MMO developer Cryptic Studios' (City of Heroes, Marvel Universe Online
) has announced the public release of the proprietary Cryptic Animation Rig (Cryptic AR) toolset it uses in its own games as a free download under the GNU general public license.
According to Cryptic Studios, Cryptic AR "allows animators of all experience levels to familiarize themselves with the same tools used in a professional development environment." In addition, the company adds the tools included in Cryptic AR are "the very tools currently being used to produce next-gen game visuals at Cryptic Studios."
The developer has also confirmed that it plans to release regular updates to Cryptic AR, and invites input and content submissions from the user animation community as well through the Cryptic AR website
. The site will also have forums to serve as the community home for up and coming animators, allowing users to share and critique each others' creations.
"Our goal is to foster a community of animators by providing them the power to generate animations without having to worry about supporting a toolset. Since we were already developing the rig for our core technology team, we decided to release it to the public under the GNU GPL," said Shayne Herrera, art development director for Cryptic Studios. "We feel that the development and gaming communities will benefit greatly from a professional tool like the Cryptic AR."