Craft Director Tools

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Craft Director Tools are a suite of plug-ins developed by Craft Animations & Entertainment AB. The plug-ins are compatible with Autodesk's 3ds max, Maya and MAXON Computer GmbH's Cinema 4D and are used to create 3D Animation. Craft Director Tools can be divided into three parts: Simulation, Interactivity and Key-frames.

Simulation[edit]

Craft Director Tools calculates or 'simulate' the motion of objects like cars with the aid of complex algorithms designed to recreate physical events from the real world. A car, for example, tilts forward when it stops. That is because of the momentum it has from its forward motion. Craft Director Tools' algorithms calculate how much a car ought to tilt - and simulates that event inside the computer. The same kind of simulation is done for airplanes, helicopters (which are extremely complex to simulate) motorcycles and boats.

Interactivity[edit]

Today there are several different computer programs that simulate things like cars and airplanes. An obvious example is a flight simulator, another would be video games where players drive cars. But neither of these tools is designed to help movie makers and content-creators to make editable, recorded animation material. None of those technologies are an aid for Maya and 3ds Max.

Craft Director Tools, in contrast, records the simulations in key-frames: inside of Maya and 3ds Max.

There are other ways of accomplishing similar effects - one of them is called scripting. Scripting helps content creators to decide strings of events in the 3D environment. But there are two problems: one is that users have to learn how to script which takes a lot of time. Another is that the results aren't visible immediately. And a third problem is that editing the resulting animation is a hit-and-miss process of guessing which corrections to make.

Craft Director Tools are interactive, meaning that the animation is produced as you watch it.

Key frames[edit]

A key frame is a way for animators to record an object's position and rotation at a given point in time. A series of key-frames will result in motion. Frame1=position1, frame2=position2, the time between them determines the speed.

All of the simulation calculated by Craft Director Tools is recorded in key-frames in real time.

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