Friday, May 5th, 2017 Posted by Jim Thacker

Moka Studio ships Mosketch

Moka Studio has released Mosketch Light, an intriguing new application that enables animators to pose a character by sketching directly onto the viewport, without the need for a control rig.

The software, which is being developed in partnership with leading research institute EPFL, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, is officially in early access, but is available to buy at a discounted price.

Create key poses for characters by sketching limb positions or lines of action
Mosketch imports characters created in standard DCC applications like 3ds Max and Maya in FBX format, preserving joints and skinning weights, as well as textures and lights.

To block out an animation, artists can simply sketch lines of action for the key poses, with Mosketch positioning the character’s joints accordingly, either on a plane or preserving their original orientations.

As well as entire chains of joints, animators can manipulate individual joints directly to adjust a pose, with support for both forward and inverse kinematics.

To refine an animation, Mosketch provides a fairly conventional graph editor; while future releases will add the option to edit the trajectories of individual joints by sketching directly in the viewport.

Once an animation is complete, it can be exported to a game engine or offline render engine in FBX format.

The software can also generate playblasts directly in .webm format: while the engine doesn’t look as graphically sophisticated as something like Maya’s Viewport 2.0, it does support normal and specular maps, multi-materials, unlimited lights with real-time shadows, and anti-aliasing.

Uses a fast, intelligent GPU-based IK solver
According to Moka Studio, the software’s IK solver is GPU-based and supports translational and rotational constraints, “gracefully [handling] conflicts” to match a user-defined pose as closely as possible.

Users can create, edit or delete IK chains at run-time, or change the influence of individual IK chains.

The video above shows the Mosketch workflow in action, and gives a sense of how quickly a character can be animated: even explaining every step, setting up a movement cycle takes a little over 10 minutes.

You can find videos on Moka Studio’s Vimeo channel showing more complex animations, including a jump and roll, tripping and falling – and even zumba.

Pricing and availability
Mosketch Light 0.14 is available for Windows and Mac OS X. The MSRP is $180, but while the software is in alpha, it is available at a 60% discount. There is also a free trial version.

The software supports Wacom’s Intuos and Cintiq graphics tablets and pen displays, but it’s also possible to use it with a standard mouse and keyboard.

Moka Studio also tells us that it plans to release a more fully featured Pro edition of the software, to which owners of the Light edition will be able to upgrade at a discount, although as yet, there are no further details.

Read more about Mosketch on Moka Studio’s website