Since 3D ProAnimator AE works inside of After Effects it lets you work on your 3D elements at the same time you create the 2D elements. This eliminates the wasteful process of "round tripping" back and forth between After Effects and an external 3D program.
ProAnimator is specialized for 3D Motion Graphics, so titles, logos and other types of animation are faster to create than other 3D programs. Since it's not as complicated the software is also easier to learn and faster to use.
ProAnimator also does near real-time ray trace rendering. This means you get true reflections and beautiful images in record time.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 3D PROANIMATOR AE AND 3D PROANIMATOR STANDALONE
3D ProAnimator AE is a plug-in that works inside of Adobe After Effects. 3D ProAnimator Standalone doesn't need After Effects and works by itself. Typically, AE artists like the plug-in version because it lets you work with 3D elements at the same time you work with your 2D elements. This saves tons of time you usually waste "round tripping" which is what happens when you have to bounce back and forth between After Effects and your 3D program. Less round tripping means faster workflow, higher quality design and no wasted time. It's a huge advantage over other 3D programs.
DIFFERENT BUT QUICKLY FAMILIAR 3D ProAnimator doesn't use ordinary keyframes to create animation. This may seem odd but in reality it takes about 10 minutes to learn and once you "get it" you can create animations in minutes that would take days with a keyframe program.
$200 WORTH OF FREE STUFF When you buy the program you'll get over $200 worth of animation presets, object styles, materials and lens flares for free. This free stuff will help you get up and running fast. Presets can help you create billable work right away. They are also easy to customize so making them your own is fast and straightforward.
REAL-TIME 3D RENDERING
Boy isn't that an over-used buzzword these days! So let's put some quotes around "real-time" and tell you what this really means. Zaxwerks has developed a new rendering engine called the Reactor Rendering System. It is a hybrid GPU/CPU system that will do GL rendering and Ray Tracing. It uses the latest advances in rendering technology to give you high quality final rendering pretty darned fast. Actually, "pretty fast" doesn't do it justice. Our users say "incredi-freakin-ly fast" is closer to the truth.
We've done comparisons between Maya, C4D and Reactor and what takes a couple of minutes per frame in the other programs is taking a few seconds per frame in Reactor. Tests were with millions of polygons, with textures, on real-world hardware like laptops and moderate desktops.
Can you slow it down? Sure you can. Depends on what you throw at it. But to get real shadows and ray traced reflections this fast is shocking and very very liberating.
REAL-TIME CAMERA FOCUS WITH DEPTH OF FIELD
If the beauty of an image is your thing then being able to control the focus of the camera is huge. 3D ProAnimator 8 lets you set what's in focus and then move the focus distance as an animated value. This gives you the ability to highlight a subject, focusing attention on the part that matters, then change the focus to highlight another subject. It's a truly cinematic look reserved for special occasions.
The best part is that it takes little additional rendering time. So when we say real-time we really mean it.
INSTANCING (AUTOMATIC OBJECT DUPLICATION)
The third big new feature in 3D ProAnimator 8 is called "instancing". Instancing, in simplest terms, is object duplication. However it duplicates objects in a way that's incredibly fast, and makes it easy to populate a scene with hundreds or even thousands of objects and still keep the rendering speed nice and fast. You can instance objects made of one piece, like hearts or stars. You can instance objects made of multiple pieces, like houses or cars. You can instance words or logos and you can even mix all of these kinds of objects together! There are lots of creative uses, so watch the video and see the power of instancing in action.
The fourth big new feature in 3D ProAnimator 8 creates big things out of small ones. Object distribution has always been a part of 3D ProAnimator but in version 8 we've made it much more flexible and powerful. We've added many new distribution styles which make it easy to create environments, backgrounds and objects made up of other objects.
Simple distributions are like arranging objects into rows, rings or grids.
There are lots of uses for simple distributions like this. But the cool part comes when you can distribute objects into the shape of other objects, such as logos or other 3D models. That's when things get fun. The flexibility of 3D ProAnimator lets you try simple or fancy in a way that's so easy and fast that you don't limit your designs based on the amount of time it takes to see if something is going to work. You can just try, try, try and get where you want faster, with fewer steps.
The merging of flexibility with increased workflow speed can't be understated. With most 3D programs your budget gets wasted when clients make changes. Each change causes a domino effect of rework. But changes in 3D ProAnimator are quick and easy and can be made at any time in the production process.
For example, say you start off with a circle of stars, then you turn it into a sphere of stars, and then you turn that into a sphere of words. You end up in a completely different place than where you started because the design evolved as you created.
Now as if that's not enough, all of these distributions can be animated in the timeline. So you can turn one massive distribution into another with the objects swarming and flying from one to the next! Fantastic!
It's all incredibly easy and, before 3D ProAnimator, only available in the most complicated of 3D softwares. Watch the video to see it in action.
Image-Based Lighting, or IBL for short, is a way of lighting your entire scene by using nothing but a picture! You read that right. All you need to do to get completely realistic lighting is to choose a picture of the environment and 3D ProAnimator 8 takes care of the rest for you! There's no need to be a lighting expert.
Change the lighting from an exterior beach to an interior studio to a nightclub with a single click. The image sets the mood and the software creates the lighting, shading and reflections.
It's an easy way of getting an epic look. And it's really really fast.
REAL-TIME AMBIENT OCCLUSION
The sixth big new feature in 3D ProAnimator 8 could be called the reality feature. The formal name is Ambient Occlusion but you can think of it as corner darkening. This feature darkens the corners and crevices of 3D objects in a way that gives the effect of bounce lighting but without the enormous rendering hit. It makes your objects look much more realistic, and thankfully we figured out how to add Ambient Occlusion in production at real-time speeds. There is no more excuse for your work to not look realistic.
Nothing in the real world is totally perfect. Unfortunately most things in the computer world are perfect. So you have to take extra time to make things un-perfect. That's where our new randomization features come in.
Randomization works hand in hand with the instancing and distribution features. Instancing creates hundreds of objects and distribution arranges them into shapes and patterns but what happens when the patterns are a little too regular? You randomize them!
These three features together are fantastic at populating your scene with lots of "stuff". Sometimes you just want to fill the frame up with stuff and you aren't too particular about the fine points of where that stuff is. Want an extra 100 objects? No problem. Randomize their rotation? Done. Randomize it a little more? Done.
And what if you are particular? What if you do want that third object from the left to be rotated an extra four degrees? Well 3D ProAnimator has you covered there too. Even though your objects are being distributed and randomized you can always come in and tweak an individual object so it's in just the right place.
That's where you get "powerful" and "easy" combined. You get projects done quicker and easier, but still have the ability to fine tune individual elements to make your project perfect. Overall it saves you time and reduces your headaches.
3D ProAnimator has always supported bump maps to give your textures realistic bumps and dents. However, it's now time to take Bump maps to the next level.
Say hello to Normal Maps. Have you seen those blue and pink pictures that look kind of funny? Well those are Normal Maps and they will make your textures look ultra realistic!
We have upgraded all of our materials to use normal maps. This means that when you buy 3D ProAnimator 8, you are also receiving 200+ realistic materials with normal maps, reflection maps, specular maps, transparency maps and diffuse maps. This is a huge value in itself, and we're including it for free with the program. Dang, we're really nice.
We'll still support bump maps so all of your old textures are safe, but if you know how to build, buy or download materials with normal maps, you'll, you'll be able to add luscious-looking textures to your everyday work.