Anime Stu­dio Pro 11

Pro art The soft­ware is al­ready well loved, but will new tools and fea­tures, tweaks and up­dates make it worth an up­grade for artists?

ImagineFX: Sci-fi & Fantasy Art magazine - - Reviews - Price £200 (up­grade from £96) Com­pany Smith Mi­cro Web http://my.smith­mi­cro.com

Anime Stu­dio Pro 11 takes what was al­ready a wellloved and strong toolset, and adds a num­ber of welcome new tools and fea­tures, not to men­tion a raft of tweaks, up­dates and en­hance­ments.

The big new fea­tures and up­dates to the toolset and work­flow are layer based. While Anime Stu­dio isn’t new to a lay­ered workspace, there have been some ar­eas that needed a bit ex­tra and ver­sion 11 doesn’t dis­ap­point.

XRef lay­ers, or layer ref­er­enc­ing, and shape or­der­ing Frame-by-frame an­i­ma­tion are all new, and alone make the up­grade worth­while. When ref­er­enc­ing lay­ers, if a change is made to one layer the changes flow through, which can save a lot of du­pli­cat­ing. Sim­i­larly, be­ing able to quickly an­i­mate the or­der of your shapes will make for a less-clut­tered workspace and a much more nav­i­ga­ble scene.

Im­proved cam­era move­ments mean no warp­ing and or stretch­ing, and if you’re work­ing within a 3D scene you can dis­play the axis han­dles. Now its much eas­ier to nav­i­gate and get your bear­ings. This leads on to the 3D as­pects of the soft­ware. It’s a sim­ple im­port job to load up any .OBJ file, bring­ing in tex­tures and UVs. What’s more, un­der­stand­ably given they’re both from the same com­pany, you can im­port Poser scenes di­rectly, en­abling you to an­i­mate with Anime Stu­dio. This is a big plus for artists who like to stay

This all adds up to a piece of soft­ware that does as much to get out of your way and let you stay cre­ative as it can

within a given ecosys­tem, or who won’t be cre­at­ing 3D as­sets them­selves.

Along with the scene and cam­era up­dates the preview ren­der op­tions now make it pos­si­ble to cre­ate a quick preview that has no an­tialias­ing. In prac­tice this is fan­tas­tic, as pre­views are great for check­ing tim­ings and flow.

In ad­di­tion to all the cre­ative tool up­dates there are us­abil­ity tweaks, start­ing with a new pre-flight­ing sys­tem that col­lates all your media into a sin­gle di­rec­tory. Im­proved ex­port­ing op­tions mean that ren­der­ing is a far ti­dier ex­pe­ri­ence than be­fore, so you can take a look at the huge, ex­panded con­tent li­brary to start your next pro­ject much sooner.

What this all adds up to is a piece of soft­ware that does as much to get out of your way and let you stay cre­ative as it can. Many of the la­bo­ri­ous tasks have been re­moved or re­duced sig­nif­i­cantly, and you’re much more free to con­cen­trate on what mat­ters: cre­at­ing art and telling sto­ries.

Anime Stu­dio Pro 11 has some use­ful work­flow

tools, and the split 2D/3D workspace is

high on that list.

Depth and de­tail comes easily to ver­sion 11, es­pe­cially with the

new layer man­age­ment tools.

Var­i­ous brush, vec­tor and as­set styles make for a wide ar­ray of ren­der styles.

Vic­tor Pare­des’ art­work, cre­ated in

Anime Stu­dio 11, adorns the boxed copy of the soft­ware. The bones sys­tem comes com­plete with la­belling, mak­ing it easy to nav­i­gate a scene with­out dig­ging through menus.

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