to get them to remember a specific part of the definition.

This latter component is lost in the recorded lecture as it only captures the screen. I could try to capture him for the video but I wondered if there was a simple bit of animation software that might allow this. Sadly this is not something that my department provides additional funding for so software needs to be available cheap or free.

Can anyone advise? Thanks in advance.
 

tubular

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2011
465
1,051
Depending on what you mean by "cheap," you might take a look at Smith Micro's "Poser."
 

960design

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2012
3,012
959
Destin, FL
I am looking for software suggestions that might allow me to animate a character to present within a video presentation.

I work in medicine and medical education and have been encouraging my students to create teaching sessions and improve their presentation skills. One of my students created an excellent presentation and I have asked that they record it for other students to refer to. During the in-person lecture he got all the students to stand up and copy his movements to try to get them to remember a specific part of the definition.

This latter component is lost in the recorded lecture as it only captures the screen. I could try to capture him for the video but I wondered if there was a simple bit of animation software that might allow this. Sadly this is not something that my department provides additional funding for so software needs to be available cheap or free.

Can anyone advise? Thanks in advance.
Blender.org

Rigging
https://docs.blender.org/manual/en/dev/rigging/index.html
https://wiki.blender.org/index.php/Doc:2.4/Tutorials/Animation/BSoD/Character_Animation

Once rigged...
Animation

More:
https://gamedevelopment.tutsplus.co...uman-character-in-blender-part-one--cms-26489
 

tubular

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2011
465
1,051
Blender is free and very powerful, but notorious for having the worst effin' user interface ever foisted on humanity. It's not so much an interface as a life style you must devote yourself to, and learning it is like something out of the first half of "Full Metal Jacket."
 

960design

macrumors 68040
Apr 17, 2012
3,012
959
Destin, FL
Blender is free and very powerful, but notorious for having the worst effin' user interface ever foisted on humanity. It's not so much an interface as a life style you must devote yourself to, and learning it is like something out of the first half of "Full Metal Jacket."
Have you checked it out lately? Blender three years ago had the worse learning interface, but a fantastic workflow interface. Not intuitive or well labeled, but you could work quickly.

The new blender has a much more refined interface that confused the heck out of long time users, but is much easier for learning and very tweakable for workflow, once you know what you are doing.
 

tubular

macrumors 6502
Oct 19, 2011
465
1,051
The new blender has a much more refined interface
I took a look at 2.4 and later looked at it again at 2.6. The interface was much improved but trying to figure out how to do something -- not conceptually, but how to communicate it to Blender -- still feels like rolling the dice over and over until you finally roll boxcars and find the feature you want somewhere in some sub-sub-menu of the three simultaneously displayed menu bars. The lack of a consistent simple Undo means that instead of "just try it to see what it does," you get "just try it, and spend fifteen minutes on Google trying to get back to where you were the moment before you tried it." The interface is more visually consistent now but, to me at least, remains arbitrarily difficult to learn.
 

mw360

macrumors 68000
Aug 15, 2010
1,644
1,525
Thank you both, I'll check it out.
You might also want to look at Mixamo.com. There's a multitude of things on offer there, free and paid.

As a long time 3D animation guy though, I can tell you it's never as easy as it looks. I recommend you also investigate using a iPhone camera, a well-lit room and a good-looking volunteer.
 
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