Autodesk has released MotionBuilder 2022, the largest update to its motion-capture editing software in some time, adding support for Python 3 and expanding the software’s Python API.
There are also a range of quality-of-life improvements, including updates to the FCurve Editor, better workflows for handling props and camera plates, improved audio display, and a new Undo window.
Support for Python 3 and updates to the Python API and command line
MotionBuilder 2022 is the biggest update to the software in some time, adding new features throughout the toolset, and making a number of key changes under the hood.
Of those, the most significant is support for Python 3, now required by the VFX Reference Platform specification for visual effects tools.
The Python API has been extended, and the command line tool can now call the MotionBuilder Python SDK, making it possible to control tasks like file processing and rendering from the command line.
New animation tools and workflow improvements
For artists, the update also adds a number of new features and workflow improvements.
The FCurves Window can now visualise real quaternion rotation properties, rather than displaying them as normal f-curves.
Character Extensions, used to associate objects like props, cameras or even extra body parts to a character, get a new Add to Body Part option, complementing the existing Add to Full Body option.
It is also now possible to choose whether auxiliary pivots and effectors should be shown when working with Character Controls; and to add to an animation layer in a relation constraint to control the layer’s weight.
Better handling of camera plates and audio
Other changes include new Offset X/Y and Scale X/Y options for camera back and front plates, making it possible to control source and reference footage more precisely.
The Navigator now supports drag-and-drop parenting of HUDs, making it easier to “associate things like HUD-style rig control setups with cameras”.
The Camera Switcher can now display the audio waveform from an audio clip or a Story audio track; and there is a new Undo window, providing a complete tree view of Undo operations.
There are also quite a few other smaller features and bugfixes: you can find a full list via the link below.
Pricing and system requirements
MotionBuilder 2022 is available for Windows 10 and RHEL/CentOS 7.6-7.9 or 8.2 Linux on a rental-only basis.
Subscriptions now cost $1,855/year, up $90/year since the release of MotionBuilder 2020. The old monthly subscription option is no longer available in Autodesk’s online store.
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