Cambridge Animation Systems will show Animo 3 at SIGGRAPH. This latest version of Animo implements a 3D backbone into the current Animo 2D system, allowing seamless integration of 2D and 3D animation. Animo 3 enables users to load animated model and scene files from 3D Studio MAX and Alias|Wavefront's Maya. Within Animo 3, 3D elements can be translated, rotated and scaled using familiar 3D tools as well as the existing 2D tools and filters; coloring effects can be controlled; and 3D models can be animated with the 2D components. Animo 3 also includes a "toon-shading" 3D rendering system that renders 2D and 3D models in a conventional cartoon animation style.
Cambridge Animation Systems will also show its new version of Animo Pencil Tester, which allows animation to be captured, previewed and timed at the rough drawing stage. The new version of Pencil Tester uses Animo's Director interface and file formats, and may be used independently as a pre-production tool, or as part of the larger Animo digital production system. New features include the ability to add camera moves, the ability to apply transformations to drawings, the use of Director's timing tools to retime drawings, and the ability to work with video capture, scanning or images loaded from disk. Pencil Tester provides real-time replays, which can be output directly to video or saved as AVIs or QuickTime movies.
In addition, Cambridge Animation Systems will show its new production tracking software, which provides an up-to-date picture of the progress of a production over a network of Animo systems. The status of a production is automatically tracked within the software, and individual user progress is monitored. Collected information is output to a standard database and reports can be generated, enabling production managers to determine if a production is running on schedule.
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Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.