Hi everyone: Of late I've been working on this little introductory animation of Eddie the Eraser Dog in Carrara 8 Pro. I initially created Eddie when I entered a workplace film contest and decided to use an animated character for my entry. I first made a real Eddie out of white erasers and a razor blade, and gave him a paper clip tail and push-pin paws. I then created a virtual Eddie to come to life for the adventure.
I first learned basic animation as part of a computer graphics certification which required 3 years of college classes in the 3d Studio Max program. At that time, the program was almost completely do-it-yourself as far as building 3-dimensional objects and then animating them. Now the software will generate everything from complex textures to growing hair at the push of a button. I feel that it was good to learn from the basic program, however, because I got a good idea of how everything works from the ground up. After 3 years I had barely scraped the surface of that amazing software.
As the price of 3d Max is out of my league, I recently purchased a copy of Carrara 8 Pro, and find that the logic of modeling, animating and rendering follow the same set of rules regardless of what program you use, and it wasn't too painful to get up to speed.
Once I start building a model I can get so focused that hours can slip by. It takes about 4 hours per second of finished video to create from scratch. That doesn't include writing or storyboarding, but it sure is a fun 4 hours. It's so easy to get obsessed with a project. I'll find myself thinking about one at 3:00 AM and have to get up and work on changes. Below is my tutorial that explains the basics. If you are acquainted with the modeling process at the beginning, feel free to skip to the 5:00 mark to see the model animation. I am looking forward to creating some video shorts with Eddie and have a lot of ideas for adventures. Stay tuned!