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Introduction

Anim8or is a 3D computer animation program that is designed to allow straightforward creation of animations. You interactively create and edit objects, figures, and scenes directly on the computer's screen. The basic interface is similar to most 3D animation and CAD programs, as shown in the following screen shot:

You control various aspects of your work using an ordinary computer mouse or tablet. You select and drag, rotate, scale and place objects by clicking in the various views of your work. There are two toolbars that you can use for common tasks. The one at the top of the has buttons for general commands that are used throughout Anim8or, while the one on the left allows you to change your mode of operation for common tasks in the current editor that you are using. The usual menu is there for less frequently used tasks.

You can control the view of your objects to see how they appear from the front, left, top, back, perspective, etc., and you can show either multiple views or a single view on your screen.

There are four main working modes, and an object-browsing mode.

First, there is an object editor that is used to build (mostly) static objects. This is where you create and refine the basic models for your 3D world.

Second, there is a figure or character editor. You use it to define the structure of a character that you want to animate by connecting jointed bones together, and objects to them. You can give each joint different ways in which they are allowed to move and restrict the range, just like your elbow or shoulder can move only in certain ways.

Third, there is a movement or sequence editor. Here you define segments of motion, such as one cycle of a walk. These can then be linked together in chains in the scene editor for longer sequences.

Finally, you put together your final scenes in a scene editor. Here you place the objects and built in the other parts of Anim8or into their final "world". You can control how they move, and where the camera is located. You can also give the scene various kinds of lights.

Once you have created a model or scene you can render high quality .jpg and .bmp images and .avi movies and save them to disk for later use.

Finally, there is an object browser to help you view and organize your Anim8or objects. You can also search your disk for objects in other formats.