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.


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.


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.