3d Studio Max is the de facto industry standard animation and modeling software.3D Studio Max is quite expensive so it can be out of the reach of the pockets of a lot of amateurs; however the software is worth every penny to a serious animation professional as nothing comes close for functionality, versatility and sheer features.
Whether done by hand or computer, animation can be a long winded and pain-staking process, in which there are many steps which would need to be executed before the final objectives and finished project have been realized. Before even doing your story boards, you need to create and understand the characters, from their appearance, through to their facial expressions, through to their personality and appearance. Once this understanding of the characters has been established, only then is the animator ready to start the story boards. A time consuming process which must take place before the 3d Studio Max animation stage even begins.
In any animation, a crucial point is the “walk cycle”. The “Walk Cycle” is a cycle of frames showing the subject taking 2 steps from a set perspective, a right foot and a left foot. Over and over again, this is repeated over and over again with the result being that the subject is walking. At this stage, we can have the subject walking through any environment, which is one of the huge advantages of 3d Studio Max over outdated, manual hand animation techniques. Also, with 3D Studio Max, it’s easy to change the perspective without having to redraw everything, drastically cutting down on the work needing to be performed.
Instead of just drawing a picture of the subject doing certain things, with the 3d Studio Max animation program you can create a model of the subject in 3 dimensions, which is almost like having a real actor as you can record the animation from any perspective without having to redraw it; which, when making a full feature, is the perfect technological innovation.
The minus side to 3d animation programs is their glassy, shinny look. There isn’t that sense of individual style like one would get with hand drawn animations and this can mean that there is that there is a similar look no matter which artist designs the animation. 3d Studio Max is great for modeling backgrounds in a feature, but it won’t replace hand drawn subjects fully.