Smith Micro Software has released Anime Studio 5.6, an update to its 2D animation software for Mac OS X and Windows. A free update for Anime Studio 5 users, the software costs $49.99.
Anime Studio was recently added to Smith Micro's portfolio through its acquisition of e-frontier. The software helps artists create 2D animation and cartoons utilizing a "bone rigging" system normally found in 3D software.
Changes in the 5.6 release include animated layer reordering, which makes it easier to simulate 3D effects, such as objects moving in front of and behind each other. you can now control the movement of a layer with the "Translate Layer" tool, using click and drag. You can also assign an image file to be used as a texture to fill in various vector shapes. This will warp textured images as they're moved and bent by the bones system, resulting in more realistic texturing of objects.
System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.4, G4/500MHz or faster (including Intel), 256MB RAM, 100MB hard disk space, 16-bit color, 1024 x 768 resolution.