nukeygara develops akeytsu, an innovative 3D software program dedicated to animation.

nukeygara_logonukeygara is a brand new French start-up specializing in 3D animation. Its first upcoming product is akeytsu, a 3D software program dedicated solely to character rigging and animation. akeytsu is targeted for animation and video games industries.

akeytsu_logoakeytsu is a 3D software program dedicated solely to character rigging and animation. The 3D model of the character is imported, prepared (skeleton/skinning/rigging) and animated in akeytsu. Unlike all available broad based 3D tools, it benefits from an artistic approach: akeytsu’s design comes from an animator (with 12 years experience) and its first aim is making the animator’s work easier.

In akeytsu technical matters are hidden so the animator only focuses on what is important: keys and timings. There is virtually nothing between him and the character he is working on: skeleton joints can be selected by clicking on the associated part of the mesh, graphical interface is simplified to offer all useful tools without wasting space, 3D viewport is combined with interface elements so that it is able to use the entire screen surface.

Screen_Akeytsu_1This approach makes akeytsu straight-forward, immediately accessible, and enjoyable. Therefore, it is a good choice for an experimented animator wanting to increase his efficiency and focus more on the artistic aspects, as well as the beginner (or student) animator, who will be able to actually animate immediately, without having to deal with a number of technical tutorials before doing anything on his own.

Screen_Akeytsu_IKTo achieve this kind of simplicity, rigging was the main problem to deal with. In akeytsu, its concept has been fully re-thought and simplified to its minimal requirements. It suppresses the need for curve controllers to apply transformations, and for duplicate skeletons to handle FK and IK separately. You only need one skeleton, one skinning and a few advanced solvers and your model is ready to be animated. This brings the following benefits :

  • a model can be prepared for animation in up to 2 days.
  • scene hierarchy is about 5 times shorter than it would with regular rigging process.
  • scene is lighter to handle, ensuring no computer slow down.
  • the same speed and simplicity applies to later modifications of the model’s rigging.
  • You can modify skeleton, geometry or skinning without having to unbind anything. It allows you to keep polishing your model, or quickly react to any problem during production without breaking deadlines.

Screen_Akeytsu_3Of course, akeytsu also offers tools to make animation itself more simple and efficient. For example, a stacker system, inspired by X-sheet, is used for keyframe editing in complement with the traditional time bar. It allows to deal with animations and keyframes of any length without the troubles of the time bar alone. akeytsu also offers the Spinner, a unique 2D transformation manipulator. It allows easy transformation of controllers on all axes, regardless of the current orientation of the camera.

There will be several versions of akeytsu depending on the user’s needs. The first version, akeytsu nanno, will be available during October 2014. It will provide all the necessary tools to prepare and animate a character, mainly aiming at indie games developers. Accordingly, it will be offered at a price of 150 euros/computer/year.

For more information, visit akeytsu website at http://www.nukeygara.com.

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