Anime Studio Debut 8 review

16 Jun 2012

A fun and very accessible animation package with plenty of room to grow

Price when reviewed: 
28exc VAT
5

Anime Studio Debut provides an unusual but interesting approach to animation. While the name makes it sound focused on the creation of Japanese-style anime, it can handle any kind of 2D cartoon.

The immediate thing to stand out is the use of “bone rigging”, where you construct a skeleton for a character and put the surface parts on top. Moving the “bones” moves the attached parts in a lifelike way, and with a large selection of customisable characters, backgrounds, scenes and props built-in, students can get stuck in right away.

Users can record movement in real-time while the timeline is in motion, giving instant results. Alternatively, a character wizard can customise heads, faces, bodies and movement, with more than eight angles and adjustable sliders for controlling walking speed, arm swing and movement of other body parts. Characters can then be dropped into the scene, where they’re automatically animated along the timeline.

Anime Studio Debut 8

Anime Studio Debut makes elegant use of layers, with vector layers that enable you to transform scanned, hand-drawn images into the vectors the package works with, and “switch” layers that can be linked to audio triggers. With these in place, effects on the soundtrack can be set to trigger an animation. You can record your own audio using the built-in features, and pitch effects can be applied instantly for added fun factor.

The package is easy to use, with a useful beginner mode plus some excellent video tutorials. However, if you’re prepared to put in some practice and explore its features, it’s also surprisingly powerful. Some advanced features, such as video tracking, are a little hidden, which is a shame, as this could be used as a primitive form of motion capture. The ability to import video into the project is another useful addition.

Overall, Anime Studio Debut 8 is an amazing resource and creative tool for either primary or secondary school students, and it’s well worth the outlay.

Details

Price ex VAT £23
Price inc VAT £28
Overall rating 6
Ease of Use rating 5
Features & Design 6
Value for Money 6
Software subcategory Graphics/design software