Scene Group has released Cavalry 1.2, a major update to its next-gen motion design software that introduces Forge Dynamics, its new real-time 2D physics engine.
Other changes include new Photoshop-style effects filters, new text fill and character spacing options, direct Bézier manipulation of paths, stabilisation for freehand strokes, and native support for Apple’s M1 processors.
In addition, the free edition of the software has been considerably amped up, no longer watermarking output, and rendering at resolutions up to full HD (1,920 x 1,080px).
A next-gen 2D motion graphics tool inspired by 3D software
Originally released last year, Cavalry is a procedural animation app “combining the power and flexibility of 3D with the ease of use of 2D”.
Although currently a pure 2D animation tool, it supports workflows that will be familiar to 3D animators, including keyframing, curve editing, deformation, rigging, scattering and instancing.
Scene Group’s background is also in 3D motion graphics: the firm is a spin-off from Mainframe North, which developed MASH, Maya’s motion graphics toolset.
Once created, images may be exported from Cavalry in a range of file formats, including as JPEG, PNG or SVG sequences, as animated PNGs, as WEBM or QuickTime movies, or in Lottie format.
It provides similar functionality to After Effects physics plugins, turning text and vector shapes into physics objects, enabling them to fly around under the influence of gravity or other forces, colliding with one another.
The results of the physics simulation can be refined by linking shapes together, or pinning them in place, and by setting shapes to change colour, visibility or physics properties on collision.
New effects filters, new text and shape-editing options, and native support for M1 Macs
Other new features include a set of Photoshop-style effects filters that can be applied to compositions: the initial set includes chromatic aberration, halftone and pixelation effects, and RGB channel separation.
There are also new options when working with text, including the option to set the fill colour for text on a per-character, per-word or per-line basis, and to create procedural kerning pairs for characters.
Changes to the drawing tools include the option to edit paths directly by manipulating Bézier handles when using the Edit Shape tool, and automatic stroke stabilisation when using the Pencil tool.
Workflow improvements include the option to save custom workspace layouts, support for the HSV colour space in the Colour Window, and the option to render compositions in .mp4 format.
The update also introduces native support for Apple’s new M1 processors, which improves performance “up to 3x” over Intel i9 processors, according to Scene Group.
Free edition no longer watermarks output, and can output at full HD resolution
In addition, Scene Group has considerably amped up the free edition of Cavalry, following a £600,000 investment earlier this year.
It still lacks some of the advanced features of the paid edition – including Google Sheets integration, Forge Dynamics and Lottie export – but it no longer watermarks output.
In addition, the cap on render resolution has been raised from 960 x 540px to a very much more functional 1,920 x 1,080px – full HD resolution.
Availability and system requirements
Cavalry 1.2 is available for Windows 10 and macOS 10.14+. The full software is available rental-only, with subscriptions costing £20/month (around $28/month) or £192/year ($265/year).
The free edition caps renders at full HD resolution, and lacks the advanced features listed in this blog post.
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