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Alias launches Motionbuilder 7 with new features

updated 09:10 am EDT, Mon August 1, 2005

Alias Motionbuilder 7

today also launched MotionBuilder 7, which brings extended character animation capabilities, improved interoperability with popular 3D packages and productivity enhancements to its 3D character animation software. According to the company, the new features of Alias MotionBuilder 7 complement the software's core technologies, including a unique, realtime architecture; non-linear, non-destructive animation layering; and Story Timeline performance environment. Motionbuilder 7 is due in August starting at $4,200.

New character extensions and visual feedback on rigs give animators greater control over their character setups. Character extensions allow artists to augment their character's control rig when objects such as tails, wings and props are required. Animators are now able to simultaneously pose or key a character as well as all attached extensions seamlessly. Visual feedback on the control rig offers cues that highlight keying, manipulation modes and rig selection, allowing animators to focus on the character in the viewer rather than checking controls on the side.

In addition, there are a number of new character manipulation enhancements that ensure synchronization between characters and their controls, streamlining the animation workflow and shortening the learning curve for new users.

"With character extensions and a host of other features, MotionBuilder 7 not only answers the call, but adds solutions to issues I didn't know I would have," says Gavan Knowlton, lead animator at GlyphX Games. "Our industry thrives on innovation, it's nice to have Alias lead the way."

Productivity-Enhancing Tools

Alias MotionBuilder 7 offers many new productivity-enhancing features, in addition to existing optimized solving, blending, sequencing and retargeting tools for editing captured performances and simulated character animation. The new save and load character animation features let animators rapidly transfer, repurpose and reuse animation clips with any character. Improved workflow and UI features, such as save reminder and incremental versioning streamline the animation process and minimize user downtime.

Improved Pipeline Interoperability

MotionBuilder's native file format, Alias FBX offers interoperability between 3D content creation applications. Alias MotionBuilder 7 contains new functionality that improves its ability to interact with other 3D applications. New constraints, for example, allow users to easily transfer animated character setups between Alias MotionBuilder and Maya.

Alias MotionBuilder Pro

Alias MotionBuilder Pro contains advanced productivity capabilities, including Live Device Support--pending the release of third-party vendor drivers for Mac OS X--for multi-stream motion capture devices, data mapping and asset management integration. Additional extensibility and customization tools include a realtime animation trigger system, Python scripting capabilities and the Alias Open Reality SDK, which enables the creation of pipeline automation and workflow tools that streamline repetitive, time-consuming tasks.

"MotionBuilder and Maya have become important tools in our animation pipeline," said Stephen White, co-president of Naughty Dog. "We are very excited to see continued investment in MotionBuilder and look forward to even greater compatibility between these two excellent products."

Alias MotionBuilder 7 is scheduled for release in August 2005. The node-locked version of MotionBuilder Pro 7 is $4,200, while the a floating license is $4800. For new Alias MotionBuilder Pro customers, the cost includes a one-year Platinum Membership subscription. Alias MotionBuilder Pro is available in node-lock and floating configurations; however, pricing was not specified.

by MacNN Staff





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