Frame by Frame animation?

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Mistro
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Frame by Frame animation?

Post by Mistro » Thu Oct 09, 2014 2:47 pm

Hello all, I'm new here and new to animation. I been working mostly in 3D rendering and doing simple camera animations but now I'm ready to finally get serious with 2D animation.
I just bought Anime Studio Pro 9.5 and while waiting for my shipment I'm reading in some reviews that frame by frame animation is missing. Is this true? If so, how much deep animation techniques would I be missing out on? I do plan on training with some basic hand drawn animation before I get into all the automated stuff so I can have a real grasp on animation processes. Is this possible with AS?
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jahnocli
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by jahnocli » Thu Oct 09, 2014 3:09 pm

Well, Anime Studio isn't DESIGNED for frame by frame animation, but you can adapt it to do that, if that's what you want. The strengths of Anime Studio (and there are many!) lie in using a 'bone' skeleton inside character rigs, and getting the program to work out the moves between poses. Search the forum for "frame by frame", and you will find lots of ideas. Welcome to the forum!
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Mistro
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by Mistro » Thu Oct 09, 2014 4:00 pm

Thanks for the reply.
As long as I know it can be done, I'm happy.

I tried doing a search for "frame by frame" and "frame animation" but the search says the words are too common in these forums. But I did find some things through google though.
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neeters_guy
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by neeters_guy » Thu Oct 09, 2014 6:52 pm

Search for "fbf" and you'll find plenty of discussion on this topic.
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braj
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by braj » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:02 am

I haven't done much fbf myself in AS yet, but here's a tutorial:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FgcStm1yJU

BTW, AS v10 has some improvements to FBF creation, still not perfect but they are thinking about it and trying to make it more convenient.
Mistro
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by Mistro » Fri Oct 10, 2014 1:27 am

-neeters_guy That worked. Thanks.

-braj Thanks, I actually watched that earlier. It reminds me of making symbols in Flash and using the library. Or not that I ever really got into it but how different is that technique from using keyframe caddy?

I didn't buy this with too much expectation. The programs I really want is beyond my wallet right now. But the more I read, I am optimistic on what I can achieve with AS. Along with this program, I also purchased "The Animator's Survival Kit" by Richard Williams. I hope I can practice some advance techniques later in my training.
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Lukas
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by Lukas » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:32 am

If you want to try some FBF to get better at understanding animation, I really advice trying something other than ASP.

Try the TVPaint demo, or play with the old version of http://animationpaper.com

Especially if you want to play around with timing and spacing before getting into the automated / complicated technical stuff. (FBF in ASP is complicated!)

Good luck :)
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Greenlaw
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by Greenlaw » Fri Oct 10, 2014 8:34 am

I used Anime Studio to do a couple FBF animations in our short film Scareplane earlier this year. It can be done but it's not easy because the current drawing tools don't lend themselves for it. (To be fair, they're really not mean to.)

One example is when Sergeant tumbles backwards out of the captain's seat. Here I imported my storyboard frames, which had the key poses, and I traced the art using the conventional ASP tools. That turned out to be pretty tedious, and I wound up only adding only 1 in-between frame in those sections simply because it just took too long. In other areas of the film, I did hybrid FBX/rigged animations, where the FBF was mainly used to smooth the transition between different rigs. Sister's 'sitting to standing' and 'seat climbing' animations are done that way.

When the new drawing tools had been announced for version 10, I had hoped FBF would become easier but that hasn't been the case. IMO, it would only take a few tweaks to the existing tools and they would have a game changer.

In the meantime, I'm trying out DKWRoot scripts, which has some of the enhancements I'm talking about, like brushes that behave more like 'flash' drawing tools and a point eraser brush. I wish I had these tools earlier this year because it could have really saved me a lot of time in the above examples. Actually, there's a lot of cool stuff in these tools that I hadn't even thought about. If you haven't seen it, here's DKWRoot's video walkthrough: DTools Video. Definitely worth checking out.

We're currently using ASP on our first commercial production. I storyboarded it to avoid FBF because the technique had been so inefficient for Scareplane, but with the DKWRoot tools, I might have to reconsider that decision. :)

Hope this helps.

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F.M.
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by F.M. » Fri Oct 10, 2014 2:18 pm

A program called "pencil" is a free option for FBF.
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braj
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by braj » Fri Oct 10, 2014 5:37 pm

That DKWRoot scripts is great! I just did the easiest FBF I have done on a computer. definitely the easiest ever in ASP. The biggest deal for me is that I don't have to use another tool and try and integrate it into my workflow. This should definitely be rolled into future versions, I'm thinking things like effects especially will be much easier to manage now.
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Greenlaw
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by Greenlaw » Fri Oct 10, 2014 6:31 pm

That's kinda how I feel. Even though there exist more suitable programs for doing FBF, I want to avoid drawing character art outside of ASP because I want to be able to use the same Styles I've created in ASP for consistency. I'm sure I can come up with a workflow to work around this issue but it's probably going to be more trouble than it's worth--my goal for our productions is to make the process more efficient, not more complicated. :wink:

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braj
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by braj » Fri Oct 10, 2014 7:04 pm

What would really come in handy for FBF I think would be some sort of 'render layer to PNG' that would convert the layer to a PNG, keyframe it in place of, and hide the original. It would come in handy in general, instead of rendering a background and re-importing it, you could just render in place and instantly save the CPU the cost of rendering the points. Music DAW apps have a 'freeze' function that does essentially this. It would be especially cool if you could do it to a whole folder/bone/switch at once.
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by Mistro » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:09 am

Will DKWRoot scripts work in version 9.5 Pro and is fbf easily done in it? If not, the remainder of this post is how I feel right now....

I have mixed feelings on this. For the price I paid, I do not regret my purchase. I can tell by analyzing the drawing and camera tools and seeing some works done that we can make some amazing animations with ASP. But, I also feel a bit sad that I will have to learn the fundamentals of animation in another software that I would not have any long term plans to use either because it lacks some features, or I'm learning in a demo or PLE version that is crippled.

My goal right now is to follow some fundamentals I'm learning from "The Animator's Survival Kit". I know I can practice some of the basics in ASP but it's the little things that make the magic happen that I want to have access to doing in an animation program like articulate the swing of pant legs with all the folds and shadows, complex expressions and timing, I want to make good use of my Wacom Intuos Pro as I practice drawing key and inbetween drawings etc. Since I'm not in a studio with time constraints, I just want to have fun with this now while I can and I think it will benefit me in the long run since I'm new at this to do the basics from the start. Basically I want the option to have full control over what's drawn in the frames in a manual way when the time calls for it. I'm a big fan of the oldschool animation styles I grew up watching and that's the foundation I want to start from. ASP seems to skip some of those things simply by not having official fbf support out the box.

Like others express, I like to keep it simple when it comes to the tools and use only one program for a specific task if possible. I'm afraid that if I learn in another program and get used to the workflow over there, I may not see any reason to come back to ASP. For example: I strictly use Sketchup Pro to make my 3D models. I also have Blender but I "learned" to model in Sketchup so that's where I model the fastest and most effective. Same with paint programs. I learned to do digital paint in Photoshop and am reluctant to use any other program for that purpose. So now I'm looking for a 2D animation tool to add to my arsenal. I just assumed fbf is so basic and fundamental that I could not imagine a pro animation tool without this capability. I mean no negativity here. Like I said at the beginning of this post, I can see ASP can do great things. But I really do hope the developers of AS make fbf a function in future versions or I will most likely jump to another software once I can afford it.

That was just my honesty at this time. To be fair, I still have a ways to go before I fully understand ASP limitations and strengths and will continue to explore and have fun with it for now.
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by dkwroot » Sat Oct 11, 2014 12:41 am

Mistro wrote:Will DKWRoot scripts work in version 9.5 Pro and is fbf easily done in it? If not, the remainder of this post is how I feel right now....
I designed the script to work with v10 Pro, but I could look into removing some features from it to make it compatible with v9.5 Pro. I don't have 9.5 installed anymore, so someone would have to be my guinea pig while I test it.
Mistro
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Re: Frame by Frame animation?

Post by Mistro » Sat Oct 11, 2014 1:24 am

dkwroot wrote:
Mistro wrote:Will DKWRoot scripts work in version 9.5 Pro and is fbf easily done in it? If not, the remainder of this post is how I feel right now....
I designed the script to work with v10 Pro, but I could look into removing some features from it to make it compatible with v9.5 Pro. I don't have 9.5 installed anymore, so someone would have to be my guinea pig while I test it.
I'll be your guinea pig :mrgreen: It's not like I have much done with my copy yet anyway.
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