I'm confused! (Anime studio 6)

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Lost Marble
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Post by Lost Marble » Wed May 27, 2009 6:38 pm

Now as far as me personally not caring about the existing users:

If you've made a decision about me as a person, I may not be able to change that. I'll just have to try to let it slide off my back.

But the idea that I don't care about Anime Studio or the users is just completely and totally wrong. When the product went from Moho to Anime Studio, that was a choice I made to keep the product available at all. At that point I had to take a full-time job at another software company to support my family. I wanted to keep Moho going, but there was just no way to do it. Anime Studio made that possible, even if development was slow (there were a few handy new features over the years).

Then when Smith Micro came along and offered the chance to work on Anime Studio full-time, I jumped at the chance. That only happened last summer, but being able to continue development on this product was a great opportunity for both me and the user community. Frankly, if Smith Micro had not come along, Anime Studio probably would have faded into obscurity, something neither you nor I would want.

During the time we've been working on 6.0, the entire focus has been on the feature requests and enhancements to exiting features that have come from users over the years. I wasn't able to get everything in, but I got in a lot. Sorry to sound cheesy, but I really love this product - it's the best product I've worked on, and version 6 is the best version of Anime Studio yet. When it comes out, take a look at what's in it and I think everyone will find something they've been hoping for.

-Mike
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Post by uddhava » Wed May 27, 2009 6:50 pm

Oink, oink. Sounds great, and thanks for your product, Mike.

Udd

And remember the three little pigs.
Last edited by uddhava on Wed May 27, 2009 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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slowtiger
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Post by slowtiger » Wed May 27, 2009 6:53 pm

Give that man the respect he deserves!

I'm really excited about what's all in for us in the pro version if just the debut version sounds that great already. Thank you, Mike, for an already great piece of software (fast and reliable), and now even better, and even tailor-made to our needs. It's unbelievable that this is still mainly a one-man-show.

About all the complaints about SM's marketing aptitude: I don't care as long as I can buy this program somewhere. After all, working with AS gives me a big advance over all competitors still struggling with Flash and Toonboom and AfterFX ...
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uddhava
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Post by uddhava » Wed May 27, 2009 7:01 pm

slowtiger wrote:Give that man the respect he deserves!

I'm really excited about what's all in for us in the pro version if just the debut version sounds that great already. Thank you, Mike, for an already great piece of software (fast and reliable), and now even better, and even tailor-made to our needs. It's unbelievable that this is still mainly a one-man-show.

About all the complaints about SM's marketing aptitude: I don't care as long as I can buy this program somewhere. After all, working with AS gives me a big advance over all competitors still struggling with Flash and Toonboom and AfterFX ...
Well said, well said. I'm very happy about this upgrade.

Udd
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Post by J. Baker » Wed May 27, 2009 7:08 pm

Mike, is the update really $150? Don't get me wrong, I'm willing to pay for an update but when the update is almost the cost of the actual software, it's a little crazy.
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Post by Rhoel » Wed May 27, 2009 7:10 pm

Muke, Please don't take offense by some of the comments - the majority are happy to see the product go from strength to strength: I think frustration is showing is coming to the forefront as yet again SM dropped the ball: It's a PR disaster. It would have been better business planning to have released the upcoming news on the website before Walmart threw a spanner in the works - they really should have been under embargo, - whether or not there was and WM broke it is immaterial, it just makes SM look like its not on top of the game.

What would be helpful now to everyone is knowing what is in the new package, when it is publicly available and if the upgrading structure is right - it seems that some retails are undercutting the RRP to such an extent that there will be little difference between the new and upgrade costs. personally, I am working on a new animation website and if one feature is included, then it will affect the material I am publishing.

Some of the screen-shots posted here point to some cool additions but having the details of new features will pour oil on troubled waters and whet people appetites for the release date.

Rhoel
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Post by Lost Marble » Wed May 27, 2009 7:25 pm

Johnny wrote:I've gotten two, count 'em, two e-mail blasts from Toon Boom on their Studio 5 product alone - not counting their monthly newsletter and other blasts on Animate Pro. I can tell you everything they're doing and I don't even own a Toon Boom product!!!
Interesting point: Anyone who cares to can find out everything that Toon Boom is doing (I don't know if that's completely true, but we'll go with it). On the other hand, they haven't known what we've been doing.

There's a certain advantage to a bit of secrecy (a lot of companies keep very quiet about upcoming products), but maybe we need to balance that a bit better. If I had told you all the features we were working on, it wouldn't have gotten the product to you any sooner, but it would have told competitors what we were working on. I think what made this particularly frustrating is that it's been so long since there's been a major upgrade of this product. I'm sorry about that, and I wish it could have happened sooner.

-Mike
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Post by Lost Marble » Wed May 27, 2009 7:29 pm

Genete wrote:What is really inrcredible is that AS 5 (standard and PRO) still being announced to be sold at the official SM website. Poor people who buy the PRO one and found that it is already obsolete!.
-G
Unfortunately, that's the way it works for any product. You can buy a computer or MP3 player one day and find out that a new version was released the next. Even Levi might upgrade their jeans the day after you bought yours. Any company that says, "hold on, don't buy our product because there's a new, better one coming in a couple months" is not going to be around long.

That said, in the software business it's common to offer a free upgrade to people who recently bought the previous version. We'll be doing that with Anime Studio Pro too. So anyone who bought the product just as version 6 is coming out will be able to upgrade for free.

-Mike
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Release date

Post by Agent_Smith » Wed May 27, 2009 7:30 pm

I just wanted to clarify that the date IS NOT June 1st. If you call or visit the site, I'm sorry to say you won't find anything. That being said it will be very shortly after. And this is due to the logistics of manufacturing, web development, PR, etc.
I can't commit to an exact day yet but we're really close. I think Mike mentioned that we planned on posting Friday and we'll let you know a day or so before if we possibly can.

Thanks again for your support. We've put a lot into this and we're really excited.

Steve

BTW Did you know it's national "Be Nice to Mike" week?
dazza101 wrote:I have an update from SM - it will be released next week on Monday...

Hello,
I stand corrected.
The Anime Debut and the Anime Pro products will be available for sale on our SMSI site starting June 1st Monday.
SMSI decided to sell Anime versin 6 early in Canada at the WalMart chain.
Digital and Physical product will be available from SMSI directly on Monday June 1st.
All information and technical assistance and presale technical questions will be available on Monday June 1st.
Thank you for your patience.
Regards,
Customer Service , Consumer Division
Pacific Time Mondays through Fridays 8 to 5
direct: +1 831 768 3615 | fax: +1 831 761 6206
Smith Micro Software, Inc. | www.smithmicro.com


[edit] Woops, Mike beat me to it - oh well great to hear from the source and looking forward to all the update news :-)
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Post by slowtiger » Wed May 27, 2009 7:35 pm

I don't care much about "upcoming features" - sometimes those get announced for years but will never happen (like Duke Nukem). I'm pretty happy about what I've already got: a working application without missing too much features, if maybe a bit clumsy to use in some parts.

But I definitely shouldn't blame the software if I'm not able to make a film. This constant "but I need the special blinking Import from Microwave button-to-script interface DVD burning feature, or I'm not able to do my film!" gets on my nerves, because it's just not true.

When a new version is out, that's a completely different game. It should be announced at as many places as possible, especially in animation related places where it really counts. (I learned about TVPaint in an ad on Animation World Network, bought it immediately.)
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Post by Johnny » Wed May 27, 2009 7:36 pm

Lost Marble wrote: Interesting point: Anyone who cares to can find out everything that Toon Boom is doing (I don't know if that's completely true, but we'll go with it). On the other hand, they haven't known what we've been doing.

There's a certain advantage to a bit of secrecy (a lot of companies keep very quiet about upcoming products), but maybe we need to balance that a bit better. If I had told you all the features we were working on, it wouldn't have gotten the product to you any sooner, but it would have told competitors what we were working on. I think what made this particularly frustrating is that it's been so long since there's been a major upgrade of this product. I'm sorry about that, and I wish it could have happened sooner.

-Mike
Go with a secret agent theme upon release :D
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Post by mykylr » Wed May 27, 2009 7:56 pm

Wow. I was looking forward to hearing about an update for Anime Studio but $150 for the upgrade is way out of my price range nowadays. Shame.

Mike R
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Post by Lost Marble » Wed May 27, 2009 7:59 pm

J. Baker wrote:Mike, is the update really $150?
Yes, that's the pricing the numbers guys have settled on. I guess it'll be up to the individual to look at what they get for that price and whether it's worth it for them.
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Post by heyvern » Wed May 27, 2009 8:03 pm

Oh good grief!

Can I stop talking about the clerk at the Walmart now? Sheesh! ;)

First off... when this all started and I was so dang lucky to be involved (I had no expectations, just a hope) and I saw what Mike had been up to... I said:
"You really should warn people... I nearly passed out. I literally got light headed and a little dizzy from the initial excitement that I nearly passed out. This looks fantastic."
So... I hope this will be at least some of the reaction to come. I was always a big fan of AS and Moho... but still. That was my reaction.

There has been talk of that "one big feature". I'm sure Mike has his idea what that might be and it's hard to pick just one thing. I however know what my favorite new feature is and it's the audio layers. Audio... on layers. Multiple layers... of audio... that's like... sound files... all layered and such. Overlapping... repeating... bunches of layers... Mixed... like... like an audio application. That one really made me dizzy. I mean...

Think about how you guys wanted just a little bit more audio features... so he freaking adds in an audio "suite" practically. That is my favorite feature... but only if I had to pick one.

The audio layering in AS 6 is so cool and powerful you won't need any external editors except for recording or doing effects and filtering or exporting to mp3. You can mix and layer any number of audio tracks (pro version) of any length. You can pan the sounds by dragging the audio layers with the translate layer tool. You can have them repeat... you can.... <cough><weeze>.... <gasp>. Anyway you get the idea. I can see using AS 6 for ALL my audio editing. Not just for AS but for any purpose really. It's wicked cool.

AS 6 is a BRAND NEW APPLICATION! But it is still... "Moho"... it's still Anime Studio.

After a few days of working with it... I couldn't even STAND using 5.6. Blech yuck... ick. I dreaded having to open that icky yucky old thing. In a short time I became totally spoiled. Completely turned off by the previous version. If any of you think that whatever the upgrade price might be is TOO HIGH... you are out of your minds. It is worth the price.

It's going to take a while to grasp all the new features. It's been a roller coaster trying to test out everything. So much stuff to try so little time in the day.

Mike has gone out of his way to address many of the issues I brought up. I would like to say right now for the record... ahem... I got him to put in the shaded effect real time preview thank you very much. I don't think I begged for it too much... I did offer to wash his car for something else he fixed for me and I may have offered to walk his dog. I'm going to be quite busy.

Okay... now the news some of you are waiting for... scripting. Holy cow. I haven't even scratched the surface yet. I have a feeling it will take me awhile to get up to speed.

I have already modified my "Save and Load bone animation" script. It works. Saves out and loads key interpolation. That was my second teary eyed moment. I think I actually got a bit choked up when I modified that script and noticed all the little key frames came in with the interpolation.

That's just one small thing. Like I said there's much more I haven't even looked at yet. A lot of experimenting in store. I will help all the scripters out there on how to modify existing scripts to work with 6. It's not that hard. AS 6 now has Lua 5.1! Yay!

The video tracking feature. I only just got into that recently. I tracked someone playing guitar. Worked pretty well. You can track layers or bones to a video. This has a lot of potential that I haven't really pushed yet. I don't have a lot of video to use... and it seemed silly to track videos rendered from AS ;).

I think someone mentioned there might be trouble with video tracking and bone rigs. I don't see that as a problem. A bone can have a base and/or tip tracking point. In my tests this worked fine with a simple bone rig of an arm and hand.

Only scratched the surface. Not only new features but a bazillion "bug" fixes. Oh oh! I want to take credit for this one as well!!!

Animated layer order!! You can turn it off if you want on a group or bone layer. Also there has been a nice solution for adding layers "in the middle" of other order animated layers... so many others...

I donated one of my 2.5d head rigs. You know that freaking over the top 250+ bones head rig? Yeah...it will be included in the content. Don't hurt yourself. I also donated a "simpler" rigged character with a nice switch head turn.

As you can imagine... my head has been about to explode. I mean... sweat pouring down my face... gritting of teeth.... errrrggghhhh. I can't keep secrets. It hurts! IT HURTS!

;)

-vern
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Post by heyvern » Wed May 27, 2009 8:08 pm

Dang forgot a HUGE feature...

Video import with audio. AND it maintains the fps. So you can import a video and not worry so much about the original fps of the source.

-vern
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