Tuesday, March 31st, 2020 Posted by Jim Thacker

Nukeygara unveils the Akeytsu 2020 product roadmap

Nukeygara has posted its 2020 product roadmap for Akeytsu, its unconventional animation software, announcing a new auto-rigger, animation retargeting and support for cameras and scene audio.

(Full disclosure: it was actually posted last month, but we’ve only just spotted it.)

As with the 2019 roadmap, the new features are due to be released in phased updates, and will be available to users on support contracts or Nukeygara’s Akeytsu Live subscriptions.

A rigging and animation tool designed by artists, for artists
Released in 2017 after several years in beta, Akeytsu is intended to rethink the process of character rigging and animation “for artists, not engineers”.

It features an unconventional user interface designed to display the character being rigged as large as possible, with a full-screen viewport and a set of unique floating controls.

The default skeleton can be manipulated in FK or IK mode, and dispenses with rig controls: users click directly on the skinned mesh to pose the character. Animation curves are displayed directly in the viewport.

Characters can be imported from other DCC applications or exported to game engines in FBX format: the default skeleton has templates for both Unity and Unreal Engine.

Three major service packs, spaced evenly throughout 2020
Nukeygara significantly picked up the pace of updates to Akeytsu last year, rolling out three major releases, Akeytsu 2019-2 to Akeytsu 2019-4. (Version 2019-1 was a smaller update.)

The 2020 roadmap follows the same pattern, with three proposed service packs.

Pack 1, due at the end of April, will add a new auto-rigging system – initially in beta, but updated over subsequent releases – plus a new ‘Looker’ aim constraint controller and audio support.

The release will also overhaul Akeytsu’s FBX importer/exporter.

Pack 2, due in July or August, will add support for animation regargeting between characters, global IK solving, a new space switching and dynamic parenting controller, and support for cameras.

Pack 3, due in October or November, will add further new controller types.

Pricing and availability
Akeytsu is available for Windows Vista and above and macOS 10.12+. An Indie licence, for artists or studios earning under $100,000/year, costs $239; a Pro licence costs $699.

Akeytsu Live subscriptions start at $14.99/month for Indie users, or $39.99/month for Pro users.

Indie Akeytsu Live subscriptions also act as a ‘rent to own’ plan: users who have subcribed for at least 12 of the previous 15 calendar months eligible to pay a further $59.99 for a perpetual licence.

Read the Akeytsu 2020 product roadmap on Nukeygara’s website