Anvil is an engine developed by Ubisoft's Montreal branch for use with two of its most successful franchises, Assassin's Creed and Prince of Persia. The first and second iterations of the Anvil game engine were used to develop the 2008 remake of Prince of Persia and Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands.
According to the technical director Claude Langlais, modeling in Anvil game engine is achieved using the Autodesk 3ds Max for environment, and in ZBrush for characters. Autodesk's HumanIK aids in calculating the positions of the playable character's hands and feet in the world, such that they convey a convincing animation sequence.
During the earliest period of its development in 2006, the Anvil game engine was codenamed "Scimitar". "Scimitar" was used to develop the first Assassin's Creed released in 2007, the 2008 re-imagining of Prince of Persia, and the sports game Shaun White Snowboarding.
As the "Anvil game engine"
From 2009 to 2011, with improved tech, Ubisoft Montreal used the second iteration of the Anvil game engine, to develop games such as Assassin's Creed 2, in order to include day and night cycles, enhanced lighting, reflections, AI, and NPC navigation systems. The engine was later used to develop Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands for the PlayStation 3, PC and Xbox 360 in 2010, and finally Assassin's Creed Revelations in 2011.
It was initially believed that the next iteration of the Anvil engine, AnvilNext and AnvilNext 2.0, did not use any previous game assets for the next series of Assassin's Creed games, such as Assassin's Creed 3 and its primary character, Connor Kenway. However, this was later debunked when older animations were found in Assassin's Creed 3 and later games in the franchise.