Tuesday, September 25th, 2018 Posted by Jim Thacker

AXYZ design ships anima 3.5

Originally posted on 2 September 2018. Scroll down for news of the commercial release.

AXYZ design has posted a sneak peek at anima 3.5, the next version of its crowd animation tool for 3ds Max and Cinema 4D, due for release on 24 September 2018.

The update, which will be free for existing users, adds ‘alive’, a new live-linking system for synchronising cameras, animations and background geometry between the plugin and the host application.

An intuitive tool for less demanding crowd animation jobs
Intended for visualisation and less demanding animation work, anima enables users to add animated characters to a scene without the complexity of an AI- or particle-driven crowd simulation system.

Users draw paths for crowd characters directly in the viewport, and place scene objects like furniture and traffic lights, along with areas for animated characters to avoid.

The software is tailored for use with AXYZ design’s own Metropoly range of stock rigged characters, but users can also import their own characters and motion clips.

Once created, animated scenes can be exported in FBX, OpenCollada or V-Ray’s .vrscene format, or via the integration plugins for 3ds Max and Cinema 4D. Output is compatible with most third-party renderers.

Scenes can also be viewed in real time in Unreal Engine via a dedicated integration plugin.

New in anima 3.5: new ‘alive’ live linking system
To that, anima 3.5 will add alive: a new live linking system for synchronising camera positions, animations and collision geometry between the anima viewport and the viewport of the host application.

New crowd characters dragged into the anima viewport also appear in the host software. You can see the workflow in action in the teaser video above.

Updated 25 September 2018: anima 3.5 is now shipping.

As well as the new alive technology, the update makes it possible to view the skeleton of the default anima character overlaid on that of the character selected, making it easier to adjust poses and animation.

The process of baking animation has also been updated: rather than users having to cache simulations manually before starting a bake, the software now handles caching automatically.

There are also a number of changes to workflow and to the user interface. You can find a full list via the link below, and a tour of the new UI in this YouTube video.

Pricing and availability
Anima 3.5 is available for 64-bit Windows 7+. The integration plugins are available for 3ds Max 2011+, Cinema 4D R15+ and Unreal Engine 4.18+. It costs €249 (around $289).

There is also a free Lite edition, which can be used for commercial work, but which limits output to four seconds of animation. Still renders are unrestricted.

Read a full list of new features in anima 3.5 on AXYZ design’s website