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3D Animation Education in China

Interviewed Prof. LIN HUA, School of Continuing Education, Tsinghua University, China

Beijing University of Technology

Location/Country:China

Software adopted from Reallusion: iClone

Course name:
3D Animation

 

Mainstream 3D animation software in China is Autodesk Maya. Therefore, teachers consider Maya as the standard teaching software in their classes. However, Prof. LIN HUA believes that iClone is better for the students from the engineering department in Beijing University of Technology.


The Digital Art of Beijing University of Technology is a brand new major orientation that combines computer technologies and digital art design aiming at cultivating students’ interdisciplinary ability to combine science and art, software design and development, and digital art design and creation.

Why not use Maya or 3ds MAX in classes?

Mainstream 3D animation software in China is Autodesk Maya. Therefore, teachers consider Maya as the standard teaching software in their classes. However, Prof. LIN HUA believes that iClone is better for the students from the engineering department in Beijing University of Technology. So he takes effort in convincing teachers and professors in the department who teach 3D Animation Design and Production. Prof. LIN HUA asked teachers who teach 3ds MAX and Maya a question: “Students spend 4 years learning 3ds MAX, how many of them are able to produce a completed animation when they graduate?” The answer is: “3 to 5 students out of 65 students”. The reason is that students spend lots of time learning how to use the software rather than creating animation productions.

This uneven ratio urged teachers who are used to Maya and 3ds MAX to reconsider the possibility of using other software in their classes. For students without design background knowledge, learning Maya and 3ds MAX is difficult and time-consuming. If we use iClone, then students will show great progress within half a semester. Then they can spend another half semester to guide the students, to produce brilliant works.

The Advantage of iClone: iClone is an efficient tool for producing animations, especially for students who do not major in film and television

Students show great passion for iClone, especially students with an engineering background. They have great creativity and learning ability. However, due to the tight syllabus, they do not have much time to learn 3ds MAX and Maya. While, iClone will not only reveal their originality, but also save their time in modeling. With convenient settings for texture, lighting and animation, iClone enables students to produce animations fast in order to speed up the learning process.

A macro animation perspective broadens gradates’ area of employment

Students from the Digital Art Department, Beijing University of Technology won the Best Film during 2014 ASIAGRAPH Reallusion Award and enjoyed the highest prize of 10,000 U.S Dollars. The three prize winners learned iClone by themselves and displayed their talents in their first competition. In Prof. LIN HUA’s judgment, the key to their success was script design and a wide perspective. Besides art animation, Prof. LIN HUA encourages students to learn how to visualize and animate concepts and knowledge, and apply animation work-flow to social and natural science. In this way, graduates will have a wide range of career opportunities. From a pragmatic point of view, the Chinese employment market places emphasis on the number of candidates’ works. If students can produce plenty of great works with iClone, then this will be a plus during their job interviews.