Saturday, 21 November 2020

How to Solve Technical Problems

Why doesn't it work? Technical problems are the bane of the animator's life - but inevitable whenever you are working with tech tools. In the video above I explain the best approach to solving technical problems; the secret is to get help, but make sure you ask the right questions, and provide the maximum amount of information so that others can help you. Below is a list of solutions to some frequently-encountered technical difficulties.  Remember that every technical problem, no matter how infuriating, has a solution. You are not the first person to face the problem - there is an answer out there somewhere. 

Ask Mr Google
Don't forget the power of Google to find solutions. You are very unlikely to be the first user to experience the problem. Someone, somewhere on the web, will most likely have a solution. The trick is to know what to ask. Try to be as specific as possible, and use keywords which are likely to pick up a solution. The more precisely you ask the question, the better the answer is likely to be.

Problems with Maya
Autodesk Maya is a temperamental piece of software. If Maya is behaving badly, try closing it down (this often works for any piece of software that is malfunctioning) and start again.  Sometimes you just need to shut it down and re-start it.

If the software is still behaving badly, try re-starting your computer. Around 50% of technical problems can be solved with a re-start.  Even better, close your computer down and start it up again. Sometimes this works even where a re-start has failed.

Post your question at our FB Classroom
Get Help
Our student Facebook Classroom is a friendly forum to post problems and queries.  Don't be shy to ask for help! Be as precise as you can when you ask the question. Post a screengrab to show what is going on - a picture speaks a thousand words. Best of all, download OBS and record a little video showing what is going wrong. 

Tutorial Videos Won't Play
Sometimes users have trouble playing back our tutorial videos. If you aren't getting playback, try using a different movie player, such as VLC, Real Player, Windows Media Player, or MPlayerX.
MPlayerX is very good, and free

If you are on a Mac, and you are still experiencing problems, try this Mac troubleshooting page. If you still are having Codec problems, try downloading the k-lite codec pack.

Rest assured that while technical problems are not uncommon, all our students resolve them in the end.

Sending Big Files 
Some Maya files are small enough to send via email, but on occasion you will find that you have a larger file size. In this case it is better to use a file sending service. We recommend WeTransfer; it is free to sign up and very simple to use.

Maya just crashed! What can I do?
Maya is like any piece of sophisticated software - it can be unstable, and it crashes often. You should save your work every ten minutes as a precaution - this is good industry practice. If you are experiencing a lot of crashes, try re-booting your machine, or turning it off and then on again. Check the message boards - there are a lot of threads on this subject.

Installing the Parent Master plugin 
We recommend a number of free plugins, such as the very useful Parent Master plugin. If you are having trouble installing the Parent Master plugin on your Mac, watch this video.

Download a copy of Maya at the Autodesk Education site.
Animation Apprentice is an approved education provider at Autodesk. See this blog post on how to download your free copy of Maya

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