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More Technical Details about the Animation Project

More Details about Animation & Software

More about the technical side of Animating More Bilton Artwork: I used iMovie, which I don’t believe was ever intended to be used as a primary animation program, to make the first shorts. Now that program has been updated in a way that doesn’t work as well for putting together our time-lapse and animation films, at least not for me. There simply are better programs, and it’s high time for us to invest in buying one and using the benefits of software made specifically for animating images. I have done some research, but I’m wondering if anyone has any suggestions. In case there is extra money, I’m trying to determine if there is a clear reason to get something that costs more than $300. I think the under $400 range software will meet our needs (Dragonframe $295, Digicel FlipBook $298 or ToonBoom Studio $329). I don’t think we’d need to step up to the $700 range, but I’m trying to better understand the differences. On the other hand, I’m also trying to confirm that a less expensive program (such as FlipBook Lite $79 or FlipBoom All Star $59) wouldn’t do what we need. I don’t want to pay for extras we won’t need or use. As artists who tend towards highly refined styles, it was fun to let these animations retain the raw, or somewhat crude look with the image jumping around, resulting from taking the pictures freely in the beginning, without any tri-pod or physical reference to the previous image. We do want to open up the door to making more flowing animation, with “onion-skin” and other helpful options that are basic to all animation programs today. We want to be able to both draw frames on the computer to animate directly and also continue to be able to animate digital photos, whether they’re of chalkboard drawings or 3-D objects. So with all the specialization in functions and set-up, I’m trying to determine if one program is best for doing both, or if it would need to be two different sets of software. I’ve actually just downloaded a FREE software called Pencil that seems to do a lot in the way of animating straight-forward 2d frame by frame drawings. Another side-issue I’ve noticed is that some of the software for stop motion works with specific cameras - but none of the ones that we have. We’ve used a lot of different cameras, mostly Canon. Nothing too expensive. I am not trying to promote any particular product, but hoping that sharing openly with specifics might benefit this community. I am asking for input and opinions because I can research what the software can do, but not how each program does what, or how user friendly it feels to use. I will continue to research and confirm the choices. I will probably download a trial version just to be sure I like it before I make any final purchase, but I think I may run out of memory on the computer and time if I tried out every possibility. Any suggestion, experience or advice is welcome and yet another way you can contribute to making our animation project a success! Thanks for your interest in what we are doing!

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