Hey animator, don’t miss the big update of the Cascadeur character animation software developed by Nekki.
Version n. Early Access 3 (codename: 2021.3EA) brings dozens of changes and improvements to the features introduced. It also comes with two major new tools that have long been on the wish list of beta testers and early adopters “Animation Loops and Secondary Motion“.
Cascadeur Early Access V3 most important features:
New feature – Animation Cycles
Animation Cycles are a feature that may sound simple on paper but proved to be a big challenge in practical implementation. The developers had to ensure smooth integration and continuity with the existing interpolation methods but were also keen to provide the user with extensive customizability of the new function. As can be seen in the 2021.3EA-3 demo video:
Cascadeur is able to generate seamless and realistic animation loops. Nekki’s development team plans to expand the function scope and UX usability of these Animation Cycles even more with the next updates.
New feature – Secondary Motion
“Secondary motion” is a technical term used to describe movements that can occur in response to a character’s primary movements – for example, body parts jiggling after a jump. Such secondary motions make animations more natural by adding visual complexity to character movements.
Secondary Motion – Quick Preview Tutorial
In Cascadeur‘s newly introduced Secondary Motion Tool, the animator is now able to control the extent of such secondary body movements through a variable called “muscle stiffness.” Like any new features in Cascadeur, the tool is initially introduced in an alpha-stage version that will be expanded and improved through future updates. However, as today’s demo video demonstrates, the initial results are already promising.
Cascadeur Tutorial – Animation Playback
Besides developing these new tools, the programmers were mainly busy with the extension and polishing of functions already available in the previous Early Access version, released in July 2021: Cascadeur’s Rigging tool, for example, has been thoroughly reworked so that users can now return to Rigging mode at any time during the animation process to make changes to the character model.
Working with Quick Rigging has also been made more convenient by introducing a search function and improved recognition of the bending direction of joints. Other significant changes were made to Cascadeur’s AI-controlled AutoPosing, such as improved detection of feet touching the ground, as well as support for trajectories.