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Animation Software Review: Anime Studio Pro 7

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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Animation Software Review: Anime Studio Pro 7

The Bottom Line

While Anime Studio Pro 7 has some interesting new features, unless you're planning to use the 3D object integration it really doesn't offer much of an advantage over Anime Studio Debut 7.

Pros

  • Offers 3D object integration.
  • Presents a full-featured 2D animation package.
  • Features integrated audio recording and video tracking.
  • Allows you to import your own art.
  • Capable of exporting to multiple formats.

Cons

  • Still can't open more than one file at a time. Why?
  • Doesn't offer enough of an upgrade over Debut to be really interesting.

Description

  • Timeline-based 2D animation program with 3D object capabilities.
  • Uses complex bone systems to automate smooth, realistic animation.
  • Comes with a complete suite of drawing tools and custom brushes.

Guide Review - Animation Software Review: Anime Studio Pro 7

At first glance, Anime Studio Pro 7 looks exactly like Anime Studio Debut 7 with a larger $199.99 price tag. In actuality the software, despite its less-than-shiny packaging, comes with a surprising number of useful features, upgrades, and strong selling points.

You can start off with the usual features that are also available in Debut: bone systems, timeline-based animation, built-in audio recording, image masking, photo manipulation / animation, etc. - everything you'd expect to find in a decent 2D animation program, plus a few perks and minus Debut's easy learning curve via Beginner's Mode (seriously: for those who complain that Anime Studio isn't a beginner's program, you should be using Debut, not Pro).

Then it kicks into gear with video motion tracking and 3D object integration; the motion tracking isn't that interesting, but 3D object integration is actually pretty cool. It lets you bring in 3D objects from other programs - including Smith-Micro's own Poser, which will probably be a relief for people who use Poser at the beginner level and want to learn how to integrate their 3D objects into the program without adopting more difficult programs such as 3D Studio Max.

Overall, I'm only giving Anime Studio Pro 7 a 4-star rating because it does its job without any real downside - but overall, except for the 3D object integration, I'm not really all that impressed. At this point when I see new software versions with such fanfare, I expect to be blown out of the water...rather than marginally interested in just a few new features.

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