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: Boris Ivanov 2:5020/496.90 18 98 04:44
: Paul Kluchnikov 18 98 14:28
: p y R.An.Ma.

Konnichi-wa, Paul!
Paul Kluchnikov -> Boris Ivanov kaita...
                             (2:5020/1249.10) - p p, p.
               , ... :))) y. !
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: Boris Ivanov 2:5020/496.90 18 98 04:58
: Konstantin Dorokhov 18 98 14:28
: p y :(

Konnichi-wa, Konstantin!
Konstantin Dorokhov -> Boris Ivanov kaita...
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: Boris Ivanov 2:5020/496.90 18 98 06:04
: Khachik Ambarian 18 98 14:28
: ...

Konnichi-wa, Khachik!
Khachik Ambarian -> Boris Ivanov kaita...
                             py yy, . H ,
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               (c) Dominion
H. () Gits. ;-)
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: Boris Ivanov 2:5020/496.90 18 98 06:23
: Maxim Krutyko 18 98 14:28
: Bastard!

Konnichi-wa, Maxim!
Maxim Krutyko -> Boris Ivanov kaita...
                             H. , p, Magic Knight
                             Rayearth. p py p...
                             p (!). RTFFAQ. Bastard!
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: Alex Lapshin 2:5020/207.8 19 98 03:50
: All 19 98 04:32
: low-cost animation

, All!
(), , cel-
PC ( ).
:
The most important software for 2d/cel animation is a pencil and paper.
Thats how it s really done. You will want some way of "inking and painting"
the characters and compositing them on a background and this can be done
with a computer.
, p :
============
Doin it on the low end --
Digital cel animation for the rest of us
by Mike Caputo
Animo. Animation Stand. CAPS.
These are packages most of us have heard of, many of us have used, and some
are intimately familiar with. But many students, hobbyists and would-be
animators have no funds or access to these digital cel animation packages,
and they wonder what lies between Disney Animation Studio ($50) and Animo
($30,000).
The answer is complicated, and comes down to how you want your animation
viewed.
If you want to deliver the next "teenage mutated karate reptiles" to your
local cable station and start reaping zillions in licensee fees, you re out
of luck if you have less than $60k to spend on hardware and software. In
fact, it s hard to deliver animation of any quality to video tape without
an investment of many thousands of dollars, so let s eliminate tape from the
equation. What does that leave us?
Why, digital delivery, of course!
THE DELIVERY METHOD (OR HOW TO GET THERE FROM HERE)
In the emerging world of digital technology, you can create some great
"films" using an adequate PC or Mac, and deliver a digital file that can be
viewed on either platform.
By using Apple s Quicktime technology, you can create a movie that is
viewable on both PC platforms, and if you hit the lottery and can suddenly
afford the hardware, your movies need only be recompiled at a higher
resolution for output to videotape -- no changing or adding of artwork
required.
There are several big competitors in this field, but for this article we ll
limit it to the Coke&Pepsi Duo: Apple vs. Microsoft. Microsoft calls their
product "Video for Windows" and Apple has "Quicktime". Both are a
software-only technology that delivers audio and video on virtually any Mac
or PC (or workstation) that has the software installed. It allows both
motion picture and audio to play simultaneously within a window.
For this discussion, I ll limit myself to Apple s Quicktime for one main
reason: the tools for creating Quicktime-based movies exist in both Mac and
PC versions. Microsoft s VFW technology is Windows-only, thus alienating
the majority of graphics professionals, and limiting the development audience
to one platform.
The technology is not without flaws, but if you work within it s
limitations it s possible to create some wonderful things -- films that will
impress your neighbors, help you gain valuable experience, and look terrific
as part of your portfolio.
And what are the limitations? The biggest are window size and frame rate,
and there is an inverse relationship between the two. It takes a good deal
of computing horsepower to flip through 30fps at full resolution (640x480).
Even the fastest PCs and Macs can t do it without some kind of hardware
compression board. However, by using a window for your final movie no
larger than 320x240 (1/4 of a "standard" 640x480 monitor), and a frame rate
of about 10fps, it s possible to get very good playback on most any
Quicktime-equipped Mac or PC.
(Good animation at 10fps? Well, it s not bad, but note that that s only the
*playback* rate, which is determined when you build your final movie. We ll
get into this later, but remember: we have to work within limits. You can
draw your animation based on a playback rate of 30fps, or 15. This is
actually a good thing if you ever want to move your work to a higher level
machine and output to video -- no additional art would need to be created,
only the movie itself recompiled.)
There are other minor drawbacks. Building a movie is time consuming. And
visual static, called "artifacts", are usually introduced into the final
product as a result of Quicktime s compression schemes (most of the
Quicktime compression algorithms that deliver good playback on an average
system are based on lossy compression).
And the digital files we re talking about can be quite large, easily
starting at 5 or 6 megabytes in size for a short film (a few seconds), to
20 or 30 megabytes for a film of any real length. So don t plan on handing
out floppies to your friends either.
Using a "triangle" metaphor, let s piece together a methodology for
creating great animation.
THE HARDWARE COMES FIRST...
You can t do anything without the right equipment.
I ll assume you have the drawing table, light box, etc., so let s talk
computers for a minute.
For about $2000, you can now get a very good PC or Mac. That much money
will buy you a decent Pentium-based system, or a Mac with the new PowerPC
chip.
No matter which, you will need more memory. Most base model systems come
with 8 or 16 megabytes of RAM, but that s barely adequate for graphics
work.
Plan on building a system with at least 40 megabytes. (The base 8, plus two
16mb memory modules, called SIMMs.) Add in another $900.
You ll also need a scanner, but it doesn t have to be color. The HP ScanJet
IIp can be had for about $250, and is a nice little flatbed. A bit slow on
the scan, but you get what you pay for, and it does the job.
It s important to note that most scanners can t scan a page larger than 8.5
x 14, so plan on drawing no larger than the boundaries of an 11 field.
Also, some scanners accept a sheet feeder as an added piece of hardware. I
haven t tried this, but the idea is appealing for animation (scanning in
two hundred drawings is a pain). I wonder, though, how accurate the
registration is of such a device.
You might want to consider a Wacom drawing tablet. These are flat "boards"
that let you use a "pen" to draw and paint. The end result is essentially
painting right on the computer. It s a little disorienting at first,
because the tablet and pen are on the desk in front of you, but you have to
keep your eyes on the computer screen as you paint. You get used to it.
There are many manufacturers of drawing tablets for computers, but Wacom
has a single, major advantage: the stylus they make does not use any
batteries.
It is small, light, and a pleasure to use.
...AND THEN THE SOFTWARE
For software, you ll need the following:
Premier (Adobe Systems, Inc., street price about $450)
Painter (Fractal Design Corp., street price about $350)
Photoshop (Adobe Systems, Inc., street price about $500).
Other programs would work nicely, too, but these have many features you can
grow into and have been adopted by many industry professionals. (It doesn t
make them the best, but knowing how the popular software packages work
certainly goes a long way toward steady employment.)
Adobe s Premier is advertised as a Quicktime-movie editing program, but
it s really more than that. For the two-dimensional animator, Premier does a
great job of moving around artwork in any direction: north, south, east,
west and even zoom in and out and rotate. Sound familiar? If your thinking
Premier can do the work of an Oxberry stand, you re right. But it doesn t
end there.
Premiere also allows you to handle all layering of cel levels, and gives
you motion, transparancy, and effects control over each level, at any point,
much like an optical bench.
Premier can also handle the recording of the soundtrack, and then display
it along a visual timeline. You can then "read" the track, breaking the sound
down into frames.
Premier uses a visual metaphor, laying out all the tracks (both video and
audio) horizontally along a timeline, stacking them vertically.
In this way, you can move tracks around, even adjust the window to show
every frame, or every 8 frames, or every second, or every minute. It s
especially easy at this point to add sound effects to your video footage.
Just stretch the timeline to every frame and drop the sound file onto one
of the audio tracks at the (or just before) impact point.
Painter and Photoshop are similar to each other, and overlap in some areas,
but they are quite different with a different set of strengths.
Painter is advertised as a "natural media" emulator. For flat-out painting,
Painter is it. It has all the tools you need to simulate virtually any
media (watercolor, chalk, marker, oil, etc.) It can also simulate the paper
it goes on and add grain. Painter can often be found bundled with a Wacom
drawing tablet. This is a good value if you think you ll be getting both.
Photoshop is billed as an "image editing" program, not a "painting" program
per se. However, while I love to paint in Painter, Photoshop is
significantly faster (on my PowerMac) in some of the most basic operations.
When I have several hundred frames of a scene to paint, I ll always use
Photoshop. It is faster in opening, saving, and closing files, and faster
in doing the actual paint operations themselves. If time is money, this is
important.
Your total cost for hardware and software is now about $4000. A good deal
of money, certainly, but you now have very good workstation from which to
create some great cartoons.
Your "triangle" now consists of the following processes: the hand-drawn
animation, scanning them in to the computer, and painting them/compiling
them on the computer.
Looked at from a physical standpoint, the triangle consists of the drawing
table, the scanning area, and the seat in front of the computer.
Let s assume you ve put together the machine, connected all the hardware,
and installed and toyed around with the software.
How do we animate on it?
We ll cover that in the next issue.
Happy animating!
! AKA Alex1/2,
- R.An.Ma -- Russian Anime & Manga
e-mail: laputa@aha.ru ICQ#5963203 http://ranma.base.org
... Out of paper on drive D:


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