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looking for animation software{paperless animation}

posted by Darkblader on - last edited - Viewed by 386 users

I just got a new computer and I'm currently looking for an animation software capable of doing not only 2D animation, but paperless animation. I'm trying to make a point-and click video game for all you fellow telltale members. So whats good for paperless animation? Recommendations would be nice.

23 Comments - Linear Discussion: Classic Style
  • The most animation experience I have is by Photoshop. Frame by frame.

    I also have Anime Studio, but I haven't messed around with it too much yet...

  • I wouldn't mind learning to do some animating, does anyone know of a free program (that runs under Linux) that I could start with?

  • Hmm the animation software I know isn't free :s

    You can also use ye olde pencil & paper :)

  • @Junaid said: Hmm the animation software I know isn't free :s

    You can also use ye olde pencil & paper :)

    I didn't mean to create the pictures, since I'd probably do that with Inkscape, but to turn it into an animation, by putting the pictures after on another, or maybe being able to change only part of it (like import a picture of the arm moving without having to change the rest).

    Since My needs would be rather basic I was hoping there would be a free (or cheap) program for that. Since it's just for fun I don't see myself spending hundreds on dollars on it.

  • Hmm I think then the best (and fastest way) is to do it in photoshop, frame for frame

    Set the framerate to 12 f/s so that you work on doubles, that way you don't have to draw 24 pics for a sec :)

  • @Junaid said: Hmm I think then the best (and fastest way) is to do it in photoshop, frame for frame

    Set the framerate to 12 f/s so that you work on doubles, that way you don't have to draw 24 pics for a sec :)

    Photoshop isn't very free though :P

    I'll see if I can learn how to do it with GIMP. I really dislike GIMP though, it's so complicated (unless I'm stupid. Although it could also be both). But there has to be tutorials out there.

    I thought there were special programs for that but if a general image program can do it, I'll try that instead. Thanks :)

  • I've been scouring the internet for the best paperless animation software too, yet they all have their dis-advantages and advantages... if you don't mind, I'll list some of them here:

    Free apps:

    Pencil (Windows, Linux, Mac)

    http://www.pencil-animation.org/

    [LIST]
    [*]Pros: Attempts to mimic pencil sensitivity, Good for straight ahead animation
    [*]Cons: Learning curve is a little difficult, and the pencil sensitivity is spotty
    [/LIST]

    Plastic Animation Paper (Windows, Linux, Mac) http://plasticanimationpaper.dk/

    [LIST]
    [*]Pros: Good package presentation, the actual program is a tad difficult to get used to, but seems capable of a lot, Mimics pencil sensitivity with a bit of setting-changes
    [*]Cons: Currently only on Windows and Linux, Mac users are out of luck, but if you run 10.5 or earlier, then you can probably find a version of this software somewhere
    [/LIST]
    Not-Free apps:

    Toonboom - Studio (personal) / Animate (pro/personal) /Harmony (pro) - (Windows, Mac)
    http://www.toonboom.com (trial available)

    [LIST]
    [*]Pros: Widely used animation software across animation studios, Studio is the best bet for home users who want a basic animation software
    [*]Pros: BONE support and multi-layered rigging and compositing possibilities, even in Studio version. I'm not 100% on their FK/IK support, or the relevancy it has in 2d puppet animation
    [*]Cons: Learning curve is steep, but well documented tutorials can get you going in a few days. Vector lines are the only thing you can use in this software, and that means no pencil opacity/sensitivity
    [*]Personal Con: The exposure sheet, it makes no sense to me how they set it up. The adding and subtracting of exposures to frames is not easy to handle, and practically every drawing is filed away in a library and you use these on the exposure sheets.
    [/LIST]

    Digicel Flipbook (Windows, Mac)
    http://www.digicelinc.com/index.htm (trial available)

    [LIST]
    [*]Pros: Probably the easiest software to get used to, great pencil tool + texture support + some cool multi-level compositing options, also used by Disney animators (is this a pro? ;)) No Vector lines! (good and bad!)
    [*]Pro: Cheap enough for the lowest version with a good chunk of features.
    [*]Cons: It's buggy, and it's not just a little buggy, it's buggy for all sorts of wrong reasons. But I still use it regularly, and just put up with some of it's idiosyncrasies.
    [/LIST]

    TVPaint (Windows, Mac, Linux?)
    http://www.tvpaint.com/ (trial available)

    [LIST]
    [*]Currently being translated from a foreign language, so the documentation on how to use it is a little dodgy. But, if English isn't your first language and you prefer a different language, then this is a good choice.
    [*]Pros: Has a nice range of features, including texturing, near-Photoshop quality brush options, Vector/non vector. Interesting workflow, but not 100% efficient all the time.
    [*]Cons: Probably the learning curve, as this software is all contained within it's own little universe, so all the terminology and window setups are quite challenging to get used to.
    [/LIST]

    Adobe Flash & Crude Photoshop Animation (Windows, Mac)
    http://www.adobe.com (trials available)

    [LIST]
    [*]Pros: Flash, once you know it, you're set! Easy to get used to, lots of tutorials and documents out there.
    [*]Pros: Photoshop: At least it kinda supports Animation in CS4. Not efficient, still not a good setup.
    [*]Cons: Flash: Vector line only, and this can either be alright, or a real pain after a while. A bit of a learning curve to this app. Some noticeable bugs in CS4 which really annoy me!
    [*]Cons: Photoshop: If you're using Photoshop for animation, then, you're wasting precious RAM/hd space. Photoshop animation files are huge, and also, it's a bit of a pain trying to find out how the heck it's turning layers on and off. Only CS4 recently made some sort of reasonable setup. Before it was a little dodgy. I recommend Photoshop for specialty based cleanup work on animation, but not as animation files.
    [/LIST]
    Also, while we're on my most favourite subject, make sure to read up on proper animating techniques and STUDY STUDY STUDY if you're interested! It's an amazing field to work in. Here's some references:

    Preston Blair, Cartoon Animation - every professional animator has probably read/studied this book at sometime in their career: http://www.amazon.com/Cartoon-Animation-Collectors-Preston-Blair/dp/1560100842

    Richard Williams, Animator's Survival Guide - same goes for this one, now in a curiously "expanded edition".. http://www.amazon.com/Animators-Survival-Kit-Revised-Principles-Classical/dp/0571238343/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b

    Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, The Illusion of Life - Filled to the brim with animation information, techniques, lectures etc. If you're serious, get this book, and read it all the way through... http://www.amazon.com/Illusion-Life-Disney-Animation/dp/0786860707/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_c

    Eric Goldberg, Cartoon Animation - This book is great, it's simple, it's geared towards beginners and intermediates, but it has lots of stuff to see, great to get this book with one of the others.. http://www.amazon.com/Character-Animation-Crash-Course-Goldberg/dp/1879505975/ref=pd_sim_b_5


    Anyways, hope that helps! If you're really serious about it, learn lots and most of all

    HAVE FUN!

    cheers!

  • Thanks! I downloaded pencil, I'll try it later.

    Right now I'm trying to figure out how to record lines it a way that doesn't sound terrible. I really have no acting talent.

  • What about a graphics tablet? I've thought about buying one for the first time, and it looks like Wacom makes the best. It also looks like they have two lines designed to target the professional artist (Intuos $229-$789) and the "just-for-fun" artist (Bamboo, all under $69-$200). I don't know anything about tablets, but I'm thinking about [b][URL="What about a graphics tablet? I've thought about buying one for the first time, and it looks like Wacom makes the best. It also looks like they have two lines designed to target the professional artist (Intuos $229-$789) and the "just-for-fun" artist (Bamboo, all under $69-$200). I don't know anything about tablets, but I'm thinking about buying the wireless one for $399 brand new.

  • Basically with graphics tablets, the type you buy from Wacom usually comes down to these features:

    - Physical size - being the first one
    - Levels of pressure sensitivity - second level
    - Quick buttons (buttons and slide-things on the outside)
    - Available Accessories
    - Screen built in (cintiqs)

    For a tablet for the hobbiest and intro-geared, I'd recommend the Bamboo, the larger ones, the 9x6, which is a good intro size, 512 pen sensitivity, which isn't bad, but if you're looking for thick-to-thin, you'll have to be a little lighter and do some fiddling.

    But, if you're looking for long term and want to go pro, I'd recommend starting with the intuos4 medium, as they're quite nice, especially with the digital read-outs on the left-hand side and the 2048 levels (super-sensitive, can do thick-to-thin in a nice gradual form).

    And... if you really want to use this for professional purposes, then I recommend the Cintiq, and depending upon your area of expertise, either size is cool. I personally use the 12wx and love it to death, without feeling hampered by size. Just be aware that there will be colour differences.

    Oh yes, and be sure to shop around for the one you're interested in. If you're a student, seek out student-based pricing for tablets, there are some great deals out there.

    Hope that helps!

    Cheers!

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