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Smith Micro Software Launches Anime Studio 11

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Smith Micro Software has just revealed — and released — the latest iteration of their animation creation software, Anime Studio. We’re up to the eleventh version, and Anime Studio 11 has some user-friendly tweaks that should make an upgrade worth it.

Anime Studio 11 introduces a new feature called Frame-By-Frame that allows the user to swap between bone-rigged animation (known collectively among fans as “Flash” even though Flash itself isn’t actually used here) and hand-drawn animation, in any frame. Properly applied, this allows the animator to fluidly animate the parts by hand that will look good, while reusing the elements that would barely change per drawing anyway. The result is a hybrid that can, in the right hands, be produced just as fast as Flash yet looks just as good as full hand-drawn.

Key Features of Anime Studio 11

  • Frame-by-Frame – allows artists to immediately switch between bone-rigging and a frame-by-frame workspace for authentic, precise and life-like animation results.
  • Layer Referencing – propagates changes from one design layer to all related layers, even across multiple documents, improving accuracy and saving significant time for team-based productions.
  • Animated Shape Ordering – extends the ability to quickly and easily rearrange shapes anywhere within an animation timeline rather than adjusting each full frame independently.
  • Enhanced Tools and Brushes – Freehand drawing is now simpler and more realistic with new automated Merge Strokes, a Smoothing option for round, smooth shapes, and a more efficient Blob Brush for simple shapes.  The new Color Points tools lets artists blend colors together in new ways, while Merged Alpha and Drift Angle brushes offer a more natural and pleasing look and feel.
  • JSON File Format – support for Java Script Object Notation (JSON) file format provides faster file processing and more flexible asset tagging within files, making it easier to exchange and manage related assets across workgroups.  Backward compatibility with older versions of Anime Studio is retained, as well as compatibility with MotionArtist® file formats.

Fahim Niaz, director of product management for Smith Micro Software, says the changes to Anime Studio 11 are intended to meet the demands of the animation industry, which needs production to move as swiftly as possible. “For movie studios and other animation production houses, speed to market is critical, so we’ve focused our development of Anime Studio 11 on making it faster and easier for professional artists to work more efficiently in groups, while allowing each artist to use the tools that suit their individual styles and unique vision.”

Anime Studio 11 comes in two forms: Anime Studio Pro 11 for the professional, and Anime Studio Debut 11 for those who are getting started. Studio Pro is $299.99 (digital $199.99) and Debut is $49.99(same price digital).

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