Kinemac is a 3D animation tool that can be bewildering and dazzling in equal measure. We’ll start with what it doesn’t do. You won’t find any modelling tools here, the package enables you to add primitive shapes or import object from other packages though. There are no character animation features here, so if you’re hoping to make Toy Story 2.5 you’ll need to look elsewhere.
What you do get is a real-time 3D animation package that’s ideal for creating video credits, presentations and advertising. The workflow is easy to get used to, once you’ve read the manual. Using a simple stacked timeline and keyframes for animation, any object can be resized, moved in 3D space or rotated in any direction. The interactive workspace enables you to position object with your mouse – making changes that reflected numerically in an object inspector.
Uniquely, Kinemac also translates keyframe animation into Bezier curves. Open up the appropriate window and you can smooth out the animation flow using curves and handles. It’s an elegant and intuitive visual method of tweaking existing settings. For even more control you can switch to a four-panel orthographic view and draw animation paths directly in the workspace, using pen and shape tools to ease the process.
You’re not completely confined to cones, spheres, cubes and doughnuts. As we mentioned before, the package enables you to import 3D objects in popular formats. Impressively you can also add images, sound and full motion video to 3D scenes by dragging and dropping them direct from the finder. Once in your movie they’re treated like an object in the timeline and can be edited using the application’s extensive tools.
This impressively powerful tool runs best on high-end Macs, but will happily render 3D clips in real time using OpenGL on your Mac mini or MacBook. There’s a fully functional trial version available too, so you can give it a go before parting with almost £150.