CelAction2D features

Recently I was reading over the feature list for the animation software CelAction2D. The following are some things which would be nice to see in TB software.

1. The ability to use a large number of high resolution bitmaps and several complex character rigs within a single scene. I believe the way it is done is that the animator works with a scaled down version of the bitmaps while animating. The hi-res files are only used for the final rendering. I think this is similar to working in InDesign where the image files are only linked to the working file. In this way, less CPU power is needed and your computer doesn’t get bogged down as you work.

2. Due to this linking feature, if you make a change to one of the drawings then all of the scenes using that drawing are automatically updated as well. This is similar to TB’s cloning feature, but in this case, applies to multiple scenes. So as you tweak or add to a characters basic library of drawings, all those changes are universally updated or available for use.

3. Seems like the rigs are bone-based skeletons that can be easily applied to new characters.

4. Animated movements can be saved and given keyboard shortcuts in order to apply and you can use these movements for different characters–if I understood right.

Some of the things I didn’t like was that there are no drawing tools in the program. I am constantly having to adjust and tweak my drawings as you just don’t always know how they’ll “work” until you put’m together and start animating. Also, their website only has microscopic screenshots of the UI so you can hardly see what is what! And not one single tutorial is available–only for those who already bought the app. That’s really a bug! There is no downloadable demo only some sort of online one that they will let you peek at.

Aside from that, it does look very interesting. I’ve seen some very impressive animations done with CelAction2D but I’m sure it could have easily been done with TBA.

As always, thanks for the quick reply and comments, Lily! You’re on the ball! I can see how some of the things are already taken care of by TBA or approached from a slightly different angle. I wrote to CelAction with some questions and, lo and behold, the CEO wrote me back! He was quite nice and told me a bit more about their software. I may yet do one of their online demos just to find out more. I’m not unhappy with TBA–just always looking for easier and better ways to do things.

  1. That one we already have. When you work with bitmaps in the software, it does display a lower res version of the file, and it does only take into account the full bitmap when doing a render.

    You can adjust the Preferences to change this value. Go to your OpenGL tab, then you can change the value under Maximum Texture Size. Any images that you import after that will take this value into consideration. For images that are already in your scene, a restart is needed to see the effect on them.

    2) They’re not actually linked in the sense that you can’t change the original bitmap. It copies the bitmap into the scene file. Of course if you’re vectorising the images then we have to import them into the project directory, but we can look at the possibility of being able to link without importing for pure bitmap images.

    3) There are studios out there that create an empty rig, then they can just split apart their character and apply those body parts to the rig. The only thing you’d have to do over would be the pivot points, so that they match the size of the drawings for that character.

    I think the reason that people don’t reuse rigs more often is that you’ll construct a rig a certain way to suit that particular character. For example depending on what kind of hair or clothes that character has, or how you want the face to animate. But you could theoretically have a blank template with a complete layer structure so that you don’t have to redo this every time, and then you could just add whatever layers you need for that character’s individuality.

    4) I’m not sure this is something we could support, since the way that things are keyframed, you would only be able to reuse the animation if the structure and size of one character is the same as another.

    Thanks for the feedback - I’ll take another peek at CelAction.