World first course in physics-based character animation

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

The University has been chosen to launch the world's first course in AI-supported character animation using the new physics-based software Cascadeur.


Cascadeur is a powerful physics-based animation tool for creating physically accurate animations for games and movies. In Cascadeur, game and movie developers can create realistic characters of almost any type (humans, animals or any other creatures) without using time consuming motion capture technology.

Developed by game developer Banzai Games and distributed by software publisher Nekki, the University has been provided with exclusive access for its students to use and test the software.

With its AI-supported Auto Posing and Auto Physics tools, Cascadeur is a brilliant tool for training novice animators, without having to deal with tedious technical details. By accelerating the learning process for beginners and providing faster results in 3D animation, Salford students will have access to industry first software currently unavailable elsewhere.   


Animation Lecturer, Jonathon Byrne, said: “It's exciting to have teamed up with Nekki to explore Cascadeur's unique animation tools with our students.

“For new students, the process of animating with Cascadeur is already showing promising results, significantly stronger posing and weighted body movements. The Cascadeur workflow helps to reduce the complexity of the animation process whilst providing faster and physically accurate results.

“By transferring their existing animation knowledge of animation principles, students can express their ideas more quickly, which helps to boost their confidence and efficacy, allowing them to focus on the animation rather than getting tangled up in the technical aspects.

“Our students are enjoying using the Cascadeur software tools, and the university is looking forward to continuing to work with Nekki and Cascadeur on new approaches to teaching character animation.”


Nekki Business Development Director, Tom Borovskis, said: “We are delighted to have teamed up with University of Salford to launch this first Cascadeur course. The truth is, especially for beginners, getting started in the art of character animation can be technically challenging and sometimes even frustrating.

“Cascadeur now remedies this: our physical AI tools enable students to concentrate fully on the creative side of their studies, even without previous experience with animation. This leads to a motivating sense of achievement and more joy in learning!"


Creative Technical Demonstrator, Owen Calderbank, said: “It's great seeing early on students are picking up the tool faster and being able to put more focus on their animation skills. Cascadeur simplifies a lot of the technical aspects that can be a hinder to some students animating in 3D."


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