Animation Apprentice

Animation School Online
Courses in 3D Character Animation and Creature Animation

Animated Monkey

Software and Hardware

What sort of hardware will I need?

You will need:

  • a reasonably modern PC or Mac capable of running the latest free student license of Maya
  • a tablet - they are much kinder on your hands than a mouse. Repetitive Strain Injuries are common in our industry and the mouse should be avoided if possible. We suggest this tablet as a good inexpensive option. Don't buy anything too small. A4 is probably a good size.

Ideally, your desktop should have two screens - one on which to watch the tutorials and a second screen on which to run Maya. Maya has lots of small buttons so a big screen is definitely an advantage.

What should I use? A PC or a Mac?

Maya will run on both a PC and a Mac, and the scene files are interchangeable. You can use either, but we recommend a PC because:

  • All the course videos are recorded on a PC, and the interface is a little different on the Mac.
  • Maya was created for PCs
  • A number of Maya plug-ins will only work on a PC. In particular, the Parent Master plugin, which is very useful for attaching and un-attaching objects in Maya, does not work on the Mac.
  • Audio playback in Maya can be troublesome on a Mac

What sort of software will I need?

Once you have suitable hardware, you should download a copy of the latest free student version of Maya from the Autodesk website. You will need to register with them first. Animation Apprentice is registered with Autodesk as an approved school. The following software will also be useful:

  • Premiere or Final Cut, for editing your demo reel.
  • Quick Time Pro. Simple, cheap and very useful for basic editing.

Will I need a powerful broadband connection?

Yes. Make sure you have a fast broadband connection capable of uploading and downloading large files. Our Technical Videos and Tutorials can be over 200MB in size.

What else?

You should also have a Facebook profile so you can join our Facebook classroom, and a YouTube account so you can upload your work to YouTube.