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Do you like 3D movies? What about animated movies? Who doesn’t like them? They are really cool, colorful and most importantly aestheically pleasing to look at.
Just how much work goes in to making an animated movie though. Well, that usually depends on who is making the movie and how long it is. We are not talking about the ones you see at theaters, but those which people make on their computer.
I always thought it was really complex. You have to draw stuff on paper, and then recreate it on a computer, and then you have to animate it using complicated software, not to mention really expensive hardware, to get the picture moving. Who has the time for all this? and more importantly it takes a lot of skill, right?
What if I tell you, that you could create really awesome 3D animated movies, from the comfort of your own home, and that too using your own computer. Is this even possible? Oh yes it is, all you need is the right software. Don’t worry, you don’t have to search the internet looking for it.
Meet Corel MotionStudio 3D, from the developers of CorelDRAW. This is the only 3D animation software you need for making your movies stand out.
So what makes it so good? Let’s take a look at it. MotionStudio has a really beautiful interface with a dark theme. This gives it a modern look, and it is really professional too.
The GUI consists of several panels, which makes it easy to use. In the top eft of the interface is a video previewer. This is where you will see the image or video or the project you are working on. Any effects which you add to the video will be played here. It also has options to pause, rewind, jump to the next or previous frame of the video too, in addition to apply 3D effects, enable Reverse mode and Loop mode.
To the right of the above mentioned panel, is the Attribute Panel. This is where you can choose the following options: Color, Texture, Transparency, Precision & Quality, Geometric Objects, Lights, Camera, Backround and Background Audio.
The interesting thing here is that the color picker has two options: Corel’s built-in picker and Windows Color Picker. You can use the former, which is quite comprehensive and even supports HEX color codes. The chosen color is displayed in the panel, which also has sliders for adjusting the Brightness, Saturation and Hue.
The Scene selector has options to select Light, Camera, Color Background, Image Background, Video BackGround, Gradient Background and Magic Texture Background. Choosing one of the options adds the effect to the video instantly, which you can see in the preview window on the left.
The panel on the far right, is called the Easy Palette. Don’t mistake it for a color palette though, it has a ton of other options.
The Objects selector allows you to select various objects, which can be included in the video. This includes 3D objects, Text Objects, Extruded Objects, Lather Objects and Shapes. These objects are truly three dimensional, which means you can rotate them 360 degrees for superb effects.
It has also sub-settings for Material Attributes (Color, Image Texture, Video Texture), and Material Gallery (Metallic, Plastic, Glass, Wood, etc).
The Object Effects option has settings for adding Object Motion, Bend, Pschedlyic, etc, which you can add to the objects in the video. The Text Effects which you can use for making animated text, has a variety of graphical settings including Dance, Jump, Distort, to name a few.
The bottom of MotionStudio’s UI has a timeline panel. This consists of two tabs, with the one on the left consisting of various attribute settings. This allows you to adjust the position, rentatiom, scale, color, texture, transparency, etc.
Selecting one of these, changes the view in the Attribute Panel, where you can alter the corresonding controls.
The right of the timeline tab is the actual timeline view itself, i.e, where you can jump frames, and the video player will display the selected frame’s content.
On the top of the UI, you have the standard menu bar with File, which you can use to manage your files, 3D movies, etc. It can also be used to creat image files in the following formats: JPEG, BMP, GIF and TGA. It can also be used for animated GIFs or SWF files (Adobe MAcromedia Flash Files). Yes, MotionStudio does support vector and raster formats from Adobe Illustrator too.
The Edit menu has the basic editing options, and also has the Plugin manager, and also lets you add and reset transformations.
The View menu has the 3D Preview enabler, along with options to toggle the various toolbars and palettes.
The Object menu has options similar to the Easy Palette, and aslso has special effects such as Particle, Smoke, Snow and Fire.
The Project menu lets you adjust attributes, similar to the attribute panel, and also lets you pick the quality of the Display, Output, Curve and select a video filter (NTSC/PAL).
The toolbar below the menubar has shortcuts to various functions from the said menu options, along with the zoom, ambience, and rendering settings. Just below it is a second toolbar which lets you rotate objects in 3D, or move them or resize them.
The sidebar on the left side can be used for inserting objects and texts too. This is pretty useful if you don’t like working with the panels, as it is not very distracting.
I was really amazed at how easy it was to create an animation with Corel MotionStudio. For testing purposes, I tried various objects including the dolphin you see in the above screenshot. It was easy to move the dolphin around, add a background, and effects to it. The final result which included some basic movement effects was cool.
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