Design 3D Animation for 2 Minute Presentation (Read 479 times)

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So recently an asston of new web design jobs just sorta landed in my lap and there just so happened to be an interesting side job attached to one of them.  The guy I'm working for needs a 2 minute presentation fully rendered in 3D that depicts an epic series of events with the intent to wow a potential buyer into signing a hefty contract. 

Basically what I'm gonna need are full 3D models of a modern military aircraft, a paratrooper, and a fleshed-out landscape with lots of trees/shrubbery and a river running through it.  The craft with fly low over the treeline, the paratrooper will jump from the plane and deploy his parachute, land on the forest floor below and fold out a bicycle with a 2.7 HP motor and two pontoons protruding from either side on it.  The soldier will then mount the contraption, ride into the river, cross it via pontoon bike and then proceed on land to a checkpoint ahead.

It's a pretty goddamn ambitious little project for someone who's never worked with 3D animation before, but it looks like the pay is going to be good enough that I'll have nothing better to do but dedicate 12+ hours per day for a few weeks and come up with a workable solution. 

Yeah, so my question is whether or not Maya can satisfy my every desire for this project or if there are any other recommendations for 3D software that'll do the trick for me.  Also if any of you have any experience working with 3D software and can provide some insight for me then great!
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Thanks for the awesome replies!  This helps a lot.

Guess I'm just gonna wing it then.
For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.
Hunter S. Thompson
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No problem, friend.
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Maya is used professionally by a lot of companies that make animated movies, so yeah I am pretty sure it'll fit your needs (you might want some plugins for it though, as far as I know Maya uses a plugin-driven interface).

big thanx to dragonslayer for sig!
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Blender is free and can do all that.
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If you've never done 3D before, you might want to figure out what's easy to use.  As far as I know, Maya has a learning curve like a wall.  I can't really help you though, since I don't know very much about 3D.
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If you've never done 3D before, this will be tough as shit. Blender is easy to learn, BUT, I never even got past modeling, and you want to do full animation, so, tough luck I guess.
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Sounds like a lot of work for 2 minutes. Why don't you just design the model in an easily modifiable game engine like source, then create the environment with prerendered objects and textures, add some simple animations and viewing angles and you got it.
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By the way, if I were you I'd just hire some dude to do it for you.  I'm sure you can very easily find someone (Maya or Blender forums) willing to do this for like 15 EUR/h.  (That's much less than the standard freelance price, but students will work for it.)
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Blender it is.  There's tons of free resources and tutorials and the learning curve doesn't seem to be a steep as Maya.  The guy who wants this done doesn't really have very high standards.  Basically his requirements are HEY IT'S IN 3D.  So yeah, it's not like I'm going to be trying to learn every intimate aspect of 3D animation in a month or anything. 

I called a buddy of mine and got him helping me so it looks like we'll be able to get everything done on schedule.  I found a surprising amount of pre-rendered models that are really gonna shave a lot of time off of the project.  The bulk of it is gonna be animating the models and scripting/animating the camera and light sources.  Right now it seems like it'll actually be feasible with the both of us working on it every day for a month or so.

Your idea is actually pretty good though, Dada.  If another job like this ends up coming my way then I'll definitely consider outsourcing!
For every moment of triumph, for every instance of beauty, many souls must be trampled.
Hunter S. Thompson