The guys at IKinema have an awesome idea in development that is making their award winning animation technology more available to the masses. For those of you who don’t know IKinema, it is a plug-in for Maya that lets you create full-body animations quickly and easily with brilliant realistic results. It is a time saving tool that eliminates the need for characterisation or special rigs as it does the hard work for you, letting you work directly onto a rig. You can combine multiple models into a single animation, retarget from any source to any target, customise or tweak motion capture and animation as well as retarget data inside Maya in real-time.
So WebAnimate continues to let you achieve all this but through a browser. This new platform solution will really benefit small studios entering into the independent film and game development industries. WebAnimate has the built-in toolset that allows users to rig, manipulate bones, retarget or customise motion capture data and animation all in a matter of minutes. Better still, because it works off of a browser you can animate and retarget from absolutely anywhere, providing you have an Internet connection of course!
Big studios like Framestore and Twentieth Century Fox have been using IKinema for years, and now you can too. If you’re looking to generate realistic, believable animation on a budget, now you can and for free. Yes, you read that correctly my friends. The lovely people at IKinema are making all this available to everyone for free. Why? Well according to Alexandre Pechev, the CEO of IKinema, it is time to make top of the range tools available to everyone in the animation community.
“We recognised a need for an affordable solution for small studios and amateurs exploring this field, so we adapted our product to address it. WebAnimate will give all indie developers a new power tool for their creative arsenal. It was created to not only level the playing field, but to place it where most people spend their workday. We think this will yield some exciting results.”
Alexandre Pechev, the CEO of IKinema
This amazing concept went to public beta on December 19th, 2011. Over the course of 2012 IKinema will be working hard to develop and add new features to WebAnimate, making it the best it can possibly be. To start with the introductory version of the platform will allow users to retarget motion capture data to models from standard formats such as bvh, FBX and eventually c3d. Whether you are experienced or a beginner, you will now be able to quickly port motion capture data from cloud or local source directly to your models. WebAnimate also lets you tap into a vast range of free MoCap files that reside online.
So now all you need to know is how you can get your hands on this. To sign up for the beta version, you need to register through the IKinema website. In true beta fashion, the IKinema development team are keen to hear your thoughts on it, so make sure if you see room for improvement you get in touch with them. It will remain free of charge during this beta period, and after that, users will only be charged when their animations or poses are exported for commercial use. Having said that it will always be free to try out and experiment within, as well as store or use the scenes you create in a proprietary format.