Wednesday, April 7th, 2021 Posted by Jim Thacker

Nukeygara releases Akeytsu 2020.3.6

Originally posted on 22 December 2020. Scroll down for news of the 2020.3.6 update.

Nukeygara has released Akeytsu 2020.3, the latest version of its unconventional character animation tool, adding an experimental new dynamic parenting system for props.

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.

The software is currently mainly used by game developers, primarily indie studios.

In beta: new Space Switching system provides dynamic parenting for props
The main new feature in Akeytsu 2020.3 is an experimental new feature it calls Space Switching.

Nukeygara’s equivalent to dynamic parenting in other DCC tools, it makes it possible to parent one joint or object to another on the fly: for example, when a character transfers a weapon or prop from hand to hand.

The child object then uses the parent object as its origin, rather than the origin of the scene itself, and inherits its parent’s move, rotate and scale transforms.

In addition, the software’s Timebar gets a new Unified Timelines option, meaning that the position of the cursor doesn’t reset when switching between characters in a scene.

Updated 7 April 2021: Nukeygara has released Akeytsu 2020.3.6.

The update improves the software’s handling of mirroring: in particular, ensuring that mirrored character rigs can be retargeted to the UE4 Mannequin without retargeting.

There is also a new Unlit rendering mode, shown in the image above, to show the silhouette of a character during animation; and background objects in a scene can be made unpickable to streamline workflow.

Pricing and availability
Akeytsu 2020.3.6 is available for Windows Vista+ 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 an overview of the new features in Akeytsu 2020.3.6 on Nukeygara’s blog

Read an overview of the new features in Akeytsu 2020.3 on Nukeygara’s blog

Read a full list of new features in Akeytsu 2020.3 in the online changelog