Simple and Direct "Point" Animation

What I have observed, now, for many years is that almost all of the 2D animators I know like nearly everything that ToonBoom Animate 2 represents, and, that the only thing keeping them using that “other” animation software is the lack of simple, (not morphing), point to point animation.

To clarify, TB Animate’s morphing function tries to match vector drawings with two different sets of points comprising them. It, then, creates static drawings, or inbetween drawings, between these two disparate drawings, (which now are static in nature).

By comparison, that “other” software uses vector drawings too, but has, as a very strong and desirable feature - the ability to simply change the position of one or more points and then generate a very accurately interpolated movement between any number of key drawings, (with adjustable ease-in/out curves between them).

There are no separate in-between drawings created, (thus avoiding the need to move them around or delete them in the timeline), letting you adjust timing between the key drawings just by moving one frame around in the timeline.

To try and make this even clearer: Animate takes a drawing-centric approach, (probably in an attempt to appeal to traditional animators), whereas that “other” software doesn’t address that need and appeal, but offers quick and accurate drawing to drawing interpolation, each of which can be stored as a separate “Switch” layer - great for storing drawings for later use.

The “other” software also incorporates the functions inherent in point to point interpolation as a means of bone deformation, (actually, another topic altogether), making “cut-outs” unnecessary and obsolete. Point interpolation produces animation faster and more accurately when associated with bone binding, than cut-outs could ever wish to produce.

If the folks at Toon Boom ever incorporated these features, there really would be no competition left to hinder them from becoming that 2D animation application of choice.

Greg Smith

As an owner of both Toon Boom Animate 2.0 and the “other” software you speak of, Anime Studio Pro 7, I just can’t see how those features you speak of can easily be added.

There are real fundamental differences at the core of each program that I think preclude Animate from having ASP’s point animation.

I love to draw and so I am drawn to doing animation the traditional way and it is actually harder for me to use ASP. All of the fiddling with complicated rigs and the tedious nature of some aspects of it (give me a true function curve editor like Animate, After Effects and Cinema 4D any day). I am glad for a program like TBA where I can just draw what I want.

I do see where some things are faster and quicker but I just use the best tool for the job, whether it is Animate, ASP, After Effects or Cinema 4D.

Scungyho or whomever:

I do agree with the idea that there is a “right” tool for every job, and, I’d have to see what your jobs look like to evaluate your other statements.

In the case of what most people would consider the most sophisticated 2D animation done to date, (Disney Classic from the 30’s), true point animation makes a very lot of sense, (timewise, budgetwise). We don’t have the advantage, today, of hiring talented animators for the equivalent of $25 per week to do inbetweens. Point to point motion really helps solve this deficiency and can allow a single animator to do the work of 7.

Everybody wants to eventually finish his animation project or projects. Very few animators ever achieve this ideal when left to drawing every frame by hand. Just look at Richard Williams’ heroic solo efforts.

Greg Smith

Maybe a feature request that would be easier to implement would be ability to add a function editor curve to morphing. Seems like the next logical step for morphing. It would definitly open even more doors.

Well, I just don’t see these animators doing long features with ASP yet. Even the best ASP animators out there like Grey Kid, sorry, I mean Freakish Kid, don’t do long features. I love their Clucky the Vampire Chicken but those are all, what, under 2 minutes?

I understand they have a half hour series in development and I can’t wait to see it but where are the feature length films?

If as you say a single animator can do the work of 7 using ASP, then you would think that a studio could hire 20 ASP artists and have the equivalent of 140 animators and be able to do a hour and a half animated film. I sure don’t see any.

It is a complicated issue and nobody has all the answers yet. We all love traditional animation and digital animation is really still in its infancy I think. Who is to say what developments will come along in another 10 or 15 years?

Way back in the mid to late 80s I would do airbrush and try and do retouching of photos (rather poorly). Now over 20 years later, what is an airbrush? I use Photoshop and a Wacom Intuos tablet to do photo retouch.

There is hope. I would hate to see a world where the only animation done is of the 3D variety. It is great that we have Toon Boom, Flash, ASP, TV Paint and other apps out there allowing 2D animation to still be made. Competition is good and will hopefully inspire the development of even better tools, ideas and workflows to bring us closer to being able to achieve the classic animation of years past.

This is an interesting topic to me. I Use all of these applications although I haven’t used TVpaint since the good old Amiga days. I have found that for me Animate Pro is a really good Hub in which to tie everything together.
So it bothers me when the different digital animation camps be it Toon boom, Flash, ASP, TvPaint etc… hate on each other. They each try to say one is better than the other for this reason or that but honestly that’s just silly… the truth is each of them do certain things really good and certain things really bad. Because digital animation is still in it’s infancy I find my self grabbing the tools I need from each of these and using AP2 to pull them all together.

my understanding of freakish kid is that they have some very talented people working their asses off on that stuff. ASP7 does do a great job with point animation and that’s it’s strong point. Try doing hand drawn… ouch! painful… rather stick to ap2 in that case. Lol