DUNEDIN, NEW ZEALAND – As game developers worldwide prepare themselves for the increased challenges associated with producing next-generation game content, many are choosing CAT 1.2 TM as the basis for their character animation pipelines. Developed by Character Animation Technologies, CAT (Character Animation Toolkit) is a fully integrated character animation plug-in for Discreet’s 3ds max®. CAT 1.2 provides production-proven technology to character animators in film, video, broadcast, and game development who are seeking overall speed, efficiency and flexibility in creating fully customizable rigs and animation sequences.
Game studios that have already made the move to CAT include Relic Entertainment, Remedy Entertainment, Obsidian Entertainment, Relentless Software, GlyphX Games, and Rainbow Studios.
Bret Church, animator at Phoenix, Arizona-based Rainbow Studios, which creates such games as Star Wars Racer Revenge and ATV Offroad Fury 2, says, “Animating with CAT is incredibly fast and fun – from the ease of setting up rigs to the friendly user interface that lets you easily access powerful animation tools. Essentially, it is an animator's wish list come true.
"In the development of CAT, we have paid enormous amounts of attention to the requests of our user base,” says Scott Pearson, CEO of Character Animation Technologies. “The result is a flexible, scalable tool that lays a strong emphasis on fitting into the pipelines of small and very large productions alike. We are finding that as many studios take stock of their current character animation pipelines, they are realizing they need more sophisticated tools to tackle the huge demands being made on them. In many cases, CAT is proving to be their solution of choice.”
CAT 1.2 is a fully customizable, high-level character rig system that combines the flexibility of a custom rig and the power of a standardized, high-level system that allows artists to create and configure a rig without any knowledge of scripting or programming.
CAT’s rigging system allows artists to create any rig configuration in minutes. Every rig includes a procedural walkcycle system that enables the artist to produce walk sequences in a fraction of the time normally required, an unparalleled non-linear animation system, intuitive IK/FK tools, animation clip management, mocap import and much, much more.
At all levels, great attention has been given to CAT’s user interface, with the result being a system that requires a minimal learning curve with a maximum return in efficiency. CAT’s preset systems and animation clip management allow for maximum reuse of assets, which is critical for larger productions.
Pricing and Availability
CAT 1.2 is currently available as a plug-in for customers running at least Discreet 3ds max 5. Priced at $995 (USD), the software can be purchased directly from Character Animation Technologies at www.catoolkit.com and through select Discreet resellers.
At SIGGRAPH 2004, Character Animation Technologies debuted its beta software for CAT 2.0. The company also showcased two new initiatives: CATMuscle, a revolutionary muscle deformation system, and CATRuntime, which provides non-sliding footsteps and seamless motion blending at runtime. CAT 2.0 is due for release in the 4th quarter of 2004, and CATMuscle in the 1st quarter of 2005.
About Character Animation Technologies Character Animation Technologies Ltd., founded in 2002 by two Emmy Award-nominated animators, is a New Zealand-based developer of next-generation character animation software. The company’s flagship product, Character Animation Toolkit (CAT), is a fully integrated, off-the-shelf plug-in for Discreet’s 3ds max. CAT empowers artists, film, video, broadcast and games development professionals at leading facilities worldwide with the industry’s most comprehensive, intuitive toolset for the creation of fully customizable rigs and animation sequences. For more information on Character Animation Technologies and CAT, visit www.catoolkit.com.