MotionBuilder 2013 animation software delivers robust new tools that help production teams more reliably acquire, aggregate, and refine data, and offers a new nonlinear editing paradigm for Virtual Production. With the option to record live motion capture data directly to disk, support for broadcast WAVE files, and the ability to output SDI (serial digital interface) video, MotionBuilder 2013 bettter supports a modern production pipeline. In addition, extended nonlinear editing tools, z-depth selection tools, and targeted performance enhancements accelerate everyday workflows. Also, with a flexible new HUD (heads-up display) and a floating viewer, animators and directors can benefit from views optimized for their individual requirements.
Key New Features in MotionBuilder 2013
Live Data Recording to Disk in Story
A new option enables motion capture or certain other live input data to be recorded directly to disk, rather than to memory; a representation of the data is added to the Story timeline, where it can be loaded for editing when required. With this option, studios are no longer limited by the amount of data that will fit into RAM, but only by the size of their hard disk, effectively enabling them to record take after take in rapid sequence; performers can act out a scene without interrupting the creative flow. A token system for clip naming helps facilitate integration with asset management systems.
Artists can now take advantage of a flexible new heads-up display (HUD) feature set to render real- time metadata into the viewer. HUD elements can contain static or dynamic data: text fields, bitmaps, and aspect ratio masks are all supported. Artists can choose from a number of presets (among those offered are: scene name, take name, camera name, frame rate, and camera focal length), or add a property reference or relationship constraint from within the scene simply by dragging and dropping it; animated values will update as the scene plays back. Each camera can display a different set of HUD elements. The system is extensible via the MotionBuilder SDK (software development kit).
Artists and directors can now each view the scene information that is important to them in an appropriate context, thanks to a new Floating Viewer. This enables one camera view to be displayed on a separate monitor from the main viewports; as an example, the artist might be viewing their working cameras on a computer monitor, while the director is viewing the final output on an additional display.
Broadcast WAVE File Support
New support for professional broadcast audio WAVE files enables embedded timecode data to be more accurately interpreted; as a result, video and audio files can be more easily synchronized.
Story Clip Grouping
Animators can simultaneously edit the timing of multiple clips, thanks to a new Summary Clip option in the Story timeline. The Summary Clip enables them to translate, scale, or cut all of the clips in a folder of tracks in a single action. This provides a useful method of making high-level changes to multiple characters at once.
New in MotionBuilder 2013 is the ability to output an SDI broadcast video signal. This is useful in situations where a genlock reference signal is required; as an example, when capturing real-time video output for offline editorial, without having to wait for a rendered file.
A number of new features help artists select objects more easily, especially those with semi- transparency. Artists can now: toggle a mode that enables them to select through semi-transparent objects; change the transparency threshold through which selection is possible; cycle through objects based on their z-buffer depth; and more easily see what's selected by hiding objects in front, hiding all unselected objects, or overriding the color of the selected object.
Audio clips can now be retimed in the Story timeline, enabling artists to match audio timing with the timing of the animation.
Targeted performance enhancements in MotionBuilder 2013 help increase overall productivity to keep creativity flowing. In particular, scene load time, merging assets from multiple scenes, and selecting objects in a scene with many nodes are now significantly faster.