TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

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

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JaMike
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by JaMike » Sun Jul 03, 2016 9:31 pm

Is there a demo of Toonz Premium? I couldn't find one on their website but I didn't stay there long, as Steven Hawking started talking to me as soon as I landed there. :evil:

It might be worth just buying the Premium version rather than wait for the open source version to catch up.
herbert123
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by herbert123 » Mon Jul 04, 2016 7:51 am

Actually, except for a couple of (non-essential) things the current beta of OpenTOonz pretty much caught up. And as a matter of fact, the beta now includes a stroke stabilizer while drawing - which is not included in the premium version, as far as I am aware.

And a pencil test web camera function is about to be integrated in OT as well - use your web camera to quickly test your sketches in OT. Pretty cool. https://github.com/opentoonz/opentoonz/issues/562

So you might be missing out on these tools initially before they are implemented and released in the premium version ;-)
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trygve
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by trygve » Mon Jul 04, 2016 3:31 pm

herbert123 wrote:Actually, except for a couple of (non-essential) things the current beta of OpenTOonz pretty much caught up.
Maybe on a Win PC, but not on a mac. The mac version is unusable with a wacom cintiq,sadly enough :cry:
Psmith
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by Psmith » Tue Jul 05, 2016 5:34 pm

From my observations, the Japanese coding team for OpenToonz still considers developing the software for use in Traditional Workflows as important as developing the software further for Paperless workflows. The Italian team of coders for Toonz Premium seems to have that view, as well.

In other words - both pieces of software are being developed primarily for Studios, not individuals. An important couple of points lie at the heart of this aspect of development: 1) If both products are aimed at studio production - how much of that production is done using paper, at these supposed studios - if at all? You'll remember that Disney has abandoned their "traditional" animation departments some years ago. 2) Where did the main flow of interest in OpenToonz come from, initially? From Studios? From individuals (non-professional)?

The statistics I have been able to gather via my own YouTube channel strongly suggest that the initial wave of interest in OpenToonz came from amateurs and students - as well as enthusiasts of animation.

Since there is no indication from the developers of OpenToonz that they understand this market and plan to develop features which cater to this market - and are aiming to simply refine OpenToonz for their initial target market (Studios) - I have stalled in my video production for OpenToonz. I don't believe that a Studio Market exists any longer for 2D animation software - and if one does - it is incredibly small.

Yet, I think there may be a burgeoning market for 2D and 3D animation software for amateurs, students and other individuals (who need whatever tools will speed their production of frames). No individual, (or very very few), will ever complete any kind of commercially viable production working in a Traditional fashion (with Paper as the focus). The individual efforts of masters like Richard Williams of Roger Rabbit fame come to mind.

On the other hand, Mike Clifton seems to have had this vision from the very beginning of his development of Moho - that the individual animator should be the focus, not the Studio. Smith Micro may have put his hand in a vise, later on, regarding bending this focus - but he, himself, saw this well enough.


Greg Smith
JaMike
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by JaMike » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:03 pm

Psmith wrote:From my observations, the Japanese coding team for OpenToonz still considers developing the software for use in Traditional Workflows as important as developing the software further for Paperless workflows. The Italian team of coders for Toonz Premium seems to have that view, as well.
Have you spoken to the Italian developers? Did you speak to them at Annecy? I haven't seen anything from them apart from press releases. Do you have inside knowledge?
Psmith wrote:Since there is no indication from the developers of OpenToonz that they understand this market and plan to develop features which cater to this market - and are aiming to simply refine OpenToonz for their initial target market (Studios) - I have stalled in my video production for OpenToonz. I don't believe that a Studio Market exists any longer for 2D animation software - and if one does - it is incredibly small.
Do you mean a "drawing on paper" market? In which case, that's been true for many years. But Toonz is paperless too. If you mean that any studio market for 2D animation software doesn't exist, I think Adobe and Toon Boom and TV Paint might have something to say about that. :D

Of course the initial interest for free software is going to be noobs and hobbyists. For the first time they have professional quality software within their price range. They should be encouraged. And once the crashes are sorted out in OpenToonz, there will be a lot more people jumping on board. So I don't know what your criteria of "success" is on your training videos. You don't have enough subscribers (yet) to really draw conclusions about the market, it's too early in OpenToonz's lifecycle.

Please, Greg, don't give up on OpenToonz - you were doing so well and your videos were way ahead of the others. The world doesn't need any more Blender videos. It does need more OpenToonz videos.
Psmith
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by Psmith » Sun Jul 10, 2016 7:59 pm

JaMike:

The overall market for Traditional Animation software is very small - not non-existent. The price of entry for TVPaint could be a solid indicator of that. ToonBoom, (which takes in the traditionalists and paperless folks), is also quite expensive - most possibly indicating that they are aiming at professional Studios as well.

Toonz Premium must be aiming at these same (few and far between) studios too - they don't even publish a price online.

It is my opinion that the largest market for 2D animation software - with the most enthusiasm and potential for the future - is the amateur and student market. The signs of contraction of the professional studio market are everywhere. Jobs working for studios as an animator are incredibly hard to get, in western countries - and becoming fewer by the day. Let's not even speak of those studios which are hiring traditional animators.

Animation software which focuses mainly on paper based techniques is not going to flourish. Rather it will wither and die, in my opinion. Animation software that stubbornly insists on the vertically oriented (1920's based) X-Sheet - catering to the drawing of individual frames, (not tween-based keyframes - and mechanisms to make this method more efficient), will not take precedence over horizontally oriented, keyframe and tween-based modern animation timelines - which make animation feasible for animators working alone.

Professional Animation Software sales - that used to support more than a few manufacturers - are contracting, forcing smaller manufacturers to be absorbed by larger ones. This is happening with 3D creative software sales, as well.

Somebody better start paying attention to the statistics and trends which are blatantly obvious - regarding the state of Professional Animation Software Sales.

Why the contraction? One main cause might be that most animation work is being outsourced to areas of the world which, traditionally, don't purchase software licenses for every seat that their animators occupy. Check into the readily available information regarding where Studios like Disney, ILM, Dreamworks and Cartoon Network are sending their work (and jobs, too):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outsourcing_of_animation

Here's a post from a CG artist living and working in the 3rd world, somewhere. He openly admits to using pirated software - and is wondering whether the Western Software Manufacturer will prosecute him in any way, once he succeeds in his project. The attitude of individuals and studios, alike, in many 3rd world countries is that if it can be gotten away with - why not use pirated software?:

http://forums.cgsociety.org/showthread. ... &t=1386398

As animation production increasingly moves toward the east, shall we say - not only will Western jobs disappear - but, correspondingly, revenue generated by Studio Aimed Software will, at the same time, go South (contract in their ability to generate revenue). The result will be further contraction of the commercial 2D and 3D software markets.

As the world economy contracts - so we can expect jobs and animation seats to be sent to more financially desperate areas of the world.

This is a long-winded explanation to merely validate my point that if companies like Digital Video want to survive - they better reconsider their market focus - and that, quite soon.

The Japanese developers which are most responsible for the "fixing" of OpenToonz - and deciding which new (paperless) features are added to the software, would do well to see these trends that I have mentioned, I feel. They do not appear to be in any kind of hurry to either fix or modify OpenToonz. There is absolutely no feedback from them regarding their time table or intentions. There is no communication between them and their audience at all.

It seems they are going to do what they are going to do - at a pace they feel expedient - and I see no indication that they will be leaning toward a "paperless" feature focus for OpenToonz in the future.

I'd be thrilled to receive any indication from them to the contrary.

As far as developing more video training for OpenToonz - I have been forced to use emulation software to obtain a usable version (Windows 7) of OpenToonz on my Mac. The Mac version is almost entirely unusable. I see little evidence that a Mac version of OpenToonz is a primary focus of the main developers. The Windows version is buggy, inconsistent and has many unusable and primitively functioning tools (Magnet Tool, Pinch Tool, Bezier-based vector tools) - forcing me to find workarounds to produce animation which is far more straightforward and intuitive to produce using several other animation platforms. I don't like to waste my time or the time of my viewers.


Greg Smith
Last edited by Psmith on Tue Jul 19, 2016 6:12 pm, edited 3 times in total.
herbert123
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by herbert123 » Tue Jul 12, 2016 8:45 am

Toonz Premium sells for $349 (I believe) at the moment.

As far as OT's development goes: it's been a mere three months, and almost all functionality from the premium version has been restored. I think that is a great effort so far. Also, new independent developers have started work on OpenTOonz as well, and new features and improvements have been made. For example, better export, an improved GUI, and so on. An external developer implemented a stroke stabilizer. As far as I can see, the focus is on getting the current version up to date in terms of functionality with Toonz Premium, and improving the stability. A Linux version is on the horizon.

Compared to the first versions, OT runs very stable now on my Windows system. It still crashes from time to time - but I can work long sessions in it now without issues. The Mac version is indeed still problematic - although much improved compared to the first version which was entirely unusable.

I feel we will see improvements in the paperless workflow functionality within a year. Expecting major additions in features is unrealistic in three months time (plus the fact that a lot of features from the paperless workflow had to be restored in the first place) - animation software is complex, and complex software development takes time. Rome was not built in a day.

Interestingly enough, after working with the vertical X-sheet for a while now, I would LOVE to see a similar timeline in all my other animation software (whether 2d or 3d): screens are wider than higher nowadays, and there is just more room for the actual art. I would like an option to decrease the width of the cells themselves at times. But all in all, I really prefer the vertical orientation in a dope sheet. Not so much for graph editors, though ;-P

Oh, and the Japanese developers are actually quite communicative on Github. Shun-Iwasa just introduced a new feature (camera capture), and has collected all the feedback from us "beta testers" in order to improve that feature.
See: https://github.com/opentoonz/opentoonz/issues/626

Anyway, it will be interesting to see how OT evolves in the next 12 months. I think it will surprise people. (I am a 'glass is half-full' person :-)
Psmith
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by Psmith » Tue Jul 12, 2016 6:37 pm

Herbert:

No, Rome was not built in one day - and I'm not going to wait around while Rome is being built, either. The Romans might be overthrown by then - or eaten by the barbarians at the gates.

The fallacy behind software development is that (x, y and z features) are coming. I've been using computer graphic software since 1984 - keeping close tabs on all innovative, new, promising and incredible software applications since then. I can confidently say that the entire industry of graphic software manufacture and sales is based, almost entirely, on rumor and hearsay. And I, once, was a young man, too.

"Next year", is a good one.

I have not seen a single manufacturer who is in the business for the sake of their customers. Rather, they start with a partially formed plan and software that "sort of" works - and use the purchasers of their products as "beta testers" - for the entire length of their software venture - keeping them well fed on an endless series of rumors - and allowing them to continually make feature requests. That's what beta testers live on. This practice does much to keep costs down.

Software developers purposely do not keep their paying customers in the loop regarding anything they plan to do. What they are going to do is what they are going to do - when they are going to do it.

If all goes well, they may stay in business for some years - or they may just sell out or throw in the towel at the appropriate moment. It's written in the stars.

And I am talking about "Paid For" software and their respective developers.

To put things in perspective, just look at the history of the most successful OpenSource computer graphics software ever attempted - Blender. (So many cooks toiling over this meal). So many ideas - so many changes - so many hours spent learning the latest "release". A nearly infinite list of feature requests.

Year after year after year.

If OpenToonz is Rome . . . then Blender must be Babylon.

Eh.


Greg Smith
herbert123
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by herbert123 » Wed Jul 13, 2016 6:41 am

Well, that is true for all software. What I learned is that I define in advance the requirements I need for a production/project, and then I decide on the software to use.

My current project involves Blender, Krita, OpenTOonz, Anime Studio Pro, Photoline, DaVinci Resolve, and Fusion, with a hint of other applications (such as 3dCoat, Libre Office and InkScape). I am not waiting for new features - I have all I need (and much more) with a combination of the aforementioned software.

It is very important to be software-agnostic, in my opinion. The tool is less important nowadays than the artistic skills - all animation and graphics software has progressed to a point where each application excels in at least one or two particular areas.

No rule exists stating one ought to only learn and use one animation application - rather, I prefer to use the strengths of each application, and combine those in my workflow(s).

We are quite lucky and privileged to have all this software made available to us (whether commercial or free) - remember, only twenty years ago pencil, paper, and a lighttable with pegs were the only tools budding animators had at their disposal to do animation. And look at the current wealth of options!

I feel OpenTOonz is excellent for more traditional frame-by-frame animation (and many young starting animators like to work on paper, or frame by frame with a Wacom) - better than Harmony, in fact. That is its specialty, its niche. Anime Studio is great for paperless 2d puppet animation - but not exactly great for frame-by-frame. Nor does it do bitmap painting. Krita does, and allows for excellent bitmap painting. Combine the three, and it opens entirely new horizons to our vision.

No software is ever going to be perfect. No tool is perfect for every job. It depends on the job. That is how I treat software.

Oh, and I have had similar (negative?) experiences with software developers as you do (Ughh, Adobe and Autodesk to name a few), but also many extremely brilliant ones. At least the Blender and Krita developers keep their intentions completely public - although at times circumstances may lead to adjusted headings here and there.

Of course, life and the universe is the same: you cannot control it. Only go with the flow, and steer yourself in a reasonable position... It's all about the experience!
Psmith
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by Psmith » Wed Jul 13, 2016 5:32 pm

Blender, Krita, OpenTOonz, Anime Studio Pro, Photoline, DaVinci Resolve, and Fusion, with a hint of other applications (such as 3dCoat, Libre Office and InkScape)
Oh . . . well, you're a better man than I am.


Greg Smith
herbert123
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by herbert123 » Thu Jul 14, 2016 9:40 am

Psmith wrote:
Blender, Krita, OpenTOonz, Anime Studio Pro, Photoline, DaVinci Resolve, and Fusion, with a hint of other applications (such as 3dCoat, Libre Office and InkScape)
Oh . . . well, you're a better man than I am.


Greg Smith
Of course not - once you have learned one type of software, it becomes much easier to transfer those skills to a similar application. I've been working with graphics software since 1984 (Commodore 64, and after that the Amiga - sigh, good times).

By the way, have you seen the 2d animation tools progress made in Blender? Quite amazing, check it out:













Here is how it all started (a year ago):
[vimeo]https://vimeo.com/113610809[/vimeo]

Production ready yet? Well, almost there :-)
[vimeo] https://vimeo.com/172388563[/vimeo]

How about combining that with 2d cutout IK driven puppets which are created in Photoshop, and then automatically converted to a puppet in Blender?
https://github.com/ndee85/coa_tools


Wow. Mind blown :shock:
Just imagine all the possibilities - and all inside ONE application - Blender. I noticed you are starting your journey in Blender - indeed a good time. I am really looking forward to the 2d animation possibilities.
Psmith
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by Psmith » Thu Jul 14, 2016 5:45 pm

Herbert:

Yes, I've been keeping close tabs on Grease Pencil development. That last animation is really quite entertaining.

But, it will get here when it gets here.


Greg Smith
JaMike
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by JaMike » Sun Jul 17, 2016 7:52 pm

Psmith wrote:Toonz Premium must be aiming at these same (few and far between) studios too - they don't even publish a price online.
One minute on Google - http://www.toonz.com/premiumbuy/bp.htm - hardly professional studio pricing.
Psmith wrote:It is my opinion that the largest market for 2D animation software - with the most enthusiasm and potential for the future - is the amateur and student market. The signs of contraction of the professional studio market are everywhere. Jobs working for studios as an animator are incredibly hard to get, in western countries - and becoming fewer by the day.
So you're saying that the people who can least afford the software are the biggest market? Even though they can't even get work afterwards? 2D animation is just a hobby now? They said the same thing about stop-motion when Toy Story came out. Aardman and Laika might have something to say about assumptions like that.

Under your logic, there's no reason for anyone to develop 2D animation software at all. If nobody pays for it, what's the point? That's not potential, that's a death sentence.
Psmith wrote:Animation software which focuses mainly on paper based techniques is not going to flourish.
It hasn't flourished for years. The world has been paperless for quite some time.
Psmith wrote:One main cause might be that most animation work is being outsourced to areas of the world which, traditionally, don't purchase software licenses for every seat that their animators occupy. Check into the readily available information regarding where Studios like Disney, ILM, Dreamworks and Cartoon Network are sending their work (and jobs, too):
Canada, for the most part. Your information is again years out of date.
Psmith wrote:As far as developing more video training for OpenToonz - I have been forced to use emulation software to obtain a usable version (Windows 7) of OpenToonz on my Mac. The Mac version is almost entirely unusable. I see little evidence that a Mac version of OpenToonz is a primary focus of the main developers. The Windows version is buggy, inconsistent and has many unusable and primitively functioning tools (Magnet Tool, Pinch Tool, Bezier-based vector tools) - forcing me to find workarounds to produce animation which is far more straightforward and intuitive to produce using several other animation platforms. I don't like to waste my time or the time of my viewers.
Okay, so now we're getting to some valid reasons for you to not continue - and I can totally respect that.

Sorry to give you a hard time, but you're doing Toonz a disservice by implying things about the software (that it doesn't do paperless) and about the developers (that they don't give a price, they are only developing non-paperless features), and you seem very out of touch with the industry (or rather, you're trying to make old facts support your argument). Just because making tutorials for OpenToonz has gotten harder than the amount of effort you were prepared to put in, you're pooh-poohing a whole technique. That's not fair.

If you want to give up 2D animation and do 3D instead, fine. But there's a lot of us still making a good living doing 2D animation. And remember what forum you're on. There's obviously a market for 2D animation at ASP's price point, which isn't so different from Toonz Premium.

I'm seriously tempted with Toonz Premium - if it's a working version of OpenToonz. The price is so cheap, compared to other studio-level software (Toon Boom, I'm looking at you).
Psmith wrote:I can confidently say that the entire industry of graphic software manufacture and sales is based, almost entirely, on rumor and hearsay.
Can you name one feature promised by Smith Micro, Toon Boom or TV Paint that has been announced ahead of time that failed to materialise? None of those companies promise things in advance, and haven't done it for years (if they ever did, I can't even remember it happening with them). Maybe that kind of rubbish happened in 1984, but it's 2016 now.
Psmith wrote:To put things in perspective, just look at the history of the most successful OpenSource computer graphics software ever attempted - Blender.
Which was originally a failed commercial product, just like Toonz. If people had reacted to Blender at the start in the same way you have given up on OpenToonz, there would not be a Blender today.

As Herbert says, OpenToonz is a great thing, it's early days but it's amazing that people are getting professional-grade animation software so cheaply. Toon Boom has been ripping people off for too long, it's time they were taken down a peg or two.

Again, sorry for being argumentative, but your view of the industry is so out of date, I had to speak out.
Psmith
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by Psmith » Mon Jul 18, 2016 5:09 pm

Mike:

If you argue with me - I will argue back.

You say all of the major studios that I named (ILM, Dreamworks, Cartoon Network), are outsourcing the majority of their animation and CG effects to Canada? What, who, when, how much? Cite your sources, please. Animation produced by animators working in Canada is quite expensive.

Here is a revealing and up to date article about outsourcing:

http://www.insidevfx.com/dreamworksoutsourcing/

I do hold with the opinion that future 2D markets lie with amateurs and students and enthusiasts - and those software titles which keep their pricing within the budgets of these people will succeed. Those that price and tailor their software offerings to the resources of studios will fail - or at least - contract substantially.

Free, (costing no money), 2D software - and the flourishing thereof - supports my point regarding who the audience for such products is. It is my hope that these enthusiastic people will start a renaissance of 2D animation - and in the process - profit by it. If such profit starts being realized by individuals and small groups of animators, (through the new and emerging digital publishing resources), then a market will open up for 2D software products made especially for them - not for studios.

The focus must change from profits made by software manufacturers - to profits from animation which is made and sold by those who use the free and low cost software. That is my hope, anyway.

Regarding those animation studios which are continually and profitably making stop motion animated films in the West - I think you named all 2 of them. What happened to good 'ole Nick Park?

The shrinking of commercial animation products made by westerners living in the west is surely happening - and maybe this does serve to put the existing, (high priced and traditionally based), commercial 2D software market in the death throes.

Only by encouraging the new generation of animators (working individually), worldwide, to make quality, commercial grade animation can there be future profits for 2D animation ventures - both software ventures and animation ventures. And, I might add, the more the animation harkens back to the quality of yesteryear (Disney, Warner Brothers, Fleischer) - the sooner any such potential will be realized.

And, we both know that producing animation of that quality cannot be practically or profitably done traditionally (by hand).

I never said that OpenToonz "doesn't do paperless". Why invent my words for me when you can read them, and then quote them? What I did say was that the developers of OpenToonz are not focusing on Paperless features - not that I can see - not yet. I sincerely hope that they do.

You are right, (and so I said): software manufacturers never make promises to their paying customers - but they do help to fuel rumors and hearsay generated by the paying customers themselves - by lending credibility to their "privilege" of making "Feature Requests". It is what paying beta testers live on.

Your previous comments regarding the need for quality OpenToonz tutorials - and a decreasing need for Blender tutorials did cause me to reconsider. I have stalled in my production of OpenToonz videos - primarily because the software needs to become much more stable and consistent and clear - regarding its existing paperless features and workflow. Nobody wants to toil and languish in the process of making quality videos simply because the software in question forces them to constantly seek "workarounds" when dealing with existing "Features" and crashes which occur frequently and at the most inopportune times.

Yes, your comments did cause me to re-evaluate OpenToonz - and to beat my head against the several brick walls that it presents to straightforward, paperless animation techniques. Lack of clear documentation makes the process almost entirely "Trial (by fire) and Error."


Greg Smith
Psmith
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Re: TOONZ GOES OPEN SOURCE

Post by Psmith » Mon Jul 18, 2016 7:31 pm

On the other hand - OpenSource products or not - I have to say Anime Studio Pro simply stands high above the rest, when it comes to software - made on earth - that caters to Character Animation - at any price, on any platform.

One can put together a cartoon character of remarkable quality in very short order - and animate that character, flawlessly, from any angle - performing classic Looney actions, rivaling anything that can be done, traditionally. It is simply the mot juste.

It is so deep in its functionality, that, more times than I care to confess, it loses me.


Greg Smith
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