Type of Program: 3D Character Animation Editor
Supported Platforms: Windows 95/98/2000/ME/XP
Company Name: Credo Interactive
Installed Size: 151MB
Ever wonder how all those great human type animations are made?
I’m not talking about cute little .GIFs that have monkeys bouncing back and
forth or a ball that scrolls around, each wanting you to smack it to win a
prize. I’m talking about real life, fluid animations such as humans walking,
talking, running, fighting or even complex moves such as a ballerina dancing her
way into your heart. Life Forms™ takes animation to a whole new level with its
Joint Editor, Batch File Converter, Superior Motion Capture Editing Tools and so
much more! This is one great tool for serious animating (joint by joint) by a
company that backs its product with support should you ever need it.
Life Forms™ is software that lets you create animations for a number of uses.
Such as for choreography, movement planning, education, and for the Internet,
all with pinpoint accuracy. The interface makes it easy to create complex
animations for multiple figures, plus you can use Life Forms™ as a stand-alone
solution for choreography, or as a central part of your animation workflow with
other top 3D applications. But, let’s not stop here. Life Forms™ is also a great
addition that allows you to create movements as well as is an excellent tool for
editing keyframed and motion capture data! Life Forms™ allows you to pose and
animate any type of human form in anyway that you could ever imagine! You
control when a movement occurs and how much of the movement until you’ve created
person sitting down, drinking, staggering around, of whatever.
Life Forms™ is almost limitless in what you can do to a figure! If you really
want to create a truly unique moveable figure, import some motion capture data
and manipulate your figure to each frame (also known as Rotoscoping). When
you’re finished, export your figure and you have a one-of-a-kind animation! So
as you’ve might have guessed, Life Forms™ has the capability to import and
export BVH files (motion capture data), as well as many more data formats.
When you launch Life Forms™ it has four windows for you to work in: the Figure
editor, Timeline, Rendered and Stage windows. Plus, Life Forms™ has Palettes,
and Palette editor windows for storing and organizing keyshapes. Here’s a quick
rundown on each of these windows you’ll be working in:
1. Figure Editor: Here you rotate a figure’s joints or create a pose or keyshape
in the Figure editor window. This window gives you a close up view of the
figure, and has joint controls for moving the body parts. This is where you can
really polish the movements by selecting virtually any joint to manipulate.
2. Timeline Editor: This is just as what you would expect. The Timeline displays
frames in the order that they occur in the animation. In this window you adjust
the timing of an action by adjusting the spacing between keyframes. You can also
coordinate the action of multiple figures.
3. Stage Window: This is where you can play and view an animation. You control
the perspective of the stage by zooming, rotating and panning. In this window,
you can set the figure’s altitude, location and the direction it is going to be
4. Rendered Window: This window allows you to play animations in the rendered
mode. In this mode models are displayed as solids. Any Colors and Textures
you’ve assigned to it are also shown. Similar to the Stage window, you can
control the perspective of the window. And, you can change the altitude,
location and the facing direction of figures in this window.
Life Forms™ gives you full control (and I do mean full control) over any of your
animations. Bend just the elbow, finger, ankle, or the waist and "form" your
character anyway you please. Save your special movements to your personal
Palette for use later, export the animation to a number of different formats and
you have the perfect animated character, just the way you wanted it! Now, if you
just can not come up with your own movement styles, Life Forms™ ships with 750
movement files to get you going and in addition, you can purchase 100’s of them
separately on CD.
If you’ve ever been wanting something simple to use to create your own life-like
animations, Life Forms™ is your answer. Support is great, has an in-depth Help
file as well, and the program is easy to use (and works with a number of 3rd
party products such as Cinema4D, Inspire, Lightwave, Poser, and more). So get
out your other favorite 3D/2D program and get to animating the animation was
meant to be.
Ease of Installation
Reviewed by Robert Hall
Purchases can be made online from
their Web and
they have Educational discounts available.