Why is it called Anime Studio?

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EDS
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Why is it called Anime Studio?

Post by EDS » Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:09 am

I've got Moho, but I find it really, incredibly, insanely hard to draw with and I haven't gotten up the will to try to learn it via importing from another program. I only use Flash because it is so much easier to draw in in spite of being a program made by people who don't even care about it's use for animation(the .swf format is terrible for distributing films too, since its reliability in displaying your frames is a crapshoot on different people's machines).

If I get Anime Studio which says it supports natural tablet drawing well, and if I use it to make short films, I am not going to tell anyone I used something called Anime Studio since Anime is such a dirty word in the animation industry, for obviously justified reasons. I'll just say I used Moho, or 'the computer', or "I don't remember".

What is with efrontiers naming convention with this stuff? The program is not inherently geared towards that specific style!

[sub]I really wanna use this program because whereas Flash is like a way for fewer artists to primitively ape more abstract styles, Moho/Anime studio is able to primitively ape solid drawing, feature style animation with much less time so an independant animator can do things on their own pretty damn well with a greater degree of expression in a reasonable time.[/sub]
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Post by heyvern » Sun Nov 19, 2006 6:35 am

Anime Studio is the name. They did focus groups apparently and some kind of analysis and came to the conclusion it was the best name for it. Right or wrong, that is the name. I don't think it will change anytime soon.

I don't really know if... "anime" is a "dirty" word. There is a genre of "anime" that is, adult oriented. Just like there is an adult version of "cinema" or "movies". Just like there are adult oriented "Flash" animations.

Granted "Anime Studio" doesn't reflect the scope of it's potential, but neither did "Flash" until it became a standard.

I don't care for "anime" myself. But I don't use Photoshop just for photography either.

You can tell people whatever you want. When I said I used "Moho" in the past I got strange, curious looks and then explained what a great program it was. When I say "Anime Studio" now, I also explain it is a great tool and not limited to anime. I have been told that some of my illustration style falls into the "anime" category. I didn't know that or think that at the time, and didn't do it on purpose. Maybe I was influenced subconsciously by what I was seeing in the media.

As far as the drawing tools... that is just a personal preference.

I can't draw anything in Flash as well as I can in Moho. I have been using Flash for years and personally I never liked Flash's drawing tools. That's just me.

The drawing "tools" in AS may "improve" over time, but I don't think the actual... style will change drastically. It is very different from other applications and it is that difference I believe that makes it good at what it does.

There is another AS user who has been converting older files to AS from illustrator/Flash format without much trouble, a few tweaks here and there. It might be worth a shot to give it a try.

Don't worry so much about the name of the tool used. If you want to lie about it that is your call. I find the discussions I have are much more interesting when I am honest about what I used.

Anime, shnanime, Who cares what it's called, it's the final product that is important.

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Post by 7feet » Sun Nov 19, 2006 8:02 am

've got Moho, but I find it really, incredibly, insanely hard to draw with
Many folks find the freehand tool too sensitive. The default setting make a lot of points. For sketching, I usually set the pixel tolerance from 12 to 16, and the angle tolerance from 16 to 20.

The pixel tolerance determines how many pixels (screen distance) from the last point before it might throw in a new one. Not will, but might. Keep in mind your screen res, that informs the number you want for that. Its doing a screen size to Moho (AS?) internal size conversion on the fly, so you have to keep that in mind.

The angle tolerance relates to how far off a straight line between the last two points you have to get before you'll create a new point. Too small a number and you get a point every time your mouse or pen deviates even a little bit. Too large, and you get balloons. You need to find a middle ground that works or you.



IMO, they're nice tools to work with this program, but they've never been explained properly. And I'm not sure if I'm doing that myself. But you can find a place where it works. The Flash drawing tools work much differently, but IMO the don't leave you much lattitude once you've done the drawing.
I am not going to tell anyone I used something called Anime Studio since Anime is such a dirty word in the animation industry, for obviously justified reasons.
How is Anime bad? I think your're thinking about hentai. Or perhaps it's about the bulk of anime's history of limited animation. I'm not all that into the style, although I do think brilliant things have been done in it. My own opinion, the name was thought up by some marketing geek who knew nothing about how the program is used, followed by focus groups that don't well reflect the market. Go to the "Share Your Work" section and look for any of Sang820's work. Usually all Moho, with a buttload of real creative thought thrown in, along with the style. If I get to China on any of the jobs I'm working on, I want to pick his brain.
so an independant animator can do things on their own pretty damn well with a greater degree of expression in a reasonable time.
Well, yeah.

I've written a few hacks of the AS drawing tools. But I don't use much other on a regular basis. I'd really like a cogent, pretty technical rundown on why you like the tools you are working with as opposed to others. Think about it, and think about how you would describe it. I know defining the "user experience" is hard, but if you have the "like this/don't like", be really, really clear why.

I'm just sitting here working on movies. Animated (not much), live action, whatever. It's a great tool.
I find the discussions I have are much more interesting when I am honest about what I used.
You did what with what?
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Post by EDS » Sun Nov 19, 2006 10:16 am

I meant anime is a dirty word in the animation industry, artistically as a style. I'll just say it's not that good of a style to be as far spread and used by so many, many people. No style should be used by that many people, because that is a hell of a lot of people using one style.

Now for Moho and drawing, I assumed, perhaps stupidly, that to get any of that kind of stuff that Grey Kid was doing with the french desert movie you'd need lots of breakdowns(but in lots of complexly composited peices :shock: ) with few points to be able to be interpolated like that, that in order to simulate a 3D form(solid drawing) you need to not have extraneous points or the program might get fucked up with your artwork. And I assumed you had to get that via drawing with vector tools and not freehand. And maybe that is all wrong

I would always do that in Flash by tracing a freehand drawing(scanned from paper or drawn with a tablet) with vector tools, though that would just be to make it look clean since you dont interpolate points in that program much at all! And since it's cut out animation, you should at least have clean cut out peices since the viewer is staring at it for a lot of frames and it will just look awful if its sloppy.

If it's possible to just draw with it by hand and make it actually morph between breakdowns or whatever to simulate a solid 3 dimensional form moving in 3 dimensional imaginary space, to actually be more simulating traditional animation on the computer and less stop motion, then I will try that for the next thing. I hate drawing with bezier tools, and dislike drawing with Flash's tools where you dont need to use bezier tools very much. I'd rather draw by hand.

Its late, I hope thats comprehensible! I'm really excited about this program now, Flash drawing is easy as far as vector tools but its God awful in my opinion for free hand. If I can freehand in moho, or AS in the future, then I am gonna be one happy guy.
7feet wrote:I'd really like a cogent, pretty technical rundown on why you like the tools you are working with as opposed to others. Think about it, and think about how you would describe it. I know defining the "user experience" is hard, but if you have the "like this/don't like", be really, really clear why.
In Flash, what I do, since I started using it for animation early last june, is to draw something by hand, usually on paper, and scan it. For an illustraton, it will always be done on paper first and then traced. I trace it by starting with a rectangle and then pulling the points, and holding the option button to pull new points(also you can just pull the line and it curves) , to match my sketch which, in Flash 8, I lock on a higher level and then set to the multiply blend mode(before I'd make it transparent). I will trace the interior form of the character, matching the outside linework. Usually for an illustration this will be in as few peices as is easy to do, since I don't need to pose it for in betweens. For outlines and interior linework, I put a copy of the vector thing and then expand it underneath to make the outline, then i'll mess with the line quality there.

For animation, since I scan as little as possible because my scanner is not a very fast one, I will always have designed every character on paper, but I will rough every pose and breakdown with the tablet, and then I will trace it like the illustration method but in many peices so I can mess with body parts seperately. This is the first decent animation I did in Flash
http://imagesocket.com/view/PUNCHnoface44c.gif
I'm able to kind of mess around with the position and even transformation of each peice. Since drawing in flash is so time consuming with the moving of points from rectangles, I can just move an arm over and to make the change instead of drawing it all over again from the rough, which is not in betweened, only at breakdowns. So also, moving the peices that are from poses or breakdowns makes the in betweens.

My aprehension to diving into Moho was from its complex interface(i think its terrible inspite of it being an incredibly powerful program, but its also a not very expensive program!) and perhaps my stupid assumptions about having to make 'vector artwork' and not the ability for hand drawn stuff. I am getting excited about the possibilities of this but I have to go to bed now, I hope that was cogent as its 2 AM here. Hopefully the 30 second short I am working on in Flash(but exporting to video because .swf is such a crapshoot) will be my last film I have to make in that misappropriated program.
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Post by slowtiger » Sun Nov 19, 2006 12:09 pm

I meant anime is a dirty word in the animation industry, artistically as a style.
Are you talking about the same animation industry which exclusively did Terrytoon-style in the 20s, Disney-like characters in the 30s, Limited-animation-Hanna-Barbera-Clones in the 60s, and infinitely ugly "realistic" characters up until now? The dirty word should be "animation industry".

Anime is just today's fashion, it has its high time, but eventually will fade again. As others already pointed out, "Anime" is much more diversified than your average Mighty Joe American TV Network Manager knows. What you see in your small part of the world is not really representative, as well as MTV is not representative for world's musical output.
If it's possible to just draw with it by hand and make it actually morph between breakdowns or whatever to simulate a solid 3 dimensional form moving in 3 dimensional imaginary space, to actually be more simulating traditional animation on the computer and less stop motion, then I will try that for the next thing.
If you need solid 3D stuff, you need to work in a 3D program. Don't blame the tool for your own wrong choice of tools. Don't believe any advertising hype about "one program to find all, to bind all" — your own experience with Flash should have taught you that it is impossible to get a program which is able to do really everything you want it to do, not even mentioning to brew coffee.
In Flash, what I do, since I started using it for animation early last june, is to draw something by hand, usually on paper, and scan it. For an illustraton, it will always be done on paper first and then traced. I trace it by starting with a rectangle and then pulling the points
Too much work for my taste. If it's a single drawing, I do the cleanup on paper with a marker, then vectorize the scan in Streamline (Flash, Illustrator and Freehand work just as well). Done.

For animation I'd follow a different approach. If it's a really complex character with natural movement, I animate it completely on paper, then scan in the drawings and treat them in a pixel-based program like Mirage.

If I decide to do a character in AS, then it has to be a character which is easy to do in AS. I will build it from scratch, perhaps with some scanned sketch as a guide. I will use the bone rigging and every other feature I find useful. I can draw in AS fairly well, there's no need to start with rectangles — but I've got a decade of experience with bezier curves in Freehand.

AS is not a really good tool to learn (character) animation, and Flash isn't any better. But from your short clip I'd say you're not a beginner anymore, it's a nice character and good movement. And it is something which can be done in AS quite as well.
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Post by Rasheed » Sun Nov 19, 2006 2:46 pm

slowtiger wrote:AS is not a really good tool to learn (character) animation, and Flash isn't any better. But from your short clip I'd say you're not a beginner anymore, it's a nice character and good movement. And it is something which can be done in AS quite as well.
Actually, most good animation courses for beginners start with hand drawn animation, because with pencil and paper you have no other limitations than your imagination and drawings skills. Once the computer comes in, you still need those, plus some computing skills (thinking in vectors and layers, rigging your characters, etc.). And in 3D animation, you will need even more skills (thinking in 3D, designing 3D characters, 3D rigging, etc.) I guess 3D animators in training have to do some stop-motion to learn those skills without a computer.

It's like calculus. First you learn it without a calculator and a piece of paper (head calculus), then you do it with pen and paper, and only then you will use a calculator, because you know the basics of calculus.

Anime is just an Oriental drawing style. You can do full motion Anime just as well as traditional Western animation. However, full motion is expensive and most (TV/channel) producers have limited budgets, especially for 2D, it seems. My idea is that the drawing style should follow from the story. If the story is Oriental, the animation should be Oriental. Just doing Oriental because it is popular is not artistically satisfying. It pays (some of) the bills, but I think most animators rather go for quality, because it is more cost-effective than cheap stuff.
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Post by touchdown » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:10 pm

slowtiger wrote:
What you see in your small part of the world is not really representative, as well as MTV is not representative for world's musical output.

MTV plays music? When did they start doing that?
:lol:
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Post by heyvern » Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:21 pm

On the "anime is a dirty word" topic...

I always forget that anime is a "visual" style as well as an "animation" style.

I saw an "argument" on another forum were someone was incredibly upset that a particular film was called "anime". The animation was very "smooth" with lots of motion, more "fps" motion so to speak, instead of that.. "Speed Racer" type of style. It had lots of "holding moves" constant motion. I liked it. It "looked" like anime but it had a different quality to it.

The anime purist had a cow fit.

Even if the look was "anime" there are purists who have a total conniption if it isn't EXACTLY anime and they call it anime.

-vern
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Post by artfx » Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:21 pm

Yeah it seems he didn't mean "anime" is dirty word in the sense of some of the "adult" titles out there, but how the entire Japanese industry in viewed from professionals working int he west. Hang out on any forum with pros from places like Disney and others and it will become clear that "anime" is dirt to them. Of course, many have only seen a few frames on Cartoon Network or something their kids watch and have judged a whole country's legacy of art based on this.

To me it is so obvious why Anime Studio is the name. Those guys who view anime that way are not the target for this tool. Most of those guys hate "the computer" anyway and only use it because it was a matter of life and death in the industry. These are the guys who have developers putting X-sheets, peg boards and other outmoded "paper" like tools into digital programs so they can work the way it was done 50 years ago.

No. At $49 for the entry version, which will be the big seller, they are targeting those people who are watching these Cartoon Network anime shows, so badly talked about by the pros, and want to make their own stuff. Most anime fans want to draw manga or anime, do fan art and doujinshi. So you provide them with a tool, and in the E-frontier style, tons of eventual content and you have a huge and continuos, for a long while, growth market. Great move on E-Frontier's part.

As for anime being a dirty word, I actually didn't know that and was shocked when I found out in other forums. Being a fan and an artist, and knowing that anime is not all the same, but full of infinite variety of styles and stories, covering the full gamut of quality from Disney level full animation to ultra limited, I tried to defend it for a while, but then I began to see a pattern in the posts and learned to understand the position of those who were against it. From their perspective, I concluded, they were right, in their minds, and it was better to simply listen and learn.

What's in a name? Sadly I had never heard of Moho before, or I would have been using it. But as soon as the name changed, because of what I do on my site, people started sending me emails about Anime Studio. I think its going to be a lot bigger than many expect.
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Re: Why is it called Anime Studio?

Post by artfx » Sun Nov 19, 2006 5:23 pm

EDS wrote: Moho/Anime studio is able to primitively ape solid drawing, feature style animation with much less time so an independant animator can do things on their own pretty damn well with a greater degree of expression in a reasonable time.[/sub]
I think that is precisely why so many are here and this place is so active. Never have I experienced this kind of power being given to the artist since the Amiga.
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Post by EDS » Sun Nov 19, 2006 9:53 pm

artfx wrote:Most of those guys hate "the computer" anyway and only use it because it was a matter of life and death in the industry.
Animators love the computer because it allows them to make their own films, do their own storytelling, independantly of major studio backing. It's simply a lower form of animation, but with tools like Moho/AS being used well, its a more than equitable tradeoff when you're just one or a few guys. This technology makes it possible for an animator or a small group of them to be able to produce extremely decent animation, better animation than sending poses off to Korea garners, since everyone hates to do that(producers cant pay an American living wage for television animators to be able to draw every frame, they never have been able to), its a mystery how those in betweens will turn out because the Koreans dont care, they dont even listen to the audio. Its a soul crushing tedious job for those poor artists.

TV animation has always been cheap, from Clutch Cargo to Yogi bear to Dexters lab, technology, clever design tricks, painful outsourcing, and finally computers, has made it look better and better while still being extremely cheap compared to features. We love computer animation, computer animation removes outsourcing, so the ones with the passion for the project get to complete entire shots. Its awesome.
artfx wrote:These are the guys who have developers putting X-sheets, peg boards and other outmoded "paper" like tools into digital programs so they can work the way it was done 50 years ago.
They aren't outmoded, when doing traditional animation thats what everyone still does, today. What the heck is wrong with X sheets? They beat the hell out of guessing.

The program is not going to remove the essentialness of traditional animation skills, you're just applying them to computer technology.

Nobody, anywhere, should use Moho or Anime Studio to learn the art of animation. Unless you draw every frame in those programs, but the point is, dont use computer interpolation at all when learning. Learning takes all the effort and time of traditional animation, producing films is more about getting it done in less than 20 years.
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Post by slowtiger » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:07 pm

These are the guys who have developers putting X-sheets, peg boards and other outmoded "paper" like tools into digital programs so they can work the way it was done 50 years ago.
Think about why X-sheets are used in animation industry for 75+ years now.

They work.

For a lot of tasks in animation X-sheets are essential, especially in refining a movement to the point. This doesn't mean that I don't want to use other methods, like movement spline curves - but I want to use them additionally, or at least have the choice to use the tools I prefer.

Peg bars are an indispensable part of business as long as you use paper - and a lot of us still do that and will continue to do, at least for all the movements I can do on paper much faster than you can do them in software.
producers cant pay an American living wage for television animators to be able to draw every frame, they never have been able to
Nobody ever drew every frame. Even the most elaborate Disney films have an average of 18 drawings per second.
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Post by EDS » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:36 pm

slowtiger wrote:
These are the guys who have developers putting X-sheets, peg boards and other outmoded "paper" like tools into digital programs so they can work the way it was done 50 years ago.
Think about why X-sheets are used in animation industry for 75+ years now.

They work.

For a lot of tasks in animation X-sheets are essential, especially in refining a movement to the point. This doesn't mean that I don't want to use other methods, like movement spline curves - but I want to use them additionally, or at least have the choice to use the tools I prefer.

Peg bars are an indispensable part of business as long as you use paper - and a lot of us still do that and will continue to do, at least for all the movements I can do on paper much faster than you can do them in software.
That's why I don't want to get into 3D animation, its a very unintuitive way to animate, posing a puppet with a keyboard and a mouse! :( Those that do it well, almost always from a traditional background, impress the hell out of me but I don't want to make the effort any time soon.

But for spline curves, I find they always seem to make it floaty, not very weighty. They can be good for building up an animation if you like it(instead of a stepped key thing) but in the end I'd rather have defined almost every frame that is displayed. And for quick, independant work, bones would make it a hell of a lot easier and more realistic to make entire films(short films for me) on your own, even though you dont just define poses and breakdowns and then let it interpolate(which would never work, I assume, because computers are terrible artists :) )
producers cant pay an American living wage for television animators to be able to draw every frame, they never have been able to
Nobody ever drew every frame. Even the most elaborate Disney films have an average of 18 drawings per second.
Sorry, I wrote that when I was waking up. I meant the animator drawing every drawing in the animation instead of outsourcing to strangers who don't care, not every frame of film/video. Everything that I do on the computer is done on 24fps instead of the video framerate it'll be ultimately rendered at from editing just because I can think in the same timing terms of ones and twos, haha.
AS is not a really good tool to learn (character) animation, and Flash isn't any better. But from your short clip I'd say you're not a beginner anymore, it's a nice character and good movement. And it is something which can be done in AS quite as well.
Woops, i missed slowtigers whole post, I repeated some of his points on not learning animation via the computer. I am a beginner though... my life drawing is weak as hell. I haven't studied anatomy at all yet...I dont yet know how to paint...I have a long way to go and a lot to learn in traditional art discipline. Technology always changes but that stuff doesn't change much :)
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Post by artfx » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:43 pm

EDS wrote:Nobody, anywhere, should use Moho or Anime Studio to learn the art of animation. Unless you draw every frame in those programs, but the point is, dont use computer interpolation at all when learning. Learning takes all the effort and time of traditional animation, producing films is more about getting it done in less than 20 years.
I think people should learn animation however they want to learn it. Of course, learning animation to get a job at Disney is one thing. Still, I don't think the majority of people buying a $49 version of Anime Studio to make their own cartoons and have fun are interested in learning to get a job at Disney or anywhere else in the industry. They certainly shouldn't be told they must learn it one way or not do it at all.

I say use computer interpolation when learning, if you're making a computer interpolated show. Use motion capture, use rotoscoping, use physics simulations, use particle systems, use whatever makes it fun and gets your ideas on the screen. Be free of any preconceived way of doing it and have a good time!
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Post by EDS » Sun Nov 19, 2006 11:51 pm

artfx wrote:
EDS wrote:Nobody, anywhere, should use Moho or Anime Studio to learn the art of animation. Unless you draw every frame in those programs, but the point is, dont use computer interpolation at all when learning. Learning takes all the effort and time of traditional animation, producing films is more about getting it done in less than 20 years.
I think people should learn animation however they want to learn it. Of course, learning animation to get a job at Disney is one thing. Still, I don't think the majority of people buying a $49 version of Anime Studio to make their own cartoons and have fun are interested in learning to get a job at Disney or anywhere else in the industry. They certainly shouldn't be told they must learn it one way or not do it at all.

I say use computer interpolation when learning, if you're making a computer interpolated show. Use motion capture, use rotoscoping, use physics simulations, use particle systems, use whatever makes it fun and gets your ideas on the screen. Be free of any preconceived way of doing it and have a good time!
I'm sorry, I meant that in the regard of learning character animation as a disciplined art form. If you want to have fun and aren't so much driven as an artist who wants to make a living doing 'the best job in the world', of course you can do whatever you want.
If you need solid 3D stuff, you need to work in a 3D program. Don't blame the tool for your own wrong choice of tools. Don't believe any advertising hype about "one program to find all, to bind all" — your own experience with Flash should have taught you that it is impossible to get a program which is able to do really everything you want it to do, not even mentioning to brew coffee.
I just meant solid as in solid drawing, the principle of animation. Drawing by hand an imaginary 3D form that has depth. That grey kid desert movie acheived what I meant in moho, so thats all I am talking about. It's a little odd looking compared to feature animatio, but it's also acheivable by far, farrrrr fewer artists.
Don't believe any advertising hype about "one program to find all, to bind all"
Thank you for this, I haven't yet done a walk animation that is in the little film I am making, and since I never ever intended to be having it displayed in the .swf format, I might as well do that part in Moho.

As for Mirage, I want to save up for a Wacom Cintiq and Mirage(its my dream setup), but I am just a poor student and I'm gonna get poorer so that's a long way off.
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