Monday, 10 September 2012

Discussion: Animation Software

Hi everyone

As we lead up to our first challenges I thought it would be good to discuss what you use to animate.
Which digital 2D, CG or linetest software do you use and what do you think of it?


Geoff King said...

I have animated traditionally with Flash, Toonboom, Pencil and TVPaint.

Flash is good and still popular in some studios. The drawings are vectorised and i've always found it hard to get a nice line. I think its quite expensive if you're not a student.

Toonboom is even more popular in studios now. Drawings are also vectorised but it is possible to get a good brush if you use transparency. The software is very expensive but Toonboom are always having sales. If you check their site regulary or sign up for a newsletter you could save around 70%!

Don't bother with Pencil. It's free but it's not finished. Animating in it is ok but it's VERY buggy. It rearranged and deleted all my drawings.

TVPaint is the best of the lot for drawing and is the closest to animating on paper that i've tried. Its lightbox controls are far better that the rest and it has a lot of features that traditional animators will be familar with. It is also the only one, except for Pencil, which is dedicated to tradional animation.
The only problem is that it's bitmap based so when scaling drawings you will lose some sharpness. A lot of tradional feature studios are starting to use this software so it's a good one to know. It's 200pounds for students and 400 for everyone else. You can try the trail for free.

As for CG, Maya is all I know. Everyone's using it and its good i suppose.

I don't really animate on paper anymore. I couldn't find a good linetest program. I have a Mac Suggestions welcome :) (no, i don't want Windows)

Michael Brady said...

Hey Geoff, I'll post something a with a bit more detail later.

But for those who would like to learn or try Flash they now allow you to purchase it (or other CS programs) on a month by month basis of around 40 quid.

You usually get a choice of gifts with your purchase, including 30 days access to which has a good course on getting you up to speed with the basics of flash.

graeme brandham, animation and visual storytelling said...

I mainly use flash/photoshop. Maya. Or traditional. Ive given after effects puppet animation a stab, but i find it very limiting unless you wanna spend all your time rigging and not animating. Flash photoshop is probably the best combo for genuine freedom in the look of your work.

Kat Seale said...

"As for CG, Maya is all I know. Everyone's using it and its good i suppose."

Pffft, good I suppose... I use Maya and it's very good! It's like a beast you have to tame. It hates you but eventually it will do what you want it to and it will be amazing. I've started using a plugin called GreasePencil which allows you to draw over your work, it's good for planning out poses or giving feedback to others :)

Before I became CG I used paper/monkeyjam and occasionally a little program called PAP (Plastic Animation Paper), a free program recommended to me by animator Erin Humiston. In Lux I played with ToonBoom too and that program is awesome. Planning to learn more about it and hopefully find ways to combine both 2D and 3D animation. There's so many cool avenues animation could take and I'm pretty certain the combination of 2D and 3D is one of them. :)

Katerina Pantela said...

I mainly use Toonboom and I love it! I did use Flash too for a small period of time but find it very annoying after using Toonboom. I do want to know how to use TVPaint tho, is it hard to learn?

I've only been using Maya for CG but haven't touched it for over a year now :s i'm meant to be learning XSI starting this October..

Geoff King said...

TVPaint is quite easy to learn. It can be more difficult if you've become more familar with something else though, like toonboom! Mainly because the tools are very similar but work in a slightly different way or have different keys assigned. For example, in TVPaint to erase you don't have to turn the pen around or select the eraser you can just hold space.
There are a lot of tutortials for TVpaint out there, but maybe i'll post a basic/get animating tutorial on here if some people are interested.

Katerina Pantela said...

Yes please, a tutorial would be great!

..and looking forward to the first animation challenge.

Rugby said...

I use AnimeStudio Pro, I quite like it, easy to learn and brings nice results if you are looking for 2D.

robin hood said...

I have been really impressed by going through this awesome blog. 3d animation software reviews