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Bitmap drawing tools

Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2019

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Hello,

Will Animate ever include bitmap drawing, like Toonboom Harmony supports? Would be easy, just ”put in” the Photoshop drawing tools in Animate?

https://forums.adobe.com/people/n.+tilcheff  wrote

Ha ha ha! Super easy!

'Just' incorporate the Photoshop engine in Animate and it'll be done

Mate, that was very refreshing!

Interestingly enough, that's what the Opentoonz community sort-of did: OpenToonz, when it was first open sourced and released, OT was a terrible bug fest, had a more-or-less broken GUI, and was completely geared and torn apart to service Studio Ghibli's internal workflow. One step outside that paper-based scan workflow, and it would crash.

Now, couple of years later, and the software is a joy to use (in my opinion). At some point someone suggested to integrate the MyPaint brush engine (imagine Photoshop's brush engine being implemented into Animate). And so they did! And it works really, really well. OpenToonz was originally focused on vector drawing/painting tools, similar to Flash. Now it has a very nice raster painting engine too.

And the community went one step further: in OpenToonz, two types of raster levels ("layers", sort of) exist: raster levels which are linked to a colour palette: draw in a colour, and when you change the colour later, your bitmap pixels drawn with that colour change as well (throughout a project, if you want). Very handy for an animation workflow, of course.

The second type of raster level is the usual regular bitmap type: paint and draw in it like any other bitmap painting app. And the MyPaint brushes, while they could be used in this type of layer, were useless in that other type of raster level. Of course users complained about that, and low and behold, one developer decided to implement things in such a way that the MyPaint brush engine can now be used in the colour-linked bitmap layers.

So now OpenToonz sports both nice vector drawing tools, as well as solid bitmap painting tools.

Anything is possible, if the developers set their mind to it. I agree with you that Flash/Animate lost its way at some point.

I was an avid Flash developer and animator years and years ago, and was so irritated by the lack of development, that I switched to Toonboom. Now I use OpenToonz together with ClipStudio (which has a nice direct export to OpenToonz) and Krita, as well as Moho Pro for more advanced rigging.

Been dabbling in Blender's new GP animation tools, and those are showing us a completely new way of doing things - instead of 2d apps integrating some 3d tools, Blender integrates 2d drawing and animation tools in a fully enabled 3d environment. Loads of fun to experiment with, if still somewhat intimidating for a typical 2d animator. The potential is huge.

PS I mainly use these animation tools for 2d game character animation. I worked on some broadcast Disney stuff a few years ago (Toonboom). I did not like Toonboom, btw. At all.

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Bitmap drawing tools

Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2019

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Hello,

Will Animate ever include bitmap drawing, like Toonboom Harmony supports? Would be easy, just ”put in” the Photoshop drawing tools in Animate?

https://forums.adobe.com/people/n.+tilcheff  wrote

Ha ha ha! Super easy!

'Just' incorporate the Photoshop engine in Animate and it'll be done

Mate, that was very refreshing!

Interestingly enough, that's what the Opentoonz community sort-of did: OpenToonz, when it was first open sourced and released, OT was a terrible bug fest, had a more-or-less broken GUI, and was completely geared and torn apart to service Studio Ghibli's internal workflow. One step outside that paper-based scan workflow, and it would crash.

Now, couple of years later, and the software is a joy to use (in my opinion). At some point someone suggested to integrate the MyPaint brush engine (imagine Photoshop's brush engine being implemented into Animate). And so they did! And it works really, really well. OpenToonz was originally focused on vector drawing/painting tools, similar to Flash. Now it has a very nice raster painting engine too.

And the community went one step further: in OpenToonz, two types of raster levels ("layers", sort of) exist: raster levels which are linked to a colour palette: draw in a colour, and when you change the colour later, your bitmap pixels drawn with that colour change as well (throughout a project, if you want). Very handy for an animation workflow, of course.

The second type of raster level is the usual regular bitmap type: paint and draw in it like any other bitmap painting app. And the MyPaint brushes, while they could be used in this type of layer, were useless in that other type of raster level. Of course users complained about that, and low and behold, one developer decided to implement things in such a way that the MyPaint brush engine can now be used in the colour-linked bitmap layers.

So now OpenToonz sports both nice vector drawing tools, as well as solid bitmap painting tools.

Anything is possible, if the developers set their mind to it. I agree with you that Flash/Animate lost its way at some point.

I was an avid Flash developer and animator years and years ago, and was so irritated by the lack of development, that I switched to Toonboom. Now I use OpenToonz together with ClipStudio (which has a nice direct export to OpenToonz) and Krita, as well as Moho Pro for more advanced rigging.

Been dabbling in Blender's new GP animation tools, and those are showing us a completely new way of doing things - instead of 2d apps integrating some 3d tools, Blender integrates 2d drawing and animation tools in a fully enabled 3d environment. Loads of fun to experiment with, if still somewhat intimidating for a typical 2d animator. The potential is huge.

PS I mainly use these animation tools for 2d game character animation. I worked on some broadcast Disney stuff a few years ago (Toonboom). I did not like Toonboom, btw. At all.

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Apr 19, 2019 0
Guide ,
Apr 19, 2019

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Ha ha ha! Super easy!

'Just' incorporate the Photoshop engine in Animate and it'll be done

Mate, that was very refreshing!

There has been a steady and relentless push within some 'fractions' of the beta-testing community for raster brushes for a long time.

So you're not alone.

My personal opinion is that it will add more exceptions and workflow conflicts to the already very problematic UX of Animate and if people eventually get that, it will not be what they wanted or expected.

- Nick: Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Apr 19, 2019 2
Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2019

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Hey, it’s hard for me to know if you are ironic or not   

I’m an animator, not a developer. So i don’t know how the constriction of the software works.

But i guess it’s like you point at. If it would have worked fine, it would have been featured.

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Apr 19, 2019 1
Guide ,
Apr 19, 2019

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Not ironic at all. Just honestly amused and friendly.

As I said - there has been a steady push in that direction for a long time from a very vocal camp of 'bitmap brush proponents'.

So a lot of people think like you.

I'm an animator too, even though I have been heavily involved in extending Flash / Animate for many years, because of dissatisfaction.

If you're unfamiliar with our work, check out the link in my profile.

I wouldn't mind having a good vector brush toolset.

The question is how can this be implemented in a non-conflicting way in a vector-based engine which is already plagued with performance issues and conflicting UX pathways, full of special exceptions - Armature layers, Modern tween layers, Layer parenting layers, Camera layers, Advanced layers - all of these not really 'talking' to each other, fracturing the workflow and providing conflicting solutions within one environment.

All new features that have been added in the last 10 years have been problematic, half-baked and a compromise of one kind or another.

This is why I think that this will create much more harm than good and will open the door to many more disasters.

Best regards!

NT

- Nick: Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Apr 19, 2019 3
Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2019

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Thanks for the clarification!

Actually, i’m fine with the all vector based platform. Since i’ve benn using the software for a long time.. i’m kinda used to it.

I have people who are digital painters, Photoshop users, who want to begin with animation. I advice them to use Animate, since it’s the software i know, and... well it’s Adobe. Thought the learning curve would be shorter for them.

However, they ask me ”Yuk! Why can’t i draw animations like in Photoshop!?” and i’m like ”Hm.. i don’t know really.”

Since i know TvPaint use it, and the high end version of Harmony (which uses both vector and raster).

But i will definitely look at your link, and try to be more aware of the development of Animate! I guess Adobe need to decide what kind of software Animate should be, an animation program, or a web developing tool.

You tell me, but my feeling is that they want to make it more in the direction towards animation. But at the same time they don’t want to let go of the web tools. Eat the cake and keep it blabla..

Thanks for your help

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Apr 19, 2019 1
Guide ,
Apr 19, 2019

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You tell me, but my feeling is that they want to make it more in the direction towards animation. But at the same time they don’t want to let go of the web tools.

Exactly. Since you've followed the history of it, you know how it all happened. They monetised the web advertising and video streaming market and had dominating position for too long which gave Flash a very bad reputation, but the business was growing and animators were ignored for years and years completely. In the mean time ToonBoom innovated and bit a large chunk of that market.

Then Steve Jobs single-handedly killed Flash player with one stroke, because the iPad just did not have the processor power to play Flash content well, but all was blamed on other issues.

Now they are trying to somehow cater to animators, but also do the HTML5, more banner ads and VR and everything else so it's the same story all over again, but the market is very different now and they have real competition.

The dev team are genuinely trying to do a good job, but that does not necessarily mean that everything that they add is well thought-out...

It seems that they are under the constant pressure for annual feature releases and without enough time to polish them and make them production-ready. Animate feels like in a state of perpetual beta.

- Nick: Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Apr 19, 2019 2
Community Beginner ,
Apr 19, 2019

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Still i really like Animate. And a lot of big name profiles seem to do so too. I really love the stuff Yuasa are doing with Science Saru. And i am naturally patient. So we will see what will happen.

But can i get som little advice, what to tell my Photoshop-friends? Some ”easy” understandable reason why Animate do not deliver the same drawing experience?

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Apr 19, 2019 1
Guide ,
Apr 19, 2019

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I like it too.

The simple answer I'd give would be this:

Animate IS Flash.

It is a vector program which at its core has completely different principles and also goals.

At present wondering why Animate can not create Photoshop-style art is analogous to wondering why you can't create an oil painting with Copic pens or why a piano can't produce the sound of a saxophone while both are musical instruments.

If they want to paint/draw in Photoshop, they can always animate in AfterEffects or use TVPaint which is raster-based.

I'm curious to see if others will join this discussion and give their opinions.

- Nick: Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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Apr 19, 2019 0
Guide ,
Apr 20, 2019

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https://forums.adobe.com/people/n.+tilcheff  wrote

Ha ha ha! Super easy!

'Just' incorporate the Photoshop engine in Animate and it'll be done

Mate, that was very refreshing!

Interestingly enough, that's what the Opentoonz community sort-of did: OpenToonz, when it was first open sourced and released, OT was a terrible bug fest, had a more-or-less broken GUI, and was completely geared and torn apart to service Studio Ghibli's internal workflow. One step outside that paper-based scan workflow, and it would crash.

Now, couple of years later, and the software is a joy to use (in my opinion). At some point someone suggested to integrate the MyPaint brush engine (imagine Photoshop's brush engine being implemented into Animate). And so they did! And it works really, really well. OpenToonz was originally focused on vector drawing/painting tools, similar to Flash. Now it has a very nice raster painting engine too.

And the community went one step further: in OpenToonz, two types of raster levels ("layers", sort of) exist: raster levels which are linked to a colour palette: draw in a colour, and when you change the colour later, your bitmap pixels drawn with that colour change as well (throughout a project, if you want). Very handy for an animation workflow, of course.

The second type of raster level is the usual regular bitmap type: paint and draw in it like any other bitmap painting app. And the MyPaint brushes, while they could be used in this type of layer, were useless in that other type of raster level. Of course users complained about that, and low and behold, one developer decided to implement things in such a way that the MyPaint brush engine can now be used in the colour-linked bitmap layers.

So now OpenToonz sports both nice vector drawing tools, as well as solid bitmap painting tools.

Anything is possible, if the developers set their mind to it. I agree with you that Flash/Animate lost its way at some point.

I was an avid Flash developer and animator years and years ago, and was so irritated by the lack of development, that I switched to Toonboom. Now I use OpenToonz together with ClipStudio (which has a nice direct export to OpenToonz) and Krita, as well as Moho Pro for more advanced rigging.

Been dabbling in Blender's new GP animation tools, and those are showing us a completely new way of doing things - instead of 2d apps integrating some 3d tools, Blender integrates 2d drawing and animation tools in a fully enabled 3d environment. Loads of fun to experiment with, if still somewhat intimidating for a typical 2d animator. The potential is huge.

PS I mainly use these animation tools for 2d game character animation. I worked on some broadcast Disney stuff a few years ago (Toonboom). I did not like Toonboom, btw. At all.

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Apr 20, 2019 3
Guide ,
Apr 20, 2019

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rayek.elfin

Thanks for sharing all this information, mate!

A very interesting read.

I have been half-following Grease Pencil demos for a few years, am fairly familiar with Moho and ToonBoom, but have completely missed all the positive developments with OpenToonz.

Personally I'm so invested in Flash with our extensions and getting such good results out of it that I don't have the time or motivation to even try new software these days. But it wasn't always like this and the future is unknown

Thanks again!

NT

- Nick: Character designer and animator, Flash user since 1998
Member of Flanimate Power Tools team - extensions for character animation

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