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Zaxwerks ProAnimator AE v8.6

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Zaxwerks ProAnimator AE - featured

ProAnimator is the fastest way possible for you to add top-quality 3D title and logo animation to your toolset

The days of difficult to manage 3D lighting are gone! Zaxwerks 3D ProAnimator has invented new technology to make advanced lighting design and animation capabilities much easier than before. Using the same procedural animation engine that 3D ProAnimator has become famous for, you can now create moving, flowing lighting sequences, coordinating the motion, brightness and color of hundreds of lights at the same time. ProAnimator comes in two forms: as a standalone application and as an After Effects plug-in.


Highlights

Key Features

  • REAL-TIME 3D RENDERING
  • REAL-TIME CAMERA FOCUS (DEPTH OF FIELD)
  • AUTOMATIC OBJECT DUPLICATION
  • OBJECT DISTRIBUTION
  • IMAGE-BASED LIGHTING
  • REAL-TIME AMBIENT OCCLUSION
  • PROCEDURAL RANDOMIZATION
  • NORMAL MAPPING

THE FASTEST RAYTRACE RENDERER IN MOTION GRAPHICS

  • 3D ProAnimator is the fastest way possible for you to add top-quality 3D Motion Graphics animation to your tool set. Follow our start up videos and you will be creating billable work right away.
  • 3D programs these days are amazing. You can feel like a god making spaceships whiz and dinosaurs dance! But do you really need all of that power? And do you need the complications and headaches that go along with it? 3D ProAnimator is optimized for motion graphics to give you the most impressive animations possible for a minimalamount of training and work.

IMPRESSIVE PRESETS

  • To get you up and running quickly, 3D ProAnimator comes with tons of presets and templates. Create an entire animation with One Click. Drag and drop colors, bevels and materials. No pre-planning, no training, just get-’er-done production speed.

CUSTOMIZE YOURSELF SILLY

  • ProAnimator is not just a pile of templates and presets. You will always need to customize what you are doing and 3D ProAnimator makes customization fast and easy. Have you ever opened up a preset in another animation program and been boggled by the jungle of keyframes? Won’t happen with ProAnimator. No keygrames means it’s easier to customize and easier to use. Easier means its faster. Faster means you can finish work earlier and get home in time for dinner.

CHANGES ARE NO SWEAT

  • Clients. You gotta love ‘em, but they just don’t know the trouble they cause when they start asking for changes. The simplest requests can cause a domino effect of rework and late nights. But not with 3D ProAnimator. 3D ProAnimator is made to change anything at any time with no rework. Even if you change the number of letters in a cascading text animation, 3D ProAnimator recalculates the timing automatically. Like we said, no rework.

PAYS FOR ITSELF

  • When a software is easy to learn you can start using it in your work sooner. When it has tools for making dozens and dozens of graphics at a sitting it keeps the costs down and the money in-house. When it’s also affordable to buy it’s a no-brainer. That’s why so many magazines, blogs and graphics sites call 3D ProAnimator “Must Have” software.

3D TITLES ON STEROIDS

  • Users tell us over and over they don't know why they waited so long to buy the software. If you need 3D motion graphics, 3D ProAnimator is your dream program. Check it out. Watch the tutorials. Watch examples in our User Gallery.

REAL-TIME 3D RENDERING

  • Boy isn't that an over-used buzzword these days! So let's put some quotes around "real-time" and tell you what this really means. Zaxwerks has developed a new rendering engine called the Reactor Rendering System. It is a hybrid GPU/CPU system that will do GL rendering and Ray Tracing. It uses the latest advances in rendering technology to give you high quality final rendering pretty darned fast. Actually, "pretty fast" doesn't do it justice. Our users say "incredi-freakin-ly fast" is closer to the truth.
  • We've done comparisons between Maya, C4D and Reactor and what takes a couple of minutes per frame in the other programs is taking a few seconds per frame in Reactor. Tests were with millions of polygons, with textures, on real-world hardware like laptops and moderate desktops.
  • Can you slow it down? Sure you can. Depends on what you throw at it. But to get real shadows and ray traced reflections this fast is shocking and very very liberating.

REAL-TIME CAMERA FOCUS WITH DEPTH OF FIELD

  • If the beauty of an image is your thing then being able to control the focus of the camera is huge. 3D ProAnimator 8 lets you set what's in focus and then move the focus distance as an animated value. This gives you the ability to highlight a subject, focusing attention on the part that matters, then change the focus to highlight another subject. It's a truly cinematic look reserved for special occasions.
  • The best part is that it takes little additional rendering time. So when we say real-time we really mean it.

INSTANCING (AUTOMATIC OBJECT DUPLICATION)

  • The third big new feature in 3D ProAnimator 8 is called "instancing". Instancing, in simplest terms, is object duplication. However it duplicates objects in a way that's incredibly fast, and makes it easy to populate a scene with hundreds or even thousands of objects and still keep the rendering speed nice and fast. You can instance objects made of one piece, like hearts or stars. You can instance objects made of multiple pieces, like houses or cars. You can instance words or logos and you can even mix all of these kinds of objects together! There are lots of creative uses, so watch the video and see the power of instancing in action.

OBJECT DISTRIBUTION

The fourth big new feature in 3D ProAnimator 8 creates big things out of small ones. Object distribution has always been a part of 3D ProAnimator but in version 8 we've made it much more flexible and powerful. We've added many new distribution styles which make it easy to create environments, backgrounds and objects made up of other objects.

Simple distributions are like arranging objects into rows, rings or grids.

  • There are lots of uses for simple distributions like this. But the cool part comes when you can distribute objects into the shape of other objects, such as logos or other 3D models. That's when things get fun. The flexibility of 3D ProAnimator lets you try simple or fancy in a way that's so easy and fast that you don't limit your designs based on the amount of time it takes to see if something is going to work. You can just try, try, try and get where you want faster, with fewer steps.
  • The merging of flexibility with increased workflow speed can't be understated. With most 3D programs your budget gets wasted when clients make changes. Each change causes a domino effect of rework. But changes in 3D ProAnimator are quick and easy and can be made at any time in the production process.
  • For example, say you start off with a circle of stars, then you turn it into a sphere of stars, and then you turn that into a sphere of words. You end up in a completely different place than where you started because the design evolved as you created. Now as if that's not enough, all of these distributions can be animated in the timeline. So you can turn one massive distribution into another with the objects swarming and flying from one to the next! Fantastic! It's all incredibly easy and, before 3D ProAnimator, only available in the most complicated of 3D softwares. 

IMAGE-BASED LIGHTING

  • Image-Based Lighting, or IBL for short, is a way of lighting your entire scene by using nothing but a picture! You read that right. All you need to do to get completely realistic lighting is to choose a picture of the environment and 3D ProAnimator 8 takes care of the rest for you! There's no need to be a lighting expert.
  • Change the lighting from an exterior beach to an interior studio to a nightclub with a single click. The image sets the mood and the software creates the lighting, shading and reflections. It's an easy way of getting an epic look. And it's really really fast.

REAL-TIME AMBIENT OCCLUSION

  • The sixth big new feature in 3D ProAnimator 8 could be called the reality feature. The formal name is Ambient Occlusion but you can think of it as corner darkening. This feature darkens the corners and crevices of 3D objects in a way that gives the effect of bounce lighting but without the enormous rendering hit. It makes your objects look much more realistic, and thankfully we figured out how to add Ambient Occlusion in production at real-time speeds. There is no more excuse for your work to not look realistic.

PROCEDURAL RANDOMIZATION

  • Nothing in the real world is totally perfect. Unfortunately most things in the computer world are perfect. So you have to take extra time to make things un-perfect. That's where our new randomization features come in.
  • Randomization works hand in hand with the instancing and distribution features. Instancing creates hundreds of objects and distribution arranges them into shapes and patterns but what happens when the patterns are a little too regular? You randomize them!
  • These three features together are fantastic at populating your scene with lots of "stuff". Sometimes you just want to fill the frame up with stuff and you aren't too particular about the fine points of where that stuff is. Want an extra 100 objects? No problem. Randomize their rotation? Done. Randomize it a little more? Done.
  • And what if you are particular? What if you do want that third object from the left to be rotated an extra four degrees? Well 3D ProAnimator has you covered there too. Even though your objects are being distributed and randomized you can always come in and tweak an individual object so it's in just the right place.
  • That's where you get "powerful" and "easy" combined. You get projects done quicker and easier, but still have the ability to fine tune individual elements to make your project perfect. Overall it saves you time and reduces your headaches.

NORMAL MAPPING

  • 3D ProAnimator has always supported bump maps to give your textures realistic bumps and dents. However, it's now time to take Bump maps to the next level.
  • Say hello to Normal Maps. Have you seen those blue and pink pictures that look kind of funny? Well those are Normal Maps and they will make your textures look ultra realistic!
  • We have upgraded all of our materials to use normal maps. This means that when you buy 3D ProAnimator 8, you are also receiving 200+ realistic materials with normal maps, reflection maps, specular maps, transparency maps and diffuse maps. This is a huge value in itself, and we're including it for free with the program. Dang, we're really nice.
  • We'll still support bump maps so all of your old textures are safe, but if you know how to build, buy or download materials with normal maps, you'll, you'll be able to add luscious-looking textures to your everyday work.
  • Real lights all come from somewhere, so with the click of a button, 3D ProAnimator 8 will create the pipe, truss and lighting fixtures.  No modeling required!  It will also automatically animate the fixtures based on where you tell the lights to point.  The light beams are visible and come with many atmospheric looks to choose from.

What are lighting effects without lens flares? In 3D ProAnimator 8 when you point a light at the camera you'll see lens flares.  The program comes with over 50 gorgeous flare styles and an editor to create your own.

3D ProAnimator 8, which has its own modeling, animation system and large shader library, is now available as either a self-standing motion graphics application, or as an After Effects plug-in, and is only $399 making it an unbeatable value for someone adding 3D motion graphics to their tool set.

Many Lights - One Track

Typical 3D programs put each light on its own track.  This makes it very inefficient when adjusting multiple lights and very time consuming to create animations with coordinated motions.  Because of this, lighting in 3D motion graphics tends to be plain and uninspired.  Something not at all appropriate for the dynamic motion graphics expected by today's sophisticated audiences. Zaxwerks 3D ProAnimator 8, for the first time, puts dynamic lighting into the hands of the average person.  A single track can handle many lights, and you have control over those lights in ways that produce flowing, coordinated motion with little effort.

Automatic Light Animation

Creating animations of multiple lights moving in sequence is very difficult.  ProAnimator, using it's advanced procedural animation engine, lets you create amazing moving light animations without needing to set keyframes and without even having to render the animation to see what you're getting. You can create blinking lights, color change animations, light chase sequences, and movement animation such as search light motion or high impact dance club motion. 3D ProAnimator's automatic light orientation can make lights follow objects, create fanned arrays, or point in random directions, at your command.
All of this is done without setting a single keyframe, yet totally under your control.

Visible Light Beams

Seeing the beams of a light can make your animation look more exciting and real.  3D ProAnimator 8 does just that! You can make beams with hot centers, fat washes, patchy atmosphere and streaky smoke.  Switching between the looks is just a click.  A dozen attractive looks come with the program and you can always modify them or create your own.

Automatic Truss creation

In the real world light fixtures are hung from pipes and truss.  3D ProAnimator creates the models for your trusswork automatically.  You choose the layout, straight, circular or rectangular, the arc and size of the truss, and ProAnimator will create the trusswork, hanging the lights for you.  As with all things Zaxwerks you can change any part of it at any time and the program will rebuild and make adjustments so you can keep working at top speed.

Automatic Fixture creation

In the real world light bulbs are held in lighting fixtures.  3D ProAnimator creates the fixtures for you too.  Choose from a variety of industry standard lighting fixtures such as Altmans, Vari-Lites and Martin Macs.  ProAnimator will insert them into your 3D scene, attach them to the trusswork and even animate them for you.  Building elaborate lighting rigs has never been so fun and easy!

Lighting Rigs

Once your lights are set up you can save them as Lighting Rigs.  Rigs are multiple lighting tracks saved as a single swatch or thumbnail image. A rig contains everything it takes to recreate an entire lighting animation: position, number of lights, trusswork, color, right down to the animations and the actions. A rig can be added to any project by simply clicking on the picture. Lighting Rigs are very powerful ways to reuse animation, or add professionally designed lighting animations to your project giving you high quality results while under deadline pressures.

Lens Flares

One of the most dramatic parts of motion graphics these days is the lens flares.  All lights in ProAnimator 8 can create flares when pointed at the camera.  These are true 3D lens flares so they automatically become smaller as the light goes into the distance.  They also fade out if other objects move in front of them, and bloom as they go out of frame. The program comes with 50 professionally designed flares.  You can use the flare editor to customize the presets or create your own.

100 Material Presets

Another time consuming part of production is creating the materials that color the surfaces of your objects.  ProAnimator 8 includes 100 materials that you can drag and drop onto your objects for instant gratification.  All materials include specular maps and most have bump maps for professional and realistic quality.

Tremendous Value

Lighting design is a difficult field.  Most 3D animators don't even try it because doing lighting in 3D is a major pain.  3D ProAnimator 8 has a long list of innovative new features that puts professional lighting design and animation into your hands.  It makes it accessible.  It makes it real.  It makes it something that you can use to up your game.

Make your motion graphics look fantastic with Zaxwerks 3D ProAnimator.

What's new in version 8.6?

  • Improved rendering speeds.
  • Fixes some major crashes.
  • Stability fixes.

What's New in Version 8.5?

Features

  • Added: global reflections. You can now use a single map for all reflections in the scene.
  • Added: global reflection rotation. By setting a rate of rotation the global reflection will keep moving so the reflections don't go dead when objects stop moving.
  • You can now parent Light Tracks to Objects so an object can carry a lighting track along with it. This is especially good for adding blinking lights to graphics.
  • Added a new type of auto-rotation for lens flares that enables you to make flares trace the edges of 3D objects.
  • Materials can now be dropped onto trusses and each truss can have its own material.
  • Fragmented objects render much faster.
  • Added foreground compositing, so you can overlay screen UI or pre-rendered scene elements.

Bug fixes

  • Fixed memory leaks, especially when using motion blur or depth of field, that were causing crashes during long renders.
  • Lots of stability fixes.
  • On the Mac you can now load a project file by dragging the project file onto the application icon.
  • The split arrows now stick to the end of your cursor better.
  • AutoSave files are now cleaned up better.
  • Shape tools can now be used to draw custom profiles without crashing.
  • Reflections using multiple shaders now render properly.
  • Fragmented objects new render better using the OpenGL renderer.
  • Stretched glows are no longer clipped.
  • Selecting and editing objects that are children of other objects works better.

What's New in Version 8.0.2?

  • Added Expand Instance command to expand instances into objects. This lets you apply warping or planar mapping to the instanced objects.
  • B and E Hotkeys added in the Animation Controls panel to set the green and red work area markers.
  • Object and Camera Animation presets are now placed where the time marker is located.
  • Added support so Ambient Occlusion now works with Shadow Catcher layers.
  • Optimized the Antialias settings so the Fast setting renders with a higher quality and even faster rendering speeds.
  • Fixes a rendering issue where lines may appear when using Ambient Occlusion.
  • Fixes an issue where drawing shapes in the Object Drawing window may cause the program to crash.

What's New in Version 8.0.1?

  • Added a Depth of Field indicator. When using 4-Views or a User Camera, you can see the Depth of Field indicator on the Main Camera.
  • Added a new distribution feature so you can cascade objects in directions such as Left To Right.
  • Fixes an issue where changing the instanced text grouping may crash the program
  • Fixes an issue where the IBL image is not loading correctly.
  • Memory optimization to prevent out of memory issues from occurring in After Effects.
  • Fixes a possible crash when replacing Lighting Rigs.
  • This plug-in only works in Adobe After Effects.
  • It is not compatible with any other host.

Macintosh

  • Host: Adobe After Effects CS6 - After Effects CC 2015.
  • For users working with After Effects CS3 - CS5, please contact us for older versions of the plug-in.
  • Intel Mac Only
  • Mac OS X 10.9 or higher.
  • A video card that supports floating point calculations.

Windows

  • Host: Adobe After Effects CS6 - After Effects CC 2015.
  • For users working with After Effects CS3 - CS5, please contact us for older versions of the plug-in.
  • Pentium 4 or better
  • Windows 7, Windows 8, or Windows 10
  • A video card that supports floating point calculations.

Note: Zaxwerks allows two installations (for instance, a Desktop and Laptop), provided only one is activated at a time.

5
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Customer Reviews

Simple and Intuitive with Exceptional Results

I have been a Zaxwerks software user for almost 10 years, and their products are a big part of how I evolved into the Digital Media Professional that I am today. If you're looking to learn 3D modeling or animation, then this is, without a doubt, the best program to start with (as is its counterpart "Invigorator Pro" - each has slightly different advantages depending on how you prefer to work). Even if you are an expert user of another 3D program, there are many aspects that you will find advantageous, and you will wonder why such an approach hasn't been integrated into other software of this nature. While the interface and workflow are very quick and easy to learn, the results are nothing less than stellar. There are Ray Traced soft shadows, reflections, and refractions, ambient occlusion, an Open-GL renderer, and much more, that make ProAnimator and Invigorator Pro my go-to tools for 3D logo and text production. Their interoperability with Adobe After Effects allows you to integrate the animations you produce with them, seamlessly with the AE timeline, camera, lights, and multitude of effects. Lastly, the customer service and support I have received from Zaxwerks over the years has always been exceptional. They are polite and quick to reply, whether it is to help with a problem, or to listen to a suggestion; they are a company that treats each one of its customers with care and respect. If you are looking to branch out into 3D, then the Zaxwerks family of software are the tools for you! Have fun!

Would you recommend this product to a colleague? Yes

By: Michael Gulley
Date: February 09, 2013

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