Because we are an online school, you must have a computer with an Internet connection, a headset with microphone, and a webcam. Your computer must also be able to run the required versions of Maya. Below you can see a list of all the hardware and software requirements you will need:
Operating System Requirements (One of the following)
- Microsoft Windows 7 (SP1), Windows 8, Windows 8.1, or Windows 10
- Apple Mac OS X 10.8.5, 10.9.x, or 10.10.x
- Three button mouse (a two button mouse will not work with Maya)
- Headset with microphone
- 4 GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
- 64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor
4GB of free disk space for installing Maya
If you're unsure that your system meeds the required hardware to run Maya, please make sure to look at the Maya system requirements as well as Autodesk's recommended system hardware page. (We recommend matching to the latest Maya version requirements. This is to ensure that when later versions are supported, your system will be able to run them)
Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox - Required
As an online school, a solid internet browser is a requirement. We strongly recommend using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox as your school browser as they are the most robust and will run the school campus best.
Acrobat Reader or any PDF Reader- Required
A PDF reader is required to be able to read your course syllabus and many other important documents in Animation Mentor. We recommend Acrobat Reader, however any PDF reader should work.
Winzip or 7Zip - Required (Mac users can use the built-in Mac zip tool)
A compression utility tool is essential to working with compressed zip files. Animation Mentor uses zip files in a few instances and being able to extract the files and content from the zips is necessary to work with them. We recommend Winzip or 7Zip however any compression utility tool can be used provided it works with .zip files.
Autodesk Maya - Required
Maya 2015, 2016, or 2017 (Keep in mind that AMP in Maya will not work in versions of Maya above 2015 so if you have Maya 2016 or later you will have to use the standalone AMP Content Navigator)
How to download Maya
Once Maya is installed, download the latest Maya service pack from Autodesk for all the latest updates and bug fixes.
Keyframe MP - Required
Keyframe MP is a video player you can use to scrub and playback your animation after playblasting it from Maya.
The Free version is all you will need for the course. The paid version includes audio scrubbing and more features which may be very useful for later acting and dialogue classes but is not required.
VideoPad - Required
VideoPad is video editing software you will use to encode your assignment videos to match the video requirements for Animation Mentor. It will also allow you to combine videos for progress reels, demo reels, and other uses.
Note: You will need the Paid Home Edition of VideoPad (or another similar program able to encode files following the required upload procedures).
Image Editing Software - Required
GIMP is a free image editing program you will use to resize, edit, and work with images.
If you have other image editing software such as Photoshop, Clip Studio, or similar, you may use those as well.
The AM Menu/Tools - Required (Classes 01-06 & Creatures Workshops Only)
The AM Menu is a set of tools such as the GUI Picker, Pose Master, and others. It also includes the rig licenser, which means that any of the advanced rigs will not open and will come in flattened if you do not have the AM Menu properly installed.
Download Page - AnimationRigs.com
If you are having issues with the AM Menu, please check the AM Menu Knowledge Base for answers to many common problems.
NOTE: If you are not in the Character Animation Classes or the Creatures Workshops, you do not need the AM Menu and it will not be available to you.
The AM Pipeline (AMP) - Required (Classes 01-06 & Creatures Workshops Only)
The AM Pipeline, or AMP, is a cloud-based file storage which provides a safe, secure place to work on your assignments. It also allows for mentors or support staff to easily look at and help you with your files.
Please make sure to read through and follow all of the tutorials provided in the AMP Orientation to have a better understanding of how to use AMP
If you are having issues with the AM Menu, please check the AMP Knowledge Base for answers to many common problems.
NOTE: If you are not in the Character Animation Classes or the Creatures Workshops, you do not need AMP and it will not be available to you.
Broadband Internet: 1 Mbps download and 600 kbps upload or higher recommended*
*Use Speedtest.net to check your Internet speed. Be sure to choose the San Francisco server for best results.