eZ-Motion 1.0, by Beatware
Posted: 14-September-2001

3 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: Beatware Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Julie Newsome Class: PRODUCTIVITY

Introduction
In today's economy, survival of small companies is highly dependent upon their ability to manage money wisely. Marketing tools with extensive graphic capabilities and easy web interfacing are normally very pricey and are consistently dropped from the budget when forecasting for the future. That's why eZ-Motion is an ideal tool for this market. Priced from $69 to $99, even those with tight budgetary constraints can afford it.

Overview
eZ-Motion provides all the tools needed to create fantastic animations that will grab the attention of any Web Surfer, stopping them dead in their tracks and drawing attention to your web-site. 3-D text is a snap. With customizable templates and animations that can be easily manipulated, and simple import/export capabilities, you'll be up and running in no time.

eZ-Motion is moderately intuitive for simple animation needs with a relatively quick and easy learning curve. The user simply places objects on the canvas, and sets the start and end frames. For a first time user of animation software, there is an immediate satisfaction as things begin to move (at a constant rate and in a linear path). Speed and direction are altered by adding keyframes or through manual manipulation of the pathway. Additional keyframes are automatically created whenever there are significant changes to the file.

3D animation is eZ-Motion's crowning glory. The program contains an extensive array of 3D objects and allows easy importing of files from popular formats such as LightWave, Flash, Quicktime and Photoshop, just to name a few. A nice feature is the ability to manipulate the imported object without compromising the integrity of the original image.

eZ-Motion allows exporting in a wide variety of formats, including QuickTime, Animated GIF, and Flash. The Export Wizard is an especially handy as it automatically compares the various file types and compression settings prior to export. Preview of the animation sequence is somewhat skippy and erratic, so it is wise to fully test the exported image to ensure the proper time sequence prior to use.

One thing that I found extremely frustrating was the huge amount of resources required to run the program. My computer kept freezing or displaying the 'additional resources were required' message if other programs were running concurrently. I also found the documentation somewhat lacking for a Mac user. The screen shots for the tutorials were Windows-based, making it rather difficult to follow along. There were also a few slight interface problems, such as the Fill inspector didn't properly tab in the first RGB box (although it did work in the 2nd and 3rd boxes), and changing number of frames does not take upon tabbing, only after pressing the RETURN key.

Conclusion
Overall, for a simple, inexpensive animation program, eZ-Motion delivers a quality product without all the bells and whistles of the more expensive animation software.

Pros

  • Cool 3-D and animation capabilities
  • Easy import/export
  • Basic enough for a first time user
  • Good price for an animation package

Cons

  • Entering 3D text very slow
  • Memory hog
  • Documentation not Mac friendly
  • Slight interface quirks


Overall Rating

3 1/2 out of 5 Mice