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Subject: 2D Animation software...? rss

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Eric Etkin
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This isn't exactly under the purview of gaming graphic design, but this is the closest place I could find here to shuffle this under, so...

Does anyone have experience with 2D animation programs? I'm looking for something that could enable me to eventually produce some sort of Flashish style animation, akin to what seems to be most of the cartoons on PBS Kids - clearly computer assisted/animated animation that looks hand-drawn. Shows like Wild Kratts, Peg + Cat, etc.

My goal is would be to make some cartoon shorts, five minutes or less. My skillset is writing based, with some graphic art/video production, but at 43 I've given up the ghost of trying to partner with people on creative stuff. Maybe I can do it myself...

Ideally (have no idea if this exists), I'd like something that I could build some models in that essentially "flatten" to layered 2D.

So... uh... Photoshop, except being able to sign animation behaviors for each layer on the canvas.

I realize this is a loaded question potentially full of technical crap I know nothing about, but what the heck... figured I'd ask.

 
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Marco Echevarria

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Check out Moho, which was knows as Anime Studio Pro up until recently. I bought the software a while ago but have not had much time to use it as much as I would like yet. It's pretty good and not too difficult to use/learn. It's similar to Flash and there are tons of good free tutorials on YouTube.

http://my.smithmicro.com/anime-studio-pro.html?gclid=CjwKEAj...


By the way, I'm pretty much in the same boat you are. In my early 40's, trying to learn animation to create short cartoon.
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Eric Etkin
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BurnCreative wrote:
Check out Moho, which was knows as Anime Studio Pro up until recently. I bought the software a while ago but have not had much time to use it as much as I would like yet. It's pretty good and not too difficult to use/learn. It's similar to Flash and there are tons of good free tutorials on YouTube.

http://my.smithmicro.com/anime-studio-pro.html?gclid=CjwKEAj...


By the way, I'm pretty much in the same boat you are. In my early 40's, trying to learn animation to create short cartoon.


Thanks, and good luck!
 
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Eric Etkin
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BurnCreative wrote:
Check out Moho, which was knows as Anime Studio Pro up until recently. I bought the software a while ago but have not had much time to use it as much as I would like yet. It's pretty good and not too difficult to use/learn. It's similar to Flash and there are tons of good free tutorials on YouTube.

http://my.smithmicro.com/anime-studio-pro.html?gclid=CjwKEAj...


By the way, I'm pretty much in the same boat you are. In my early 40's, trying to learn animation to create short cartoon.


I'm looking at http://www.toonboom.com/products/harmony right now...

For Moho, did you purchase the pro or debut version?
 
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I'm past my free time (self assigned, lol) for long posts today (and for the whole week, maybe) I could write a book, here, lol..

I have done that type of animation in many cases at game companies. Depending on what you want to do, it can be more clever to do in 3D, or as you mentioned. Even more, in some cases might be doable some stop motion. It depends on flexibility in style / technical specs.

Quote:
but at 43 I've given up the ghost of trying to partner with people on creative stuff. Maybe I can do it myself...


I'm 44 but I haven't (for once I get to reach a more stable income, lol) . But yeah, we all are needing the plate of food. So, no need to keep trying that route.

- For a single character, but having many animations and static (even if you pan/scroll/zoom them) backgrounds, it makes sense to be done in 3D, but if you count on someone or your self knowing the huge deal of 3d modeling, rigging and animating in 3D. As you would model and rig once, later on is just handling the puppet to make keyframes. Then render in cell shading style. A huge issue to improvise the skills (like, might need a decade), but the way to go if you know a pro ready to make it for you and is: One character + many animations.

- many characters, each one having many animations --> that path which you mentioned, fully 2D.


That said, ways to do the second case (the first case, I'd only recommend Blender 3D, it even has the cell shading ready, but that's me) , way too many. Is more about if you are really capable of animating (like with pen and paper), which is a very hard to accomplish (well) task. I've done both (3d and 2d), and the former is enjoyable once you have the single model built and rigged, the latter is more flexible, and can be a mountain of work, or less if you apply some tricks.

The first recommendation for 2D would be just Flash (Now called Animate CC). And for the style you are mentioning, vector animation is a HUGE plus. There are other more recent tools, mostly non vector based, but sprites/raster, used mostly for video games, like Spine or Dragon Bones but don't get impressed by the super cool pics and flashy interface. All is... about the same. You need for all a lot of skill to make something barely convincing.

Nothing stops you from doing it in brute force mode, as I call it: a PSD, using PS's "layers to frames" feature, and/or any of the commercial or free tools to preview the animation of a psd where each layer is a frame-keyframe, or PS itself (has a preview animation, but a big while since I used those features).

Strongly not recommending this, but for that style you mentioned (and most cartoon styles), go vectorial: the tweening will much easier, allowing some extra animation sweetness. (like secondary animation, squeezing, anticipation, other basic animation principles, etc, much easier with a vectorial tool)

So, yep, my first advice in software would be Adobe's Animate CC.(or an old Flash version if you already had that, is good to go.)

I'm wondering if you are connecting this some how with a board game, as I fail to see the connection, other than some youtube extra promotion...

Good luck. (is a freaking ton of work...)


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MOTHDevil wrote:
For Moho, did you purchase the pro or debut version?


The pro seems sweet, I myself would purchase it, as I like animating, a royal LOT. But IMO, be sure to test deeply with a demo during a month before making a decision. If tight in budget, try first debut fully, to see where it can lead you to. I do believe anyone with effort could do very good animation with anything having onion skinning and some good keyframe timeline, which this for sure must have, am expecting any decent cheapo tool to have it.

The comparison table is here, http://my.smithmicro.com/anime-studio-pro-debut-compare-vers... and from it, I'd only really miss "Smart Warp" if is it what I think it is, smart bones to reduce distortion issues, and frame by frame capabilities. Not having physics or particles, not a big deal, IMO. Export to 4k, well, it depends on your plans, obviously.

2D Bones animation have some weird limitations, though, be aware. Nothing like fully drawing, fully animating in 2D (I have the light table and stuff). I'd rather prefer real 3D bones animation, you can even do this in Blender in a 2D cutout style, there are projects made so with excellent quality, but again, the skills needed for that require a bunch of years. That said, with the 2D bones (Moho, Spine, Dragon Bones, etc) thing, you can have toons in little time, just try to give expression and life to it, to counter the limitations.

I'd test more than just a tool, btw. UX, interfaces is a huge universe, and seems not every interface is for everyone.



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Marco Echevarria

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MOTHDevil wrote:
BurnCreative wrote:
Check out Moho, which was knows as Anime Studio Pro up until recently. I bought the software a while ago but have not had much time to use it as much as I would like yet. It's pretty good and not too difficult to use/learn. It's similar to Flash and there are tons of good free tutorials on YouTube.

http://my.smithmicro.com/anime-studio-pro.html?gclid=CjwKEAj...


By the way, I'm pretty much in the same boat you are. In my early 40's, trying to learn animation to create short cartoon.


I'm looking at http://www.toonboom.com/products/harmony right now...

For Moho, did you purchase the pro or debut version?


I bought the pro version of Anime Studio back in January. The thing is, that I still had an old copy of Toon Boom Studio from 3 years ago and Anime Studio has a special where you could get Anime Studio Pro for $99 with a Toon Boom key code. I couldn't pass that up. I was going to go back to Toon Boom at first but for two reasons I didn't. TB when to subscription based software, which I am not a fan of, and Anime Studio had way more features than Toon Boom Studio. Also waaaaaayy better tutorials. The high end TB program had really good tutorials abut the ones for Toon Boom Studio were just horrible. They where all pretty much done by average users and where really hard to follow.

The one area that Moho lacks in is in actually drawing in the program with a Wacom tablet. That doesn't concern me too much because I draw with the vector tool like in Adobe illustrator. EDIT: I don't know if they've improved on that with the latest version of the software.

The kids show "Puffin Rock" is created with Moho. Check that out. It's very well done. That will give you a good idea of the level of quality and animation that you can do with Moho.
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