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All of the 3D animating softwares I've faced are centered around using GUI to work: windows, menus, mouse clicks, mouse adjustments, keyboard shortcuts. As a programmer, I find that limiting. In order to have full control over an animation, it'd be interesting to use code. For example, say you wanted to animate a magic sword which color depended on speed. Without programming, that's not possible at all.

Thus I ask: is there a 3D animation softwares that target coding, not GUI work?

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closed as not constructive by Nicol Bolas, bummzack, Byte56, Sean Middleditch, Josh Petrie Mar 22 '13 at 15:15

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"For example, say you wanted to animate a magic sword which color depended on speed. Without programming, that's not possible at all." That's because it's not animation. Animation is a function of time. Speed is a function of time and distance. In order to change a value based on that, you need more than time, and therefore, you need more than animation. –  Nicol Bolas Mar 19 '13 at 8:34

2 Answers 2

Major 3D animation suites support writing custom plugins/extensions (scripts and/or .dll/.so files). For example Blender use Python for scripting (API).

This may or may not be enough for what you are trying to achieve because not all [custom] data (e.g. colour changes you have mentioned) will be exported to supported formats thus you might be forced to write your own exporter (or modify existing).

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Dokkat, from my experience I can tell that Unity 3d Mecanim animation has a sophisticated system for all sorts of animations, with the Mecanim tools the ammount of code you MUST write is limited, but the sky's the limit.

You have plenty options to choose from. http://docs.unity3d.com/Documentation/ScriptReference/Animation.html

I have to note that it will only be usefull to use Unity animation, if you are going to use Unity as your native environment. You can't export those animations into Maya/Max etc.

Edition of the Magic Sword colour can be done using the V4 in the Color class http://docs.unity3d.com/Documentation/ScriptReference/Color.html

Function "operator Color Colors can be implicitly converted to and from Vector4."

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Unity3D Mecanim system is specifically geared toward artists and animators who don't write code. Also, it's not animation authoring system, it's animation setup system. –  Nevermind Mar 16 '13 at 8:28
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It indeed is geared toward non-coders. But as I said apart from the possibility of importing animation files, which can be set up in the way you want, you can also script your own animations from scratch using everything that a physic engine can do. Simply instead of creating a game inside of unity, you can create a movie or any sort of animation which can be rendered through a camera. And when it comes to the "creation of a magic sword dependent on speed" can be easily done in U3d, creating a speed var => which will be V3 movement/time. If speed <= X (...) change Color class using V4 options –  Mikolaj Marcisz Mar 16 '13 at 13:07

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