Check out cool new motion design tool Cavalry 1.0
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Check out the cool new motion design tool Cavalry 1.0

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 | Written by Jim Thacker

Originally published January 31, 2019. Scroll down for commercial release news.

Motion graphics specialist Mainframe North has unveiled Cavalry, a new procedural animation app that "combines the power and flexibility of 3D with the ease of use of 2D".

The motion design and data visualization software, which is currently limited to pure 2D animation but may export 3D data in the future, is now available in closed beta.

A gap in the market for new 2D motion graphics tools?
In his blog post on the Cavalry announcement, Chris Hardcastle, general manager of Mainframe North, targets existing motion graphics tools like After Effects.

"The established providers of 2D animation have hardly offered any real innovations in recent years," he wrote.

“They are based on outdated architectures and increasingly rely on third-party plug-ins to achieve significant functional improvements. While we use and love many of these plugins ourselves, they can often cause artists to jump through hoops when they argue disjointed workflows. "

“We see a big gap in the market. One that we want to fill with cavalry. "

Generate complex 2D procedural animations using 3D-like workflows
Cavalry is Mainframe North's latest entry into software development: MASH, the 3D motion graphics toolset, quickly became the standard for Maya users and was integrated into Maya itself in 2016.

Unlike MASH, Cavalary is not suitable for 3D animation, although it does include workflows that 3D animators are familiar with.

In addition to keyframing and curve editing – it has a "full-fledged" graphics editor – this means deformation, rigging, dynamics, scattering and instantiation.

Users can also create complex procedural animation systems by simply dragging and dropping pre-built behaviors onto objects.

While there doesn't appear to be a node editor – at least the Mainframe blog post doesn't show one in Workflow – Cavalry's UI displays the same inputs.

According to the mainframe, the guiding principle is that "anything within reason can be connected to anything".

The software also provides a "predictive user experience" to "infer and automate a lot of boring things," though the current blog posts don't go into it in detail.

Cavalry's renderer is GPU based and can be started from the command line.

Once created, images can be exported in PNG or animated GIF format. According to the mainframe, however, “lightweight formats such as SVG and even Alembic” will be supported in the future.

Updated February 3, 2020: Cavalry is now available as a free public beta. The development is now taken over by the mainframe spin-off Scene Group.

The Scene Group has also launched a new product website for the software, which includes samples of work created in Cavalry, links to online documentation and video tutorials, and downloadable project files.

One of the new videos from the Scene Group, in which the most important functions of Cavalry 1.0 are presented. You can find more information on YouTube.

Updated August 12, 2020: Cavalry 1.0 is being sent. The software is for rental only and has a free edition with watermarks and a resolution limitation for testing and educational purposes.

Availability and system requirements
Cavalry is available for Windows 10 and MacOS 10.13+. Linux support is also planned.

The software is only available for rent. Subscriptions are £ 20 / month (about $ 26 / month). Free subscriptions are also available that limit the rendering resolution to 960 x 540 pixels and the output of watermarks.

For more information on Cavalary, please visit the product website

Tags: 2D Animation, After Effects, Alembic, Animation, Cavalry, Data Visualization, Deformation, Download, Dynamics, Featured Articles, Free, Free Edition, FUI, Generative Art, GIF, GPU-based, Graphics Editor, Illustration, Instantiation, Keyframing, macOS, Mainframe, Mainframe North, Mash, Maya, Motion Design, Motion Graphics, Open Beta, PNG, Price, Procedural Animation, Public Beta, Release Date, Renderer, Rigging, Scatter, Scene Set, SVG, System Requirements, Windows

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