Monday, October 22, 2007

Free 3D Animation Modelling and Character Animation Software

Anim8or is a free 3D modelling and character animation program for Windows platform. A great little program that has some interesting tutorials that can be easily integrated into a secondary multimedia program.

A great tutorial is available that shows how to create a character and a simple walk cycle. Broken into 3 separate tutorials:

  1. Building the Body Parts
  2. Making the Character
  3. Animating the Character

Another free open source 3D content creation suite (that used to be a commercial product) is Blender. Blender has picked up quite a following in the open source community and especially in schools (due to the support and continued development online and its "freeness").

Blender is supports the following platforms:
  • Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP, Vista
  • Mac OS X (PPC and Intel)
  • Linux (i386)
  • Linux (PPC)
  • FreeBSD 5.4 (i386)
  • SGI Irix 6.5
  • Sun Solaris 2.8 (sparc)
A lot of interesting features have been built into Blender over the last couple of years, one of these features is the multiresolution sculpting capabilities. Working in this mode is like handling and sculpting a piece of clay (view sample video). Another recent feature is the integration of Bullet - a 3D Collision Detection and Rigid Body Dynamics Library for games and animation.

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