is showing and selling the new Animation:Master 10.0 at this week’s Macworld Expo.
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Animation:Master — a US$299, high-end, complete character animation system (modeling, animation, and rendering) — is designed and marketed as an entry level priced character animation program with the most advanced professional features. It’s cross platform compatible with the traditional Mac operating system, Windows , and Windows NT. New features in version 10.0 include Expressions, an integrated chat room, improved rendering, render lock, stitch modeling, improved timeline, and more.
“We will also be showing our Mac OS X version, which is still a work in progress, but it’s coming along nicely,” Ken Baer of Hash told MacCentral. “We don’t have a ship date yet for the Mac OS X version (there’s still plenty of work to do), but like our other versions, alpha and beta versions are available for download. Also, the release version will also be free to those with the Hash2003 CD, which we are selling now.”
The reason the Mac OS X port is taking so long is that the code is based on the PC Win32 application programming interfaces (APIs), and Hash has been using the Microsoft cross compiler to bring it to the Mac, he added. Since the cross compiler was dropped by Microsoft several years ago, they had to either rewrite the entire software as a separate Mac OS X code base, or create libraries that will implement the Win32 calls as Mac OS X calls.
“We chose the latter, but it is a huge undertaking (though not as big as a rewrite of Master),” Bauer said. “These Win32/Mac porting libraries will allow any Win32/Mfc based application (and there are many of them) to port quite easily to Mac OS X.”