by Herbert J. Kellner
Zaxwerks 3D ProAnimator version 8.0.1 is now available. This upgrade to this next-generation 3D title and logo animation program contains dozens of improvements and new features. ProAnimator has redefined how fast the production of professional-level 3D graphics can be.
ProAnimator can work inside of After Effects as a plug-in. This enables the AE animator to get real-time previews of animated 3D objects while still inside After Effects.
“Using the ProAnimator as a plug-in greatly enhances work flow.” says Zax Dow, founder and product designer for Zaxwerks. “The plug-in makes it easier to create beautiful multi-layered 3D animation in register with other After Effects elements. Not having to leave After Effects to work on the 3D also gives a huge boost to production speed and flexibility because changes can be made to the 3D elements at any time without having to re-render movie clips and re-import them into the final composite.”
ProAnimator has a unique new way of creating animation. Rather than laboriously setting keyframes for every object, ProAnimator uses behavioral animation techniques to animate many objects with a single set of controls. This results in animations of great complexity being very fast and easy to create. Further, it enables multiple versions to be made with a few simple keystrokes. Animations can be saved as templates which can then be applied to any group of letters or logo elements for exceptionally fast graphics production.
The new version of ProAnimator adds animation features such as the ability to do cascading visibility animation and to distribute pages of text or Illustrator logo elements around the surface of a cylinder, making it very easy to do curving logos in the “Universal Pictures” style.
It also adds many new ways to render the final picture giving the artist great flexibility in designing with 3D. These rendering styles include Wireframe Rendering, Hiddenline Rendering, Cartoon Coloring and Absolute Coloring. Additional special effect techniques include a Shadow Catcher material for integrating 3D objects into existing 2D footage and a Matte Material for creating traveling mattes out of 3D objects.
What is new in Version 8.0.1 (Plug-in and Standalone)?
- Added a Depth of Field indicator. When using 4-Views or a User Camera, you can see the Depth of Field indicator on the Main Camera.
- Added a new distribution feature so you can cascade objects in directions such as Left To Right.
- Fixes an issue where changing the instanced text grouping may crash the program.
- Fixes an issue where the IBL image is not loading correctly.Memory optimization to prevent out of memory issues from occurring in After Effects.
- Fixes a possible crash when replacing Lighting Rigs.
For video editors who do not use After Effects, the standalone version of ProAnimator includes all the new features of the plug-in plus the ability to export final movies in QuickTime or AVI formats and even use movie files as texture maps. Background movies are also now supported and the background can be composited with the 3D elements as part of the final rendering process, so complete promos, ID’s and titles can be rendered in the standalone ready to drop into the time line of a video editing system.
An extra plug-in, also included in the bundle, enables the artist to import camera and object animation data from a ProAnimator project into an After Effects project. So it doesn’t matter if the artist wants the ProAnimator to follow an AE camera move, or if he wants After Effects to follow a ProAnimator camera move. All bases are covered in this tremendous upgrade.
ProAnimator 8 has all of the features that users should expect in a high-end animation program. We recommend it highly to training departments and digital media producers. The program is worth every penny because it raises the production value of training programs to new levels. Overall ProAnimator 8 is an excellent tool which helps budget conscious professionals to provide high quality animations in a fraction of the time spent with other software.
ProAnimator 8 is shipping now. It is available from the Zaxwerks website, from your favorite software reseller, or by calling Zaxwerks directly at 626-309-9102 or 1-800-549-0250. Upgrades are offered for any user of Zaxwerks Invigorator products. The price of ProAnimator is $499, with upgrades starting at $199.
Coming very soon we will be releasing a free 3D ProAnimator course. Hosted by Zax himself, this course will show you the workflow and teach you the skills you need to become a 3D ProAnimator master.