Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby AmigaMan » Mon Jul 21, 2014 6:44 am

No, it's neither hateful nor bullying or anything to do with being mad about a piece of software. I can't speak for Synthsin75 of course but I know personally that if what I thought was a better piece of software came along tomorrow I'd swap immediately. It's just annoying that we've now had two people here who obviously don't know the software but are claiming to and making all sorts of errors in their statements. I take it, as you've declined to answer, that you've not used Anime Studio. Your research into animation software didn't go very deep did it? You discredited yourself almost immediately. Nobody here had to do that.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby Lukas » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:44 am

o0Ampy0o wrote:I don't think AS will allow me to bring my characters to life the way I want to see them or the way that I believe other people would enjoy seeing them.

Uhhhh, it's only a tool. Of course you can bring characters to life with AS and people could enjoy seeing them.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby Greenlaw » Mon Jul 21, 2014 9:22 am

Lukas wrote:...it's only a tool. Of course you can bring characters to life with AS and people could enjoy seeing them.


In our case, 'Scareplane', that was true. ASP was very nearly the ideal tool for faithfully bringing my comic strip 'Brudders' to life. I found it easy to reproduce the drawing style of the comic using ASP's tools, and the process of rigging and animating the characters went quickly once Alisa and I got a reliable workflow in place.

That said, I do wish ASP's developers would invest more thought and effort in the program's frame-by-frame capabilities. Our short film was designed to include a couple of simple FBF bits but I have to confess, creating them in ASP proved more difficult than it should have been and we wound up drawing these bits with fewer frames than we really wanted. IMO, it really wouldn't take much to streamline the existing ASP toolset to make it more FBF-friendly. (I'll skip the details since this has been discussed in other threads.) Maybe in version 11?

BTW, we've finally gotten around to using ASP 10 on a commercial project and so far it's working out well. This time we're avoiding FBF entirely, which is okay--it's been fun to rethink how we normally approach a project like this and play to the strengths of ASP. Design-wise, what we're working on now is a radical departure for us and we're very excited about it. (We're still hoping better FBF tools are coming to ASP in the future though.) :)

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Last edited by Greenlaw on Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:56 pm, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby synthsin75 » Mon Jul 21, 2014 1:01 pm

AmigaMan wrote:I can't speak for Synthsin75 of course but I know personally that if what I thought was a better piece of software came along tomorrow I'd swap immediately.


Absolutely. If anything came along that could beat the ease of use, time efficiency, and plain fun of AS (plus things like user scripting), I'd switch. All the TB products I've seriously checked out are always needlessly complicated, especially compared with doing a similar task in AS.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby o0Ampy0o » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:04 pm

AmigaMan wrote:No, it's neither hateful nor bullying or anything to do with being mad about a piece of software. I can't speak for Synthsin75 of course but I know personally that if what I thought was a better piece of software came along tomorrow I'd swap immediately. It's just annoying that we've now had two people here who obviously don't know the software but are claiming to and making all sorts of errors in their statements. I take it, as you've declined to answer, that you've not used Anime Studio. Your research into animation software didn't go very deep did it? You discredited yourself almost immediately. Nobody here had to do that.

Under the guise of summary you present both sides of an argument and distort the opposing side so you look right when you know you are wrong.

Let's see you make an honest case using intellect and logic based on facts.

The posts exist as evidence of your lie.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby jahnocli » Mon Jul 21, 2014 3:55 pm

Stop feeding him.
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby JetT » Mon Jul 21, 2014 5:22 pm

Calm down and take off the rose tinted glasses synthsin75. Aswell as ASP, I use TB Harmony, Flipbook Pro, After Effects, Maya, Retas and TVPaint, you going to call me a DigiCel/Adobe/Autodesk/Celsys/TVP shill as well?

It's just annoying that we've now had two people here who obviously don't know the software but are claiming to and making all sorts of errors in their statements.

I started using ASP7 AmigaMan back in 2010 and am currently on 9 now, I wouldn't read this forum if I wasn't using it or interested in it. Get your panties untwisted or go wake up on the right side of the bed both of you and look at my post more objectively without taking it personally.

Here is a quote from their own distributor:

Anime Studio is capable of multiple styles of animation. It can export animations as flash cartoons, create cutout-style animation, and, within its restrictions, mimic some pencil-drawn animation.

It's not me that is misguided here, I fully understand what AS can do. The examples synthesin75 showed are bad examples and only prove my point especially when one is produced externally and then traced with AS. In my opinion (like it or not) AS shines when it is doing cutout/tween animation like the following, or like Greenlaw's example, which looks very similar to Shuriken School which in the UK at least is considered TV quality and was shown on prime time (home from school hours or Saturday morning) for a long time:





But if you want to do hand-drawn FBF character animation like this then you need TB Animate (no need for Pro) or TVPaint/Flipbook combined with AF (in Japan you can use Retas combined with AF for a lot cheaper):

Image

If other AS users want to see more FBF integration that's fine by me. Perhaps instead of hand-drawn FBF like TB Animate they could integrate the functionality from Harlequin's plastic tool which is basically AS bones but on all axis. That would then be keeping with their ethos of taking the "tedious" work out of doing FBF animation. Here is an example of what I'm talking about (starts at 4:52):

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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby F.M. » Mon Jul 21, 2014 7:50 pm

Second post, Hmmm!
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby synthsin75 » Tue Jul 22, 2014 12:04 am

JetT wrote:The examples synthesin75 showed are bad examples and only prove my point especially when one is produced externally and then traced with AS.


Ignoring the trollish baiting to address this point...

Extensive storyboarding is not equivalent to producing externally. Even in traditional FBF, good blocking and extensive storyboarding are often what separate exemplary work from mediocre. If you have worked with all the software you claim, you'd know this better than anyone. So either you're lying, or you are simply not a skilled animator and do not know what it takes.

So one is storyboarded like a pro would do using any software, and you seem to neglect commenting on the other.

Image


And this would be pretty easy to duplicate in AS. The character angle does not change dramatically, and all of the bigger changes happen within a single frame.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby dkwroot » Tue Jul 22, 2014 4:25 am

Image

Most of this is good light compositing with a 3d rendered background. The character actually doesn't move a lot, except during the quick flip, which we can replicate using switch layers. The rest of the motion is just slight movement and light compositing. In anime studio, we'd just use masking to control light and a few switch layers to control extreme motions. The background would then be rendered in a 3d program like Blender and imported into Anime Studio as an image sequence.

Furthermore, with Anime Studio 10.1 we can now export 2d rigs to 3d programs using the FBX file format. This is very convenient if you want your 2d rig to interact with a 3d background.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby JetT » Tue Jul 22, 2014 6:32 am

Most of this is good light compositing with a 3d rendered background. The character actually doesn't move a lot, except during the quick flip, which we can replicate using switch layers. The rest of the motion is just slight movement and light compositing. In anime studio, we'd just use masking to control light and a few switch layers to control extreme motions. The background would then be rendered in a 3d program like Blender and imported into Anime Studio as an image sequence.


Much easier to do the character animation in TVPaint, background in Maya and composite with After Effects though wouldn't you think? I haven't got the patience to do FBF with ASP, life is far too short for that. I don't think I said ASP couldn't do it anyway, I didn't say anything that hasn't already been said by someone else here or by SmithMicro, I just suggested a piece of software better suited for that style of animation. Doing it in ASP is just one big massive workaround, it's not practical.

This is probably better suited to my point:

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image

Now let me clarify my point as clearly as possible. I'm not saying ASP can't do it, it can do anything you want it to if you're determined enough, what I'm saying is without an x-sheet, without bitmap drawing, without proper onion skin it is going to be a nightmare just to rough it out. At the moment, unless ASP10 has something new, it's drawing tools are not expressive enough for this kind of animation. It could be done if we create the character keys and inbetween frames externally, then import into ASP then trace but then ASP isn't suited for that either, not for this kind of animation, I'd strongly recommend TB Animate or TVPaint because you still need the ability to quickly flick and linetest or you're going to be there doing it forever, then same all over again for shadow/light markup lines. So considering that, at best we're using ASP to composite externally produced assets in the manner you describe.

I'm much happier using ASP for rigged animation and FX. I'm yet to see something that isn't in this style that doesn't suffer from having its fingerprints all over it, if you know what I mean.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby JetT » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:06 am

And this would be pretty easy to duplicate in AS. The character angle does not change dramatically, and all of the bigger changes happen within a single frame.


I've been hearing this since 2008 when I first learned about the software, but we're yet to see it happen. Using ASP for FBF is like using really thick paper, a dip pen and each time you want to add a new frame you have to unscrew your pegbar first and then screw it back on. I've accepted it as a user that I'm not going to be producing hand-drawn style anime with it despite the name, but I know it is practically capable of producing something like the following because I fundamentally believe it is what it is designed to do:



They are using really smart compositions to make up for the limitations in their rigs here, nothing complicated, but it still looks fantastic. With something like this ASP is working with you and not against.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby Lukas » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:21 am

We use a lot of ASP, because it's usually the fastest way to create quality animation.
There's quite some projects we could never have done if we had to do it FBF, simply because the budget wasn't big enough.
Now, we still get to do those projects, and they still look good enough for their purpose.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby heyvern » Tue Jul 22, 2014 7:56 am

Good grief.

The whole conversation has NOTHING to do with an applications ability to "bring characters to life". That statement is absolutely meaningless. You can bring characters to life using ANYTHING that can stitch images together. It isn't the tool... it's the desire of an artist and that artists talent and skill that will determine the "life" or the quality of the final animation, not the software used.

This discussion pertains ONLY to a users ability to learn an application and use it effectively IN COMBINATION with SKILL AND TALENT to bring characters to life.

Anime Studio will NEVER hold you back. I suppose that neither will any other technique or application. Only you can hold yourself back by blaming your tools, and making excuses about the tools being broken.

If you were stuck in some alternate universe, and Anime Studio (or something else), was the ONLY program available to every digital artist there would still be cool stuff to watch. It has nothing to do with the tools available, it's the desire to tell a story, it's how you use that tool. Artists have been animating with everything from pencils, to clay to legos for years and years and years. For as long as we've had the ability to photograph single frames and place them together to create animation NOTHING NOT ONE SINGLE THING has stood in the way of amazing and unique animations.

When you talk about the tools to create art... there are no limits. I stumbled on artists using hundreds of Rubik's cubes to create amazing masterpieces that look like digital paintings. Is it hard to do? You bet. Does it hold back the artist from creating a masterpiece? No way dude. ;). Years ago I saw artists using Q-tips to create art. they painted each tip a different color, cut them off and stuck them to cardboard. I remember seeing incredible art created with JELLYBEANS of different colors glued to cardboard.

Years ago when I was a small child using a beat up box of crayons, my older brother drew the most amazing golden eagle in flight on the back of a scrap of a brown paper grocery bag using only the colors we had in our box. Art is NEVER limited by the tools, only by the artist and his desire to create.

The idiot trolls trashing Anime Studio in this topic are getting the exact response they wanted. They don't care about anything other than getting people all fired up and angry and pissed off. It's their heroin and cocaine.

To be honest... I'm not sure if the response to the trolls is completely bad. In one sense, it just reinforces what most of us already know about the results that can be achieved from OUR favorite application or from ANY way we choose to create our visions. :)
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby dkwroot » Tue Jul 22, 2014 8:54 am

@ EVERYONE
Guys, JetT isn't trolling. He has legitimate complaints about the program that are heavily based around the programs drawing tools. I've been complaining about the drawing tools for a long while, so I understand his frustration. :|

Also, come on... we all know FBF needs work. We gotta love Anime Studio for its strengths, but also acknowledge it's faults. :wink:

JetT wrote:
Most of this is good light compositing with a 3d rendered background. The character actually doesn't move a lot, except during the quick flip, which we can replicate using switch layers. The rest of the motion is just slight movement and light compositing. In anime studio, we'd just use masking to control light and a few switch layers to control extreme motions. The background would then be rendered in a 3d program like Blender and imported into Anime Studio as an image sequence.


Much easier to do the character animation in TVPaint, background in Maya and composite with After Effects though wouldn't you think?


In the past I used Maya and I still use After Effects (from time to time), but I've discovered a real love for Blender. It's an awesome open-source program, I suggest everyone give it a shot (it's free and open-source). :D

JetT wrote:Now let me clarify my point as clearly as possible. I'm not saying ASP can't do it, it can do anything you want it to if you're determined enough, what I'm saying is without an x-sheet, without bitmap drawing, without proper onion skin it is going to be a nightmare just to rough it out. At the moment, unless ASP10 has something new, it's drawing tools are not expressive enough for this kind of animation. It could be done if we create the character keys and inbetween frames externally, then import into ASP then trace but then ASP isn't suited for that either, not for this kind of animation, I'd strongly recommend TB Animate or TVPaint because you still need the ability to quickly flick and linetest or you're going to be there doing it forever, then same all over again for shadow/light markup lines. So considering that, at best we're using ASP to composite externally produced assets in the manner you describe.

I'm much happier using ASP for rigged animation and FX. I'm yet to see something that isn't in this style that doesn't suffer from having its fingerprints all over it, if you know what I mean.


I understand that sentiment. I started using Anime Studio about 2 years ago and the drawing tools are still lacking when compared to other animation programs.
To their credit, the Anime Studio team has been making efforts to improve the drawing tools but improvements are coming along slowly. I've actually started re-writing some of the animation tools myself. My goal is to make anime studio at the very least, comparable to flash in terms of drawing in FBF.

The great news is that a lot of the problems with Anime Studio's drawing system have solutions right in the program API, they just have to be coded in. I've been working on this problem for a few weeks and I've made huge improvements. Essentially, I'm combining lots of tools together, getting rid of redundancy and improving the pencil and eraser. I'm also creating a new script to make FBF animation a breeze.

The bad news is that this is a LOT of work and I'm just one guy. It's going to take me a few weeks if not a few months to do all of this. :lol:


Before I go, I'd like to point out that Anime Studio has a pretty good onion skinning system. You just have to enable it above the timeline. You then have a choice to have your onion skinning set to outlines or not. If you uncheck outlines, you'll see your onion skins as overlays with low opacity.
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