With the August, 2003 release of MOTIONBUIILDER 5, Kaydara offers a next generation solution for 3D character animators with wide ranging implications in feature films, series broadcasts, TV commercials, VFX, gaming and other interactive 3D media. With a realtime photorealistic rendering engine and Kaydara's "smart" character technology (HumanIK), complex character set-ups and animation can be created in minutes instead of days, according to president Michael Besner.
At the same time MOTIONBUILDER 5's advanced technology makes sophisticated, highly realistic animation attainable without the large teams and budgets traditionally associated with high-end projects. MOTIONBUILDER 5, which will run on Windows 2000, Windows XP Mac OS X 10.2 and higher, will be priced at $995 for consumers and $3,495 for professionals.
"We're about simplifying the process and improving content in the high-end world," Kaydara president Michael Besner told VFXWorld.com. "There is a battle between technology and productivity and ease of use. At the consumer level, [MOTIONBUILDER 5] is a great fit because of the feature set."
Besner believes the industry has evolved to the point where companies need to focus on markets and how to sell to them with a storytelling tool. The idea behind MOTIONBUILDER 5 is to offer expanded realtime capability. "Right now people are using 3ds max and Maya for the wrong things by people who are looking for a Final Cut Pro in 3D. We have a storytelling tool that's designed for their needs."
Besner adds that there is a wide disparity in the 3D industry between the capabilities of high-end, big budget movie companies and smaller studios. "Using our strong experience in realtime motion capture and high-end animation, we have created the first tool to break thetechnical barrier."
New character animation features in MOTIONBUILDER 5 include:
* The New Story-Timeline allows users to easily edit 3D animation tracks in combination with audio, video and constraints. A new independent camera track allows producers, special effects directors and 3D artists to work out camera shots and timing independently of the animation timeline for maximum flexibility.* Enhanced Character Animation functionality includes added support for quadruped characters, hand floor constraints, finger and toe controls, squash and stretch and additional neck bone controls.* Photorealistic Real-Time Rendering built upon Kaydara'srealtime architecture for instant, accurate realtimefeedback, as well as fast final renders. MOTIONBUILDER's rendering engine takes full advantage of hardware capabilities available through OpenGL and nVidia technologies.* Natural Usability and Workflow improvements include enhanced F-curve and property editors, comprehensive undo and customisable shortcuts.* Built-In Clipart Library makes getting started simple withsophisticated characters, environments, textures, motions and more.* Unmatched File Format Support makes moving 3D assets in and out ofMOTIONBUILDER painless. New support in version 5 includes OBJ, DXF, 3DS, mp3, AAC file format, as well as new FBX partners, including Wings3D and RealViz.
In addition, MOTIONBUILDER 5 natively supports Kaydara's FBX file interchange format, a powerful format for 3D data that allows MOTIONBUILDER users to quickly and easily acquire and exchange 3D assets and media from a wide variety of sources. FBX is widely supported by 3D content and streaming media vendors such as 2D3, Alias|Wavefront, Autodesk/Discreet, Softimage, NewTek, DI-O-Matic, Digimask, ElectricImage, InSpeck, Maxon, Motek, Face2Face,QEDsoft, Virtools, Reflex3D, Turbosquid, Vicon and Zygote.
Kaydara will also provide a Professional edition of MOTIONBUILDER 5, which will include support for advanced motion capture editing tools, a software development kit (SDK), integration with asset management systems, and personalized customer support and product development.
Over the past decade, Montreal-based Kaydara (www.kaydara.com) has become a leader in the development of realtime 3D animation software solutions for the entertainment industry. Kaydara's product portfolio serves a vast and varied range of clients in the TV, film, game development and Web content industries, including Sony Computer Entertainment of America,Midway Games, Acclaim, Mainframe Entertainment, Capcom and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.
Sony Pictures Imageworks (THE POLAR EXPRESS) recently purchased multiple Kaydara MOTIONBUILDER and MOCAP systems and announced that MOTIONBUILDER will become an integral part of the production pipeline for animating an assortment of digital characters in upcoming features.