80 Level Digest: Tools to Boost the Animation Process

Today, we're bringing you several great programs that will make your animation workflows easier and quicker.

We talk a lot about assets and show many fantastic animations here on 80 Level. There are plenty of programs allowing artists to create impressive animation, and today we will share some more tools that will help you bring your art to the top and speed up your workflows; from classic editors to motion capture and procedural animation software.

iClone by Reallusion

We're going to start our Digest with iClone – a real-time 3D animation software that has a variety of tools for creating and editing animation. It covers a wide range of areas, including facial performance, character animation, mocap production, scene design, and cinematic storytelling. iClone can also generate procedural, editable lipsyncing animations, which saves you a lot of time.

What's more, it has a library of projects, character assets, expressions, motions, scenes, and props for you to test out.

Plask

Wouldn't it be great if you could just shoot a video, and the program would make an animation out of it automatically? Plask can do just that. It is a cloud-based AI motion capture tool and animation editor that makes animating easy as it has everything you'd need in your browser. Even a webcam video can turn into animation with the tool. Plask supports most professional file formats, including GLB, FBX, and BVH, and allows collaboration on your projects.

PixCap

Another great tool that offers AI motion capture abilities is PixCap. Hoever, this is not its only purpose: the browser-based program offers a range of features, including auto rigging, animation libraries, and a 3D store. PixCap aims to be an easy-to-use 3D animation tool with no downloads and no imports. And the best part is that it provides its core animation features for free.

EbSynth

This software is a little different from the others on our list as it doesn't really let you create or edit animation. However, EbSynth can bring paintings to life by combining a picture with a video. The tool can be useful if you'd like to change the way your animation looks. It's free while in beta, so there is no reason not to try it out.

Cascadeur

Let's move on to Cascadeur, a great software for physics-based character animation you've probably heard about. The developers strive to eliminate any needless work from the process of creating animation so the artist can be a choreographer "rather than someone who has to carry out a lot of boring and repetitive tasks." Cascadeur tries to achieve this with its physics-based approach and deep learning.

You can make realistic 3D animation from scratch or improve mocap. We have several interviews with the Cascadeur team, so make sure to check them out.

SpookyGhost

And if you're into 2D animation, try this one out. SpookyGhost is a free open-source tool that can create procedural animations for your sprites. It offers many different properties for you to animate, including the size, rotation, position, and color of the sprites. You can also make customized animations by writing your own Lua scripts. When you are done with your project, you can export the animation as single frames or as one big sprite sheet.

ANIMAX for Blender

Here is a procedural animation system for Blender enthusiasts that simplifies animating multiple instances. It allows you to create complex animations much more quickly and easily than in the original software. 

The creator Monaime promises you don't need math or Geometry Nodes to make highly professional animations. It features tools for fracturing a mesh object into pieces, 12 different effects to choose from, 34 animation presets, 13 fracturing presets, and many other handy abilities.

Akeytsu

This next app is more of an honorable mention as it changed studios and hasn't been updated for some time as far as we're aware.

Its goal is to make the 3D animation workflow simple while working with 3D characters. Akeytsu is an accessible and effective rigging and keyframe animation software designed by and for animators. The developers believe that animating should feel like posing a marionette, so you'll interact with your model directly whenever possible.

It also offers an auto-rigging feature, shortening a character generation process to less than a few minutes. Load your character, place 5 hot points, choose the number of joints for the spine and fingers, and you're done – the software will generate a skeleton, weights, and controls automatically.

We hope it was useful for you. What is your go-to animation tool? Share your thoughts and don't forget to join our Reddit page and our Telegram channel, follow us on Instagram and Twitter, where we share breakdowns, the latest news, awesome artworks, and more. 

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Comments 1

  • Anonymous user

    Loved this article, thanks. I played a bit with DeepMotion as well (another AI cloud service to convert video to animation clips). Three D Pose Tracker (TDPT) also looks good, but needs two cameras (front and side).

    As I often want simple but quick animations, I have done a fair bit of upper body animation using VTuber tools like VSeeFace.icu (with VMC feeding into EVMC4U in Unity). Uses WebCam (face + upper body) + UltraLeap camera (hands).

    But for animation on the cheap, I have found using VR headset and hand controllers to give me the best accuracy of movements. So far for me has been more consistent with less jitter. (I have not splurged and tried full body capture yet with additional trackers.)

    0

    Anonymous user

    ·25 days ago·

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