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   Software Review
   Antics 3D V5
   Publisher: Antics Technologies Ltd
   Platform: Windows Only
   Description: 3D animation

   MSRP: $145 for Home Pack;
   $295 for ProPack

   Download Demo: Click Here
   Samples: Click Here
   Expected Release: Available Now
   Review Date: November 1, 2008
   Reviewed By: Michael J. Muwanguzi

Final Score:

In this day and age, most people that are fortunate enough to live in a heavily digital environment have access to many new venues for art and story. Not only that, but the types of styles for conveying these narratives are just as varied and progressive as the portals they enter through. One of the most popular canvases to tell stories these days is within a 3D environment. Problem is the learning curve and time spent for preparation is a huge deterrent for a lot of people to even make an attempt. Because of this, companies like Antics Technology have risen to fill the gap between desire and know-how by providing Antics 3D to help bring people’s stories to fruition.

Antics 3D is an animation toolset that gives you access to pre-made models and props to place within a virtual set of your design. The tools provided are geared towards the user being a director. Placing your actors, leading them along paths, tracking and panning cameras, all of these labels and tools are meant to emphasize this role as you compose your tale. And in this latest iteration of Antics 3D, the interface has been improved and additional tools have been added to empower your filmmaking.

Antics is a 3D program in which you can easily set up your virtual set and instruct your 3D actors how to behave.

Ease of Use
The major attraction of Antics 3D is its affable approach to operating the software. The simplicity of the program’s overall layout, in adjunction to the one-to-two click operations, help to keep this 3D application very accessible to its target audience. A few of the common procedures have been streamlined for a more believable performance, but taken comprehensively, this current evolution is not a huge leap from its last incarnation by any means. This is appropriate, because Antics releases new versions of their software at a breakneck pace that is rivaled only by iClone. (In fact, this review started out to be a review of Version 4.0, but just as we were about to wrap up the review, Version 5.0 was released. (As such, I'll mention new things that have been added in both 4 & 5.) If you are unfamiliar with the workflow behind Antics 3D, please check out the review we did for version 3.0 earlier this year, which should help explain the common progressions when using this program.

The lighting options which were rolled out in version 4 give you a lot of creative ways to create a mood in your scene, including options for ambient lights, spotlights, and point lights.

Depth of Options
The additions to version 4.0 were not terribly huge, but they were welcome and necessary for Antics to stay relevant to its mission. One of the most common ways of navigating your actors from mark to mark is by directing them with a couple of clicks. Though Antics 3D was pretty good in its 3.0 version, it was enhanced in version 4.0 and provided more intelligent path-finding, while weaving around objects and people. The transition animation from a stationary position to movement was touched up too, injecting more realism to the characters’ mobility. Speaking of characters, Antics 3D 4.0 also began including interaction prompts to two characters that are within each other’s personal space. Now, by opening a contextual menu, you can insert a more meaningful performance without the hassle of manually constructing common gestures like hugging, kissing, handshakes, etc. (For users of 3D storyboarding software FrameForge 3D Studio, this functionality is very similar.) These new applications greatly helped the end user spend more time directing, rather than finagling with repetitive tasks or cleaning up actors’ actions.

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