Anime Studio has long been a bone-based animation system, but with Anime Studio Pro 11, the program finally supports frame-by-frame animation. The more traditional frame-by-frame method of animating, is far more art intensive, but the process is made easier with Anime Studio’s existing layer referencing and onion skin tools. Of course the bone-based animating has also been improved. Bones can now be retargeted, re-parented, and flipped mid-animation. This allows for significantly more complex animation sequences and even matching reflections. Working with smart bones, which creates a more 3D-styled animation, has also been made easier.
Speaking of 3D, for a while now, Anime Studio has been able to import universal OBJ, 3D model files. The program has also been integrated with Smith Micro’s 3D modeling suite, Poser. Though I was unable to try out this feature, the Anime Studio can import scenes from Poser. With the robust camera controls, along with its 3D capabilities, Anime Studio Pro 11 is capable of producing impressive looking 2.5D videos. The included content library is impressive, and contains hundreds of ready to use characters, props, special effects and more. More functions and data structures have also been exposed, allowing advanced users to create more personalized tools and add-ons, through LUA scripting.
With the rise of mobile, and retro-styled indie games, in addition to other components of 3D games, 2D is an important aspect of game creation. For a while now, video game artists have used Anime Studio as a shortcut to create individual sprites for the Unity game engine to assemble into animations for 2D games. That process has become easier with Anime Studio Pro. Now, rigged and animated characters can be imported into Unity as FBX files, where the animations can be trimmed in the import settings, and scripts can be added to the animation timelines to control events and sounds. Anime Studio Pro 11 is a robust suite of animation tools that is surprisingly easy to use and the level of support is impressive. There are certainly other tools that can be used for creating animation, but you’d be hard-pressed to find anything nearly as complete, for anywhere close to its price. Where the Debut edition limits animations to two minutes, and installs a handful of other limitations, including 3D object importing, Anime Studio Pro 11 is now nearly a standalone solution for animation projects. Previous users can upgrade for Windows PC or 64 bit Mac through the Smith Micro website for a significant discount. Be sure to check out our videos on YouTube and extra pictures on Facebook, subscribe to this page and check out my column on Examiner.com You can also like my page on Facebook and follow me on Twitter
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