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For many years Kaydara’s FilmBox was the animation industry standard program for editing, cleaning up and modifying motion capture and computer character animation data. When developers of 3D packages added features similar to FilmBox to their programs, some began to question the future of the utilitarian software. But then Kaydara bounced back with MOTIONBUILDER, a very powerful and innovative character animation tool.

Going through the new features of MOTIONBUILDER 5, I have to admit that the company is definitely on the right path to make MOTIONBUILDER the bible for 3D character animation.The software enables you to view your work rendered in real time and allows setup of cameras and lights without ever experiencing any slow downs. The created scene can then be exported to any desired 3D program. The user interface is customizable and each task (animation, editing, etc.) has its own user interface. One of the new features of MOTIONBUILDER 5 is the Story Timeline, which allows you to combine your imported animation scene, your 3D character animation and video and audio clips. Story Timeline supports multiple audio and video tracks and real-time playback. In addition, MOTIONBUILDER 5 offers automated rig creation, customizable rigs and strong facial animation tools.

The Good News: MOTIONBUILDER 5 comes with two CDs filled with character animation clip art and useful training videos.

The Wish List: Can we please have more training videos! MOTIONBUILDER’s support of Flash file format will encourage many web animators, but they will need all the help they can get to learn this program.

The Bottom Line: MOTIONBUILDER 5 comes with powerful character animation tools that make the animator’s life easier. Tools which allow the re-targeting and re-scaling of animation data from one character to another and the ability to switch between forward and inverse kinematics and blending them makes this package a real lifesaver.

Web Address:

Animation Magazine’s Seal of Excellence winner

Final Score: *****

Ease of Use: ****

Interface : *****

Tools Power: *****

Quality and depth: *****

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