Open Beta of Cascadeur Launched

Hi Guys, Nekki announced the launch of the open beta-test (OBT) of Cascadeur.
Cascadeur is a software for creating character animation without motion capture, using a physics-based approach, it allows for creating expressive and realistic animations for movies and video games.

The animations created with Cascadeur’s latest beta version can be used commercially without license fees.

Cascadeur is currently in beta.
You can sign up for beta testing on their website.

Cascadeur latest version highlights:


Nekki is pleased to announce that the open beta-test (OBT) of Cascadeur is now available. With the OBT a broad user base is able to test and evaluate the next major version of Nekki’s physics-based character animation software. Any animations created with Cascadeur’s new beta version may be used commercially without license fees.

Since the first announcement of Cascadeur in early 2019, more than 18,000 users have participated in the closed beta-test and downloaded the software from Animators from game development and movie production had more than 12 months to put the new software through its paces.

Polyarc’s animation director, Richard Lico, who was among these first users, draws a positive balance: “Cascadeur’s approach to animation makes accurate body mechanics much easier to achieve. After using it, I’m convinced physics-assisted animation tools will soon be an expected standard.“, says the leading animator of the multiple awards winning VR game Moss (Polyarc) and former principal animator of Destiny 2 (Bungie).

Numerous representatives of the animation industry, including AAA movie and game developers, expressed great interest in Cascadeur. A survey conducted by Nekki in April 2020 found that 85% of Cascadeur’s beta users consider it a tool that will play “an important role in their future projects”. In January 2020, Nekki and Cascadeur were already nominated for the Pocket Gamer Mobile Games Awards in the categories “Best Innovation” and “Best Tool Provider”, which is a rare achievement for an unreleased product.

Nekki launches the open beta of Cascadeur for free commercial use and reveals a product demo video.

Nekki has been working on the new open-beta version of Cascadeur for a year and there are a lot of changes that might be invisible at first glance. But on the inside everything has changed, because the update includes a thorough redesign of the whole architecture. The main highlights of the latest version are:

  • New core architecture that makes Cascadeur much faster and efficient
  • Rig improvements, such as the ability to drag or rotate the center of mass without fixing it and improved interpolation
  • Improved rig creation tools

Since the new architecture has improved the general performance of Cascadeur it will let Nekki further optimize the software. The next steps will include:

  • Further improved and intuitive rigging that gives the ability to customize rigs
  • Enabled Python scripting for better and more varied customization options
  • Beta-version of the Graph Editor

In order to make the early use of Cascadeur attractive for animation professionals, Nekki permits the free commercial use of the beta version. Any animation created with Cascadeur’s new OBT version can be freely used in games and movies without Nekki’s permission.

Nekki also introduced a new 5-minute video with a demonstration of the main features and tools of Cascadeur:

New core architecture

The progress from the CBT to the OBT version may appear subtle on the outside, but on the inside the entire core architecture has been revised. As a result, the hardware efficiency and general performance of Cascadeur have improved considerably. With the new data-driven core design, we are able to optimize the software much easier and eliminate bugs faster in the future.

Improved rig creation
One goal of the core redesign was to simplify the rigging process in Cascadeur, by making the rigs adaptable at runtime. We are not there yet, but with the optimized core architecture, we have laid the necessary foundation for moving in this direction. Our long-term endeavor remains to give you instant visual feedback during the entire rigging process. Nevertheless, the new OBT version already offers you improved rig creation tools and other benefits, such as a more user-friendly controller behavior and improved interpolation.

GUI conversion to QML
During the past months, we migrated our GUI from the old QWidgets to the new QML standard. This goal has been achieved, and due to this important transition, we could remove several GUI bugs that came with using QWidgets.

Reverse compatibility issues
Unfortunately, switching to new core caused issues with reverse compatibility. Due to the optimized architecture, your scenes created in the previous versions of Cascadeur will not work in the OBT version. The problem is that old .casc scenes will load only as joints with baked animation and meshes. However, there are simple ways to transfer them to the OBT version. Please refer to this CONVERSION INSTRUCTION for more information.

Changed license model
And last, but not least, we have simplified our licensing model: Any animation created with Cascadeur’s new OBT version can be freely used in commercial games and movies – without asking for Nekki’s permission or paying any license fees.

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