Wow! A very cool plugin that just came on to my radar is 3dCutout 1.5, which allows you to make Flash-like cut out animation in Autodesk 3D Studio Max. It’s a pretty interesting tool and while I have yet to try it myself, from the video above it seems fairly straight forward. Basically you create art in Photoshop or your art program of choice (that has layers), set parameters, build a rig and it gives you IK bones that let you pose a character similar to Flash but with a lot more tools at your disposal, including of course a 3D camera as well as an auto key feature. It even has asset management. Harmony does a fair amount of these features as well but I would argue that it’s a bit more limiting since Max also has particle effects as well as compositing tools, plus it includes a MUCH more robust user base than Harmony.
At only$250 it’s not a bad price to pay, plus with Autodesk having subscription options, it might just be the sorely needed Flash killer people have sought after for decades since Adobe routinely ignores all requests from animators to add features catered to us.