We all know that animating 3D characters is a time-consuming and sophisticated task. For Discreet’s 3ds max users (before version 5 and 6) the only tools for character animation were Bones and Character Studio plug-ins. The situation improved when max added several smart character animation tools in its latest versions, yet even these newer animation features of max and Character Studio require a learning curve. That’s where Character Animation Technologies’ CAT 1.15 (Character Animation Toolkit) comes in handy!
CAT’s work process is visual, logical and easy. Creation of a character in CAT is fast and easy to learn: You just go to max Helpers and pick the CAT Object. This step will take you to a library of preset characters (i.e., Bug, Duck, Horse, or Human). You can decide to use one of the characters on the list or create your own from scratch. What makes CAT stand out among other max character animation tools is its extremely powerful motion editing and animation modifying tools. CAT layers offers easy-to-use motion blending features.
The Good News: CAT 1.15 supports both Physique and Reactor and also lets you use FK and IK at the same time.
The Wish List: More in-depth written and video tutorials covering the whole process of character animation creation in CAT 1.15 would be our first request.
The Bottom Line: If you are learning how to create 3D character animation with 3ds max, then you simply must take this CAT home.
Web Address: www.catoolkit.comwww.charanitech.com
Animation Magazine’s Seal of Excellence Winner
The Final Score: *****