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Top 10 Most Standard 3D Animation Tools for 2017

The world is going digital and graphical and 3D animation has a huge role to play in this digital generation. Whether you are preparing a simple tutorial for YouTube or you are into complex game development, a touch of animation can surely work wonders. You will find number of software to aid you in this task. To make it easier for you, we have sorted out a handful of sleek tools that can help you to set the right tone for your creations.

We have listed ten user-friendly yet technologically advanced, standard software that serve you with useful features for your animation character development.

1. Aurora 3D Animation Maker

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This is one of the most comprehensible animating tools which enable users to create stunning animations. You can transform plain texts or pictures into astonishing creations. It has an easy to use interface which allows you to control several aspects of your animation like length, speed of playback, etc.

It provides you with more than 60 professional project templates and over 80 object style, and these are few of the features to talk about which are available in this animation character maker. Its trial version can be downloaded for free which means that as an animator you can check it out thoroughly.

2. Wideo

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For all those marketers and entrepreneurs who are looking for expansion through some purposeful marketing, Wideo serves as a suitable answer. This platform is fit for creating basic, useful animations. It comes with built-in templates which can be customized to make short, meaningful videos. Starting from kinetic text to animated objects, Wideo offers numerable features to create unique animated videos.

3. Blender

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Here comes a free and open source 3D creation suite that offers extensible features to its users. With a robust support for the entirety of 3D pipeline, it presents numerous opportunities to animators both amateurs and experts alike. Whether it is modeling, rigging, rendering, composting or game creation, Blender extends seamless help to its users at every phase of 3D animation through its built-in engines like Cycles and through its community as well. Blender has open projects, trainings and tutorials which can be used by amateurs to become a pro of this software.

4. Go! Animate

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This is another online platform which stands to serve customized video animations for businesses, schools, and individuals. It contains tools which can be used to make presentations, storyboards and scripts more interactive. It has a huge music track library, over 50 template cartoon characters, and more than 200 props to choose from. You can even customize the voice of your characters with your own recording and automatic lip-sync.

5. Autodesk Maya

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If you are an animator who is eager to hit it big in the animation industry, then Autodesk Maya is your pathfinder. With support for multiple platforms including macOS, this state-of-the-art tool can be used for creation of interactive 3D applications. This creative toolset is filled with powerful features for modelers, animators and VFX artists. However, one requires patience and practice to master this software.

6. Autodesk 3ds Max

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Based upon polygon modeling, 3ds Max is one of the best animation software out there. You can create images like cubes, cones, teapots, pyramids, etc. that serve as bases for models. It enables animators to do easy yet powerful modeling and high-end rendering.

Suitable for big projects, it also works well when you strive to create sleek video games or movies. You can enhance its capabilities by downloading plugins as it has flexible plugin architecture.

7. Houdini

houdini

Developed by Side Effects Software, Houdini is exclusively meant for digital artists who strive to achieve realistic results with tighter deadlines. Built with procedural and node-based interface, Houdini comes as a savior to the animators who need to handle workload and at the same time maintain the creative process.

It is packed with features for modeling, texturing, rigging and animation of 3D models. It is used for high-quality graphics pipeline. This software has been used in popular animation productions which include Disney’s feature films Zootopia and Frozen.

8. Autodesk Mudbox

autodesk-mudbox

Mudbox is a software that stands out for any 3D animation studio or animator because of its exclusive use in digital painting and sculpting. Although Mudbox can be used as a design tool, its primary uses consist of normal and displacement map creation, texturing and high-resolution digital sculpting. It provides users with 3D environment and enables them to create movable cameras.

9. Anime Studio

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Anime Studio is counted among the ultra-modern animation tools because of its rich features. One of the best things about this software is that artwork created in Anime Studio is independent of resolution. It also comes with a Physics engine for simulating reality. Apart from these features, it comes with lots of pre-animated content so that users can create and publish their animated movies with ease.

10. Cinema 4D Studio

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This animation software has gained popularity because of its interactive interface and spontaneity. Especially designed for motion graphics, it comes with some classic features like dynamics, MoGraph (meant for procedural modeling), PyroCluster (for smoke and fire effects), Thinking Particles (based on nodes) and many more that makes it fun and interesting to work with.

Starting from marketing to entertainment, the purposes fulfilled by animation are endless. While the tools listed above can be really helpful for experts, people looking for advanced animation can tie up with a renowned animation company which can help them to achieve realistic, fruitful results.

Pixar’s Short Film ‘Lou’ Is An Impressive & Touching Achievement in Animation

During our visit to Pixar Animation’s campus in Emeryville, California to check out a bunch of footage from Cars 3 (read our reaction over here), the animation studio also took the time to show us their new short film that will be attached to the sequel when it hits theaters this summer.

In case you missed the first look Lou we featured previously, the story focuses on a monster who lives in a lost and found box at an elementary school. What’s cool about Lou, is that he’s actually made up of all the things found in that lost and found box. There’s a red hoodie, baseballs, buttons, a slinky, a handheld video game, a shoe and plenty of other misplaced items from the kids at the school.

After all the kids are done having recess on the school playground, Lou takes it upon himself to scour the playground for all the items that get left behind, and he secretly gives them back to the kids to enjoy over and over again. But one day, he notices a bully who has been stealing stuff from his classmates, and what happens next is hilarious and moving.
Read Also: Nintendo brings a wild IRL twist to the ‘Splatoon 2’ story

Find out more about the Pixar short film Lou below.

We won’t give everything away that happens in Lou, but the lost and found monster decides to teach this bully a lesson in compassion. Before that happens, a chase ensues between Lou and the bully that is wholly entertaining and funny, and it all leads to a moving conclusion that will really touch your heart.

What makes Lou so mesmerizing is the titular monster himself. While most of the time, Lou’s face and eyes are primarily made up of a red hoodie, a couple of baseballs and two buttons (making him look like a goofy, red Cookie Monster), during the chase on the plaground with the bully, the items that he’s composed of constantly scatter and shift, giving him wildly different forms that make for some truly hilarious moments in animation.

In addition to the wacky, impressive design for Lou, it’s the potent emotional ending that makes this Pixar short a memorable directorial debut for Dave Mullins, and there’s no doubt in my mind that he will one day be at the helm of an incredible feature film for Pixar Animation.

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The Inspiration for Lou

Following the screening, Pixar brought Dave Mullins out to talk a bit about the creation of Lou. The filmmaker explained that he’s always been inspired by a set of guidelines that John Lasseter once explained were the ingredients that a Pixar movie should have. They include heart, meaning there should be a main character who is flawed and experiences personal growth; entertainment, meaning a story that is unpredictable and funny; a unique setting that transports viewers to a place that is exciting and new; and the film must call for being animated and use the full potential of the medium.

Dave Mullins has been working as an animator at Pixar since Monsters Inc. in 2001. He started pitching ideas for short films here and there in 2005 that include one about his relatives as told through a family of beavers, some Cars Toons ideas, and a few self-acknowledged bad ideas that didn’t go anywhere. But Mullins found inspiration for the movie he would eventually make when he really dug into his childhood.

Mullins was a kid who moved around a lot, almost every year he was the new kid at school. It made him feel invisible, and it gave him this idea for some kind of character who felt invisible and desired to be accepted by other kids. That’s when he came up with the concept of a character who looked like a pile of stolen toys, but was actually a little kid underneath. That idea didn’t entirely pan out the same way for the film, but it was the right inspiration he needed to being the journey towards creating the Lou you’ll see in theaters.

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An Impressive Achievement in Animation

One thing that is always impressive about Pixar’s movies is how much they change throughout production. Even as animators are already working on scenes for the film, those scenes could end up being cut or changed drastically. Story is king at Pixar, and that means making sure the story can always be improved, no matter what stage of production the movie is in. Lou is an excellent example of how skilled Pixar is at perfecting their stories.

Furthermore, seeing how the design of Lou himself progressed is another impressive element of Pixar’s work in animation. When the pitch was made to Pixar, complete with a real-life maquette of Lou in the room, John Lasseter said, “This character looks like a pain in the ass to do. Let’s make it!”

Indeed, the animation tests and footage we saw revealed that this monster was a complicated piece of animation. Pixar had to figure out how to make a pile of individual items move as a single entity, and give those elements a place in the creature’s body that still made him look like the same monster we met in the beginning of the movie.The result is a wacky, delightful character who can only exist in animation, one who brings heart to the story, making it a perfect Pixar short film.

Nintendo brings a wild IRL twist to the ‘Splatoon 2’ story

Whatever happens in Splatoon 2’s story, it’ll be a product of the game’s community.

Nintendo recently added a new section to the upcoming sequel’s website, called “Squid Sisters Stories.” That’s a reference to Marie and Callie, the pop idol duo at the center of Splatoon’s in-game “Splatfest” events.

Read Also: ‘Fallout’ becomes a board game in ‘Wasteland Warfare’

Before we get to the site update and how the original game will influence the sequel, it’s important to understand what Splatfests are.

Splatoon is a competitive multiplayer game, and Splatfests were limited time events in which players chose between two sides. It was always something simple: Cats vs. Dogs, Art vs. Science, Messy vs. Tidy.

The labels ultimately didn’t matter inside the game, beyond giving the community competing banners to unite under. At the end of each Splatfest, each team earned a score based on a combination of overall popularity (i.e. how many players flocked to each banner) and win percentage, with the higher score nabbing a win.

In every Splatfest, Marie and Callie split up to represent each team. But for the final Splatfest, the Squid Sisters were the banners players flocked to: it was Marie vs. Callie. The event ended on July 22, 2016 and Marie was crowned the winner.

That was the end. Or so it seemed.

Now, the newly updated Splatoon 2 website features an all-text “Prologue” that directly references the result of that final Marie vs. Callie Splatfest. Here’s the relevant bit:

The showdown of Callie versus Marie ended in victory for Marie, but there was no ill will between the two. The girls left the studio arm in arm, smiling and laughing as they always had. The bond between them would continue, unbroken, for years to come.

There’s one more line after that: “Or so it seemed at the time….”

This prologue is obviously setting up the story in Splatoon 2. What’s surprising is the way the final Splatfest, a real-life event, is woven into the fictional story. I can’t think of any other case where a game featuring live elements used the results of an in-game event to influence the continuing story.

To see this coming from Nintendo, a company that has traditionally been slower to embrace industry trends — in this case, live games — is even more surprising. There’s plenty more to be revealed about Splatoon 2, but this very cool twist should go a long way toward keeping fans of the first game invested in the sequel.

‘Fallout’ becomes a board game in ‘Wasteland Warfare’

Fallout has appeared on computers, consoles, tablets, and smartphones, but one format still eludes it: tabletop.

No longer. The hit series from Bethesda Softworks is finally getting the board game treatment. And unlike the older, themed version of Monopoly, this one is its own game.

Read Also: Easter comes to ‘Pokémon GO’ with egg-stravagent bonuses

Fallout: Wasteland Warfare is a miniatures game from Mophidius Entertainment. It’s “coming soon” and… that’s pretty much everything we know at this point.

A teaser image offers an early look at some of the game’s miniatures. Lots of familiar sights here: a power armor-wearing Brotherhood of Steel soldier, a couple of raiders, a deathclaw, an eyebot, and even a Nuka Cola machine.

Miniatures games tend to fall somewhere between pen-and-paper RPGs and strategy-focused board games. They’re generally more complicated than traditional board games, with long play times and progression/upgrade elements reminiscent of video games.

Mophidius is one of a younger generation of tabletop game publishers that have discovered the power of Kickstarter as potent marketing tool. The company launched in 2012 and has found repeated success with bringing projects to the crowdfunding platform.

There’s no word one way or another one whether or not Fallout will stick to that same pattern, but there’s no reason to believe it won’t. You can sign up for news blasts about the game on the Mophidius website.

Easter comes to ‘Pokémon GO’ with egg-stravagent bonuses

Easter is just around the corner and Pokémon GO is celebrating with a limited-time Eggstravaganza.

No, you don’t get any free eggs, but between April 13 to April 20 there will be double XP as well as some generous egg-related bonuses.

Throughout the week, your 2 km eggs will have a chance to hatch more than just the low-tier Pokémon they currently do. When the eggs hatch, they’ll give you more candy than before. Finally, lucky eggs will be 50% off in the in-game store, and they’ll give you 4x XP.

SEE ALSO: New Pokemon Go Update Coming Soon, Here’s What It Does (Not Much)

Unfortunately, Niantic Labs didn’t share exactly which Pokémon can be hatched from 2 km eggs during the Eggstravaganza, but hopefully there are some Exeggutors, Togepis, and Chanseys.

Luckily the weather is finally warming up this time of year, which should make all the egg-hatching walks you go on a little bit more bearable.

Who run the galaxy? Star Wars women get their own cartoon series and toys.

Despite the presence of Princess Leia, Queen Amidala, Rey, and Jyn Erso on our screens, it can’t be said often enough: the Star Wars franchise isn’t just for boys.

That point will be driven home this summer by a new initiative called Star Wars: Forces of Destiny. It’s a series of toys and cartoons, aimed at a younger demographic, where the women of Star Wars take center stage.

See Also: Check out these latest ‘Overwatch’ skins from the ‘Uprising’ event that are awesomely retro

Narrated by Maz Kanata (Lupita Nyong’o), Forces of Destiny will offer 16 animated shorts, each around three minutes long, which will be available online and on the Disney Channel beginning in July.

Daisy Ridley voices Rey, Felicity Jones reprises her Rogue One role as Jyn, while Shelby Young (American Horror Story) steps in to speak for Leia. Also getting a cartoon of their own: Padme Amidala, Ahsoka Tano (Clone Wars) and Sabine (Rebels).

Some of those characters will meet each other, and the stories will count as Star Wars canon. The show, animated by a San Francisco company called Ghost Bot, will absolutely pass the Bechdel test, Lucasfilm says.

These tales focus on “what it means to be a hero, what it means to be a good friend,” says Paul Southern, VP of licensing at Lucasfilm.

For example, a short called “Tracker Trouble” takes place during the events of The Force Awakens, and shows Rey defusing a bomb set on the Millennium Falcon by its former owner, Unkar Plutt, saving the lives of Han, Chewie and Finn.

Here’s another glimpse of Rey in action, voiced by Ridley:

http://mashable.com/videos/bUAiqj0u/

Alongside the shorts, Hasbro is launching a new line of 11-inch “adventure figures” with real hair, retailing for $20 apiece.

Just don’t call them Barbie dolls — they’re a lot more posable, not to mention realistically proportioned.

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Perhaps the oddest part of the whole lineup — Hasbro’s first full-hair Chewbacca figure, which looks a little more Planet of the Apes than the Wookiee we know and love.

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Will Forces of Destiny catch on and become a full-fledged animated series? Only the Force knows for sure — but it’s certainly about time.

Check out these latest ‘Overwatch’ skins from the ‘Uprising’ event that are awesomely retro

Overwatch’s latest event — Uprising — is taking players back seven years in the past to battle hordes of robots during the month of April, and to collect as many old-school skins as possible in the process.

The Uprising hero skins show us what our favorite Overwatch characters looked like seven years ago, including Reinhardt, Mercy, Torbjörn, and Tracer’s Overwatch team uniforms, Widowmaker’s Talon apparel, McCree and Genji’s Blackwatch duds, and Omnic uprising versions of Bastion and Orisa.

See Also: Blizzard isn’t choosing what countries will be in this year’s ‘Overwatch’ Cup — Players are

The new skins are randomly won through loot boxes earned during the Uprising event, which lasts until May 1. Or, you can purchase them with your in-game gold until that same date. Check out the new skins below:

Lieutenant Wilhelm Reinhardt

1

Talon Widowmaker

2

Chief Engineer Lindholm Torbjörn

3

Ironclad Torbjörn

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Combat Medic Ziegler Mercy

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Blackwatch Genji

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Null Sector Orisa

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Cadet Oxton Tracer

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Blackwatch McCree

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Null Sector Bastion

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Never-released NES game ‘Mystery World Dizzy’ released for free

There’s a new Dizzy game that’s actually quite old: it was originally supposed to be released in 1993, for NES.

Never heard of Dizzy? That’s OK. It just means you probably didn’t grow up gaming in Europe during the ’80s and ’90s. It was a big series at the time, starting in 1987 with Dizzy — The Ultimate Cartoon Adventure.

Read Also : New Pokemon Go Update Coming Soon, Here’s What It Does (Not Much)

That first game was released for the ZX Spectrum, Amstrad PC, and Commodore 64 — remember any of those? It was created by Philip and Andrew Oliver — known as the Oliver Twins — and published by their early collaborator, the U.K.-based Codemasters.

The Dizzy series follows a smiling, egg-shaped creature who leaps around — avoiding hazards and solving puzzles — as he tries to keep his people, the Yolkfolk, safe from an evil wizard called Zaks. Like many popular games from the era, it takes cues from Nintendo platformers like Mario.

The Oliver Twins (and later, Big Red Software) created a string of Dizzy games, spin-offs, and compilations between 1987 and 1994. Some of that stuff never got released at the time, but has trickled out since.

Such is the case with Mystery World Dizzy, a browser-based port of a game that was originally intended for an NES release in 1993. In its original form, Mystery World is technically just a spiffed up remake of Fantasy World Dizzy, the third game in the series and perhaps the best-known of the bunch.

The 2017 port comes from the Oliver Twins, who announced the release on Twitter.

This actually isn’t the first old-made-new-again port from the Oliver Twins. Back in 2015, the sibling game makers delivered a similarly never-before-released port of Wonderland Dizzy, an NES version of the series’ sixth game, Magicland Dizzy.

Several years earlier, the Olivers attempted to revive the series with a proper sequel, called Dizzy Returns. They brought the effort to Kickstarter in 2012, but ultimately fell far short of the £350,000 funding target, with only £25,620 pledged.

New Pokemon Go Update Coming Soon, Here’s What It Does (Not Much)

A new Pokemon Go update is coming very soon, developer Niantic has announced. Android version 0.61.0 and iOS version 1.31.0 are “in the process of being updated,” and the downloads should be available soon.

Included in the update is a new language setting–Traditional Chinese–along with various bug and text fixes. Lastly, the Pokemon collection screen’s scroll bar has been changed, though precisely how is currently unclear.

Read Also : 10 Upcoming Video Games To Look Out For In April 2017

Pokemon Go’s last patch introduced a new bonus system whereby you get a new evolution item for completing the seven-day “First PokeStop of the Day” challenge. Previously, you would receive 2,500 XP and other items for the Photo Disc when you visited a PokeStop every day for seven days in a row.

A recent Water-type event introduced shiny Pokemon for the first time to Pokemon Go. Some fans were concerned the rare creatures would cease to be available after the event ended on March 29, but it seems shiny monsters are indeed still catchable.

Niantic has continued to support Pokemon Go since its launch in July last year. It brought creatures from Pokemon Gold and Silver to the mobile game in February, while trading will arrive at some point this year and PvP battles are also in the works. Lastly, the developer has confirmed that legendary Pokemon will arrive before the end of the year.

10 Upcoming Video Games To Look Out For In April 2017

March 2017 was a veritable storm of non-stop releases. What with the new Zelda, the new Mass Effect and Nier: Automata, you’d be right in thinking April has a tall order to stand out against such a stellar list of titles. So what does it look like?

First off is the obvious: there’s one particular JRPG on everyone’s mind, it’s scoring an incredible 94 on Metacritic right now, and you’ve either never heard of it, or you’re probably already sinking your teeth in.

Elephant in the room aside, there’s also a bit more coming down the pipeline in April to look forward too: A kickstarted revival of the 3D collect-a-thon platformer is finally hitting the finish line this month, alongside the next spin-off of the storied Dragon Quest franchise.

Although it’s otherwise a bit of a dry month for Nintendo exclusives, those of you looking for a game to pop into your Switch could be revving your engines – that is, if you haven’t already played the bejeezus out of it on Wii U. Perhaps the biggest thing to look towards this month isn’t the big name games, but the smaller ones.

There’s a particular Tetris game from a few years back that’s finally crossing over from Japanese shores, along with… a Micro Machines game?

1. Mario Kart 8 Deluxe

2. Super Red Hot Hero

3. Puyo Puyo Tetris

4. Dragon Quest Heroes 2

5. Micro Machines: World Series

6. The Silver Case

7. Yooka-Laylee

8. Bulletstorm: Full Clip Edition

9. Shovel Knight: Specter Of Torment

10. Persona 5