For many creators, animating and posing is one of the most difficult aspects of the 3D pipeline. Luckily, there are plenty of professional quality poses and animations in the Daz store. For example, we recently featured a variety of different animations in our post 30 Different Poses and Styles for Your Characters.
But what do you do when you can’t find a preexisting animation or pose that suits your needs? Follow along with this tutorial and you’ll have all the know-how you need to create amazing animations for your Daz characters in Cascadeur.
Check out our video tutorial for a step-by-step presentation on Cascadeur and how to import your Daz characters into it, or if you prefer, you can learn more about the program here.
What Is Cascadeur?
Cascadeur is a physics-based 3D animation software. It has an intuitive and clean user interface, is easy to learn, and offers powerful functionality, which makes the difficult task of animating surprisingly easy and enjoyable.
It was originally created by Eugene Dyabin as an internal animation tool for video game development company Nekki, producers of Shadow Fight and Vector. As the software grew, the team decided to make it publicly available. The closed Beta was offered to about 20,000 participants in 2019. By the time the Open Beta version was released in 2020, the program quickly attracted over 60,000 animators. Early access is now open and, though more improvements are in the works, is certainly functional and powerful enough to accomplish everything it sets out to do.
Is Cascadeur Free To Use?
Cascadeur has a free and pro (paid) version, as well as business licensing structures. Overall, the free plan is great for hobbyists and small creators. As long as you have less than $100k/yr in funding, you can use the Basic free plan. The only in-software feature it lacks is the scene linking tool and a limit of 300 frames per scene and 120 joints per scene. For many users, this shouldn’t be a massive hindrance. Another condition of the Basic plan is necessary credit attribution for using Cascadeur in a project.
The Pro plan costs $150 per user, per year and allows for unlimited animation exporting with no limits on the scene. Credit attribution is optional, and priority technical support is provided as well. Pro gives you everything you have in Basic with a little leg up on the size of the animation scene you can export. If you otherwise qualify for a Basic plan, you may opt for a Pro plan to show support to Cascadeur, or you may find value in being able to animate for more than 300 frames at a time. Note that, in a 30 frame per second clip, this translates to ten seconds worth of animation.
Why Should I Animate With Cascadeur?
Cascadeur is packed with functionality, including the ability to rig a character completely. If your character already has a skeleton, Cascadeur also includes the ability to manually reconfigure that skeleton so it works appropriately. While physics-based animation and manual reconfiguration may sound intimidating, Cascadeur makes the entire process surprisingly easy. As you’ll see in our tutorial video where we animate a Daz character, Cascadeur helps creators manipulate joints in realistic ways, allowing you to create lifelike poses by only adjusting a few joints.
Cascadeur is still a growing and developing program, and the devs seem very interested in creating the best possible program they can. They have proven their ability to deliver in the past, making Cascadeur a safe choice in terms of long-term support for the platform. Not only that, but you will also find a trove of tutorials on their website which will help you master both the basics and the most advanced features of Cascadeur. The Cascadeur system saves animators time and makes animation so much more approachable for new animators who might otherwise feel overwhelmed by the task.
Is Cascadeur Compatible With Daz Studio?
Yes! Daz characters are certainly compatible with Cascadeur. In the tutorial below, we walk you through everything you need to know to import a Genesis character into Cascadeur, how to reconfigure the rig, work with all the tools available inside the program, then finally export that animation information back into Daz Studio.
The process is surprisingly straightforward and shouldn’t be too difficult for users with a basic understanding of Daz Studio. If you are completely new to Daz Studio, we recommend taking some time to learn Studio first, before attempting to work with a Daz character in Cascadeur. You don’t need to be an expert, but a basic knowledge of fundamentals is required, as we will assume in the tutorial that you already know how to create a character in Daz Studio. To learn more, check out our video tutorials.
While we anticipate further compatibility over time as Cascadeur improves and shifts from pre-release to final release, for now, many workarounds are required to get your animations to work properly in Daz Studio. Please check out our 2-part tutorial series to learn everything you need to know to get started animating Daz 3D characters in Cascadeur!
Watch: How To Animate Daz Characters With Cascadeur
In part one, we cover exporting out of Daz Studio and importing into Cascadeur, configuring the model’s skeleton with the Quick Rigging Tool, and making overall tweaks to perfect the rig.
Part Two of the series dives into using the animation tools inside Cascadeur to create a quick animation. We then cover everything you need to know about exporting the animation out of Cascadeur and importing it back into Daz Studio. Finally, we will take that animation and turn it into a Pose Preset, so you can use it with any of your other Daz characters.
Stretch Your Creativity and Learn Something New
We hope you’ve enjoyed learning about Cascadeur and can’t wait to see the poses and animations you create with it. Who knows, maybe you’ll even decide to share those poses and animations with the Daz community by becoming a published artist someday.
Whether you are a new or experienced Daz user, there’s always something new to learn that will stretch your creativity and make you a better 3D artist. As always, thanks for choosing Daz Studio and being a part of this awesome community.