Monday, May 27th, 2024 Posted by Jim Thacker

Scene Group releases Cavalry 2.1

Originally posted on 6 February 2024. Scroll down for news of the Cavalry 2.1 update.

Scene Group has begun the next big series of releases for Cavalry, its motion design software.

Cavalry 2.0 adds animatable scene cameras, making it possible to create 2.5D effects, plus an experimental new particle system, and increases scene playback speed around 200%.

A next-gen 2D motion graphics tool inspired by 3D software
Originally released in 2020, Cavalry is a procedural animation app “combining the power and flexibility of 3D with the ease of use of 2D”.

Although currently a pure 2D animation tool, it supports workflows that will be familiar to 3D animators, including keyframing, curve editing, deformation, rigging, scattering and instancing.

Scene Group’s background is also in 3D motion graphics: the firm is a spin-off from Mainframe North, which developed MASH, Maya’s motion graphics toolset.

Once created, images may be exported in a range of file formats, including as JPEG, PNG or SVG sequences, as animated PNGs, as WEBM or QuickTime movies, or in Lottie format.

Add a Camera to a scene to create 2.5D animations
Major changes in Cavalry 2.0 include support for Cameras, making it possible to create 2.5D effects like the one above.

Users can create Freeform or Look At cameras, with the option to offset the position of the camera and look-at target to create secondary motion, and to set view distance limits for layers.

Experimental new particle system creates 2D particle effects
Cavalry 2.0 also introduces an experimental new particle system, for creating particle effects.

It’s still a tech preview, but it already includes a range of standard basic features, including settings for particle shape, and a range of emitter types and modifiers.

Particles can be emitted from points, shapes, paths or Distributions; and it is possible to direct particle motion with paths, goals, forces or turbulence.

Other new features and performance improvements
Other new features in Cavalry 2.0 include a new Auto-Animate behavior for animating Shapes with fewer keyframes, and support for tapered strokes along Shapes.

Workflow improvements include the option to set up overrides for Pre-Comps, making it easier to create variants for a composition.

Users can also now group Layers into simplified custom containers called Components, controlling which Attributes are exposed in the UI.

Performance improvements include boosts of 10-600% in playback speed: the improvement is greater in complex scenes, but Scene Group says that the average is around 200%.

Cavalry also now supports background rendering, making it possible to continue to work while a scene is rendering.

Updated 23 May 2024: Scene Group has released Cavalry 2.1.

The update focuses on the audio tools, adding support for multi-track audio playback, and the option to export audio from Cavalry.

Audio projects can be exported as AAC files, or in MP4, QuickTime or WebM files.

It is also possible to import audiofiles in more formats, now including AAC, MP3 and CAF.

Price and system requirements
Cavalry 2.1 is available for Windows 10+ and macOS 11.0+. The full software is available rental-only, with subscriptions costing £192/year (around $240/year).

The free edition caps renders at full HD resolution, and lacks the advanced features in this table.

Read a full list of new features in Cavalry 2.1 in the online release notes

Read an overview of original Cavalry 2.0 update on Scene Group’s blog

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