London-based CelAction has just released CelAction2D version 4.1, with enhancements to its scripting language and the ability to export movement data to Adobe After Effects. The 2D animation software is known for its use in animated series like Bluey, Peppa Pig, and Mr. Bean.
“This upgrade is all about pipeline improvement,” said CelAction CEO Andy Blazdell. “Not all studios can afford dedicated scripting programmers; therefore, we wanted to make our system as easy as possible so that animators and riggers with no prior programming experience could use it. This is going to level up a lot of small and medium size teams, so they can compete with the big players.”
Originally used to create sequences of commands assigned to a key or a button, CelAction2D Macros now takes user input while the script is running and sets, tests, and manipulates variables. In addition, it stores animation within the character rig to construct customized poses or movements.
For example, users can set a single keyboard command to add an animated arm wave to a character – it can then automatically test the character’s pose and make changes to the animation as needed, with no additional tweaking necessary. So, if the arm wave differs depending on the character wearing long sleeves or holding an object, it would adjust automatically. If different styles of arm waves are built into the character, the Macro could even ask the user which style to use.
Easily understood dialog boxes enable the building of the macros, ensuring correct syntax. “The integration of easy yet powerful scripting with the actual movement of the characters is a breakthrough that will be key to increasing productivity,” added Blazdell. “It’s the best way forward because it uses Animator Intelligence instead of the artificial kind.”
Additional information is available here.