All New in Cartoon Animator 4:
ENHANCED CHARACTER ANIMATION
This WIP 1 demonstrates how Reallusion made 2D Character Animation more precise, powerful, yet more intuitive. Say goodbye to foot sliding, sinking or floating problems, the new Smart IK/FK system not only switches automatically, it makes creating amazing cartoon animation so much easier. Posing with locking end effectors gives you power to precisely animate characters with scene interaction. In addition, you can perfectly adapt motion files with different body shapes from our motion library, even fine-tune the character's stride or alter its motion genre.
Smart IK (Inverse Kinematic)
Simple and functional design sets Cartoon Animator apart from other 2D Animation tools. The intuitive 2D in IK / FK system auto-switches invisibly so character posing for animation is a fluid, and logical process. Just lock the character feet to have perfect non-sliding foot contact, and lock the character’s hand to get a precise interaction with props or scene.
Easy IK Editing
- Stretches, squatting, and hip rotation made simple by moving the hip bone.
- Easy-locking feet and hands for unlimited motion possibilities.
- Position character end effectors for precise IK interaction.
- Keep or Flip Joint Bend Direction during animation editing.
Intuitive Auto IK/FK Switch
- Drag-and-move end effectors for IK editing, directly rotate joins for FK editing.
- Intuitive pose-to-pose editing without switching IK and FK modes.
- One transform timeline track can keep End Effector Constraints and it’s Effective Range.
- Set keys only to Selected Body Parts, or to Full Body motion layers.
- Freely extend any character’s end segments - head, hands and feet.
- Rubber-band stretch midpoint segments like elbow, waist, knee.
- After releasing stretching, the segment can resume to its original length.
- Stretch neck and torso parts by locking hands and feet.
- Smoothly interpolate stretch animation, and add Motion Curve for timing control.
Precise Scene and Prop Interaction
- Lock hands and feet to precisely interact with scene objects.
- IK Constraints - use “Keep End Effort Rotation” to tip toe or bend wrist, or use “Keep End Effector Angle” to sustain feet angle on the skateboard or bicycle pedal.
- Use “Keep Bend Direction” to ensure character’s elbow or knee always bend at the right direction.
- Lock hand and feet to make stable spider-like crawling movement.
Works with All Kinds of Cartoon Characters
- Correct backward knee bend animation for quadruped animals.
- Use Shift+drag to alter the bone length between two bone segments producing a uniform transform effect such as the gorilla arm movement.
- The same effect can apply to breathing or neck-stretching animation.
- Use End Effector Rotation to easily let the dog naturally sit down.
Smart Motion Retargeting
Unique animation feature translates motions automatically to various character styles with different body scale. Smart Motion Retargeting correctly applies the collected motion files to different body shapes, automatically aligns characters to the motion’s pose regardless it’s initial pose settings, innovatively creates different motion performance styles.
Adapt Motions to any Character Scale
- No more Foot Sliding, Sinking, or Floating problems caused by characters’ bone scale difference.
- Library Animation applied perfectly to all types of template characters.
- Works with all Template-based Motion - human biped, quadruped, wings, spine bone.
Creative IK Motion Varieties
- Auto-align character bones to the Motion Data pose, regardless of the character’s initial pose setting.
- Recalculate character’s Initial Pose Offset for accurate animation editing.
- Change characters’ foot stride, or arm reach distance by altering the overall Motion Data Scale.
- Adjust individual End Effector bone ratio for precise character to object interaction.
Create IK Rig
Generate IK-ready 2D animated characters, CTA4 provides standardized IK Controls for template-based characters. We’ve also added the Auto IK Rig for Photoshop Imported characters. For custom created free-bone characters, now users may create a custom GUI from the Custom Rig GUI.
Auto IK Rig
- Auto IK Rig for Imported Photoshop Template Characters (PSD).
- Works for All Character Templates - Human, Quadruped, Wings, Spine.
- Default Human End Effector Presets - Toe, Ankle, Finger and Wrist
- Free to add IK lock to selected bone segments
- Auto assign End Effectors to Free Bone Characters, allowing custom IK definition
- Snapshot a Character with a Custom Pose to create a Character Rig GUI.
- Import an image file as a custom rig image.
- Move and place End Effector Locks for ideal layout.
- Specify Bone Size, Segment On/Off in the UI display.
360 Head Creation
This WIP 2 shows how Reallusion breaks through the limitations of 2D Art, and delivers a practical way for 2D animators to create characters with advanced animation along with vivid expressions. The 360 evolution streamlines the workflow for Head Creation, Expression Setup, and directly to the animation core with face key editing, puppeteering and the timeline system. Apart from introducing a set of 360 assets and new professional animation library, users also have the path to convert existing content into 360 heads with a full range of motion.
Quickly Transform a 2D Face into a 3D Head
3D Head Creator transforms 2D art into 3D styled characters with up to 360 degree of motion for deeply rich performances. Photoshop round trip integration for editing multi-angle character in and out of 3D Head Creator.
Anchor Nine Head Turn Directions
- Inherit basic angle settings from Quick Setup
- Transform and deform head sprites for perfect 3D turn
- Optional FFD resolution from 2x2 (perspective correction) to 5x5 (precise shape definition)
- Mask-out features outside the face to create the 3D illusion
Smart Designs to Speedup Multi-angle Settings
- Copy and paste the angle definition
- Mirror setup from one side to another, flip or replace sprites to match angle requirements
- Onion Skin - proper sprite placement with neighboring setup reference
- Average - average the angle setting value from two selected points
Add Additional Decorative Items
- Apart from main facial features, users can freely add other decorative elements
- The cat has whiskers and the nose stripe seamlessly blended with the parent turning head base
- The same techniques can be used to emphasize a 3D effect with highlight and shadow layers
Free Angle Definition - Up to 360°
- More than creating a turning head, you can give a full spin to a simple shaped creature, even a moody bird
- Freely add angle points to setup the character look as the head turns
- Each angle point contains data for sprites transformation, deformation, and sprite change
- A total of 25 optional angle points are provided and a perfect 360° character can be achieved by properly adding angle definition for horizontal and vertical turn
Designing 360 Heads with Photoshop Layers
- Complete PSD to CTA round-trip workflow for 360 Head Creation
- The PSD character template is extended with angle layers for sprite change
- Use several image layers to accentuate depth such like a hog’s nose
- Build the layer hierarchy using a simple naming rule, eg. Parent > Child
- The 360 Head Creator can generate and send angle definitions back to Photoshop, new PSD layers are generated for the 360 angle adjustments
3D Expression Setup
- The Cartoon Animator Expression Setup is enhanced for new 360 Performance
- Transform and deform facial sprites to setup 3D-like Expressions
- Turn on Smooth Mode to achieve extremely smooth facial blendshape animation
- Easily Guide the Head Movement using Head Turn Gizmo
- Combine with the Face Key Editor for amazing results!
New Generation of 360 Creative Assets
- Mix and match facial features to create new 360 characters
- Dynamic hairstyles and accessories can also include multiple view angles
- Combine 360 Head with selected Body style for perfect Smart IK Animation
360 Animation Controls and Timeline Editing
- Head Turn Gizmo - Easily guide the head direction using mouse cursor, a quick way to layout the animation tempo
- Face Key Editor layers up precise facial expressions, detailed adjustment can be achieved by selecting facial features, choosing from an expression list, and customizing with muscle morph sliders
- Face Puppet is enhanced for generating expressions with dynamic head turns
- Use Transform and deform to exaggerate the cartoon performance