Thursday, December 7th, 2023 Posted by Jim Thacker

Left Angle releases Autograph 2023.11

Left Angle has released Autograph 2023.11, the latest version of its next-gen content creation and compositing tool for motion design and visual effects.

Described as “our biggest release yet”, the update reworks Autograph’s vector graphics and text engines, adds new audio tools, and makes the software compliant with VFX Reference Platform.

(Full disclosure: as the version number suggests, it was actually released last week, but we didn’t manage to cover it at the time.)

An alternative to After Effects for motion graphics and VFX work
Released earlier this year, Autograph is pitched as a next-gen tool for motion design and VFX.

Like After Effects, it uses a layer-based compositing model, with its timeline featuring a standard layer stack and dope sheet, but combines it with a 3D mode for manipulating 3D assets.

3D workflow is based around Universal Scene Description, and the software has its own integrated real-time physically based renderer, Filament.

Autograph sells itself on ease of use, with its system of Generators pitched as a simpler alternative to a node graph, and Modifiers described as a simpler alternative to expressions.

However, its major claim is to be the “first responsive design video software”, with a workflow geared towards artists who need to deliver a project at multiple resolutions and aspect ratios.

Autograph 2023.11: refactored vector graphics engine for 2D shapes
Autograph 2023.11 “completely refactors” the software’s vector graphics and text engines.

New functionality in the vector graphics engine include a new system of Shape Layers, the option to organize 2D shapes into Shape Groups, and a Shape Instancer for instatiating shapes.

A new Table to Path Generator draws vector paths based on CSV files, for data-driven animation.

There are also a number of new Modifiers, including options to modify shapes with procedural noise, or according to the frequencies of an audio mix.

New text engine supports per-character text styling and parametric animation
The new text engine comes with a new Text panel for editing text, with support for adjusting text styling or alignment on a per-character or per-paragraph basis.

All of the text formatting parameters can be animated, and a new Text path Generator converts text to deformable, animatable paths for more complex effects.

New tools for mixing audio, and generating animation procedurally from audio tracks
The update also extends Autograph’s audio toolset, with imported audio files now visible in a separate, dedicated section of the timeline, synced with the image section.

A new Audio Mix container makes it possible to mix audio tracks, with the option to nest mixes by using one Audio Mix as a sub-track within another.

There are also new Channel Pan and Curve Equalizer modifiers for filtering audio.

And for generating animation procedurally from audio, a new Audio Analyzer Generator uses a track’s frequency spectrum to drive any parameter that can be animated in real time.

Workflow and pipeline integration improvements
Autograph 2023.11 also comes with a sizeable list of workflow improvements, particularly to the animation controls.

A new system of Timeline Work Areas makes it possible to define playback ranges of interest; and the keyframe editing panel is now available in the Dope Sheet as well as the Curve Editor.

The software also now has a CPU renderer that can be used as a fallback when rendering projects on machines that have no GPU, such as CPU-only render nodes.

It currently only supports Autograph’s 2D features, but 3D support is planned for a “next release”.

In addition, Autograph is compliant with the current CY2023 specification for VFX Reference Platform, and now supports Rocky Linux, widely being adopted as a successor to CentOS.

Price and system requirements
Autograph is compatible with Windows 10+, Ubuntu 20.04+ and RHEL/Rocky Linux 8+, and macOS 10.15+. The software supports Apple Silicon processors natively on macOS 11.0+.

Perpetual licences of Autograph Creator, for users with annual revenue under $1 million/year, cost $945; rental costs $35/month or $315/year.

Perpetual licences of Autograph Studio cost $1,795; rental costs $59/month or $599/year.

Read an overview of the new features in Autograph 2023.11 on Left Angle’s blog

Read a full list of new features in Autograph 2023.11 in the online release notes

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