Meet MotionStudio 3D, Corel's inaugural entry into the animation and motion graphics software category. Geared more toward novices and prosumers than professionals, this capable newcomer lets you create 3D text and titles, lathe objects, and a variety of animations with relative ease.
MotionStudio's interface is intuitive, which should be comforting to motion graphics novices. The Edit Window displays your project as you work, and can reflect changes in near real-time--with virtually no waiting for rendering. Also, you can drag objects directly within the Edit Window for a more tactile way to customize basic aspects like position, rotation, and size.
The Timeline Window spans the bottom of the interface, and is relatively simple to navigate. Here is where you set the key frames that guide your animation. And with each property having its own independent timeline, it's easy to choreograph several different animated elements to work in concert.
The EasyPalette contains all of the preset effects available, and can be supplemented by plug-in effects. Here you'll find 3D Models, Text Objects, Lathe Objects, Shapes, and even simple extrusion effects. MotionStudio makes it simple to click around, experiment with these effects, and undo when necessary.
On top of its basic 3D titling and text animation capabilities, MotionStudio also includes a realistic particle effects tool that recreates the appearance and movement of elements like bubbles, fire, smoke, and snow. The tool even lets you make minor adjustments to the particles' properties such as texture, density, color, rotation, and more. Powerful, yet simple features like this are sure to attract casual users who aren't necessarily motion graphics wizards. The program also includes tons of animation presets, and lets you manipulate light sources, mimic motion blur, and adjust depth of field among other aspects.
And for the prosumers out there, MotionStudio 3D also boasts some rather powerful import and export capabilities. It can handle vector and raster graphics, and lets you easily work with files from other 3D applications. Meanwhile, it can output to a wide variety of video and still image formats including GIF and Flash (SWF) for the Web. And as expected, MotionStudio lets you easily output projects as 3D anaglyphs viewable with 3D glasses, or as side-by-side images playable on compatible 3D TVs--all with a single click.
Overall, we think Corel MotionStudio 3D provides a nice, affordable entry into the world of motion graphics. With its array of presets, powerful, yet simple features, and intuitive interface, it's a fantastic choice for newcomers and experienced motion graphics artists alike. But, if you're looking to get extremely granular in your animations, and you need a more professional level of control, then MotionStudio 3D might not be what you're looking for. If that's the case, then be prepared to spend a lot more money on your software.