Request for top 10 Anime Studio Pro Version 6 Features

Discuss ideas for new features with other users. To submit feature requests to Smith Micro, please visit support.smithmicro.com

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synthsin75
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Post by synthsin75 » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:20 am

GCharb wrote:How about turning lines to fill colors, that would be usefull as well!
I don't understand (and I feel I've said that before :lol: ). I always feel like your requests are coming from some large pool of experience with some other app. These are just very hard to translate into AS terms, I guess. :wink:
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GCharb
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Post by GCharb » Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:24 am

synthsin75 wrote:I don't understand (and I feel I've said that before ). I always feel like your requests are coming from some large pool of experience with some other app. These are just very hard to translate into AS terms, I guess.
LOL

Nothing to it really, just draw a bunch of line, with diffrent line width then you turn them into fill areas for further tweaking, like removing round lines gap.

Just a thought! :)

I'll stop asking and see what V6 will have for us! 8)

GC
banjar
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Post by banjar » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:15 am

heyvern wrote:I've been doing a bunch of scripting lately and something just hit me...

Many of the features requested could be done with scripting right now... with out waiting for a "new version".

If the next "great feature" were to be limited to just one... it would be more access to the application through lua. Then someone like me or others could create any new features we want.

Some things could be added like:
Simpler script access
Tool for modifying utility scripts (multiple layer scripts in one layer?)
Adding standard menus (not just in the script menu)
Modifying existing menus (draw, bones, animation, etc)
Adding/Modifying floating palettes
Standard "widgets" for on screen tools like buttons and sliders.
Modifying the time line
More complex key commands and double clicking for tools
etc etc...

If you build in the tools for this... the skies the limit for new features. It would almost be like... open source development that isn't open source.

Lately I've been looking at ASP the same as Flash in that respect. Flash allows simple key frame animation for simple things that don't require knowledge of ActionScript. I look at lua scripting in AS the same way. You could literally "script" animation in AS much the same as you script animation in Flash using Action Script.

Just a thought.

-vern
This is why you should be a paid employee of SmithMicro if you are not already.
Rudiger
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Post by Rudiger » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:36 am

heyvern wrote:I've been doing a bunch of scripting lately and something just hit me...

Many of the features requested could be done with scripting right now... with out waiting for a "new version".

If the next "great feature" were to be limited to just one... it would be more access to the application through lua. Then someone like me or others could create any new features we want.

Some things could be added like:
Simpler script access
Tool for modifying utility scripts (multiple layer scripts in one layer?)
Adding standard menus (not just in the script menu)
Modifying existing menus (draw, bones, animation, etc)
Adding/Modifying floating palettes
Standard "widgets" for on screen tools like buttons and sliders.
Modifying the time line
More complex key commands and double clicking for tools
etc etc...

If you build in the tools for this... the skies the limit for new features. It would almost be like... open source development that isn't open source.

Lately I've been looking at ASP the same as Flash in that respect. Flash allows simple key frame animation for simple things that don't require knowledge of ActionScript. I look at lua scripting in AS the same way. You could literally "script" animation in AS much the same as you script animation in Flash using Action Script.

Just a thought.

-vern
While this would be awesome from a user perspective, Smith Micro may be reluctant to make the scripting interface too powerful, should it adversely affect it's future upgrade business.
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Post by banjar » Thu Jan 29, 2009 2:50 am

Coming from Flash, I am still learning this program so if I am covering stuff that is already in the program but that I have missed in how to use it, then please forgive my stupidity. These are things that I would like to find in the next version:

1. Color Picker like Toon Titan for Flash. But also able to import Swatches from Flash, Painter, and Photoshop. Eyedropper for colour picking from any pixel displayed on screen whether from AS or from some other program or graphic displayed outside of the AS program like the color picker in Flash.

2. Basic lighting or an optional 3d/psuedo 3d lighting system

3. Re-usable libraries and "instances", like Flash

4. Support for multiple scenes in a single document where individual scenes can be rendered or the entire animation rendered. That is, full support for long animations with multiple scenes.

5 Even the VTC Anime Studio Tutorials prefer to import Adobe Illustraor files instead of Anime Studio art from scratch because of "better speed and precision". So, if the drawing tools are not improved then at least an accurate import of Illustrator files and Flash files.

6. Clone layers (layers which will be animated just like another one)

7. Animatable layer and shape ordering

8. Working bone lock.

9. Add a scene "object" that is a fully self-contained scene with its own timeline and objects.

10. Add points without affecting curvature.
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synthsin75
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Post by synthsin75 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:37 am

Banjar,

1. You can import swatches in PNG form. Just drop then into the swatches folder or choose 'custom' palette (ASP only). But yeah, we really need a pixel color picker.

5. The VTC maker apparently hasn't learned the AS drawing tools. Most everyone who makes a concerted effort to learn them loves them. And these are from a wide range of other app experience.

Just don't knock 'em until you learn them. :wink:

6. Search the forum for the layer script (ASP only) meshinstance. It clones point motion.

7. Animated layer ordering already exists, and there are a couple of different scripts to animate shape sorting.

8. Practice......the bone lock does work very well.

:wink:
banjar
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Post by banjar » Thu Jan 29, 2009 4:48 am

synthsin75 wrote:Banjar,

1. You can import swatches in PNG form. Just drop then into the swatches folder or choose 'custom' palette (ASP only). But yeah, we really need a pixel color picker.

5. The VTC maker apparently hasn't learned the AS drawing tools. Most everyone who makes a concerted effort to learn them loves them. And these are from a wide range of other app experience.

Just don't knock 'em until you learn them. :wink:

6. Search the forum for the layer script (ASP only) meshinstance. It clones point motion.

7. Animated layer ordering already exists, and there are a couple of different scripts to animate shape sorting.

8. Practice......the bone lock does work very well.

:wink:
Thanks for the tips. As I said, I am moving my stuff from Flash and am still learning the AS program. It looks to be superior to Toon Boom. And I am looking forward to the next version. But I couldn't help but put in my two cents worth as a vote along with others who have the same wish list choices.
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heyvern
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Post by heyvern » Thu Jan 29, 2009 7:16 am

Dang!

I wish we could put together like a "top5 50" or "top 100" feature reques poll. It seems like using this thread to figure out the "top 10" favorite features will be a pain in the arse.

For instance bezier curves would be the number one feature request based on the number of people who ask for it... even though the number who don't think it's needed are silent or even out number the supporters.

Each feature in the list would have a corresponding description for more detail. I'd do this myself but then I would have to read through all of this. Plus I would probably get a bunch of flack for leaving some out. Maybe if I saved out the whole thread into a text file and did a word count. Count how many times a "feature" related word or words are used. I could narrow it down.

If I get really bored I may try it. ;)

-vern
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Rhoel
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Post by Rhoel » Thu Jan 29, 2009 6:07 pm

I've stayed pretty much silent on this thread, and I agree, its getting so large is hard to handle all the requests. Maybe we (I) need to code an external php votes page with all the current options and let people tick a scale of 1 - 10 on each option. That way we might the a reasonable view of things.

My thoughts on new features come down to three.

Text:
Abandon the current text tools in favour of a normal bezier text layer: I cannot see any advantage of using the convert bezier to AS curves: The disadvantages are very obvious, the text just looks wonky.

Colour Palettes
The other comes from using Animo: One of its real strengths was its colour palette. The fill colour came from a multi-set keyframe-able palette system. It allowed the cloning of the main palette, then a new hue to be derived from that. Imagine Little Red Riding Hood skipping left to right across screen to see Grandma in the morning. Using a second night palette, we would flip the same animation layer, and have Red Riding Hood skipping home again at night fall - this time on a new dark creepy BG. No-one could tell it was the sane animation.

Using this facility, I designed a film which used scanned paper textures for area fills. We painted it normally, then used to layer palette with just pure black and white replacment sub-palettes - these became the mattes for the paper textures. It meant having up to 30-40 palettes and the compositors hated me for it, but it looked great. I used the same technique to animate some 'Fuzzy Felt' characters for a commercial - I sent the output to Cambridge Animation (who made Animo) and they refused to believe I'd used only their program to make it. It looked great, photo realistic.

Any-to-any Matting.
As you can see from the above example, true any-to-any matting is an extraordinary powerful tool - in layer masking is useful but its simply not flexible ... One Group Layer (all of it) is often needed to matte another Group. In-Layer masking inherits the layer position - this is no good if the matte is in the Character Folder and the matted object on the background - think Character A walking behind a table painted on the background - the matte belongs to the background, not the character. If the matte fill is in the Character layer (as it currently is), it will pan with the character when it really should be stationary in the background layer.

Being able to matte a Character Group from a BG Group makes the composite a walk in the park. It would then allow nutters like myself to take the tools and do something really insane with it (think the zlayer and the opening scene of Machine Masters, a 47Meg vector-only file :-) ).

Rhoel

PS: The full colour stereo rendering feature has already been covered in detail in the scripting area. If there is a God, this function will be included. 3d thread here
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Post by F.M. » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:34 pm

I wonder if a poll would put things in perspective,with a single list of feature requests,votes could be cast, it might make more sense. Just a thought! :lol:
"and then Man created god!"
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synthsin75
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Post by synthsin75 » Thu Jan 29, 2009 11:51 pm

Rhoel,

I use the layer script meshinstance to get around having to combine character with background to mask the interaction. The points motion (whether by bone or manual) is the only thing instanced, so layer manipulations are independent.
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Post by Rudiger » Fri Jan 30, 2009 7:49 am

synthsin75 wrote: 7. Animated layer ordering already exists, and there are a couple of different scripts to animate shape sorting.
The only two scripts I know about for shape ordering are the one that uses a dummy switch layer and the one that uses bones by Genete. The switch channel one has an unresolved bug where it stops working after a while, and the author seems to have disappeared from these forums. The other problem with it is you have to name every shape and manually edit the order list for each keyframe which quickly becomes unmanageable for a large number of shapes. Genete's solution works very well for a small number of shapes, but if you have several hundred, it once again becomes difficult to manage, and you can no longer use the traditional raise and lower shape tools. Also, neither handle it very well if you add or remove shapes after you've embedded the script.

It would be so much simpler if there was a separate shape order channel and a keyframe was created whenever you changed the shape order on a layer other than frame 0.
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synthsin75
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Post by synthsin75 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 1:10 pm

I agree, Rudiger. I was just pointing out what already existed. I don't use either of the shape sort scripts for the reasons you mention.
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Diana Kennedy
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Post by Diana Kennedy » Sat Jan 31, 2009 3:07 am

1. Frame by frame support
2. basic lighting
3. More filling and shading options
4. Better particle control
5. better import of previously done animations (library)
6. All the other stuff people said.
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Post by The Modax Jago » Tue Feb 03, 2009 6:09 pm

I use, recommend, and depend on Anime Studio in production on a daily basis.


Please. Improve. UI. Ground up. Stop with these annoying quirks, and bugs, and annoying constant clicking that must be done. Importing, Exporting, pathing, assets management,... major overhauls. AI import? :evil: Very unpleasant surprise. Do I really need to continue making null wav files to clear out a soundtrack? Really? A timeline would be nice. Yes. A timeline. Not a keyframe indicator, but an actual timeline. Multiple of them would be nice, but I'd consider that a luxury.

You know how in after effects you can scale multiple keys from one or multiple layers? Yeah. That would be. Nice.

In fact, speaking of after effects. The more like afx anime studio becomes, the less I will need to use afx at the same time, or worse, instead of AS. Emulate, copy, steal if you have to. AS will only benefit. In fact, any modern professional level multimedia application will do. Or in fact another popular overpriced "toon" software. I mean, they are you competition, right? You do want to offer a customer a compelling reason settle on AS right? It would make my job of selling the AS pipeline to the studios I work in far easier.

You know, it may come as news to you, but AS is used by animators to produce high quality complex multi layered animations usually in a team environments over a shared network, and with the need to constantly update because of client requests. A shock I know. It would be nice if AS recognized the reality of its use in production by serious artist and offer more dependable and flexible solutions for us content producers. After, AS is just not for hobbyist,... is it?

This thread is a solid compilation of every smart thing you could do to improve your software. I wont waste time repeating the obvious. You guys know what your doing, I have faith you'll listen to your customers.

Otherwise, I'll just switch platforms and discontinue my use of AS.

I'd prefer the former rather then the latter.

(sorry for the crassness, I love AS, its simple, fast, and easy to learn/train. Much love for the AS team. Good luck on a new version,... I for one will be a happy customer if it is as good as I think it can be.)
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