Autodesk Animation Academy Comes to Mac


Software developer Autodesk this week rolled out the 2008 versions of Animation Academy for both 3ds Max and Maya. For the first time, the 3D visualization and animation curriculum for Maya is available for Mac users. The 3ds Max curriculum remains Windows-only as the application itself is Windows-only (despite my years of "subtle" suggestions that Autodesk come out with a Mac version). Both versions of Animation Academy are designed for high school use, focusing on meeting standards in various STEM fields.

Both 3ds Max and Maya, which Autodesk acquired from Alias a couple years back, are 3D modeling, animation, and rendering tools used widely in professional circles--3ds Max largely in gaming and broadcasting, Maya deeply in high-end film work. The new version of Autodesk Animation Academy adopts the latest releases of these two applications. In addition to the software updates, the Animation Academy curriculum adds several new lessons, including Planetary Mechanics, Archaeological Reconstruction of the Parthenon, Digestive System, Weather Systems and Tornadoes, Forensics, and Facial Reconstruction.

It also adds a new capstone project feature, which is designed for an "independent study class that simulates the experience of a real-world 3D design job," according to Autodesk.

According to the company, the curriculum aligns with the National Science Foundation's Visualization in Science and Technology Education project materials. And it meets the standards of the National Council for Science Education Standards Assessment, National Council of Teachers of Mathematics, and International Technology Education Association, among others.

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About the author: David Nagel is the executive editor for 1105 Media's online education technology publications, including THE Journal and Campus Technology. He can be reached at [email protected].

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About the Author

David Nagel is editorial director of 1105 Media's Education Technology Group and editor-in-chief of THE Journal and STEAM Universe. A 29-year publishing veteran, Nagel has led or contributed to dozens of technology, art and business publications.

He can be reached at [email protected]. You can also connect with him on LinkedIn at or follow him on Twitter at @THEDavidNagel (K-12) or @CampusTechDave (higher education).