Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

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Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby GoChris1 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 10:37 am

Hi:

I would like to use a program that makes hand drawn, vector animation easy to do.
Pleased to see Moho 12 does frame by frame animation, but I think Moho's frame by frame interface is difficult to use.
Toonboom Harmony is too expensive, and Opentoonz is still not reliable.

Has anyone used The-Tab? Looks intriguing to me.

And... does anyone know roughly how much Toonz Harlequin costs?

Thanks
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Re: Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby slowtiger » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:27 am

The-Tab has a 30 day trial, you should test this yourself. The website doesn't look very impressive.

I don't get why people want hand-drawn vectors. Is it because they can't draw a straight line themselves? Why should someone limit oneself to the vector look if there's so many more design choices? If you want to do frame-by-frame, I'd recommend TVPaint which gives you great variety. And it's certainly good for animation beginners because there's no shortcuts, you really have to learn the basics.
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Re: Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby GoChris1 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 11:48 am

Slowtiger:

I knew I could count on you for a quick response. Thanks for that. :)

I have been using TVPaint since the Aura days. It's terrific.

Regarding The-Tab, I would like to get a vector based drawing program for drawing commercial-style textures to use in Cinema 4D.
As long as I am looking for a vector based program, I thought I'd get one that is capable of doing hand drawn animation.

Adobe Animate (Flash) makes some sense, but I'd prefer to not have to pay a subscription. (Very picky of me, I know.)

I thought perhaps some of the Europeans on this board may know The-Tab. It looks ideal for my purposes, but it also does not look
like Toonz is putting any more development into it. I am not sure what their connection to Opentoonz is, but it looks like they
are the same product. Only The-Tab is still being supported, and Opentoonz is currently going through open-source growing pains.

Thanks again,
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Re: Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby slowtiger » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:19 pm

In that case I'd look for some program doing the textures, and use TVP for animation. I'm quite sure there must be something specialized on the market, as you say "commercial-style".

I remember there was the odd program here and there, or even a PS plugin, optimized for doing seamless textures. I could even use TVP for that, and maybe vectorize the result later. But I don't know the specifications of C4D, you should know better.
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Re: Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby jahnocli » Mon Sep 05, 2016 2:05 pm

You could also think about getting an old copy of Flash, like Flash 8, if you are just interested in the drawing capabilities. Ebay or similar sites have probably got some copies for sale somewhere...
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Re: Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby Psmith » Mon Sep 05, 2016 5:14 pm

Chris:

I've tried "The Tab" some years ago - and it seems to be a stripped down version of Toonz Harlequin. It lacks all of the "Studio" tools for a "Traditional" workflow and I do not believe it has "Plastic" Tools. It is meant for the "one man show" - animating frame by frame with a little help.

The Tab contains the best of Toonz in a Paperless sense - with the same vector tools and great "Auto In-Betweening". And, you have the benefits of the X-Sheet, or Drawing-Based workflow (if you find this a benefit).

True, the website has always looked "childish" - but there is some very good and smart animation functionality in all the tools Digital Video makes.

If you want a totally working and tested (and better) version of OpenToonz - you can buy Toonz Premium for 349 euro, these days.

It always kills me when people flippantly recommend TV Paint as an option. It is so outrageously overpriced for what it is. I've got an old version of it - and could not even get any kind of support - or download location or anything from this company - after they weren't selling my version, anymore. The company has a very "elitist" flavor and aroma about it (like restaurants that serve pate). I guess some of you out there are so prosperous that the outrageous pricing doesn't even faze you.

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Re: Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby slowtiger » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:22 pm

I wouldn't call TVP overpriced. But it's definitely not the program for an amateur without further ambitions than "just move some stuff around". It's for serious animators who really want to learn frame-by-frame, and who need the full range of styles offered.

Photoshop would be overpriced as well for somebody who only wants to put funny heads on the bodies of his family.

As for their service, the TVP team is among the best I know.
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Re: Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby GoChris1 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 8:26 pm

Thank you Slowtiger, Psmith and janocli!

I always meant to try out The-Tab for free. But of course it never hurts to ask others about their experiences.

Slowtiger, what I mean by "commercial style textures" is this: I think there is a difference between how bitmap images look compared to
vector images. Currently, advertising and pop culture in general are using vector based tools for logos, product labeling, etc.

Sometimes my 3D textures look more current when I use a vector based program to do the art. I like the sharpness of the vector images.
While I can create textures in TVP, I like being able to create a texture I can scale up or down with no loss of resolution.

I will keep using TVP, because I love it. The brush tool and anim cut brush are very, very, useful.
But I just want to add another tool to my animation toolbox.

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Re: Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby slowtiger » Tue Sep 06, 2016 8:36 am

Funny, I never thought of textures having to be clean and vectorized ... when I learned the word it was all about making stuff looking organic and natural, thus bitmaps, often from photos, were the way to go.

I have seen some 3D animation which maybe used this brand of textures, but I can only guess. Mostly from the "glitch" side of design, which I find much more interesting than the Pixar school of "naturalism". (And always remember Pixar is a non-union shop, paying less than the others, and their boss Ed Catmull supposedly being the mastermind behind the fixed wages cartel. Nice films though.) Although I do 2D only, I'm still interested in 3D techniques, especially procedurally generated stuff. Last time I wanted to learn a bit about Processing, that graphic design language, I landed on a page with nice examples, but was put off immediately because the same guy did a serious anti-vaccination video as well. Can't stand that idiocy.
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Re: Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby obtusity » Wed Sep 07, 2016 2:03 am

Chris, I've heard a few good things about Cacani, https://cacani.sg/
Vector-based, frame-by-frame, some interesting features attempting to make the frame-by-frame tedium less tedious.

Have never used it myself, so take that with a grain of salt.
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Re: Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby Greenlaw » Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:49 pm

I'm not normally asked to do FBF so I don't have a lot of useful info about what's out there, but I do occasionally use the Moho's vector FBF tools, mainly for 'organic' fx like fire, water splashes, wind blown hair. It's a very nice feature to have when you need FBF elements that have to be seamlessly integrated with other vector drawn elements.

TBH, I don't think Moho's FBF is practical enough yet if you want to do a lot of FBF character animation, but it works fine for one-off scenes where bones rigging isn't going to give you what you need.

For fun, I did a few quick character tests at home using Moho's FBF (along with Chucky's clever Reference Layer method to create multiple passes.) I think the tests turned out fine but in the course of drawing them, I felt the current Freehand tool could get a little uncooperative when drawing tight details. Also, the paint bucket didn't work reliably for filling (thank goodness for the Blob brush!) At first I thought it was just me and I needed to adapt to the tools better, but a few other artists told me the same thing. I'll try to get those tests online--they're not great animations but I think they show off some of the strengths and weaknesses of the current tools.

That said, I know the developers are working hard to improve the drawing tools so hopefully FBF will keep getting better in the next Moho 12 updates.

Alternatively, there's Clip Studio Paint for vector FBF. I use CSP for my comic strips and I think the vector tools are top-notch. In fact, the vector brushes are pretty much all I ever use in CSP, except for fills and masks. I haven't taken a serious look at the program's animation mode yet but I'll play around with it a bit and let you know what I think. (I suspect it's a stripped down version the developer's flagship animation system Retas.)
Last edited by Greenlaw on Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Has Anyone Used The-Tab?

Postby herbert123 » Thu Sep 08, 2016 7:02 am

I second ClipStudio - vector drawing tools with the best feel. For me, nothing comes close. And the bitmap drawing tools are also very good.

Clipstudio has already been adopted by a number of Japanese animation studios, by the way. The animation tools are quite good, but the layered approach may take some adjustment in thinking. On the other hand, any frame can consist of any number of bitmap and vector layers. It is very handy to block in an animation quickly, then creating new layers to clean up, ink, and colour the frames.

Works quite well. Perhaps the best way to describe ClipStudio's animation tools is that they feel a bit more 'technical', for lack of better wording.

*addendum* And I'd like to add that the quality of the on-screen drawings and strokes while working is phenomenal compared to many other animation and drawing software. The anti-aliasing is out of this world - zoomed in, out, working with high-resolution 1bit bitmaps - the on-screen quality is hands-down the best.
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