Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

A place to discuss non-Moho software for use in animation. Video editors, audio editors, 3D modelers, etc.

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Psmith
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by Psmith » Sun Oct 23, 2016 5:10 pm

P.S.

Since my video tutorials have featured Moho 12 (Anime Studio Pro) - Blender 2D, 2 1/2D and Grease Pencil - and OpenToonz . . . the statistics overwhelmingly show that interested viewers far favor the FREE variety of software.

These statistics also show that those who bother to subscribe to my Channel tend to be from regions outside of the United States - judging by the volume of exotic sounding names.

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exile
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by exile » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:19 pm

Greg,
If this continues to be a conversation between two people, I'll switch to PM modus. As you noticed from earlier tutorials, forum members are impressed both by the quality of content and the presentation. You're able to create tutorials at a high level.

First of all, I agree that animation is a niche topic. First reaction, "Oh, Cool!", second reaction, "Hey, that looks like work!" You can't go by the average attention span of YouTube viewers. Those with a casual interest are not the ones you are targeting. It's not something just to watch, it's something to do. There's not much point in watching the next tutorial if I haven't followed the steps of the one before, and that takes several times the length of the video in any case. So only a small fraction of the "views" tallied by Google actually count. But even if the videos have a wide appeal, I think trying to make money with a YouTube channel is a great way to starve. For me, the only two reasons to monetize a video are 1) it allows you to choose the frame that users see on the list of related films, and 2) it would allow me to legally cover a song. (I haven't used this 2nd option yet.)

I'm not surprised that people like freebies (which also goes for tutorials). I'm more forgiving of bugs in a software I didn't pay hard-earned money for. The same goes for videos with atrocious sound quality that were done in one go and are four times as long as they should be, although I feel aggression rising the longer it goes on.

Whether paid courses like Udemy & Co are a viable option - I have my doubts. One possible topic for you, since a lot of foreigners go for YouTube tutorials: English for YouTube presentations. Seriously - a limited number of useful sentence structures would go a long way.

Before rambling on, I'll think about this some more. All the best, Steve
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by Psmith » Sun Oct 23, 2016 7:38 pm

Steve:

I would never dream of monetizing a YouTube Channel. Their avenues for making "revenue" are pathetic and impotent, entirely.

Not only so, but I hate advertising - especially of the YouTube variety. I would never put anyone through that means of torture to recover a few pennies.

Animation training probably really is such a niche topic that there is no profit in it - no matter what the venue.

I wish you would clarify the "song" part of your commentary, as well as the other aspect of YouTube that you mentioned - which, to me, is as clear as mud. It seems you think there is some value to some part of YouTube presenting. Please, say on.

Please do think deeply about these subjects - and, since we communicate so infrequently - I'll bet our conversations will continue to be of value to the Moho public. A thinking and fair lot of blokes they are.


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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by exile » Mon Oct 24, 2016 3:12 pm

Psmith wrote:Steve:

I wish you would clarify the "song" part of your commentary, as well as the other aspect of YouTube that you mentioned - which, to me, is as clear as mud. It seems you think there is some value to some part of YouTube presenting. Please, say on.

Greg Smith
Sorry about the confusion. The "song part" is about my favorite way of not making money - music (animation comes second). But of course this much is relevant to animators: you can't just use somebody's music as part of your soundtrack, this can lead to expensive fines for violation of copyright. In the same vein, I can't just perform some artist's song and post it on my website. Especially not in Germany, where the royalty collection agency Gema is notorious for being hard on small musicians. I would have to pay up front more than I could ever hope to make. YouTube offers a way of "covering" another artist's song through monetization - I would be sharing whatever income was generated by advertising with the composer and lyricist. Gema, which has not reached an agreement with Google for years now, might block my channel but whatever claims they have would be something between them and Google, which is responsible for content on YouTube. By the way, there is another organization called Loudr which also offers a similar model - if you earn nothing through a cover song, you pay nothing. Payment begins only after your recording generates income. A fair model. They told me that it is legal for me (as a resident of Germany) to use their services. Good for them, and good for the American royalty collectors for being more reasonable than Gema.

I don't like advertising either, but the only way to legally post a cover song on YouTube is through this model.

At the time I posted an animated music video for my satirical song "Sally from the NSA" - the animation is embarrassing now, but at least I finished that project - there was no way for me to choose the frame of the video visible to potential viewers before they clicked on it - unless I monetized it, then that option was available.

Those are the only advantages of so-called monetization I know of. I don't know how many million views you would need to make any money, that part of it is pretty much a joke, as far as I can see. I'm afraid I don't have much deep thinking to offer on these subjects. :)

Being a niche has its advantages: hopeful animators are not subject to as many scams as hopeful songwriters. "We'll get your music heard by music industry professionals" and so on.

I haven't recorded anything for a long time - performing live for peanuts or usually nothing is more fun than recording. Animated music videos? Well, I've learned that 3-4 minutes of decent animation are hard to do. I'm hoping to do thirty seconds I really like before the end of this year ...

One last point: I was serious about English language training for people who want to do software tutorials on the internet or in other training situations. I'm a retired English teacher and considered offering some unusual types of language instruction myself. Some people suggested I try to "monetize" this project which includes little animations http://paths2english.eu/constructexport2/index.html and offer it to publishers of foreign language materials. That's not possible, since I used children's drawings to create the animations (more work than if I had done the artwork myself) in Anime Studio and Construct 2 (free version). But there's another reason: building up a business would be more work than a normal job. As things stand now, I'd rather eat spaghetti every day (fortunately that's not yet the case) and have the freedom to play around. Animation had to take a back seat while I was part of the work force, but now I've been bit by that bug and want to see what it's possible to learn at my age.

I'm sure this is more than anyone wanted to know (and was therefore afraid to ask).

All the best,
Steve
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by Psmith » Mon Oct 24, 2016 5:29 pm

Steve:

I'm very glad you shared all these things with us. The general topic of "express yourself and make money at the same time" is fairly universal among many people who hover around this and other creative forums.

May I recommend alternating between spaghetti, Dinty Moore Beef Stew and Hormel Chili (not sure if available in Germany). To add to those copius carbs, you can take some of your older bread and break it into pieces in the bottom of the bowl - before adding the heated can contents. Makes a kind of "dumpling".

Now, could you please continue thinking about this matter of "Teaching Useful English to Foreign YouTube Presenters". YouTube would obviously NOT be the venue where you would sell such a "Teaching Package". You could use YouTube for promotional purposes only.


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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by exile » Mon Oct 24, 2016 7:41 pm

Thanks to your nutritional tips, I feel greatly strengthened and refreshed enough to pre-release whole chapters from my upcoming bestseller "Harnessing your creativity to have fun, get filthy rich and save humanity". Chapters on the last concern can be skipped by most residents of North America who feel that they are doing more than enough for the rest of the planet.

The internet tells me that online teaching is a huge growth industry. Companies like Udemy are looking for people who offer online courses in the form of videos and some downloadable materials. People interested in a course can watch 2 or 3 sample lessons to get an idea of what they are signing up for. The videos are not downloadable for normal users, but they have a lifetime right to return to the site and repeat the material. Course quality ranges from excellent to so bad it would be hilarious if you hadn't paid for it. Prices range from $15 when sales are running to 300 bucks for whoever wants to pay that sort of money. Udemy has an aggressive promotional policy and will flood your mailbox with new offers most days of the week if you have ever signed up for a course. Instructors have limited control over pricing. Niche products such as "learn Blender" are on offer, so obviously some people hope to turn this kind of knowledge into profit.

If I were to change my mind about cyber business, I would look at alternatives to Udemy but also consider something entirely different. For anything but language training, maybe even for that, I would think hard about writing an e-book on the mysteries I wished to impart. The YouTube videos would offer useful tips in themselves but also help establish my reputation as an instructor - and be a means of promotion, as you pointed out. You could offer supplementary materials at a dedicated website, cleverly designed to be useless without the book.

I hope I've earned a lifetime right to all your future tutorials. If not, after you've become rich and famous, please send me a shipment of the goodies you mentioned which, sorry to say, are not available in Krautland.
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by Psmith » Mon Oct 24, 2016 9:36 pm

Steve:

You hereby have my word that every future tutorial I make (or don't) will be available to you at my costs of compiling, packaging, copying of all digital material, shipping costs, insurance costs and bribing of necessary officials.


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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by exile » Mon Oct 24, 2016 10:29 pm

Psmith wrote:Steve:

You hereby have my word that every future tutorial I make (or don't) will be available to you at my costs of compiling, packaging, copying of all digital material, shipping costs, insurance costs and bribing of necessary officials.


Greg Smith
Wonderful news, but I was secretly hoping for the Hormel Chili!
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by exile » Tue Oct 25, 2016 3:21 pm

I'm afraid I need my guru again. Is there any way to flip a shape in GP? Mirroring is something else.

I may have a workaround for switch layers. If I make a key frame , an item can be cut and pasted into another key frame. So blinking items are no problem.

Edit: Would you do every part of a scene in one file? I haven't found a way to import or copy and paste between files.
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by Psmith » Tue Oct 25, 2016 6:20 pm

You can flip a shape by scaling it - starting on one side of an axis and dragging across the center (where your Right Mouse Cursor is located) continuing until it is visually the same volume as it was (use the middle mouse click to establish the axis - after beginning to drag in that direction).

At the Top of the Interface is a field entitled "Scene". Although everything will be contained in one File - this File can be composed of many Scenes - each with their own Objects (GP Layers & Shapes), Animations and Render Settings. The Camera Position will revert to Default - so you need to first select a Front View - and then, from the "View/Align View" menu - set the current Camera to match the current Front View.

This last step is done just to maintain Camera Continuity across various Scenes.

Those Blender guys have thought of everything.

Dinty Moore to you!

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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by exile » Tue Oct 25, 2016 7:13 pm

Scaling works! Many thanks.
I don't quite get how to use "scene". At the right I can add a scene, at the left import an element. Not sure how to work either one.
Concerning the switch layer workaround: Elements can be pasted into frames like -1. These would not appear in the rendered animation, so that frame is a pool for "switchables". Not as elegant as the AS/Moho variety, but functional. The frame before the switch has to be a key frame, otherwise the switch will occur sooner than desired. Of course this is not a switch layer, it is a switchable shape with everything on one layer.

I hope to have a simple animation ready to post in the next few days.
Edit: Very simple and short. Edit 2: Dinty Moore is high on my list for my next visit to the States. Don't know when that will be ...
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by jahnocli » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:36 am

I don't know how useful this is going to be, but this film clip 'tutorial' shows a way of randomising character generation using node programming in grease pencil: Face Off. It's a bit random and chaotic at times as you listen to someone trying out Python programming ideas as you watch (with a little exasperation, if I'm honest), but the end results could be interesting for someone with programming experience.
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by exile » Wed Oct 26, 2016 1:34 pm

jahnocli wrote:I don't know how useful this is going to be, but this film clip 'tutorial' shows a way of randomising character generation using node programming in grease pencil: Face Off. It's a bit random and chaotic at times as you listen to someone trying out Python programming ideas as you watch (with a little exasperation, if I'm honest), but the end results could be interesting for someone with programming experience.
Thanks for the post. This thread has been getting lonely of late. I'll try to get through it a little at a time. Interesting to see how many angles you can approach Grease Pencil from. I admire people with programming abilities - maybe someone will turn the character generator into an add-on for normal users. At the moment I'm into drawing my crooked circles by hand - I agree with the guy in the video that the hand-drawn look has charm.

I hope others with different takes on GP will feel free to join the discussion, the more the merrier.

Cheerio(s) and Raisin Bran,
Steve
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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by Psmith » Wed Oct 26, 2016 6:59 pm

Janochli:

You see - I think this kind of thing is what confuses people about modern Animation Software. Not so much WHAT is being done with it - but WHO is doing stuff with it.

NERDS.

Not to categorize anyone (ahem) - but who in the world would approach animating a character by means of cryptic lines of code? Really, WHO?

Imagine a very talented and creative person (in the traditional sense) finally working up the courage to investigate making animation with their frightful computer - and then stumbling on a series of threads authored by NERDS (socially disconnected people with a focus on seeing everything in the light of numbers and algorithms) - who, when encountering such banter - switch their loathsome computing devices off - and run for cover - taking with them a simple 8" x 10" drawing tablet and pencil - finding comforting refuge beneath their bedclothes.

The gulf that exists between these 2 species of people is so incredibly wide that never the twain shall meet.

Since the developers of software almost always belong to the cryptically focused species - they nearly always make products for people like themselves - thus perpetuating the alienation of computers, software and creative people of the "ordinary" variety.


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Re: Blender New Innovative 2d Animation "GP Tools"

Post by exile » Wed Oct 26, 2016 8:35 pm

Yes, but without nerds we wouldn't have halfway intuitive software. I just lost three hours of work due to a stupid mouse click deleting the camera or something - a nerd or even an experienced layman would have known what to do, but I just closed the program and reverted to the last saved version, telling myself for the 1000th time to save my work more often.

Character wizards are ok for testing things out, but there hasn't been much clamor for them in this forum, only occasional posts. Pretty good considering that most forum people insist they can't draw.

I suppose that nerdy video might turn some people off to GP if they had no other impression of it, but normally I would expect people to be curious enough to check out more than one available resource. I'm surprised there hasn't been more activity in forums and on YouTube channels lately. There was a flurry of tutorials on Open Toonz when it hit the web, I've seen little in the past weeks. Few people seem to know there is a version of GP with automatic tweening, and for some reason that was taken out of the last official release. Nobody's giving you much competition as far as I can gather. Hopefully these programs will be developed to make them easier to use. We need nerds with empathy for the non-programmer types like me.

Edit: a practical question - is there some way to parent different shapes in GP? Selecting multiple parts before every rotation or grab operation is heroic, but even with my simple character it's quite a hassle. I'm not ready to give up on animating without bones, but what I've managed to do so far is not going to start a stampede away from bone-based animation, I have to admit.
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