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Request for top 10 Anime Studio Pro Version 6 Features

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 12:29 am
by Fahim
Hi Folks,

I'd like you to compile a list of top 10 must have features for Anime Studio Pro Version 6 and post them up here. If you can't think of 10 things, then please list as many as you can. By the way, please make sure to list them in priority.

Looking forward to seeing lots of entries!



Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:41 am
by jorgy
Since you asked..... :-)

(in order of importance)

1. reusable libraries
2. basic lighting
3. preview of image transparancy
4. gradients, fills, effects, etc. that "stay put" with a shape and don't move around as the object moves around
5. control over imported movies as image layers (starting, restarting, etc.)
6. better obj import (more options for lighting, etc.)
7. all the lua stuff that other people have been wanting
8. more responsive keyboard on linux version
9. more export options on linux
10. programmable particles (right now, we are limited with turning them on and off)


Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 1:58 am
by Víctor Paredes
this is so exciting!
here are mine, i hope don't forget something.

1 - Animatable layer and shape ordering
2 - Multiple sounds support (cut, move, rescale and edit sounds in timeline).
3 - "All the lua stuff that other people have been wanting"
4 - Bone layers affecting all which be inside them (even groups, bones or switches).
5 - Video layers improvement (cut, move, rescale and edit videos in timeline).
6 - Frame by frame support.
7 - Better 3d supporting (good cell shading, edges, light, etc).
8 - Color Picker.
9 - Clone layers (layers which will be animated just like another one).
10 - Complex animatable gradients and gradients preview.


Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 2:12 am
by heyvern
I am writing up some detailed use cases with images for my suggestions (have actually been working on this for a while now).

Most will be for bones and constraints... obviously. ;)

They will include several very useful scripts solutions from the user forum that already exist but would work better included in the application.


Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 10:52 am
by rylleman
This was not easy, I had a lot more but finally settled on these ten here.

1. Proper keyframe interpolation (bug report here)
2. Working bone lock.
3. Bone groups (just like point groups)
4. Selection of multiple layers, for moving and changing of attributes.
5. Some reference import system. Where you import a rigged character as a reference so that you can change in the rig-file and the character in your scenes are updated as well without having to reimport and reanimate the character.
6. An easy way to select keyframes from more than one layer at a time, i.e. select all keyframes in a character, not just the top layer ones but for all sublayers as well. (May be related to my #4).
7. A standalone render engine for use in renderfarms.
8. Being able to hide or grey out different bones that are just there for contruction and not for animation. Or temporary disable bones from editing.
9. Scroll list in switch popup. With a lot of switch layers you can't select the last ones because they are off screen... (also for bone list and other lists).
10. For AS to remember the last folder for different file types and tasks so it does not start in the folder you last rendered to when hitting ctrl+o but the last one where you saved a project. And not start in the last save folder when importing images but in the last folder you imported from etc.

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 2:56 pm
by Genete
This is my top ten feature request.
  1. Bones:
    • I want bones affects to any point / layer placed in any other SUB layer. I think that a bone affecting any point at ANY layer in the project could be a little confusing. It could be solved with bone constraints.
    • I want better bone contraints: A bone can be affected by ANY other bone and bone constrained values to be math formulae (non linear) with any other bone variable (example lentgh of abone depends on angle of another). Bone contraints limits.
    • Choose if a bone is visible or not in other frame than 0.
    • Working bone lock.
    • Improve IK.
  2. New animatable channels: Layer / shape order, particles, shape / line effects, dynamic line hiding, etc.
  3. Script: All that scripts that are requested / done by users: copy / paste bones, crashcore scripts, fazek tools, etc.
  4. Actions:
    • Actions reference behaviour. When I delete/move a referenced action in a root layer ALL referenced actions with same name in sub layers would do the same (deleted/move). It could solve keyframe edition in multiple layers at the same time.
    • Better action windows list (organization in a tree style)
  5. Enviroment:
    • Windows position memory,
    • Dockable windows in Photoshop style.
    • Multiple selectable layers operations at the same time
    • Sroller list for bones names, shapes names, styles names and group of points names.
  6. To have a project management (libraries, multiple files / scenes / soundtraks, etc.).
  7. Shape effects:
    • To be non affected by camera zoom / position.
    • More complex effects: same effects and composition that now layer have but for shapes (blur, blending mode, etc). Tree organization needed.
  8. Better color piker/chooser.
  9. Linux video import/export and integration with Gnome and/or KDE.
  10. Improve Flash export.
It is a little inflated but I couldn't resist!!
Hope 50% of them arrive to version 6,


Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 8:48 pm
by jahnocli
1. Much improved .swf export
2. More consistent import of .ai files
3. "Pencil drawing" rough layer, (non-rendering)
4. Ability to grey out or hide bones
5. A "lock bone" function that works properly!
6. Ability to use multiple sound files, and position them anywhere
7. Re-usable libraries and "instances", like Flash. Actions are clumsy.
8. Folders for logical grouping of layers
9. Real-time gradient display
10. More versatile particle manipulation

Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2007 11:30 pm
by Touched
  1. Import of other major vector formats, especially SWF (single frame, still image, no animation necessary). I have a huge library of previous Flash work that I currently have to re-trace because the imports are so poor.
  2. Animatable layer order
  3. Better compatibility with SWF export (fix disappearing shapes, support masks, gradients, and raster effects supported in current SWF specs)
  4. Master bones optionally work through groups, switches, and sub-bone layers (as Genete describes)
  5. Better timeline controls (move, delete, or add keyframes on ALL selected layers -- requires ability to select multiple layers)
  6. Optional realtime display for certain effects that are not currently realtime display, including opacity, gradients, shading, halo...
  7. Native code that functions like Vern's master/slave control bone script
  8. Eyedropper for colour picking from any pixel displayed on screen, raster or vector
  9. Style-bucket -- a tool to apply a selected style to any shape by clicking on it.
  10. Better shape editing -- booleans, ability to select more than one shape simultaneously for styling

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 2:15 am
by DarthFurby
1- Better Audio Support - Move, rescale, edit, support for multiple tracks etc....
2- Greater program access for scripting/plugins. Let the coders add new features so you don't have to.
3- Smarter Bones, more attributes, keyframable attributes. Anything to make a better 2.5D rig. Refer to Heyvern/Genete.
4- Make Raster Morphing as powerful as Vector morphing. Raster head turns anyone?
5- 3D strokes that are animatable and that can be used as motion guides for layers.
6- More particle emitter controls with keyframable attributes and depth sorting. Particles are extremely versatile and make people go WOW.
Example of Good Particle Use(Almost all of this can be done with Anime Studio):
Click Here
7- Selection of multiple layers for moving and changing of attributes.
8- Universal Depth Sorting for all layers no matter where they are.
9- Basic 3D vector modelling. Not for character animation, but for props and backgrounds.
10- Team Multiplayer Online DeathMatch. When feature requests are ignored, violence is the only answer. Pit the animators in a gore drenched arena to battle to the death in gladatorial style combat. Add Classic Star Trek battle music for extra drama.

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 3:45 am
by heyvern
DarthFurby wrote:10- Team Multiplayer Online DeathMatch. When feature requests are ignored, violence is the only answer. Pit the animators in a gore drenched arena to battle to the death in gladatorial style combat. Add Classic Star Trek battle music for extra drama.
... That could be a a pro version feature only.

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 4:00 am
by Touched
Re.: Team Multiplayer Online DeathMatch.

For a Deathmatch, I think you'd have to change the appellation of the animators to "mortifiers", since at its root, "animator" means "bestower of life". :wink:

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:35 am
by heyvern
Here is my list of "top 10" (wink wink). I cheated. Some of these are direct copies from other peoples lists. I still plan to do some use cases for some of the more complex ones.

I tried to put them in order of preference... had to really evaluate what I could live without and what would really really help me. A lot of things that would be really great are not deal breakers as far as actual production at this point for me anyway. Better timeline controls... dang missed that one... 9 and 7 8ths... better time line editing features...
  1. New animatable channels: Layer / shape order... oh wow... I get lightheaded just thinking about it.
  2. Hide bones. Being able to hide bones weather they have a constraint or not. All bones visible or hidden on frame 0 should also be an option. This should be a bone attribute and be saved with the file. When AS is closed and reopened the hidden bones will remain hidden (right now hide controlled bones defaults to off when AS is first launched, very annoying.).
  3. More/better bone constraints
    • 3.1 Constraints that work across layers. This would be HUGE.
    • 3.2 multiple bones for one constraint with individual percentage valueThat's the big one for me. Really really really big. I could live with at least 3 bones for each constraint... uh... 4 bones.... 4 would be good... that's the ticket. ;)
    • 3.3 Translation limits. Rotation limits are fantastic... now we need a translation limit... really really. I would kill for a translation limit. Not exactly sure what values this would be based on. Pixel dimensions probably? Percent of distance from layer origin? Still trying to work this out in my head. I am thinking similar to how stroke widths scale up and down with scale compensation.
    • 3.4 Key framed constraints. Constraints should be keyable. Off-on and value. The value would "animate". If on frame 1 the value is 1 and on frame 25 the value of a constraint is 0 the constrained bone would slowly stop following the target bone over those frames. After frame 25 the constraint is effectively "off". Same for rotation.
    • 3.5 Separate target bones for x, y (and z?) position constraint Different constraint target bones for each axis. Yes we have that now with scripting... but it is stinky.
    • 3.6 Rotation Translation / Translation rotation built in to AS
      • 3.6.1 The rotation of a bone for a translation constraint should be an option. A check box to include rotation of a parent for the translation target. Currently rotation of parent bone is not included in the absolute position of a child bone.
      • 3.6.2 Translation constraint for "aiming" a bone at another bone when either rotates or visa versa. Yes... we have this in script form but it's stinky. Assign a target bone to "aim" the rotation of a bone at.
  4. Bone Groups! Yeehaaa bone groups baby! Simple I hope. Able to group bones in a similar way that points are grouped. This would aid in selection and key frame editing. Grab the whole "leg bone group" and move the keys or delete them. I have no idea where this palette would live. I guess it could be up at the top of the document window like the point groups.
  5. Lua additions
    • 5.1 Add Text List msg attribute - Make it just like the "Check Box" with a msg argument when clicking the individual items in the text list. My copy/paste bones menu script is dead in the water without it... so close... so close. I need this msg value to stay with the items in the list to keep track of them... Change the list item selected attribute to a boolean just like a check box. Think of a text list like a scrollable check box list.
    • 5.2 Ability to access another bone layers skeleton without switching layers (if this can be done now.... it eludes me).
  6. copy/paste bones. Instead of adding the text list feature just make bones easier to copy and paste. ;)
  7. reusable libraries - you know... like everyone else wants. ;)
  8. Importing AS files and styles
    • 8.1 Access to ALL the layers of an AS file... anywhere in the file when importing.
    • 8.2 Loading AS object with same named styles uses styles from the open project. If the styles in the loaded file don't exist in the open file then they will be added as new styles... but with simple names (no prepending the name of the document AND layer...yikes!).
    • 8.3 Option to load just the styles from another file (with an external link? I guess this would fall under reusable libraries).
    • 8.4 Ability to globally change a style reference for many shapes from one style to another. If 10 layers have 5 shapes each, that use one style... change all references to that style to another style. (there is a global color changer in script form so that isn't needed.)
  9. Speed up the Mac version... somehow. Maybe add... video card acceleration?
    • 9 and a half (cheater! Only 10!) - Gradients, fills, effects, etc. that "stay put" with a shape and don't move around as the object moves around (image fills especially. Distortion and stretching of image fills.)
      9 and 3 quarters (you're not fooling anyone vern!) - EPS export (vector). I use AS for print. This would be a god send.
  10. Control over imported movies AND SOUND (starting, stopping, restarting, etc. This is low on my list since I use other tools for audio mixing and have found the workarounds in ASP to be sufficient for video editing. It would be nice to have these functions handled inside ASP though)

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 8:25 am
by Ramón López
A new update announcement! :D At last... I started to think that it never would come :roll: ...WELL! But a new depurated and updated list of essential features that I've been asking for a couple of years...

1 - GENERAL. An improved project hierarchy system that eliminates all derivate AS main problems once and for all...I mean, the hierarchy is the heart of an animation program conceived like Moho was and actually it simply doesn't have started to beat yet :)

........1.1 - The hierarchy system shouldn't limit in Depth issues... I mean, should be possible that a layer could interactuate in depth independently its position on the hierarchy was... (to sum up, Z-Buffer for Vector/Image Layers?)

........1.2 - The hierarchy system shouldn't limit interactions between bones for constraints and other features...

........1.3 - An hierarchy system should be implemented to Actions Window (and this should be Importable/exportable, BTW...)

........1.4 - To sum up, an hierarchy system should NEVER be a limitation...

5 - TIMELINE. Custom curves between keyframes, re-scaling and more animatable features for an animation program, yeah... (Specially I'm thinking on animatable Shapes order in time, particles and all that effects and bone features that you can't animate yet...)

6 - ANIMATION. Definitely much more power for bones! Or at least a better/more integrated and "animatable" Scripting Interface, as others still have mentioned... Improved Actions Window for better organization and Export/Import features too.

7 - AUDIO. Audio improvements with multitracking/positioning and... well, maybe an "improved/reinvented" Switch Layers for it can compete with our own "LipSync with Actions" method? ;)

8 - RENDER. Certainly, I'd like to have some lighting features too.

9 - SUPPORT/DEVELOPMENT. Continue maintaining AS as live as Moho was here in the old good times with Mike, cause... well, that made it so special...

10 - PLEASEs. 1 (Again :))

Well, I hope some of they be taken into account (1?) at least... CIAO!

PS: ...oOops! I forgot the reusable library system... Well, I hope you asume that was implicit ;)

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 1:12 pm
by Bones3D
A few items come to mind:
  • Improved, more intuitive timeline system
  • Support for multiple scenes in a single document
  • More intuitive tools that require less swapping
  • Better edge handling in renders to eliminate the halo effect
  • More intuitive scripts interface
  • The ability to record common actions into a library for future use
  • Global color palettes
  • Storyboard preview
  • More advanced IK options (example: weighting by gradient)
  • More flexible interface (example: single window mode divided into user-definable panes, ala Blender)
  • Improved support for multiple displays
  • Add "import from scanner" option
  • Export scene layers as rendered layers in .PSD files
  • A preview tool that allows the user to quickly render sections of a frame using a marquee
  • A cast palette to store and organize objects both on and off stage
  • Add a scene "object" that is a fully self-contained scene with its own timeline and objects
  • "Gear" set simulator that can globally affect the position and orientation of multiple objects simultaneously using variable values (see DCG's Cognito)
Anyone else? :)

Posted: Sun Apr 15, 2007 5:56 pm
by Manu
Well, a while ago I sat down and posted a long list of stuff in the request forum. Not exactly a top ten, but I'll try to narrow it down. Looks like we're all cheating to get more than 10 in.

1 There's lots of room for workflow enhancements: multiple selections, both on the canvas and the layer palette. A hotkey to temporarily switch to the selection tool from any tool (command/CTRL?). Not too sure why the the "Display Quality", "Onionskins" and the "Graphmode" are in these awkward pop-up menu's that always seem to outstay their welcome. A lot of shortcuts and hotkeys have grown historically. A good rethink may be in order. For instance, navigation in the graph mode is quite cumbersome. 3D animation programs often use the ALT key for navigation. How about using the ALT key for all things navigation, both in the canvas and the timeline? Applying fills and strokes to vector shapes also seems to take a lot of clicking and a lot of greyed out buttons that only become "live" under very specific conditions. Workflow, workflow, workflow...

2 Better support for illustrator files: import Illustrator files as layers. Import Illustrator files without deforming the shapes.

3 Copying and pasting keyframes. From anywhere to anywhere.

4 Separation of the rigging and the compositing (layer ordering). Make layer ordering animatable

5 Beziers for motion curves.

6 Copy and paste rigs, mirror rigs. Add Bone visibility and colour-coding to the parameters.

7 Improved timeline: A system to see animations from several layers, in a simplified format, next to each other in order to gain a better overview. I once posted a request for a more readable timeline, I think it still holds up as an idea, but feel free to be more ambitious than that. I know Softimage XSI has something called a dopesheet which is a simplified view of the full blooded timeline, and they've got a demo :) Just make it so they can't sue you.

8 A library system where you can drop in resources into you project as instances or as copies (models, animations, colours, sounds, rigs, project render-settings...) especially one that allows for sharing amongst multiple users.

9 Colour picker with colour wells . Support for drag and drop of colours (eg between stroke and fill, from a shape on canvas to a colour library)

10 Make 3D rotations work like proper 3D rotations. Currently the Z rotation works locally, the X and Y rotation work globally.