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Anark Studio 3.0

Anark Delivers Kiss of Death to Mac Authors By Ko Maruyama
"O true apothecary! Thy drugs are quick. Thus, with a kiss I die."

Finally, Anark Studio has evolved into a beautiful application, growing beautiful modifications that appeal to the Mac-pretty-people sect. 

Menus are organized in a layout that is not only more robust than before, but keep content in an economical, ergonomic flow - all at your fingertips.  Hover your cursor, and start authoring...

But wait.....

In what can only be described as a Mac author's recurring nightmare, Anark has announced that their Anark Studio product will only be available for Mac when "conditions are right." So the chicken/egg conundrum that has made software solutions for content authoring on a Mac slim continues. No GUI authoring solution for the Mac platform, so authors buy PC.  Software vendors see the authors on PCs only, so they don't support the Mac.  It culminates into a kiss of death for Mac users and software companies who try to support the OS's niche groups.

Anark's Daniel Cook admits, "We put a lot of love into Anark Studio for the Mac and it was a very hard decision to put it on hold for 3.0."

Like mTropolis (a distant memory now), authoring tools created for the Mac have found very little fertile ground, and have disappeared, usually rather quickly from sight.  You might remember mTropolis, another interactive authoring tool ahead of its time, was far easier to use, and much more accessible than its competition.

Anark has even offered registered Mac users a "free upgrade to the Windows version of Anark Studio 3.0", further indication that software companies recognize the huge deficit in interested Mac users.  Want Anark? Get a PC.

If you're new to Anark, and you want Anark on the Mac, purchase the previous Mac version.  The old version still runs well under OSX, and you still get the PC upgrade for free.  Plus, you'll send a message to Anark that you'd like to see development on your favorite OS continue.

The good news is that the free upgrade will save you enough money to purchase a small PC, one that connects to your existing network and can do the data crunching.  You might also want to invest in Virtual PC - which, although merely emulating Windows on a Mac, can run some software not available to the Apple OS.  While Virtual PC may have trouble taking advantage of the OpenGL hooks that make Anark so appealing, tests are still pending.

Why would you want to purchase a PC just to upgrade the software?  Well, for starters, you may be already comfortable with Anark's authoring system, but have been longing for the more efficient UI - not to mention the stronger 3D Engine 3.0 sports.  It has been on the Mac for quite a while now, and it's easy enough to pick up, yet comprehensive enough to take on serious scripts.  Delivery is still the same, and with a stronger Client and more robust video cards, it's doubtless that this type of streaming 3D will continue to grow.

Anark Studio is still an excellent way to create training materials or tutorials, marketing presentations - interactive 3D presentations that can deliver across the internet, and - almost my favorite thing; Game UI.  It's also a simple way to map still images onto 3D geometry to transmit true 3D animations in small file sizes.

Game UI is an interesting part of Anark Studio because it's accessible to interface designers who aren't necessarily very savvy with game dev code.  The Anark SDK allows for easy export to XML or even custom exporters, transporting the data and logic from Anark to the gaming engine.

Wanna see Anark's gaming muscle flexed?  Check out the Splinter Cell project Pandora Tomorrow from Ubisoft here (you'll need to download Anark Client first: http://www.anark.com/downloads/default.asp):


Another?  Check out NVIDIA's Monster Bug Garage here (great use of OpenGL and Anark together):

Of course, the new content will still be available to OS X people through Anark Client 3.0.
(gee... great).  Another ray of hope is the knowledge that some software companies who started PC only, soon picked up enough user interest and momentum to port the software to the Mac OS. 

Perhaps someday Anark will return to the Mac desktop too.

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Ko Maruyama is a freelance animator in Los Angeles.  In addition to working on film and broadcast animations, Ko teaches at Pasadena's Art Center College of Design - focusing on motion design.  When working, writing or testing software allows, you can find him lending a hand in the After Effects board and lurking among the Cinema4D, Visual Effects and Photoshop posts within the DMNForums.
Related Keywords:Anark, GUI, Game interface, Interactive OpenGL, anark studio

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  • Anark Studio 3.0 by DMN Editorial at Feb. 11, 2005 10:42 pm gmt (Rec'd 3)

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