Cascadeur 2024.1 Will Bring New Tools for Editing Animations

The Retargeting tool, Animation Unbaking, and enhanced AutoPhysics will let you control movement better.

Image credit: Nekki

Nekki has previewed Cascadeur 2024.1, the next version of the physics-based animation software, due to be released in the middle of March. It will bring powerful new tools for editing animations "in a comfortable keyframe fashion."

Image credit: Nekki

Let's start the overview with the Retargeting tool, a long-awaited feature based on the AutoPosing rig, which turns the whole process into a copy/paste workflow and works with humanoid characters of different proportions and skeletal structures.

Image credit: Nekki

Then, with Animation Unbaking, you can make any baked animation an editable one. The tool automatically determines the keyframes and chooses the best interpolation for the intervals. Animation Unbaking includes 3 steps:

  1. Placing the keyframes based on the fulcrum points: This is a preparation stage where you can ensure that the fulcrum intervals are determined correctly
  2. Choosing interpolation and placing additional keyframes: It will pick the best interpolation method, choose IK or FK for the intervals, and place additional keyframes where needed to keep the animation as close to the original as possible
  3. Adjusting the AutoPosing rig: Locking the crucial points and unlocking the rest to let AutoPosing do its job, which also allows to smooth the noise and jitters that may be present in the animation 

Each of them can be initiated separately if you wish, you will eventually get a fully editable keyframe animation in any case. 

Image credit: Nekki

Finally, Nekki has introduced an AutoPhysics update, which now allows the character to interact with the environment. "You can animate parkour tricks, bounce off the walls, climb the stairs, and even interact with moving objects  All the AutoPhysics settings are now controlled with only 4 sliders."

The sliders in question are:

  • Smooth Trajectory: Smoothes the trajectory of the center of mass, eg it determines the depth of squats before and after jumps
  • Smooth rotation: Affects the general rotation of the character to make it more inertial
  • Compensation Motion: Allows the character to use limbs to aid the movement
  • Secondary Motion: Allows to create overlaps, shakes, and bounces to the body parts

You will be able to check the new features out in March. Cascadeur is free with limitations. Pro licenses cost $300/year, while Business subscriptions are $1,000/year.

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