Something asked often is ‘How do GraphKit and Animaide compare?’
First, Animaide is free and a terrific add-on, so please do familiarize yourself with it before looking into purchasing GraphKit so you’ll know just what you are getting with GraphKit. Obviously there is some bias, but in writing this article, I’ve tried to be as to be as objective as possible in comparing the two add-ons to help you decide if GraphKit is right for you.
These are the features of the two addons that are most similar:
GraphKit’s Tween is aimed at ease of use: one slider creates the Blend-to-Neighbor breakdown keyframes for multiple F-Curves. Animaide’s Breakdown slider offers five breakdown options (Ease, Frame, Infinite, Neighbor, Offset) and it works with existing keyframes. GraphKit Tween has overshoot on by default, while Animaide’s requires a toggle.
GraphKit’s Amplify and Animaide’s Scale/Push-Pull/Shear both intensify F-Curves. They match up like this:
- GraphKit Amplify Pivot Point Center -> Animaide Scale Average / Push Pull
- GraphKit Amplify Pivot Point First -> Animaide Scale Left
- GraphKit Amplify Pivot Point Last -> Animaide Scale Right
- GraphKit Amplify Min & Max (good for bounce animations) are unique to GraphKit
- Animaide’s Shear Left & Shear Right are unique to Animaide
- Animaide’s sliders are limited between -100% and 100%, while GraphKit Amplify’s Amount can achieve any amount (the sliders are initially also limited to -100% & 100%, but you can type in whatever value you want).
GraphKit’s Randomize and Animaide’s Wave-Noise both add random values to selected F-Curves. GraphKit Randomize offers Absolute & Relative mode, Min & Max Values, and an amount slider with a much wider range. GraphKit’s Randomize allows you to change the Random Seed, make the random amounts different for each F-Curve, convert the frames to automatic, exclude the Start & End frames, and more. Animaide’s amount is limited to -100 & 100% and does not include these options.
Animaide’s Time Offset and GraphKit Overlap seem to be a similar feature, however Animaide’s requires more than four keys to work properly and has far fewer options. The Animaide Time Offset is most similar to GraphKit Overlap when the Loop option is enabled. GraphKit Overlap’s extremely-helpful and unique features are an ability to overlap by Object selection order & F-Curve Selection Order (with or without looping) and snapping to whole keyframes. Animaide Time Offset, like the other sliders, is limited to -100% & 100%, while the GraphKit Overlap ‘Frame Overlap’ is unlimited.
Unique GraphKit Features
Besides the many unique options in the above features, GraphKit also has completely unique features like Repeat, Fade, Perfect Loop, Range to Loop, Flatten Holds, and Distribute for manipulating multiple F-Curves simultaneously. Please visit these
- Distribute – a command for creating even timing between keyframes using frames or BPM.
- Fade – for fading in and out animations using standard ease functions
- Flatten Holds – flatten just the hold keyframes in an F-Curve
- Perfect Loop – match your loop’s start & end frames perfectly.
- Range to Loop – Set your scene’s Preview and/or Frame Range to a multiple of your loop’s length for seamless playback.
- Repeat – for looping entire F-Curves or selected keyframes simultaneously.
Unique AnimAide Features
Please visit the AnimAide GitHub page for the official explanation of the Animaide features. From my personal take on AnimAide, AnimOffset, setting a Keyframe’s visual type, and Handle Selection are the most handy features.
AnimOffset lets you ‘modify any animated object, and the change will propagate to the animation range.’ So, for example, you could move every keyframe of an animated control to a new position and have it animate from there: it’s really helpful!
Setting the Keys’ visual type to helps you when you’re working in the Dope Sheet and you want to identify what role your keyframes are serving in the animation. I’ve found a long-standing bug in the Move-Insert Move Key Left & Right commands, but I could imagine this would be useful when working.
The biggest differences in the similar features outlined above would be how GraphKit is able to offer many more options for these operations in its Redo Panels. This allows you to experiment with different F-Curve manipulations without needing to undo, then run a new operation. Both add-ons have unique features (GraphKit’s are Repeat, Fade, Perfect Loop, Range to Loop, Flatten Holds, and Distribute). It should be said that Ares Deveaux, the developer behind Animaide, is very generous to offer his add-on as open source and support for free. GraphKit is offered with fast customer support, clear Tooltips, thorough documentation, and training videos. Knowing the differences of these two add-ons ultimately will benefit you, the animator, in using what you feel is the best tool for the job. They can certainly be used together for maximum effect. Happy animating!