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Welcome to the A:M Forums. We are glad you are here. If you are returning, we are glad you're back. If you are just getting started please make sure you spend some time in the Newbies forum and read through the A:M Manual (The Art of Animation:Master and The A:M Technical Reference). Ask questions. Join in the discussions. Give and get feedback. Explore A:M! This Welcome topic is a continuation of introductions to the forum from previous years. Click here to read some of the past introductions General Overview of Animation:Master Anyone can create 3D pictures and animation at home or in the studio with Animation:Master. Animation:Master includes everything you need to create fabulous computer graphics; complete sculpting features, powerful animation tools, superb rendering, and all this is compatible with the most popular computers (PC and Macintosh!). Its cross platform compatibility makes A:M an excellent choice for the individual or studios with multiple operating systems. Animation:Master, the 3D motion picture studio is the most powerful and affordable spline based modeling and animation program available. Specifically designed for classic character animation, the drag and drop, customizable interface and powerful motion tools give you the control that is required to tell your story. A:M is geared toward character animation and gives you the ability to build libraries of actions and characters to be reused over and over. Features (Don't forget... with A:M you can build and explore your own personal features too!) Spline Based Modeling, Animation, And Rendering - for smooth organic models and natural freeform motions. Bones Mode - for easy IK construction. Inverse Kinematics - to interactively pose articulated characters. Skeletal, Morphing, And Bending Actions In Combination - all three kinds of object and character motion can be overlapped and used in unison. Time Based Motion "ease" - for accurate acceleration and deceleration of movement. True Patch-based "uv Decal" Mapping - using bit mapped images that are locked to a surface and distort properly when an object bends and twists. D3D or OpenGL - real-time rendering. Motion Libraries - so that a complex action needs to be built only once and then used over and over again. Includes motion capture input and motion control output. Lip Synch Key Framing - for assembling lip shapes with automatic inbetweening. Technical Support - Top notch and totally free with an active forum where users meet 24/7. Interface Integrated, User Friendly interface, with easy turning, zooming, and navigation features. D3D or OpenGL accelerated for a smooth tactile feel in all areas of the interface. MFC based interface allows for completely customizable options including color schemes, tool bar placement and customizable keyboard shortcuts. Drag and drop interface technology fully implemented for easy object manipulation. Create scenes with as many characters, lights, cameras, and props on the stage as you like. Modeling , creation of Actions and choreography can all be done in the same window from any view . Proportional Zoom; finer zoom control in choreography. Centered Turn; turn about the local coordinate system. Global Axis Translates; option to move control points in world space instead of screen space. Multiple, re sizable Windows; have two action windows, or set up three modeling windows in a traditional tri-view layout. Drag able, dock able panels; put the panels anywhere you want on the screen or hide them completely. Simplified Operation; tools operate in a more "standard" fashion. Save Interface State; projects maintain their window's layout for next use. Interrupt drawing to increase drawing speed. Specify automatic reload of last project at startup. Limit memory usage. User controllable rotate snap angle. Object Instancing Intuitive Object Manipulators; uniform for lights, cameras, characters, props, etc. Markers/Rulers Fully editable Timeline Window Customizable Folders in the Project Workspace Multi-Select in the Project Workspace A:M Community chat window and Forum Modeling No more inefficient polygons! Model with flexible Hash patches. Start from a Library of example characters. Curved lines move easily to allow for quick manipulation. Complete selection of real-time tools combined with point-and-click sculpting makes object creation easy. Model over a Rotoscope image. As many Rotoscopes as you like can be loaded into any view. Seamlessly integrates "bones" into low-density, uni-body models. Characters (or objects) are built as a single model, then bones are inserted any way you like to for the "skeletal" IK basis for your character. Un attach; disconnect "attached" points while modeling. Insert Control Points; automatically adds control points to those hard to get to splines. Perspective Modeling; option to model while viewing the object in perspective. Nested Hide; hide more points when some already hidden. "Lasso" or free form group tool included with standard group tool for easy selection of multiple control points. D3D or OpenGL shaded real-time mode when modeling instead of wire frame. Patch Hooks to reduce resolution and eliminate creasing Bias Handles for easy control of spline curvature. Optimized Polygon export. Unique object manipulators for translating scaling and rotating. Specific grid sizing for use in creating precise scale objects. Grid can also be toggled on and off. variable lathe cross sections. User definable Undo and Redo. Uniform Normal Face Control for Polygonal output . Paste and Extrude offsets. Cut, copy and Paste Flip or Mirror a selected group of points around any axis. True Type Font and AI Import Locked Control Points Copy/Flip/Attach Polygon Import Lock Control Points "Distortion Mode" Deformation Tool Animation Patch-based animation allows smooth, flexible movement. Complex movements are simplified; unique bones motion offers lifelike bouncing and twisting. Complete skeletal and muscle control features. Inverse Kinematics (IK) for creating skeletal based motion. Character animation with lip-synch made easier. Stride length to prevent a character's feet or tires from slipping as they move. Action Overloading; applying layers of Actions to a character so that it can "walk", "talk", and "clench" its fists simultaneously. Action Range; choose only a range of frames, Hold, or Wait from an Action Rotoscope facial movement in Muscle with sequenced backgrounds. Poses. Lock Bones. Sophisticated Key frame controls. Many different kinds of real-time constraints for perfect anchoring, picking up objects, and animated paths; Including: Aim At, Kinematic, Path, Translate To, Orient like, Aim Roll At, Spherical Limits, Surface, Scale Like and Scale to Reach. Flocks, Crowds and Swarms Powerful Channel Based motion control. Scrub Bar. Action Undo. Action Objects; for animating props, even other characters seamlessly within an action. Force Objects;apply dynamic forces any way you like. Rotoscoping Action Blending Copy/Paste Mirrored Action Pose Sliders (frame ranges can be saved in a pose). Kinematic Rotational Stiffness "Continuous Play" Scrubbing Animated Camera Rotoscopes Onion Skinning Kuper camera motion data import Hard and Soft Body Dyanmics; including cloth, springs, masses and collision detection between objects. Automatic assignment of geometry to bones Smart skin for perfect joints Relationships for creating smart characters. Weighted CP blending Animated distortion boxes Rendering Ray tracing of transparency, reflections and shadows for visually realistic results. D3D or OpenGL real-time previews can be saved as output. Super fast, High quality hybrid renderer. Selectable Specular Color. Mirrors with adjustable settings. Alpha buffer rendering for combining computer animation with live action. Anti-aliasing. 32-bit, variable, unlimited resolution rendering. AVI animation playback within the software. Bound Rendering; Quick Render or Ray Trace only a portion of the screen. TV Safe and Title Safe indication. Transparency Averaging. Anti-aliased Image Maps. Shadow Maps Gamma Correction. Show or hide render in progress. User selectable reflection limit. Motion Blur. Extensive render status meters. NTSC safe color. Photon Mapping. Soft Shadows Film Grain Bloom Soften Dither Dynamic Range (gamma correction) Field Rendering Line Geometry No "anti-alias" option (Game Sprites) Film Tint and Film Grain; presets like "black and white" and "sepia tones" Stereo Rendering Shadow Buffers and "Shadow Only" Buffers Exportable lighting maps, vertex colors for game engines Selectable Soft Shadow Color Fully Customizable Toon or Anime Style Shader/Render Materials and Object Attributes Ability to apply custom textures, images and object Attributes to individual patches. Image Maps Locked to the surface through use of UV coordinate system. UV Editor for interactively adjusting how a map lies on geometry. Glass with Refraction and Caustics. Image types include color, bump, transparency, reflectivity, diffuse, specular, ambiance, mirror, gradient and cookie-cut maps. Textures you define, modify, save and reuse. Integrated Algorithmic Perlin Materials Editor. Flatten; unroll a segment before applying Decals. System Color Dialog uses your platform's standard 24-bit color dialog to choose and change colors. Displacement and Fractal Maps. Edge Transparency. Environment Maps. Gamma correction can be applied to Image Maps. Supports 32 bit Image Maps Frame Control of Animated Maps; so that image maps can cycle, skip frames, hold, wait, or "ping pong". Unique Decal (image map) manipulator allows you to scale, reverse and position an image in real-time . See through Decaling. Maps automatically cached for interactive map editing though use of any third party paint program. Tile able Image Maps. Spherical, Cylindrical and Planar Projection Mapping. Animatable Material Attributes. Material Effector Objects. ATX class 3rd party Material plug-in support. JPEG and TIFF support Transparent Density Translucency Reflection Falloff Material "Bump" attribute" Effects Volumetric Lights. "Dust" objects for animatable smoke, fog and steam. Glows. Lens Flares. Depth of Field. Turbulence. Light Projection Gels. Hair. Particles; streaks and blobbies. Particle "Sprites" for stunning special effects. Other Features Motion capture input from a number of different sources Controllable, targetable, colored lights with colored shadows. Multiple Cameras. Non-perspective camera for scrolling game screens. You can perform most functions, such as modeling, animating, and texturing from the camera's point of view. Audio load/save for synching. Complete Game and Export SDK including real-time model and map export, action export, viewer and source code. Multi-plane style layer compositing and cameras. Lip sync Dope sheet and Phoneme creation tools. Supported Image Formats: Load: TARGA, JPEG, TIFF, PICT (mac only), PNG, EXR, AVI, Quicktime. Save/Render: TARGA, PICT (mac only), PNG, EXR, AVI (pc only), Quicktime. Manuals and Video Training included: - The Art of Animation:Master and A:M Technical Reference - Video Training Tutorials - Community Tutorials Forum Get started with A:M now!