Smith Micro has released Anime Studio Pro 6, a new version of the software for the creation of professional-level 2D animation.

Anime Studio Pro 6 speeds up production time with powerful features such as motion tracking, built-in lip-syncing, vector-based drawing tools, bone-rigging and the ability to import scanned drawings and images, according to Smith Micro. Anime Studio Pro 6 also contains an extensive library of ready-to-use content that includes fully rigged characters, props, action words, stock video, images and sound effects.

The new Motion Tracking feature allows objects to be attached to visual markers in any video clip allowing users to match object and video motion. The integrated lip-syncing function is built on the AST production sync library, and can synchronize characters’ lips and mouths through what Smith Micro describes as a simple and intuitive process that yields extremely accurate results.

The Scatter Brush paints with vectors, while controlling the size and spacing of each individual object. It can create seemingly-random fills such as grass, bubbles or stars in a night sky. Auto Shading, which Smith Micro describes as similar to Ambient Occlusion in 3D suites, creates realistic shading based on lines and object contrast within each layer -- creating stylistic 3D effects.

Anime Studio 6 can create, save, and blend morph targets to combine character expressions and emotions. Users can save and reuse previous poses and character positions and blend colours and fills with this time saving and versatile feature. The new Sequences enables adjustment of the timing and synchronization of audio and video tracks through a simple timeline, so users can mix and match audio, video, images and animated components to create digital shorts and animations.

An update to the versatile LUA engine exposes of Anime Studio’s inner workings, and provides more power to create unique tools and plug-ins, create particle effects such as fire and explosions, and customize tool behaviors to support individual user’s workflow, according to Smith Micro.

The upgrades also offers full support for importing and exporting high definition video files, and the output video and animation of unlimited length to formats including NTSC/PAL D1/DV standard and Widescreen, HDV and HDTV 780p and 1080p, as well as AVI, MOV and Flash.

Anime Studio Pro 6 costs $199.99 (around £126), with upgrades from previous versions priced at $129.99 (£82).