Animation:Master is a 3D character animation application offered by Hash, Inc. that includes tools for modeling, rigging, animating, texturing, lighting and rendering. Although Animation:Master was developed for and is targeted towards independent artists, with a workflow optimized to enable one artist to create a rendered animated piece from start to finish, the workflow also presents economies and advantages for larger workgroups.
The software uses a proprietary spline mesh technology to perform modeling and animation, and it is different in this sense from polygon mesh or NURBS-based programs. The system used is called patch-based modelling. It uses multiple intersecting splines to create areas, called patches. Patches present an efficiency in that one patch can can describe a complex curved surface that would require many facets to approximate in flat polygons.
Aside from the typical 4-sided patches common in many spline modeling environments, Animation:Master can also create 3 and 5-sided patches which enable mesh topologies not possible in other applications.
To learn more about Animation:Master's features, see Animation:Master Features.
Animation:Master is the successor program to Martin Hash's (1987) and (1990) Version 1 (1992) was marketed as "Will Vinton's Playmation" in conjunction with the Will Vinton Studio.
Version 2 was privately developed by Martin Hash and not released.
Version 4 (1996) added particle effects known as "blobbies". This was the last version to use ".seg" as its primary model format. This was the last version made available in a Unix port. Future versions would be available for Macintosh and Windows.
Version 5 (1997) was a major advance, removing the requirement in previous versions that characters be broken into parts and reassembled in the boning process. It also added numerous skeleton "constraints" which enabled the development of advanced character animation rigs.
Version 9 (2001) Scripting, Expressions
Version 10 (2003) Soft-body Dynamics, Radiosity
Version 11 (2004) SDK (enables 3rd party plug-ins).
Version 14 (2007) Ambient Occulusion (AO), Image-based Lighting (IBL)
Version 15 (2008) Liquids, Baked Materials, Hash Animation:Master Realtime (HA:MR) integration