Home made freeware may be good, but professional in-house developer tools for free are even better.

Cryptic Studios, the developer of the fantastically camp MMO City of Heroes, has today announced that it will be releasing its professional in-house animating tools for free under the GNU General Public License.

That's right; not an awful scaled down version, not available at a 'nominal fee'. The full software, for free.

Cryptic Studios, who is also working on the potentially mind-blowing Marvel Universe Online, used this same software to build the animations for its previous games and has created a forum on its website to work as a hub for ambitious animators.

The forums will serve to host tutorials and tips from other animators and will be a place where home-based tinkerers can show off their fresh new moves to others.

"Our goal is to foster a community of animators by providing them the power to generate animations without having to worry about supporting a toolset. Since we were already developing the rig for our core technology team, we decided to release it to the public under the GNU GPL," said Shayne Herrera, Art Development Director for Cryptic Studios.

How widely used the toolset will be used still remains to be seen though, and it's entirely possible that hopeful game makers will want to use something more familiar, though we doubt it.

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