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 (Due to its instabilities and problems with 3rd party programs, OSX Catalina is NOT supported in any way. If you have OSX Catalina, you will need to roll back to a previous OSX to be able to use certain programs.)
- 4 GB of RAM (8GB recommended)
- 64-bit Intel or AMD multi-core processor
- Headset with microphone
- Three button mouse (a two button mouse will not work with Maya)
- 4GB of free disk space for installing Maya
If you're unsure that your system meets 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)
Newest version of Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox
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.
Autodesk Maya or Equivalent Animation Software
Any version of Maya from 2015 and above is supported however keep in mind that the newest version may have more bugs and unexpected problems which may not have solutions as of yet. Alternately you may use other equivalent 3D animation software, but will need to find suitable rigs yourself.
How to download Maya
Once Maya is installed, check for and download the latest Maya service pack from Autodesk for your copy of Maya to get all the latest updates and bug fixes
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.
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.
DaVinci Resolve is free 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.
If you have other video editing software such as Premiere or similar, you may use those instead.
Image Editing Software
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 instead.
Animation Mentor Pipeline - Artella Drive - Required
We utilize an asset management pipeline tool for our courses called Artella Drive. It is a cloud-based file storage and asset management system 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 Artella Drive Orientation to have a better understanding of how to use this system.
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.