In developing the upgrade, "We looked at what makes 3D hard to use," says Kaydara president Michel Besner, "concepts like math, IK, and constraints." He says the company then borrowed a clip art concept used by relatively user-friendly 2D graphics packages such as Adobe Systems' Photoshop. Under the new workflow, a user can search the Motionbuilder browser for a jump clip, for example, then drag and drop the clip to the character to make it jump. Pre-built constraints maintain a realistic range of motion without the user having to make manual tweaks and changes. Motionbuilder will ship with a clip-animation library, but Kaydara has also been working with third-party providers such as Turbo Squid to ensure that additional content supporting Motionbuilder's FBX format will be available.
Motionbuilder also has new features such as real-time display, which offers instant feedback with no need for rendering, and a lip-synchronization tool that uses Kaydara's Voice Reality phoneme-extraction technology to create lip-synching in real time.
Motionbuilder 4.0 runs on Windows NT/2000, Mac OS X, and Red Hat Linux. The cost is $3495. (Kaydara; www.kaydara.com) -JD