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Thread: 2D animation for my son

  1. #1

    2D animation for my son

    I wanted some advise on a 2D animation program for my 13 year old son.

    He is currently using dogwaffle free edition. He would like something with more tools and that performs a bit faster. I was thinking of getting him the newest version of dogwaffle, but wanted to get the communities opinions and suggestions first.

    I don't want to spend a fortune, so TVPaint is out, but I know that there are others out there like Toon boom (education edition) and Anime studio.

    I know that this is the LW community thread, but I know a lot of you use a variety of paint programs too.

  2. #2
    Registered User AbnRanger's Avatar
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    Since he is in school, you could simply buy him an Academic license of LW (roughly $195 at www.studica.com ), and he could build 3d models, animate them using bone rigs (instead of having to onion skin every frame), and facial morphs, yet output to a 2d look with cel shading. In the list of free video tutorials here, Proton covers a nice custom Cel Shading technique, to get exactly the look you want.
    ftp://ftp.newtek.com/multimedia/movi...w/CelShade.mov

    I think, instead of going the cheaper route, buying him something (that's still relatively inexpensive) that he can really grow into may be the best way to go. Just think...if he gets a head start at 13, where would he be, skill-wise, by the time he's ready for college.
    Disney, for example, no longer does 2D animation, but has instead transformed to a 3D environment, where cel shading can be used for cartoon-esque output. That's pretty much the prevailing model in cel-animation these days.
    http://www.newtek.com/forums/showthread.php?t=79906
    Last edited by AbnRanger; 02-14-2008 at 01:03 PM.

  3. #3
    For merely 2D animation, I've heard great things about Toon Boom. I even think that it's been used professionally before.

    Also there's an open source program that looks pretty impressive called Synfig.

    http://www.synfig.com/
    visual effect/mograph artist
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  4. #4
    Ok, thanks for the input. I'm going to have him take a look at Synfig to see what he thinks.

    Airborne, he does use my LW sometimes, but he wants a 2d solution. He uses milkshape for modeling objects for game mods (mostly Blockland). I think that he is a little intimidated by 3D, but he will come around.

  5. #5
    Fórum áss clówn Hopper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by inigo07
    Also there's an open source program that looks pretty impressive called Synfig.

    http://www.synfig.com/
    Totally cool! My son could definately get into this. He's been using DreamWeaver MX to do Flash video stuff, but I think this would be more helpful and fun to play with. Thank you sir....
    Playing guitar is an endless process of running out of fingers.

  6. #6
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    An educational license of Toon Boom Studio is also available for about $140. The problem may come in the qualifying part. You often have to go through the school to get them.

  7. #7
    Registered User AbnRanger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iojabba
    Ok, thanks for the input. I'm going to have him take a look at Synfig to see what he thinks.

    Airborne, he does use my LW sometimes, but he wants a 2d solution. He uses milkshape for modeling objects for game mods (mostly Blockland). I think that he is a little intimidated by 3D, but he will come around.
    Sorry, I was just thinking how much more efficient it is to model, texture, and rig a character that you can use and reuse over and over and over for animation, instead of having to go through the more tedious process of onion skinning in an exclusively 2d program. Plus the amount of training invested in learning one of those would go quite a way towards being more proficient in LW.
    Could I suggest going through Colin Larkin's Character modeling exercise
    ( http://puffandlarkin.com/lightwave/t...ter_modelling/) with him, and once done, let him texture the character with Cel-shading, then with more realistic shaders, then a hybrid between the two (with an ink outline...similar to Disney's "Handy Manny":
    http://atv.disney.go.com/playhouse/h...ny/index.html) ...then see if he's not hooked thereafter
    Last edited by AbnRanger; 02-14-2008 at 07:01 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by inigo07
    For merely 2D animation, I've heard great things about Toon Boom. I even think that it's been used professionally before.

    Also there's an open source program that looks pretty impressive called Synfig.

    http://www.synfig.com/
    ToonBoom Studio Pro, from what I understand, is a pretty solid "industry standard" in paperless 2D animation, but they also have a middle-of-the-line "prosumer" -esque version as well as a strictly fun version (IIRC)

  9. #9
    Post-apocalyptic rakker16mm's Avatar
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    If you want to get him a 2d animation program you couldn't go wrong with Toon Boom Studio. If he wants to try his hand at 3D animation there is always Animation Master. I think these are good starting points because they are not too expensive and it's an opportunity to see if this is some thing he wants to pursue. OTOH.... you could be creating a monster Mwahhahaha!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by AbnRanger
    Sorry, I was just thinking how much more efficient it is to model, texture, and rig a character that you can use and reuse over and over and over for animation, instead of having to go through the more tedious process of onion skinning in an exclusively 2d program. Plus the amount of training invested in learning one of those would go quite a way towards being more proficient in LW.
    Could I suggest going through Colin Larkin's Character modeling exercise
    ( http://puffandlarkin.com/lightwave/t...ter_modelling/) with him, and once done, let him texture the character with Cel-shading, then with more realistic shaders, then a hybrid between the two (with an ink outline...similar to Disney's "Handy Manny":
    http://atv.disney.go.com/playhouse/h...ny/index.html) ...then see if he's not hooked thereafter
    Looks like a fun project for him to try. I'll see if he wants to.

    Sounds like there is a lot of support for Toon Boom here. I will have him look at the feature list to see if it has what he wants. I understand that it is vecter based. What are the advantages/disadvantages to this verses pixel based products? I think that dogwaffle is pixel.

    Also, what do you think about aura. Would that be an option? Isn't there an animators plugin for that?

  11. #11
    there's also pencil which is FREE and is pixel and vector based [via layers]

    def the right price point!

    http://www.les-stooges.org/pascal/pe...?id=UserManual



    if you want better features etc then i'd reccomend TVpaint

    www.tvpaint.com

    [tv paint is the renamed aura/mirage etc]



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  12. #12
    Kamehameha Chameleon BigHache's Avatar
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    I might be wary of purchasing Mirage. There's a licensing dispute between the French company TVPaint and the US distributor/developer that produces Mirage. Nothing may become of it but it's possible that you could buy a license of Mirage then be left without support in the future. It seems like a nasty legal battle that no one really knows much about, but some folks online have taken very staunch positions not knowing what they're talking about because they don't work for either company.

    I think before getting into software, a good place to start (for 2D) would be with books and studying animation, like frame-by-frame. Tony White has a great book on animation, "The Animator's Workbook". I don't know that I can say inputing drawings directly into the computer is beneficial because animators draw on paper then scan in. Flash is good for learning, but it's not something that studios would really be interested in seeing if that were the goal.

  13. #13
    just to clarify i understand mirage is now NOT for sale on bauhaus site, so TVpaint from the developers of aura/mirage and tvpaint over in France is the only place to get TVpaint per se.

    I'd urge you to maybe try out pencil first then maybe the 2 demo;s of TVpaint one after another so you get some extended time playing with the app for free.
    stee+cat
    real name: steve gilbert
    http://www.cresshead.com/

    Q - How many polys?
    A - All of them!

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by BigHache
    I might be wary of purchasing Mirage. There's a licensing dispute between the French company TVPaint and the US distributor/developer that produces Mirage. Nothing may become of it but it's possible that you could buy a license of Mirage then be left without support in the future. It seems like a nasty legal battle that no one really knows much about, but some folks online have taken very staunch positions not knowing what they're talking about because they don't work for either company.

    I saw the leagal issues with Mirage, so I planned on saying away from that, but I know that Aura and Mirage are earlier versions of the current TVPaint so I thought that may be a way to get entry into TVP and later upgrade. But I'm not sure if there is an animation tools plug for that version.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigHache
    I think before getting into software, a good place to start (for 2D) would be with books and studying animation, like frame-by-frame. Tony White has a great book on animation, "The Animator's Workbook". I don't know that I can say inputing drawings directly into the computer is beneficial because animators draw on paper then scan in. Flash is good for learning, but it's not something that studios would really be interested in seeing if that were the goal.
    This is very good advice. I have already taken this step with him. He has "The Animator's Workbook" I passed my copy down to him that I used during my first animation class in school. Great book. He has done some cut-out type animation (scanning in cutouts), line animation (just pencil drawings), and some stop motion using a digital camera and then stringing the stills together.

    I got him interested when I pulled out the 16mm projector and showed him my first cell animation (final project for class back in school). He really got hooked when he realized that he could make ninja battles with a flip book. lol

    Cresshead - I took a look at pencil and it looks pretty usefull. I will have him look at it. Looks like it is a work in progress, but you can't beat free. Especially if he likes it.

  15. #15
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    I have used Toon Boom for quite some time. It is an excellent program and very affordable. Plus, it imports well into Flash. You can do much more in Toon Boom than you can do in Flash as far as animating because you can draw and keyframe in the traditional way. Then, after you import into Flash you can add interactivity.

    I would encourage your son to develop his skills in both 2d and 3d animation. The traditional methods and principles developed over decades in 2d animation hold true in 3d as well. That's why Pixar is so good. It's not just their technical skills that set them apart, it's their ability to make the characters act. That comes directly from 2d animation.

    Encourage him develop his skills in drawing. The better he can draw the better animator he'll be no matter what type of animation he'll finally settle in to.

    Here are two excellent resources I would reccomend to anyone interested in animation :http://www.animationarchive.org/ http://awn.com/

    Best of luck.

    Faucheux

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