This article is available in: Français (French)
Our regular readers already know Cascadeur, a character animation&rigging software that uses physics and AI to help artists get a better end result.
Software developer Nekki released an update to this software, Cascadeur 2021 Early Access V3. Here are the major improvements, according to Nekki:
“New feature – Animation Cycles – Animation Cycles are a feature that may sound simple on paper, but proved to be a big challenge in practical implementation. The developers had to ensure smooth integration and continuity with the existing interpolation methods, but were also keen to provide the user with extensive customizability of the new function. […] The tool is able to generate seamless and realistic animation loops. Nekki’s development team plans to expand the function scope and UX usability of these Animation Cycles even more with the next updates.”
“New feature – Secondary Motion – “Secondary motion” is a technical term used to describe movements that can occur in response to a character’s primary movements – for example, body parts jiggling after a jump. Such secondary motions make animations more natural by adding visual complexity to character movements. In Cascadeur‘s newly introduced Secondary Motion Tool, the animator is now able control the extent of such secondary body movements through a variable called “muscle stiffness.” Like any new features in Cascadeur, the tool is initially introduced in an alpha-stage version that will be expanded and improved through future updates. However, as the video demonstrates, the initial results are already promising.”
- “Besides developing these new tools, the programmers were mainly busy with the extension and polishing of functions already available in the previous Early Access version, released in July 2021: Cascadeur’s Rigging tool, for example, has been thoroughly reworked so that users can now return to Rigging mode at any time during the animation process to make changes to the character model. Working with Quick Rigging has also been made more convenient by introducing a search function and improved recognition of the bending direction of joints. Other significant changes were made to Cascadeur’s AI-controlled AutoPosing, such as improved detection of feet touching the ground, as well as support for trajectories. “
Several versions of Cascadeur are available, including Pro/Business/Enterprise plans, and a Basic plan aimed at individuals, students and small teams. Cascadeur Basic is free.