For this week’s Tech Tip, a professor of Biology at Loyola writes about academic 3-D animation software, Autodesk Maya, which comes with a free 3-year extended license:
We are all teaching students who have grown up with computers, the Internet, watching videos and playing computer animation games. Their brains have been trained, from a very early age, to learn new skills by watching these videos and animations. It became very clear to me that my students grasp new concepts more quickly if they see a short movie or animation of that concept, rather than a still picture on a PowerPoint slide. I have tried to find professional animations on the Internet and on textbook CD-ROMs. Publishers are now restricting access to these professional animations only to Faculty who adopt their textbook. I would have to change my textbook each semester just to have access to these materials. Even then, their collection of animations does not contain specific concepts I want to cover in many of my lectures, they are simply not available. I learned how to make animations using state-of-the-art software, Autodesk Maya.
William J. Wasserman
Dept. of Biology