updated 12:10 pm EST, Fri December 5, 2008
Free Craft 3D Tools
Craft Animations has released simplified versions of its Craft Director Tools 3D animation plug-ins. The scaled-down products include Craft 4-Wheeler Free, ObserverCam Free, and Airplane Free. The free series is intended to allow users of Autodesk 3DS Max or Maya to familiarize themselves with the suite of Craft tools, without needing to purchase the professional versions.
4-Wheeler is used for creating simulations of four-wheel vehicles, with adjustments for acceleration, top speed, steering angle, brake force, suspension and weight. Users control a vehicle in real-time with an input device, directly through the Autodesk parent program. The Airplane Free plug-in works in a similar manner, allowing configuration of weight, top speed, altitude gain, and turning speed. Aircraft are also manually controlled by the user.
With ObserverCam, users can move a camera with a full six degrees of freedom. Orientation is again controlled using an input device, and the movements are automatically captured in keyframes.
The free versions of 4-Wheeler, Airplane, and ObserverCam require Autodesk 3DS Max 6, Maya 7, or Viz, and can be downloaded directly from the company website.