Does anyone use Retas Studio?

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basementProductions
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Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by basementProductions » Mon Jul 13, 2015 6:57 pm

I have been playing around with Retas Studio Pro HD for about a week, and cannot find many resources on it.
There are no books in English, very few Youtube tutorials, and the tech support from its company, Celsys, has been less than helpful. :roll:
I have been browsing the manuals, but they are huge and difficult for me to sit through; although, as translated manuals go, I've had worse.

Now, I am very new to this forum and forums in general, so please bear with me.
Also let me know if I am doing anything wrong here.



For anyone who doesn't know about this software, this is what I have down so far:
  • Retas Studio Pro HD is a high performance 2d animation suite consisting of four apps
  • These four apps cover each step of traditional animation, allowing for hybrid and paperless workflows
  • It is the mainstay of animation studios across Japan, China, and the Koreas
  • By means of intelligent, selective rendering, the shooting app, coreRetas HD, can decrease render times dramatically
  • coreRetas operates on a system of "scene" and "pegbar" folders, and each scene folder contains data files that store posts from a built-in BBS, which can be accessed from within coreRetas. Beside this BBS is a progress manager, where team members can post progress reports of different jobs on the project.
  • While there is no native support for cgi, any pre-rendered .avi or .mov footage can be imported and composited in coreRetas allowing for a variety of filmmaking techniques
  • The Scanning and cleaning app, Traceman HD, allows for cleaning, separating, and vectorization of keyframes, so they they can be worked with more easily within the other apps
  • The colorization app, Paintman HD, has many specialized palette and fill tools for cel shading keys and inbetweens quickly and efficiently
  • The drawing app, Stylos HD, is supposed to be a light-weight, natural-feeling, vector drawing environment for creating and correcting frames with a tablet, haven't looked into this one much yet but could be good.
As this software is supposed to be high-efficiency, Celsys lists the system requirements as next to nothing:
OS: Win 2000 sp2 OR Win XP OR OS X 1.3 or later
CPU: 2.0Ghz Intel Pentium or similar (single-core) recommended
RAM: 1GB recommended
HDD: 6GB free space for operating environment recommended
GPU: ??? (Doesn't seem to matter, seems to render off of cpu anyway)
USB: 1 free for DRM module
CD-ROM: required for installation 8)
*also ie 5 or similar for updates and quicktime 6 or newer for .mov
However, the software seems to run fine on my laptop:
OS: Win 7 Home Premium x64
CPU: Intel Core2Duo mobile 2.53Ghz
RAM: 4GB DDR2
GPU: Nvidia Quadro NVS 160 Mobile 256mb
Though I haven't actually done anything with it yet.

The whole set costs $2400 on Amazon.

There is a Mac OS version for sale in English but good luck finding it :wink:

English Manuals can be found here.

And, finally, here is the product page.
EDIT: Also, the product is here!


Please let me know if any of you have experience with this software. I'll be more than happy to update when I find out anything else, whether by trial and error or in the manuals; or, if someone posts something revelatory, I will update as well.
Thank you for your time,
BP
Last edited by basementProductions on Thu Jul 23, 2015 5:45 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by jahnocli » Mon Jul 13, 2015 9:15 pm

It's odd when a new forum member's second post does not even mention Anime Studio but gives copious information about another piece of software. And, I have to say, a little suspicious...
You can't have everything. Where would you put it?
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by basementProductions » Mon Jul 13, 2015 11:33 pm

Heheheh....

Yes, well, in point of fact, I made an account here directly after getting the cold shoulder from Celsys.
They kept telling me to message the English distributor's tech support, but there is no distributor in the West anymore, only China and Korea. D:
The folks here have a lot of experience with different softwares, or so I figured.
And as I stated in the op I can't turn up anything online that's definitive outside of what I listed ; you might say Japan's best kept secret? :lol:

I have played with Anime Studio a little bit, however. Thankfully there's a lot of info on Youtube about it. Smith Micro is good about that :D
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by slowtiger » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:24 am

The split into 4 different applications sounds a lot like the setup of Animo (by Cambridge Animation Systems) in the 90's. Without having used or seen Retas in action, I can safely suppose that there will be a high level of interaction between the parts, and there must be some means of user management incorporated: who works on which scene, which parts are finished, which parts are approved - stuff you don't need as a single artist. Retas is optimized to mimick the "painted cel" look, which means other styles are not possible or only very hard to create.

But that's nothing you can't do with other software as well. If you're willing to put a bit more thinking and planning into your work, you're much better off with other software, and even save money. My preferred combination is Anime Studio plus TVPaint, price tags 200 and 1250 € for the pro versions.

It all depends on your style. Don't ever buy stuff you don't need ("vectorization" would be one of them).
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by basementProductions » Tue Jul 14, 2015 2:59 pm

Thank you muchly for your thoughts, slowtiger! I didn't expect to hear from a moderator on my first thread :D
You are indeed correct that there is a built-in file management system with attached editable progress sheets and BBS, and it was created in the 90s, 1993 if I remember; maybe that style of software suites suited how studios operated back then?

I could see how the workflow would lend itself to painted-cel styling, and that is definitely not for everybody. Having grown up on East-Asian style cartoons, I quite like it, though, and it can be hard to achieve nicely in some painting and photo software, I noticed.

As far as not wasting money... you're probably right. For most people, a lot of these features are obsolete; however I have a number of impediments that make this piece uniquely useful to me, chiefest among them being that I am still uncomfortable with my tablet. So I want to stick with it if I can...
Last edited by basementProductions on Sun Jul 26, 2015 3:39 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by JetT » Tue Jul 14, 2015 6:07 pm

I have Retas Studio which cost me about ¥37,000 ($300?) that I got from Amazon Japan. You need to be in Japan to get it though and you need Japanese Windows to run it. It's not difficult to use, if you know how to do frame-by-frame animation there isn't really any learning curve to it.

Setup your scene folder > then fill in your x-sheet if you are importing frames / or open up Stylos and draw some keys then fill in the x-sheet > inbetween using Stylos > create 'shadow markup' using Stylos > color using PaintMan > composite scene using Core.

I always wondered if SmithMicro would pick Retas Studio up since "Manga Studio" is actually Clip Studio which is produced by the same company. It would had made more marketing sense calling Retas Studio "Anime Studio" (since it's used to make 90% of all anime and is pandering to a specific production process) than Moho did, which is not.

I dissagree with slowtiger that you might be better off with other software, you won't, Retas Studio has by far the most intuitive ink & paint system for this style of animation, nothing comes close and probably nothing ever will since all the focus is now on puppet/deform animation. TVPaint is archaic and Harmony is chaotic.

Maybe you can try out CACANi instead? They appear to be catering towards the same industry as Retas Studio is. Their auto inbetween system is actually magical because of it's granular control, you can easily discard frames that aren't needed, for example you draw frames 1, 5 and 10 (k/b/k), CACANi auto-generates 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 making it look like a Flash tween, so you can just discard 3, 4, 6 and 7 and it has that limited animation feel to it with some slight slow-in/out padding. It's certainly cheaper than whatever the heck it is you've found on Amazon ($220 perpetual or $87 for a year) and they have a YouTube channel packed with tutorials. (https://www.youtube.com/user/cagntu/videos)
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by basementProductions » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:19 pm

Thanks, JetT, for the information. Will have to copy that down and try it. Do you know of any good blogs or sites that offer tutorials? I know the mantra is RTM but these things are huge!
JetT wrote:...you need Japanese Windows to run it.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think they make a free English translation pack, but I'm not sure...
JetT wrote:I always wondered if SmithMicro would pick Retas Studio up since "Manga Studio" is actually Clip Studio which is produced by the same company.
That's a great idea, JetT, *ping SmithMicro* :D

I'm not sure about large production companies (I've not talked to any professionals, but I really would like to, namely I.G and Toei) but I do know of a couple independents on Youtube who actually use Clip Studio for matte painting and backgrounds, I have been playing with MS as well and it looks well equipped for painting, now.
jetT wrote:Retas Studio has by far the most intuitive ink & paint system for this style of animation...
Heh, or that's what Celsys claims, anyway. I really hope so.

I looked at CACANi, and it looks really good. maybe more geared toward what I need. Will have to watch some tutorials and see. My main concern is the environment and how well it runs on my machine. And Retas runs fine so far....
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by slowtiger » Tue Jul 14, 2015 8:51 pm

TVPaint is archaic
Next thing you'll tell me is that 2D is dead, right?

TVP is quite perfect to my needs - but I started with animating on paper for decades. I like the endless possibilies - but I know how to do all that on paper as well. TVP doesn't do automatic inbetweens - but I worked as assistant and I'm a quite fast inbetweener.

And Retas to me seems much too restricted in terms of style.
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by basementProductions » Tue Jul 14, 2015 9:18 pm

Heheheh things are getting interesting, <maybe I started a software war?> :P

I will have to look at TVPaint as well
I am not too concerned with auto-inbetweens, especially not if it means having to do paper cutouts,
I am a big fan of frame by frame animation and hand drawn, but not necessarily on paper. Like I said I would like to interview someone from I.G. or Toei but don't know how to go about it, and my Japanese is very poor, anyway.

btw, does anyone know how deal with error in Traceman: "TWAIN 32 driver not supporting function needed by Traceman HD"?
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by JetT » Tue Jul 14, 2015 11:50 pm

@slowtiger
Next thing you'll tell me is that 2D is dead, right?
No, why would I say that? I'm a traditional animator. :shock:
And Retas to me seems much too restricted in terms of style.
You can do any hand-drawn/paper based style of animation in Retas Studio, that's what it is for.

@basementProductions

For system specs you could look at their forum, someone posted similar specs to you and they said it is adequate: https://forum.cacani.sg/forum/support-a ... quirements
I am a big fan of frame by frame animation and hand drawn, but not necessarily on paper.
Have a look at this video, it's made with CACANi:



Or this one for an example of how it works:



Sorry I don't know of any Retas Studio blogs or about translation packs. Until there is an English distributor that isn't ripping people off I'd look for something else.

You could get Corel Painter for your backgrounds (or Clip Studio, Photoshop, Sai, Krita, Gimp, etc), CACANi for your character animation, Fusion for your composites and DaVinci Resolve for your edits for the price of that Retas!ProHD bundle you linked to, throw in Blender for your 3D work (free) and you got a pretty powerful production suite that would knock the socks off Retas Studio.

That's what I'm trying to transition to, as much as I'm in love with Retas Studios inking correction when I find the time I will switch to CACANi.
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by basementProductions » Wed Jul 15, 2015 12:36 am

Thanks for all the info.
I checked the link and found the post about core2 build, i wonder what he means by "adequate" though, as in "render five minutes in 2 days" or "will load interface"
Have a look at this video, it's made with CACANi:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9Jl6HlX3bM
Heheh yes I have seen this video before; boy, i wish my IE was as pretty as her :P

looks pretty good, will definitely need to research more...
Thought I had my loadout for my first animation figured out... definitely going to have to rethink some things.

btw what's your guys' stance on Adobe letting you download cs2 software?

EDIT: Oh! JetT, i know of a place where you can order anything from any JP shopping site and, for a little extra have the company drop ship to you, plus they have their own warehouse where they sell a lot of really cheap art supplies.
You can also get cheap acme pegs and paper punches through amazon japan. they seem to be cheaper than other places.
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by basementProductions » Sun Jul 19, 2015 5:07 pm

Bump?

P.S I wrote Smith Micro about maybe acquiring Retas, just have to wait for reply. :D
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by synthsin75 » Sun Jul 19, 2015 9:12 pm

basementProductions wrote:Bump?

P.S I wrote Smith Micro about maybe acquiring Retas, just have to wait for reply. :D
SM sells AS in Japan, so I doubt they would be interested in distributing for their competitor.
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by JetT » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:19 pm

SM sells AS in Japan, so I doubt they would be interested in distributing for their competitor.
Then that would be ridiculous because Retas is nothing like AS, in what way are they supposed to be competitors?

Here is an example I did using Retas, it took me about 15 minutes from cleanup to composite. If I did the same thing even using TVPaint with all my macros it would still take me at least 30 minutes on just the cleanup and creating a shadow stencil. The problem stems from all the white fragments TVPaint doesn't FloodFill which starts racking up time. Retas has a neat little tool to quickly fill in the white gaps.

Stylos: Cleanup
Image

Stylos: Color Seperation
Image

PaintMan
Image

CoreRETAS: Composite
Image

As I say, apples and oranges. Retas is designed to make this process painless, you can do it in any program but Retas automates most of it. SmithMicro should pickup Retas to compete with Toon Boom/TVPaint/Toonz on the hand-drawn front, it would go down a storm in the anime community.

These days Retas can be purchased on subscription or perpetual which I think means no more USB key and now uses internet validation instead, so it shouldn't be a problem to distribute now?
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Re: Does anyone use Retas Studio?

Post by basementProductions » Mon Jul 20, 2015 4:50 pm

JetT wrote:
synthsin75 wrote:SM sells AS in Japan, so I doubt they would be interested in distributing for their competitor.
Then that would be ridiculous because Retas is nothing like AS, in what way are they supposed to be competitors?
That, and, Smith Micro is already distributing Celsys' Clip Studio Paint a.k.a. Manga Studio under their site in the Americas and Europe.
JetT wrote:As I say, apples and oranges. Retas is designed to make this process painless, you can do it in any program but Retas automates most of it. SmithMicro should pickup Retas to compete with Toon Boom/TVPaint/Toonz on the hand-drawn front, it would go down a storm in the anime community.
Yes! that I more or less told them and that it wouldn't compete with AS in America and that AS users would likely buy it as well. I also hotlinked the official promotional videos.

That is a really cool process shot, JetT, thanks for going into detail. And love the art, looks like "authentic" anime. :D
Looks like it took way longer than 15 minutes.
JetT wrote:These days Retas can be purchased on subscription or perpetual which I think means no more USB key and now uses internet validation instead, so it shouldn't be a problem to distribute now?.
Cool can you post a link to where it may be purchased? I am seriously getting no help from Celsys on this one, they refuse to deal with me anymore, what with the "check the English Distributer!", :wink: could even send a transcript of what they sent me, courtesy of Google Translate.
basementProductions wrote: btw what's your guys' stance on Adobe letting you download cs2 software?
Really! all one does is check a box which implies that they agree that they' will only download the stuff if they've already purchased a key.
full programs and serials, right there. :shock:
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