Character Animation Technologies Opens New Toolkit

New Zealand-based animation software developer Character Animation Technologies Ltd. has released its first product offering, Character Animation Toolkit (CAT) Version 1.0. Designed for animators by animators, CAT Version 1.0 is a fully integrated next-generation character animation system plug-in for Discreet’s 3D modeling, animation and rendering solution 3ds max.

According to Philip Taylor, chief technology officer, co-founder and lead software developer at Character Animation Technologies, CAT was born out of the frustration he experienced while animating The Most Extreme, the flagship television series for the Discovery Channel’s Animal Planet, for which he and Pearson both received an Emmy Award nomination.

"Creating more than ten minutes of animation per episode on The Most Extreme under very tight deadlines inspired me to create a toolset intended to reduce as much of the repetition, drudgery and technical headache associated with character animation creation as possible," says Taylor.

CAT is a comprehensive, fully customizable rig that supports the creation of any number of limbs, for any configuration. It features a parametric motioncycle system; intuitive keyframe controls that can be assigned to all 3ds max animation controllers; a powerful mocap importer that supports popular motion-capture formats; and a non-linear animation system that allows animators to use all of the above at once on different parts of the rig simultaneously. A full-feature set description can be accessed at www.catoolkit.com.

CAT Version 1.0 is currently available as a plug-in for Discreet 3ds max 6 at a cost of $995. The software can be purchased directly from Character Animation Technologies at www.catoolkit.com and through select Discreet Resellers.