Hi everyone.

After a long year I'm exited to start 2017 by sharing my latest updates on Legato and I've decided to move on to the next stage: beta 2.
It's free, just like beta 1.

"Beta 2" means that it should be(come) good enough and stable enough to use it in a small character animation production.
I'm not pretending it's complete. Many features can be added (like the render queue management) or improved (like the NLA features) but I really want to get started with a real CA project and see how Legato is doing.

For now I've been focussing on the animation process within the scope of a story.
The idea is to assist in planning, recycling and evaluation as much as possible in order to prevent loss of work and promote efficiency and improve control of overall quality.

Soon, I hope to publish the next build with some simple demo material and a manual.
The manual is important to myself, to help me reminding the use of all its features and to act as a QC checklist because features tend to become broken in the long run.

Some new features that I've added recently:

- Groups: sets of random combination of Objects/Bones/Lights/Cameras that can be used in every classic Legato feature like TimeBender, ReTimer, Quantize, Bake, etc.

- TextTracks: quickly add text strings per frame, on the upper- or lower track. It has 2 separate tracks for Objects/Bones, 2 separate tracks for Lights and 2 separate tracks for Cameras. As soon as you switch to a different Genus, the corresponding TextTracks are displayed, even when there are no Objects/Bones in the scene. These six tracks are stored in the Legato plugin data section of the LWS scene file. TextTracks don't move with TimeBending or ReTimer functions, and they can only exist in the positive frame range (not in the Library section, the negative frame range). To add a text string in the upper area: double click on a frame in the upper graph area. To add a text string in the lower area: double click on a frame in the lower graph area. Click anywhere to accept a text string. Each TextTrack has its own muted color. During playback a label will highlight in yellow. To clear a TextTrack in a range of frames: select a frame range and press key 'K' to kill the text in the upper area or press key 'k' to kill the text in the lower area.

Example of TextTracks: Click image for larger version. 

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- A RenderProfile.cfg file can be Exported or Imported, manually or (Imported) automatically during scene load. Eacht *.cfg file contains the 4 Legato RenderProfile presets. By keeping important render aspects in one file, it becomes easier to control overall quality level for all shots at once.

Example of modifications to Legato Config F7: Click image for larger version. 

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- Legato Config F7 has been expanded by 2 pages: Shot Notes and a Production Log. Each page contains three listboxes that contain arrays of text strings that are saved in the Legato plugin data section of the LWS scene file.

Legato Config F7 page 2: Click image for larger version. 

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Legato Config F7 page 3: Click image for larger version. 

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- An improved window layout system. Not perfect but more predictable.

- Expanded Playback modes: Ping-pong, Loop and now also: SingleShot+Rewind and SingleShot+Hold. PlayAtExactRate is now fixed.

- FollowDirector can now be turned on/off in Legato Config F7. If you MMB-drag (TimeBender) or RMB-drag (ReTimer) a MarkerRegion in the Upper region, the MarkerRegions in the Lower region will follow (or not).

- Editing Labels for Markers and Regions (and TextTracks) has been improved. Backspace has been introduced. Press F2 to edit a MarkerRegion and press it again to clear the text string.
- When analyzing Files, a progressbar is displayed to give you some feedback.
- You can now select a frame range and press the 'L' key to move all Markers and Regions in that frame range to the Library.
- After selecting a frame range, dragging the left/mid/right side of the selection bar became less precise when dealing with small ranges - this has been improved. Selecting fractional frames has been introduced.
- Many bugs and interface update issues have been fixed or balanced.

I hope to release Legato beta 2 within two weeks from now.