Anima has an easy-to-learn and unobtrusive interface that’s designed to guide you through the process of creating complex animations in record time. To do this it separates the creation process into two modes. Drawing Mode provides sophisticated tools to place characters in the scene including creating paths or areas, placing seated characters, animating elevators, and adding logic using traffic lights. Editing Mode allows you to fine tune Actor’s poses, import new characters and motion clips, organise content, create colour variations and much more. Each mode has a set of dedicated panels that allow you to focus on the task at hand.

Before working with Anima for the first time we recommend taking a few minutes to get acclimatized with the user interface.

The Welcome Screen

When you open Anima you will be presented with the welcome screen which gives you instant access to your recent projects and scenes. In addition it allows you to create new projects, manage existing ones, and provides easy access to demo files, tutorials and our support channels to help you get the most from our software.

  1. Create New Project
    Create a new project. Click to display the New Project window.
  2. Clone Scene
    Duplicates the scene selected in the Project Scenes list.
  3. Open Selected Scene
    Opens the scene selected in the Project Scenes list.
  4. Close Welcome Screen
    Click to close the welcome screen.
  5. Preview
    Shows a preview of the scene selected in the Project Scenes list. These are generated by Anima automatically
  6. Recent Projects
    Lists the 5 most recently used projects.
  7. Project Scenes
    Lists the scenes in the project selected in the Recent Projects list. To open a scene select it here and click the Open Selected Scene button (3).
  8. Demo Scenes
    Select and open these scenes to see sample files with demonstrations of Anima’s key features
  9. View Website
    Click here to open the AXYZ Design web site.
  10. Open Documentation
    Click here to go to the Anima online documentation.
  11. View Video Tutorials
    Click here to access Anima tutorials.
  12. FAQ
    Click here to see frequently asked questions about Anima.
  13. Contact Support.
    If you have a question that’s not answered in our documentation, on our forums or in the tutorials, click this button to contact support.
  14. Open at Startup.
    Choose if the welcome screen should display when Anima starts.

 

The Drawing Mode Interface

You design, organize and render your animations in Anima’s Drawing mode. The drawing view is arranged into logical panels to help you focus on different aspects of your work such as assigning Actors, applying motion clips, creating areas and paths, editing properties and managing your project.

  1. Objects Library
    The Objects library contains system-wide and user-defined area presets. Drag these into the 3d Viewport to quickly populate scenes.
  2. Actors Library
    Contains a list of all the Actors available in the current project. Drag them onto characters into the 3d Viewport, or into the Crowd field of the Properties panel to assign characters to areas.
  3. Motion Clips Library
    Contains a list of all the motion clips and categories available in the current project. Drag these onto the Motion Clip/Category property of an area to assign to all its characters, assign it to individual characters by dragging to their Actor Clip properties, or assign to a specific path section in the 3d Viewport.
  4. Mode
    The mode window is used to toggle the workspace between Drawing and Editing modes and allows you to show and hide panels.
  5. Project
    This window shows a hierarchical view of all the areas and actors in your scene and allows for an at-a-glance understanding of the project. From here you can create, select and edit all the elements in the animation.
  6. Properties
    Shows the properties for the currently selected object. This panel is dynamic and it’s contents will be different depending on the type of object selected.
  7. Playback Control
    Use these controls to play back animations, set the animation range and frames per second.
  8. 3d Viewport

    Shows a real-time preview of of your animation project and enables you to design create and edit areas, move actors, assign motion clips, import background models and create your scenes.

The Editing Mode Interface

  1. Actors Library
    Lists all the actors available in the current project and allows you to import additional models.
  2. Motion Clips Library
    Lists all the animations available in the current project and allows you to import additional motions clips.
  3. Mode
    The Mode window is used to toggle the workspace between Drawing and Editing modes and allows you to show and hide panels.
  4. Actor/Clip Information
    Displays settings for the currently selected Actor of motion clip.
  5. Tags/Categories
    Tags and categories help to to organize your resources and allow the system to match the correct motion clips to the characters. For example if you tag a character as a Teenager and use the same tag on a motion clip, this motion clip can now be assigned to this Actor.
  6. Preview Window
    Displays a preview of the character selected in the Actors Library with the animation selected in the Motion Clips Library. Any edits to the pose or textures are updated live in this window.
  7. Pose Editor Window
    Use the pose editor to adjust the Actor’s pose for the currently selected motion clip. This can be used to correct individual actors for each individual motion clip or even apply changes that are applied globally.
  8. Playback Controls
    Control the playback of the motion clip preview and set the start and end points for looping motion clips.

Customizing the Workspace

Anima is designed to be flexible and fit into your way of working. The interface can be freely adapted to the way you work by enabling and disabling panels and changing the layout and size.

To turn panels on or off

  • Click the panel’s Icon from the Mode panel to toggle them on and off. Light grey icons are hidden, those shown in black are visible.
  • Panels can also be closed by clicking on the X button found in the right hand corner.

To rearrange, resize and tear-off panels

  • To resize a panel drag the top or bottom. To resize the column, drag the sides.
  • To move a panel, click and drag on the title bar. Valid areas that the panel can be moved to will be highlighted in yellow as you mouse over them. Drag inbetween panels to change the position, or drag on top of another panel to create a tabbed group.
  • Drag a panel to an empty part of the screen or click the detach button in the top right hand corner to tear-off a panel. This is ideal for users with multiple monitors as it lets you place the panels on one monitor and keep the 3d viewport on another.

To create tabbed panels

  • To combine a panel with another to form a tabbed dock, drag it by it’s title bar on to the target panel.

To toggle between thumbnail and list views

  • Click the icon for lists and the icon for thumbnails.

To reset the workspace

  • To reset the layout to the system default go to the Main Menu and select Workspaces > Default Layout.
  • To restore the layout to the previous settings, go to the Main Menu and select Workspaces > LastSession.