Frame by frame animations

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Would you use Moho for frame by frame animations?

Yes
25
81%
I never animate frame by frame
6
19%
 
Total votes: 31
Nimphaea
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Frame by frame animations

Post by Nimphaea » Wed Aug 18, 2004 11:35 am

Hi everybody!

There are a couple of threads going on at this moment about making frame by frame animations in Moho.

I think it would be a great improvement if it could be easy to make frame by frame animations in Moho. I have to admid I am just learning to draw and animate with Moho, with bones, but I was originally trained as a traditional animator on paper and cells. Now I read that it's difficult to set up a frame by frame animation in Moho. Because frame by frame animations can add so much life, I hope there will be an easy way to make them in the next version of Moho... I really love Moho, the soft effects you can make, the beautiful depth effect with blur, the layer effects... It's so nice. It would be perfect if frame by frame animations could be easy to set up :D!
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kdiddy13
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Post by kdiddy13 » Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:08 pm

Check out this thread if you're interested in frame by frame animation:

http://www.lostmarble.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=14

It suggests an exposure sheet tool that could take advantage of Moho's switch layers. Basically its a graphic/spreadsheet that would manage the visibility of switch layers. Both Toon Boom and (I believe) The Tab make heavy use of this, it's a very nice bridge between traditional and vector animation.
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TheTallGuy
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Post by TheTallGuy » Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:16 pm

Hmm... To me, X-sheets are very clunky and overkill. Please don't tie the two of them together. Flash and ToonBoom both support frame-by-frame animation, and I find Flash infinitely easier to use.

I would love to see useful frame-by-frame support. I'd be fine with somehow mapping switch layers to the timeline automatically.

Whatever the technique, there MUST be a simple way to have onion-skinning for some number of frames before and after, or it's a no-go. (X-sheets or no X-sheets!)
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kdiddy13
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Post by kdiddy13 » Wed Aug 18, 2004 5:36 pm

I have to disagree with exposuresheets being clunky and over-kill. They've been used in traditional animation for some time because they happen to be the best way to keep track of numerous drawings and layers that go into a traditional animation.

Clunky? There isn't a tool that's more simple and more straightforward than a spreadsheet for keeping track of the hundreds of drawings that can go into a complex shot.

Overkill? Hardly, I always found Flash to be very limited and as a result cumbersome when it comes to managing complex animations. It may simple in the short run (which is great), but as soon as you start getting into managing large numbers of drawings and making complex animationsm, as well as reworking an animation, Flash's frustration level shoots through the roof.

Exposure sheets simplify the managing of a complex multi-layered multi-drawing animation, making it easier to share it with other animators and not have to spend hours trying to figure out what the animator before you did.

As far as the onion skinning goes: I totally agree, it's already in Moho, but the number of perceived hoops you have to jump though just makes them more a pain than a convenience.
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cribble
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Post by cribble » Wed Aug 18, 2004 9:57 pm

If there was to be a frame by frame thing, how would moho's interface change to support this. Will it be another room or will it be on the same timeline? wouldn't all the drawings hog up alot of memory and ram (bahh)?
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kdiddy13
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Post by kdiddy13 » Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:13 pm

I envisioned it taking advantage of the switch layer. All of the individual drawings being separate layers in the switch layer. The switch layer being used to key the drawings on and off. That way you could take advantage of switch layer's tweening abilities, "minimize" the layer while working on other objects, move the whole layer around or attach it to a bone, and easily adjust the timing. I don't imagine it would be anymore RAM intensive than any other program trying to do the same thing (Flash, Toon Boom, etc.)

As far as the interface, thanks to Moho's wonderful new interface style it could easily be another pallet that you could either use, or hide if you don't need it.

In my head it all seems so simple, but then again I'm not the one who has to program it... :wink:
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MarkBorok
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Post by MarkBorok » Thu Aug 19, 2004 4:57 pm

I think Moho should stick with cut-out style animation and I wish people would try to work within that style instead of trying to force the program to do something it wasn't designed to do (although there have been some really cool results).

However, I think it would be great if Lost Marble made another program, reusing a lot of the Moho code, to compete with Flash and ToonBoom. In particular I really like Moho's approach to onion skinning, which neither of the other two programs has. I also like its low price, although I can understand if they raise it for the next version. Toon Boom also doesn't have built-in motion blur, particles and depth of field.

Trying to do both kinds of animation within one program would make the interface clunkier and more confusing.
stalti
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Post by stalti » Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:39 pm

Hi, MarkBorok

First of all ... please excuse my English, i'm no native speaker. So if something sounds rude or inpolite ... i absolutely do not mean it!

I don't agree with you! << ... Moho should stick wit cut-out animation ... i think it would be great if Lost Marble made another program ...>>

Moho does not only stick with cut-out animation!!!! It also sticks with flash-animation, with 3d animation, etc... :D
there IS software that does particles VERY well, maybe better,
there IS software that let's you set Blur and things like that VERY well,
software that does 3d ... enough said ....
... but here you have it all in one package!!!!! ... designed for flash authoring ... you get an all-in-one solution. Isn't that what a lot of people are searching for!?
Well, i am!!!! I'm tired of having to use 10 applications in order to fullfill some tasks that could be done in one application ... in that way the people at Lost Marble do pioneering work! ... they bring these tools together.

Besides that: Why should not cut-animation profit from frame-by-frame animation and vice versa? Wouldn't that be cool?! Why shouldn't 3d-concepts (rigging, bones, etc.) profit from frame-by-frame animation and VICE VERSA (Moho is the first program I know of that combined rigging with 2d animation, the first 2d application to combine real 3d with 2d ... VERY COOL FEATURES)

Interface-issues are very important and I have to agree that the interface might get cluttered ... hey, let's clutter it!!!!! It will evolve.
I guess that here it's up to us users to tell the developers why this or that is confusing and so on ... most powerful applications suffer from "bad usability", even if the interface was designed very carefully ... i guess there are many factors regarding usability ...

Therefore: PLEASE developers at Lost Marble include a style-sheet and keep your eye on frame-by-frame animation!!
Keep on your incredibly good word!!! (i'm a developer and know that it's all about very hard work)
... there are some applications that can do that very well (Toonboom Studio, The Tab, Swish, Swift, etc) but Moho 5 set a milestone ... also because of it's scripting features ... close to perfect ...

Thank you, VERY GOOD JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Stalti
stalti
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mistake

Post by stalti » Thu Aug 19, 2004 9:50 pm

... just a correction ... Please developers do NOT include STYLE-SHEETS :D :D ... an XSheet would do it!!! :D

(hmmmm, but why not style sheets to format the interface :-))
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spasmodic_cheese
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Post by spasmodic_cheese » Fri Aug 20, 2004 1:44 am

gahhh!! I was only asking about trad animaition in moho and now its blown into gigantic proprtions!

its all happening aggaaiinnnnn!!! RUN FOR YOUR LIVVVVEESSSS
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7feet
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Post by 7feet » Fri Aug 20, 2004 5:57 am

kdiddy13-

Just to point out, as far as I can tell so far, the tweening ability of the switch layers still depends on each sublayer having the same number of points. So I don't believe it's gonna work with anything like hand drawn, frame by frame stuff.

--Brian
stalti
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Post by stalti » Fri Aug 20, 2004 7:16 am

Hi everyone ...

Spasmodic_cheese :D :D :D :D :D (well, someone had to answer ... :D :D :D :D )

To 7feet ... i think you are right. But that's not the point. Because people who do traditional animation don't want to do inbetweening that's software based ... so it is ok, if software-based tweening is not supported anyways.
The switch-layer approach does not work really (i tried it) ... and i guess that it would not be too much work for the developers to implement a 'traditional layer' or something like that, they would use functions/methods that allready exist ... so this would be just another combination, another class/object ... but, well I don't know exactly and therefore I'll have to leave that up to the developers ... the details are cumbersome in most cases (in german you would say that the devil hides within the details, don't know how to say that in english)

(The XSheet would certainly be more work, though)

Nevertheless your idea with the switch layers and automatic inbetweening isn't too bad ... look for example at the Tab (http://www.the-tab.com/) ... i guess they do a similar thing ... in TBS (Toonboom Studio) you would just draw and no automatic inbetweening ... but you should have the possibilty to just draw a sequence of drawings.

I allready tried to figure out how i could implement add-on software that does xsheets for moho, but i think that this kind of features really should not reside within some user-script or add-on software, because Moho already supports the functions that would be needed ... besides that it isn't very easy :-) Moho does a great job with antialiasing. (i can't get my gtk+ applications compiled on windows ... that's another reason why i think that the LostMarblers :-) do a very good job ... these are just the basics, but ... there is a reason, why TBS does no antialising, why the TAB is not platform-independent ...)

Nice greetings, Stalti
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spasmodic_cheese
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Post by spasmodic_cheese » Fri Aug 20, 2004 7:42 am

stalti wrote: Spasmodic_cheese :D :D :D :D :D (well, someone had to answer ... :D :D :D :D )
booyeh! =D cheers man
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7feet
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Post by 7feet » Fri Aug 20, 2004 10:18 am

Stalti- I'm right there with you. I was just pointing out a particular thing Moho don't do. I'm all for keeping the topics focused, and its been seeming that anything concerning trad animation is subject to an awful lot of drift. Anyway.

Even though traditional animation is never (I don't think)going to be to be Moho's focus, it would be nice if it were ways to make it easier. The only animation I've done seriously is stop motion, so I don't have direct experience with the need for exposure sheets, or not, or how to set them up, etc. I would defer the the experts there. It does, however seem as if the switch layers would be the most viable option at the moment. Barring a new layer class. Oh yeah, that devil, it reads pretty much the same in english.

If there was a way to to get a just a switch layer change keyframe in the timeline, I think the rest could be managed pretty easily. If there are displayed keyframes there, you should be able to use the timelines onionskinning. Looking at the Moho files internal structure for switch data, it should be pretty straight forward to write a script to set keyframes for each sublayer in the switch layer. As all of the Moho tools are written in Lua now anyway, you could make it a new tool button to assign keys to switch layers. Sure, all of the elements are there and Lost Marble could certainly do it, but I think I'd rather see them getting the core of the program up to snuff. You wouldn't have an exposure sheet per se, but you can go a long way by organizing you're layer structure well.

Also, looking at the TAB site, I'm guessing that their files are probably a good bit like Moho's, except that they don't let you see the points. Which would probably be pretty dense. In that case, their 'tweening also works the somewhat the same, as you can only modify your initial drawing. I do that in Moho anyway for things like mouthshapes, making a bunch of layer copies of the first mouth drawing and then messing with the initial points. So the magnet tool is nice, so you can just drag lines around as you like, but I don't think I'm going to stopp dragging points around anytime soon.

Whether they put in tools for trad or not, I'll probably write my own anyway so I can work the way I want. That's one of the beautiful things about the scripting. For that matter, since I was just going to do it for Moho, I'm probably going to scrap my standalone lipsync app I was fitfully working on and just make it a script. The microsoft agent's Linguistic Sound Editor(free, so far) does a pretty darn good job of detecting phonemes and tagging where they are onto the tail end of a wave file. It would be quicker to parse that info into a switch data file inside Moho anyway (c) ;). Well, I'll probably still finish the standalone, so you could edit the switches in Pamela. Even if I did a lot of drawings I don't want to do lots and lots of lipsync by hand.

Night, All.
--B
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cribble
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Post by cribble » Fri Aug 20, 2004 2:15 pm

I think frame-by-frame mode should be a plug-in, not aspart of MoHo. That way, the people who want it, can get it, and the people that don't want it, don't have to install it. Does that sound like a better idea?
--Scott
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