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akylekoz
akylekoz Dork
9/5/18 8:42 p.m.

Lucas is 12, he can’t afford Adobe animate.  He wants to use a drawing tablet and some kind of software that involves coding.  

12 year olds in my house do not have much money, is there any free software that he can get.   

This is not my specialty and he is a really good kid so I really want to help him, of course after a quick internet search I went to the hive of knowledge.   

He needs to feed his inner geek, and I love it.

RevRico
RevRico UberDork
9/5/18 8:44 p.m.

Khanacademy.org

Free, easy to follow, and full of useful stuff with interactive lessons like java and animation, as well as tons of school subjects. 

It's been a while since I've been on, but at one point I took a 20+ hour lesson inn astronomy, and took a good look at the maths, everything from counting and number lines to advanced calculus and trig. 

As a parent, you can even put together lesson plans and keep an eye on their progress. 

 

AnthonyGS
AnthonyGS Reader
9/5/18 9:08 p.m.

Codeacademy.com too.  Python is a free programming language and very relevant.  I have a lot of coworkers that write code for our business.  I can inquire if them for more info if you would like.  

dj06482
dj06482 SuperDork
9/5/18 10:08 p.m.

UiPath has an amazing Robotic Process Automation software that has a free version that has a ton of functionality.  They have a free certification available, as well.

akylekoz
akylekoz Dork
9/6/18 5:16 a.m.

We will look into those suggestions. 

Any recommendations for a drawing tablet.  I think he wants to animate from a hand drawing, I'm not sure where the coding comes in.

GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH MegaDork
9/6/18 7:42 a.m.
akylekoz said:

We will look into those suggestions. 

Any recommendations for a drawing tablet.  I think he wants to animate from a hand drawing, I'm not sure where the coding comes in.

This app lets you use an Android tablet as a drawing tablet:

https://f-droid.org/en/packages/at.bitfire.gfxtablet/

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
9/6/18 8:52 a.m.

We've had some experience with extra-curricular programs, recommended by our childrens' teachers.  Math-Science Innovation Center and the Summer Regional Governor's School have both offered short courses in coding, along with architecture, chemistry, electronics, robotics, etc.  Even better, the Governor's School program was free of charge, although admission criteria are somewhat stringent.  My younger son completed a workshop in Python language this Summer.  Last year, he participated in a coding workshop after school that was sponsored by Capital One.  I believe that one was available to anyone interested, on a first come, first serve basis.  Ask your child's teachers for available courses in your area.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
9/6/18 10:08 a.m.

Unity or Unreal should allow for animation of 2D.  They both involve coding as well.  And there are approximately 6 gazillion tutorials.

Blender is probably where I would start though.  Just google 2D Blender animation.

 

^All of those are free.

 

 

 

 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/6/18 10:23 a.m.

My understanding is that the most important part of being able to animate is the ability to draw. So don't neglect that. I'm a fan of Wacom tablets and they start at about $70. Mine is a big one, but looking at the wear I use a 5x8 section most of the time.

It'll take a bit to navigate (I hate blog software), but John K - as in Ren and Stimpy - has some great information and suggestions for budding cartoonists. You won't get software recommendations, but you'll get his opinions about what it takes to be good. It starts around here: http://johnkstuff.blogspot.com/2006/02/beautiful-people.html

As for learning to code, the best way I've found is to have a specific project you want to accomplish. Doesn't matter that much what language it's in, most of them will use the same basic concepts so you can adapt to a new syntax pretty easily.

rodknock
rodknock New Reader
9/6/18 11:35 a.m.

He *might* be able to apply for Autodesk's student program. This give him access to all sorts of cad program goodness. If not then blender and unreal are super powerful. 

As far as tutorials, I generally find myself on YouTube if I am stumped on a modeling problem. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/6/18 11:43 a.m.

Adobe usually has some pretty killer student discounts as well.

Mndsm
Mndsm MegaDork
9/6/18 11:50 a.m.
akylekoz said:

We will look into those suggestions. 

Any recommendations for a drawing tablet.  I think he wants to animate from a hand drawing, I'm not sure where the coding comes in.

Wacom is the big player in drawing pads and tablets- though honestly I would start with pen and paper before I went to tech. Really easy to develop bad habits on a PC. 

heyduard
heyduard Reader
9/6/18 5:33 p.m.

As mentioned before, Blender for 3d modeling. And it uses Python for programming macros.

For digital painting, Krita is free. And it can do animation.

and since I have been looking for an inexpensive graphics tablet as well, the Huion h610 pro keeps on popping up in my research as the best bang for the buck. Works well with Krita.

akylekoz
akylekoz Dork
9/6/18 8:31 p.m.

He do not  have unlimited screen time so he will continue to draw freehand, and I will keep encouraging him to do so.

Lucas has a Wacom picked out and is looking into some software options now.

Thanks for the input.

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Reader
9/6/18 8:57 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

"My understanding is that the most important part of being able to animate is the ability to draw. So don't neglect that. I'm a fan of Wacom tablets and they start at about $70. Mine is a big one, but looking at the wear I use a 5x8 section most of the time."

I always see used Wacom tablets for sale at the swap meet and yard sales or Craigslist

But the pen is always missing and a Wacom pen is pretty expensive , 

Are there generic pens that will work  ?

bluej
bluej UberDork
9/7/18 8:51 a.m.

there's a disconnect with using a wacom that's a bit hard to get used to.  the basic issue is that you're looking at a different place from where you're actually drawing with your hand. they seem super cool, but when you find that gap hard to bridge, they end up on the used market.

If at all possible, a large android (or other if apps available) tablet where you can draw directly on the screen might be a better tool for learning.  maybe a decent used unit on ebay? even my colleagues who've used wacom style tablets for years and gotten used to them, prefer the more direct of drawing where you're looking.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
9/7/18 9:52 a.m.
bluej said:

there's a disconnect with using a wacom that's a bit hard to get used to.  the basic issue is that you're looking at a different place from where you're actually drawing with your hand. they seem super cool, but when you find that gap hard to bridge, they end up on the used market.

FYI, this is only an issue on the lower end wacoms.  The higher end ones are probably out of a 12 year olds price range though.

 

If your colleagues are using them for work, they should be looking at the Cintiq line.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
9/7/18 10:25 a.m.

ProDarwin, are you suggesting the ones which are basically a touchscreen?

I've been using a Wacom of some sort as my primary input device for about two decades. No problem with the hand-eye coordination. I have no idea about generic pens, I've never lost one.

ProDarwin
ProDarwin PowerDork
9/7/18 11:52 a.m.
Keith Tanner said:

ProDarwin, are you suggesting the ones which are basically a touchscreen?

I've been using a Wacom of some sort as my primary input device for about two decades. No problem with the hand-eye coordination. I have no idea about generic pens, I've never lost one.

Yeah.  We use these at work.  Again, obviously out of most 12 year olds price range.

TopNoodles
TopNoodles New Reader
9/7/18 2:57 p.m.

Clip Studio Paint Pro is an incredibly powerful software that is on sale right now for a mere $25. Buy it once and own it for life.

For tablets I find size matters. Too small and you end up using your wrist to draw, which is both unhealthy and produces worse results. You don't need one with a screen. I use a Huion 19" screen tablet now but I used a basic Wacom for years. Both serve me well.

My roommate is a professional programmer and uses Visual Studio, FWIW.

What I wish I had when I was 12 is professional instruction and critique, and good books (not just textbooks!). For example, Animators Survival Guide is an incredible resource. Very in depth but mostly pictures so I think a 12 year old could still benefit from it.

ojannen
ojannen Reader
9/7/18 3:56 p.m.

I recommend javascript as a first programming language.  It is one of the few where it is easy to make something interesting to look at that works on every computer.  Python is a better language but with javascript, you can show your project to anybody.

Mike
Mike SuperDork
9/8/18 2:40 p.m.

Apple Stores regularly run free workshops that cover art and programming. I'd suggest keeping an eye on your nearest store for classes that might be of interest. 

californiamilleghia
californiamilleghia Reader
9/8/18 6:40 p.m.

looks like autodesk  is making sketchbook free !

sketchbook.com

and at the bottom of the page it says Students can get other Autodesk software for free

rodknock
rodknock New Reader
9/8/18 11:17 p.m.
californiamilleghia said:

looks like autodesk  is making sketchbook free !

sketchbook.com

and at the bottom of the page it says Students can get other Autodesk software for free

If he goes this route he definitely wants to get the Pro version that comes with the free student download of Alias. I don't think the standard version comes with bezier curves and the symmetry tool which are really nice to have. 

akylekoz
akylekoz Dork
9/11/18 6:19 a.m.

Ok, now that we have lots of software to try, we need a more powerful computer.  I'm looking a a used engineering/cad computer today.  

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