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Question for animators

9 months ago

This question is specifically for @MadHattersDaughter but I will happily accept answers from anybody who has ever dabbled in animation. (Bit random to ask for animation advice on a writing website, I know, but the problem with forums about animation is that people expect you to actually know things, and... I know no things.)

Is there any 2D animation software out there that is:

  1. Free
  2. Easy to use
  3. Actually does stuff

Basically, I've downloaded a few different animation software programs, and they all have either one of two problems. Either they are so bloody complicated that I can't figure out how to do the first thing with them, or they are relatively simple to use, but don't have the capacity to perform the most basic of tasks, like copy/pasting more than one frame at a time.

If any of you out there have ever done any 2D animation before, could you please let me know what software you used, because I really don't want to resort to making every individual frame on photoshop and importing them into Windows Movie Maker.

Question for animators

9 months ago
opentoonz but it depends on what kind of animation workflow you want. the real answer is whatever you start with is the best because when you know nothing and are amateur the difference between software and tool suites is completely unnoticable to anybody who doesnt have loads of experience. krita can do 2D animation, ghibli used it. you can do pixel 2D animation in almost anything. I like krita.

Question for animators

9 months ago

Awesome! Do you prefer Krita or Opentoonz?

Question for animators

9 months ago
Krita. I use krita for worldbuilding and map work too, since I have a drawing tablet so I'm deeper into the krita workflow. If I had no drawing tablet, and back when I did not, I preferred opentoonz because it was simple to import images into and the built-in layer editing tools could be used to create sense of motion.

I'm not real far into my copy of the animators survival guide, but it does have loads of useful information and is heavily recommended by everyone animating anything ever so maybe pick up a copy if you're interested.

I've made animated game assets in pyxeledit and gimp. though pyxel edit is more made for such things while gimp is a whole image editing and creation software (doesnt lend itself to art much typically, but again: any software you know well and get a workflow in can be extremely versatile).

Question for animators

9 months ago

I can vouch for Krita! It's user interface is a lot easier to use than others and I find it better than opentoons because it is more drawing-friendly. If you prefer animation that isn't too detailed, opentoonz is the way to go!

Question for animators

9 months ago

I think most animation programs that are worth it often come with a learning curve.

And now that I'm about to lose my free student subscription to ToonBoom (although ToonBoom Harmony essential is only 27USD a month which isn't obscene for a super powerful, somewhat straightforward program.) I'll be looking for alternatives myself!

It's extra difficult finding a decent animation program that doesn't cost but you might spend $20/month for Photoshop or Adobe Animate for a short time. Photoshop has decent animation tools. Adobe Animate or After Effects is good for rigging characters or motion graphics.

Procreate is a one-time $10 app that I've animated in before where the layers act like frames like Photoshop. It's pretty simple and has an onion skin.

I just downloaded OpenToonz and took a peek at it and it seems quite similar to ToonBoom Harmony so there will definitely be a learning curve but it's not so complicated once you get the gist. And you can copy-paste multiple frames and I think there's an easy way to color too.

All the buttons in animation programs are admittedly overwhelming to look at but really you just need to know how to draw on frames. There's lots of tutorials for every program too.

Question for animators

9 months ago

I'll just kindly point out that the price doesn't matter if you're willing to sail the seas, and if anybody doesn't know how to do that hit me up.

Question for animators

9 months ago
On note of photoshop, affinity photo is a great alternative thats a one time purchase and is so similar to photoshop that even advanced tutorials are easily followable in the program.

Question for animators

9 months ago

Massive thanks to all you guys for your help! Unfortunately, Opentoonz was one of the programs that I downloaded and immediately dismissed because I couldn't figure out how to do a single thing, but from the sounds of it, that program would probably be the most useful tool for me, so I will look into it a bit more and see if I can wrap my head around it. Will hopefully have a nice, shiny video to show you all soon. ^_^

Question for animators

9 months ago

Can confirm that Opentoonz is actually really simple to use. It just confused me at the beginning by presenting me with about a million different tools that I'm never going to use. Once I found out that you can make your own layout with only the tools you actually need, I was much happier. ^_^

Question for animators

9 months ago

Nice! I'm glad it worked out for you in the end. :)

Lookie what I made!

9 months ago
Commended by Sherbet on 7/6/2023 4:29:51 PM

So, I've been playing around in Opentoonz and the video I'm working on is set in a steampunk world, so I decided to create a little steampunky border for the video. Haven't made much of a start on the actual video yet, but since I've only been fucking around on Opentoonz for a couple of days, I'm pretty damn proud of it. ^_^

https://imgur.com/c80AEHX

Lookie what I made!

9 months ago

That looks pretty good.

Lookie what I made!

9 months ago

Ta muchly ^_^

Lookie what I made!

9 months ago
That looks really nice. For two days screwing around with an unfamiliar software it's doubly impressive.

Also, when I scrolled down I found this: https://imgur.io/gallery/Zn1NB0g

Lookie what I made!

9 months ago

Thank you so much for that gift. ^_^

Lookie what I made!

9 months ago

Reminds me of steins;gate.

Lookie what I made!

9 months ago

Holy. This looks awesome!

Question for animators

8 months ago

Another important question for anyone with experience in Opentoonz. Had no idea how to explain the problem, so you will have to endure my grating British accent in this little video.

 

Question for animators

8 months ago
Commended by Sherbet on 7/6/2023 4:30:38 PM

It may seem daunting but you can use Node view, or as Opentoonz calls it, Scene schematics. This is where you tell the different drawing layers what to do and add effects.

This guy explains how to use a matte. But essentially you want to draw a big red square on its own layer where you DON'T want scene 1 to be seen.

You'll use FX schematics (button in lower bottom in scene schematics.) and the FX "Matte out". Plug in your big red square into the matte red triangle "Matte". and Scene 1 into "Source" (or everything in Scene 1. Group everything in Scene 1 together!)

Group everything in Scene 2 together once you animate it all and give it a peg (it will make everything easier down the line.) I used a peg here for my Matte and Lamp so that they move together when I animate the peg. You can animate pegs just like layers they just move everything they're connected to.

So what happens is that the matte covers up Scene 1 like an invisiblity cloak and shows you scene 2 underneath scene 1. Use that eye in the top right corner that turns green for render view or how it will look when exported.

It took me a second to figure this out! Opentoonz is quite tricky! It's really impressive seeing your animation come together in it!

There's also a way to use Z-depth to make all the layers move without having to animate them all. Like multiplaning, but. . . That's a whole other thing.

Question for animators

8 months ago

WOW! Thank you so much MHD, you're just an all powerful fountain of information. And you really went the extra mile by creating a step by step guide just for me. It means a lot because, as all the advanced editor users on the site can attest, I genuinely cannot understand instructions unless they're spelled out for me like a toddler. You make complicated stuff super easy to understand. You're the best! <3

Question for animators

8 months ago
Awh, you're welcome! I hope it works!

Question for animators

7 months ago

Okay, so, I'm ashamed to admit it but... I cannot for the life of me figure out how to group everything in scene 1 together. I've tried loads of different things, looked at tutorials, none of the stuff I've found actually tells me how to do it. I'm stupid. Help! :'(

Question for animators

7 months ago

In Stage schematic (I've been accidentally calling it scene schematics), select the layers you want to group then right click and "group", or CTRL + G

Question for animators

7 months ago

Thank you! I had been attempting that, but couldn't figure out how to select more than one layer at a time, so was just derpily clicking on a single layer, pressing the group button and wondering, "Duuuuh, why it not working?" Anyway, I finally figured it out and everything works now. Hurray! ^_^

Question for animators

7 months ago

Oh fuck a duck, it's still not working. >.<

 

Question for animators

7 months ago

Okay, that was my fault for assuming Opentoonz would be user-friendlier than it is. Looks like groups are purely for dumb aesthetical purposes.

You can use another FX called Over (under Layer_blending) and plug everything from Scene 1 into its sources (if you grouped these you still would have to open up the group and plug them all in.) "Unicorn" is my foreground. Then just plug in the OverFX back into the Matte Out FX source. That way you don't have to make a new matte FX for every layer in scene 1.

I must say, this has been great for me learning the node system in Opentoonz. :~P

Question for animators

7 months ago

My hero!!! <3 <3 <3

Question for animators

8 months ago

Tell the lamp to stop

 

Question for animators

7 months ago

Also your voice sounds pleasant and not annoying. Unlike other Bri'ish we know

There is no one way to compliment someone's voice without sounding deranged so....stares from the trash cans

Question for animators

7 months ago

I wanted Briar to sound more like a lowborn chav not someone's Hogwart's waifu, now she doesn't fit into the nice stereotype role I thoughtfully placed her in.

This is why we can't have nice things.

Question for animators

7 months ago
Commended by EndMaster on 7/8/2023 8:38:12 PM

Fixed it. ^_^

 

Question for animators

7 months ago

Fixed to right.

Question for animators

7 months ago

Your voice is ambrosia.

Question for animators

7 months ago

Forget corgi's comment, this is just scary. I'm shivering.

Question for animators

7 months ago

Innit bruv ^_^

Question for animators

7 months ago

You sound 3 feet taller than the previous video

Rescue me!

5 months ago

So, I need saving again. This time I have actually completed a video and rendered it to MP4. The majority of the video works fine but there are a couple of points where the video lags. It's usually at a point where I've added an image in the video that is bigger than most of the other images that I've used. The audio will carry on as normal but the video will freeze and lag at the moment just before the large image was added and stay like that until the moment the image disappears. I don't know what to do. I've tried deleting the video and rendering it again but the exact same issues occur every time. I don't know how to change it so that when I publish the video these lags don't occour. Anybody got any advice at all?

Rescue me!

5 months ago

When you say "large" do you mean "larger dimensions than the other images" or "larger file size than the other images"

Rescue me!

5 months ago

Larger dimensions. I guess it's also a larger file size but not by much.

Rescue me!

5 months ago
what are you using for rendering? settings? step by step what you're doing pre-render thru post-render?

Rescue me!

5 months ago

... Well, I was going to make another video to show you guys what's wrong and what the issue was but when I rendered the video again and went to show the part that wasn't working... It was working! So, apparently the issue just magically fixed itself. Thanks Ford! You can have back that point that I yoinked from you. ^_^

Rescue me!

5 months ago

Okay, I thought the issue was fixed but now I'm trying to render a different video and the same issue happens. The video will be playing fine and then it will freeze on a random frame for about 10 seconds. The video will keep playing, the audio will be working fine, but the image is just frozen.

So, to answer Ford's previous question, I genuinely have no idea what most of the settings actually mean so I'll just screen shot them and you guys can mention if anything might be relevant. (Should mention the video is pretty long. 24384 frames. But I've tried rendeing the video in smaller chunks to see if that makes a difference and it doesn't.) Also to render, I an using the "Fast Render to MP4" button. I've heard there are other ways to render a video that might be more effective but can't figure out how they work. They render every individual image but don't seem to provide a video to actually play so... No idea what to do with those rendered images afterwards.

If anybody can come up with a solution to help me fix the problem then I promise to use my admin status to reward you with points! Lots of shiny, shiny points! You guys like points, right?

Rescue me!

5 months ago

Could it be that your computer's active processes (in particular, the video rendering, which uses a lot of processing power) were overloading your computer's CPU processor or RAM? And the timestamps at which you had placed larger images spiked the processing usage, and the issue fixed itself before when you rendered the video again because your computer had a lower processing usage at that moment?

Rescue me!

5 months ago

I... Don't think I know what any of that means but from what my tiny brain can gather... The issue was that my computer was doing too much stuff when the video was rendering... So maybe if I close down all of the other programs that my computer has running then the video will render better?

Correct me if I'm wrong. I have the computing expertise of a two year old.

Rescue me!

5 months ago

I'm no computer expert myself either, but that's more or less it. It's like each computer only has the capacity to carry a certain amount of work load, every task that your computer is doing adds to its work load, and certain tasks, such as video rendering, can weigh a lot, so, if the computer's total active work load at any point exceeds its capacity, then the computer will lag and freeze involuntarily. If you were only having trouble with playback and the video actually rendered correctly, then I think that makes this explanation more likely, because I had similar issues when I made a music video before on an older computer.

Rescue me!

5 months ago
Commended by Avery_Moore on 9/12/2023 1:48:58 PM
Enable multithread the ffmpeg render option. also could try exporting to a different file format like mkv (preferred) or webm if you can figure such a thing out. Also try a different video player / playback method. It could be the software you're using to check if the video works is the thing glitching.

Try in order:

The method that gives the most troubleshooting data is to upload the video to youtube and use your browser to access the stream of the video. If the video plays fine then you'll know it's your choice of video player software and not your renderer. If it still glitches then it's the renderer or rendering method.

If the problem persists after trying to export to a different file format, particularly .mkv, your issue is likely to do with your renderer or workspace setup - perhaps there's some button or keybind in opentoonz that is causing some fuckups.

If the issue persists after enabling multithreading (still exporting to mp4), you either have a garbage CPU/GPU or some other esoteric issue to troubleshoot. Provide PC specs pls (on windows 10 go to start > search "about" > click "About your PC" > screenshot Device Specifications list)

Rescue me!

5 months ago

... Bloody hell, Ford, you're right! I assumed there had to be something wrong with the renderer because the video was glitching no matter which platform I used, but I uploaded the video onto youtube and it plays smooth as a baby's butt cheek! Thank you so much! Here are some points for your trouble! ^_^

Rescue me!

5 months ago
Sometimes I feel generous enough to help ;V