To a new beginning!
Since I'm just starting this adventure I tought I could take you with me, from the beginning. If you're interested, that is...
At the moment my skills with 3D graphics or animation are limited. Due to the extensive time consumption associated to a phd, I haven't really had the time or "peace of mind" necessary to venture into anything else. Some of you may relate to this...
So, the workshop I did with Janet was a long time ago. Those insights were pratically forgotten and I have to clear the dust and bring them to light again.
I'm starting this journey with the macbook pro i bought at that time (Intel Core 2 Duo at 2,8 GHz with 8Gb of RAM). You can immediately see I don't have a top notch machine but I'll squeeze it well!
In terms of software, I'm going to take advantage of my status of (phd) student and use the 3-year free license from Autodesk Maya available for students. I think this is a good option since Maya is the work horse used in the animation industry. I also have Photophop, After Effects, Blender and other tools installed to explore but I'll try to be focused.
I can also relate with people I've found on forums looking for the right way to start, asking which software to use, how to focus their attention with the somewhat varied tools available.
In my research among studios, articles on scientific animation, interviews to artists and researchers scattered online, I've found a nice article "Animation for Science Docs" providing one opinion on how to approach this scientific animation world. it also features some of the most software used and a short interview to an expert animator Keren Albala.
To finish, my first mentor Janet Iwasa recently published a paper "Crafting a career in molecular animation" where she described her own path into this world and shares "unsolicited advice" to those interested in pursuing this way.
In short, the internet is vast and rich. We have to explore and master it. And we must not forget about "networking".
Note: the image above is actually something I made during that early workshop with Janet and it was going to be an amazing movie describing how a virus-like particle (VLP) is assembled.