By Charles-Arthur BOURGET
Time to break down what happened this year, put on a happy face and decorate with festive colors to celebrate Winter holidays and get some well-deserved rest before the start of next year. This year's December release includes blendshape controls, Tween Machine and more UI functional and visual customization options for your workspace.
We'll start with our blendshape controls which is the most meaty feature we cooked up for you. Our blendshape workflow is absurdly simple and easy to work with which will certainly open up new possibilities for studios who thought of it as a tedious process to go through.
Another very good news is that this huge feature comes with a new rigged character with blendshapes fully set up for you. Our early Christmas gift is included in the installation package of 2014.4.1. Say hi to the Sky Surfer! He was kind enough to let us use his face to demonstrate the simplicity of our blendshape workflow.
When you import an .fbx with blendshapes you can now see that all blendshapes are listed in the hierarchy of your tree. Simply press the lever icon in the dedicated blendshape windows to create a new controller.
From there you will first be asked to define the zone of selection for this blendshape controller. As for other controls in akeytsu we want them to be easily selected by interacting with your model. In this example we have not smoothened the selection area but of cours all our brush tools are available to do so.
From there simply drag a drop a given shape to associate with a mouse direction. Once you have assigned blendshapes to all 4 directions. That's it. You're done. Just select the controller on your viewport and manipulate. Ain't that sweet? Smooth and easy.
Of course there is more to this for advanced riggers and we will keep on adding in future updates. As for now you can already create more channels for a given direction to manipulate multiple blendshapes at once, add a blendshape point to a given channel to manipulate two blendshapes in sequence and even assign three different controls to a given selection area with different mouse shorcuts (RMB, LMB, MMB).
BREAKDOWN POSE EDITOR OR TWEEN MACHINE
Tween Machine is a popular system allowing you to easily create breakdowns between two key poses. While it is most often only available as a plug-in in other 3D animation solutions, it comes right out-of-the box in akeytsu. All set up and functional with impeccable integration into our user interface to allow for easy manipulations. It's just simple as it can be.
Our own spin on the Tween Machine called Breakdown Pose Editor can be found at the bottom of the Spinner and will let you bring the pose of your active selection closer to the previous or the next keyframe in your timeline. This goes hand-in-hand with our selection options in akeytsu which let you interact directly with the model in the viewport or through the picker list.
With this you will be able to get some breakdowns for free and you could even create in-betweens rather than manipulate curves if you are not totally happy with the interpolation gives you. You are bound to enjoy it when you polish your animations.
All hail joly color picker! Let me redecorate akeytsu to brighten my day and reflect my festive mood! Points, viewport, vertices, wireframe, grid, all vibrant and changed for good!
We were so happy to have coded that magnificient multicolour arrow that we put it everywhere for you to personalize your interface to suit your tastes. To do so click on the bottom left button, go to preferences and choose the color preferences sub-menu. You'll find everything that you can wish to customize viewport elements. And the best part is we have more ideas to bring color and life to akeytsu in the future.
Here is our best attempt to create a home-made Christmas theme. I'm sure you can do better.
On top of this we also added mutliple options in AnimBank and Tree preferences to extend and freeze these windows. This makes for a more comfortable UI especially when working with long file naming conventionss. We know some devs were eagerly waiting for this one!
Note that other window panels can be docked at the bottom right of an enlarged window. All the options mentioned above will be available for the Picker window in a very near future.
This release marks the end of the year and the final delivery of our 2019 roadmap. This year months was also a turning point for Nukeygara as a company as we restructured to offer regular updates to our users. I'm happy to write today that we delivered everything we promised. Looking back in August when we announced our plans, I'm not sure we knew about all the hurdles along the way but we managed to pull through, staid true to our words and delivered.
There is much more extras that we wished we could have brought live this year but it will have to wait for 2020. We'll need more than a year to reinvent 3D animation but I'm confident we are on the right track. You'll hear from us in February with our roadmap for 2020. In the mean time, enjoy your holidays and keep on animating! \ (*-*) /
We need your help to make akeytsu a better tool.
Write us on forums or our discord channel if you would like us to consider improvements.