At SIGGRAPH 2002, Discreet announced character studio 4, the latest extension to 3ds max. The newest release continues to advance character animation techniques and motion capture tools in ways never thought possible with the addition of a constraint-based animation mixer, an animation analyzer and fixer and Quaternion Function Curves. The software will be demonstrated for the first time at SIGGRAPH 2002.
character studio 4 software includes significant enhancements designed to provide animators an easy-to-use system that boasts flexibility, quick fixes and more control.
The addition of a non-linear animation mixer is a highlight of the many new features. It allows for the smooth blending of multiple motion files that will help draw the most from existing motion libraries and also allow for the blending of motion capture with key-framed animations. Also, the new time warp ability helps animators to regain control over staging and changing animation timings including increasing or decreasing the speed of motion.
The addition of the animation analyzer provides for precise correction of discontinuities through a complete analysis of any animated limb. The animation fixer takes it a step further with suggested fixes or "most likely resolution" mode, an option that enables the system to tweak the data in a way that maintains tangencies and provides smoother character motions. Finally, the ability to view quaternion rotations as function curves is the first of its kind, enabling artists to combine the smoothest method of rotation with control finesse of function curves displayed in familiar X, Y and Z axes. Animators will now have a truly intuitive character animation system that is fully predictable and easy to understand.