Anigraph 2005: UK-based NaturalMotion set to release new 3D animation software

MUMBAI: UK-based animation company NaturalMotion Ltd. will commercially release next week what it calls the breakthrough 3D animation technology based on Dynamic Motion Synthesis (DMS) endorphin 2.5. The company is planning an India launch as part of the global release.

Anigraph is an annual trade exhibition cum seminar on animation and graphics. It covers all fields of animation, graphics and visual effects. The show is supported by Broadcast India and Animation Producers Association of India (APAI).

The company's sales director Richard Craig-McFeely announced this at the two-day Anigraph 2005 conference which kicked off today in Mumbai. He also gave a detailed presentation of the software during the session.

"The release of endorphin 2.5 is scheduled for next week. We will actively sell and market the software in the Indian market as well. Here we have associated with Shaf Broadcast for marketing the software," he said.

Anigraph is an annual trade exhibition cum seminar on animation and graphics. It covers all fields of animation, graphics and visual effects. The show is supported by Broadcast India and Animation Producers Association of India (APAI).

According to Craig-McFeely, endorphin 2.5's powerful new transitioning, blending and behavior features, combined with enhancements to asset repurposing tools and improved FBX support, allow animators to create realistic, fully interactive 3D character animation faster and easier than traditional keyframe or motion capture techniques.

Endorphin's DMS and Adaptive Behavior technology allows animators to experience the sheer speed of simulation without giving up any control. In addition to synthesizing scenes from scratch, endorphin 2.5's new features allow users to make their existing animations, like walk cycles, interactive.

The new version, which will be available this month for $12,795, is already being used by leading production and animation companies such as The Mill, Sony Computer Entertainment, Namco and Moving Picture Company. Craig-McFeely said the company was looking at markets such as games, films, post production, broadcast, studios, simulation, education and forensics.

endorphin 2.5 features include:

New Transition Event - Enables seamless blending from simulation back into existing animations such as run cycles. Users can create entire animation sequences within endorphin.

New Active Animation Event - Animation data can drive the muscles of a character. Used in conjunction with endorphin's new Transition Event, this allows users to create much more dynamic blends than with traditional kinematic blending.

New Behaviors - New static balancing lets a character stay on its two feet autonomously.

Enhanced Rig Event - More flexible character rigs for simultaneously mixing animation and simulation, and for advanced dynamic retargeting. Users can choose which degrees of freedom they wish to retarget, and endorphin's dynamic solver will resolve the rest of the motion.

Enhanced Collision Mode - Crisper, high-velocity collisions.

Enhanced Character Edit Mode - Faster custom character and rig set-up.

Improved FBX Support - Optimized support for the FBX file format for increased integration with today's leading character animation software packages.

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