Refinements and new Demo Characters with 2020.3.6

By Charles-Arthur BOURGET

Here is a minor release that will help stabilize 2020 additions and streamline workflows and compatibility with game engines. We've also included additional character files to showcase use of akeytsu on different models and provide more learning resources.

Note : akeytsu 2020.3.6 is available for Windows and macOS users

You can read about the highlights of this release below. Our technical documentation has been updated. Visit release history for the full changelist.


For this 2020 patch we've taken the opportunity to bring some welcome improvements to have a clean version before the next major releases :
  • Improved mirroring behaviour (1/2) : when mirroring in rigging mode, akeytsu will now make sure that the generated half-skeleton is fully compatible with other third-party softwares. In order to do this we have changed the symmetry used to mirror orientations which will ensure better integration of your model in game engines. In the case of the biped auto-rig, rigs prepared that way will now be ready to be retargeted on the UE4 Mannequin without additional modificiations.
  • Improved mirroring behaviour (2/2) : we have also improved the behaviour of our mirroring function in animation mode. Whatever the orientation logic followed at the rigging phase (either default with mirroring or totally custom), twe will now correctly mirror the pose to the other side of the model when animating.
  • Unlit rendering option : we have added "Unlit" has a viewport rendering option in View & Preferences. This mode is often favoured to have a better outlook of character silhouettes. Combined with coloured ghosts for which we have improved rendering aswell so that they can be more easily distinguished, this should allow you to better finetune your animations. 
  • Unpickable objects : in order to facilitate the use of akeytsu in scene including background elements or non-interactive props, you now have the option to right-click a given unskinned mesh or character and set it as an unpickable object. His whole hierarchy inherits that property and cannot be interacted with in the viewport anymore. It will quite literally be considered empty space. When turning that option on unpickable objects will be designated with a specific icon in the Tree. This property can be reverted at anytime by right-clicking the object on the Tree.
  • When adding a new joint to the rig after some animation work has already been done you will now be prompted to activate the newly created joints when switching to animation mode. This will make sure the joint can be keyed on the base layer. You still need to activate that joint manually through hammer icons (in the Mixer and the Tree) for other layers.
In addition to this we have also added small tweaks requested by our users:
  • By default you can now deselect by clicking on an empty space.
  • Delete is now contextual. It will delete an object in rigging mode and a keyframe in animation mode.
  • Double-clicking on an .akt file will now load it into the open scene rather than open a new one.
  • When selecting two 3D meshes the same amount of vertices, you can now directly set one as a Pilot Mesh without it including any blendshape reference in the imported FBX.

new character demo files

We are also bringing new character demo files that can be accessed on boot through the pop-up or in the Main Menu (akeytsu icon in the top-left corner) in the Help section.
  • With Petrus Taurus, you'll be able to learn how to build a quadrupede rig and key a walk for that kind of creature. Pay attention to the use of the Reverse Foot controllers for each leg. You'll also find an animated camera in the scene that showcases a basic camera rig.
  • Sphero and its leg are great learning resources that are used in a variety of animation training program. This character is particularly prone to cartoon animation. We have taken the liberty to add a pair of eyes to train facial expressions. The character comes with a walk, a run and a jump. Feel free to train rigging with the leg sample file to get familiar with our tools before tackling a more complex character.
High-resolution textures for our characters are available on our Free Characters page. Visit the link below to download.
We have also updated our e-Lyse demo character to be more compatible with standard bipede rigs. This translates in the addition of a few joints for thumbs, clavicles and eyes. For the SkySurfer, the cloth rigging has been improved with some extra joints and the walk has been updated.


We've also fixed various bugs with multiple FBX exports, Stacker markers, Spinner display, Ghosts and cameras . Some that were recently reported didn't make the cut for this version but are already being looked at.

That's all folks ! We hope you had a great Easter and feel rested. Let the animation time begin !

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.