Quick Note: Software Skills

Just a quick note because I’m actually waiting for class to start. When it comes to animation and technology where does software skills play into things?

What I mean is that with a wide variety of different programs out there how do you choose which ones to learn?

Are they the ones taught at your school? If so could you end up in a situation where you are being taught outdated or unpopular software?

Even moreso are you spending time learning a new program that may well be obsolete in a few years? Animation software (bar Renderman) is still somewhat new and the pace of development is currently breathless.

What are your thoughts on the topic? Should we revert to the good old ubiquitous paper and pencil or do we commit ourselves to learning something that may only benefit us for a short part of our careers?

PS please excuse any typos, I wrote this post on my phone.

2 Comments on “Quick Note: Software Skills

  1. I think you choose what to learn by necessity. It starts off innocently enough. “I want to Photoshop my friend’s head onto a horses body” so, suddenly, you’re teaching yourself Photoshop using a trial version on the family PC.

    Eventually you come to a year in school where you can take a class to learn more. The more you learn, the more you want to experiment, and eventually those experiments land you at another point in life, like college, or a job. And suddenly your job says, hey, FCP X sucks, so now you’re all gonna learn Avid.

    What I’m trying to say is it comes naturally. There’s no reason to fear software going obsolete – learning one program often prepares you for the most part to make the transition into another, similar program.

    There’s no reason to have to choose one or the other, the most valuable player in the field today knows both how to draw and how to write an MEL script in Maya.

  2. The key for animators is the same for us scientists: learn all the programming languages you can. You never know when the industry will change or if you are going to have to access a project that was created over 30 years ago.

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