Smith Micro today announced a major upgrade to its flagship animation software Anime Studio. Launched as Moho in 1999, the software has long been a popular choice for hobbyists and web animators who want to create digital cut-out/puppet animation. With this latest update—Anime Studio 11—adds frame-by-frame capabilities and a significantly upgraded feature set in a bid to increase market share amongst industry professionals and studios.
The makers of the software are emphasizing its potential as an affordable and intuitive professional-grade alternative to software packages like Toon Boom, TVPaint, and Flash. Fahim Niaz, Smith Micro’s director of product management, said in a statement, “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.”
The ability to mix and match frame-by-frame techniques with Anime Studio’s well-established bone animation system makes the software a legitimate choice for professionals. The software makers recently scored a PR win when Anime Studio was used for parts of the production of the Oscar-nominated Song of the Sea produced by Cartoon Saloon. While the film’s character animation was drawn in TVPaint, Anime Studio was used to create various effects elements, vehicles, and animation in underwater scenes, including sea creatures like jelly fish, anemone, and a whale. The software was incorporated into the pipeline because, according to Cartoon Saloon assistant director Jeremy Purcell, it allowed the studio “to animate the scenes quickly and efficiently and let Tomm (our director) see the scenes in full color and in almost exactly the final look, par the compositing for approval.”