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TopherMartini
11-11-2008, 12:52 AM
Toon Boom issued a press release (http://www.toonboom.com/pdf/pressReleases/2008/Animate.pdf) announcing the availability of Animate, a new product that sits between Toon Boom Studio and Digital Pro. Very cool features and is available for $699 until this Christmas :thumbsup:

From the release:

For more information, contact:
Karina Bessoudo
VP, Marketing
Toon Boom Animation Inc.
karina@toonboom.com
(514) 490-6479

For immediate release

Toon Boom Delivers Animate to the Digital Animation Generation

Already Adopted by Aaron Simpson, Founder of ColdHardFlash.com, Toon Boom Animate Combines the Best of our Digital Animation Toolsets, a Compellingly Friendly Workspace and a Flexible Workflow, Making it Toon Boom’s most Advanced Software Release to Date

Montreal (November 10, 2008) – Emmy award-winning Toon Boom Animation Inc. today announced the release of Toon Boom Animate, a new creative animation software packed with ground- breaking features and unprecedented productivity gains. With Toon Boom Animate, users have greater productivity, better quality and faster delivery of animation than ever before. Enjoy the flexibility of a fully-fledged in-depth animation solution and publish animation for all types of media, from online to HDTV.

Responding to digital animators’ specific needs, Toon Boom Animate delivers the most advanced tools to create cut-out and digital animation. All this and more is embedded in a flexible environment: vector, bitmap, symbols, pegs, camera, morphing, inverse kinematics, advanced lip sync to name a few.

Aaron Simpson, Founder of ColdHardFlash.com and Lineboil.com had this to say about Animate: "As the title suggests, Toon Boom Animate is built with one type of user in mind - the animator. The way it works simply makes sense, and it took me about as much time to learn as it did to open the box. Like many digital artists, I use a variety of software packages in my productions, and Animate has already become a mainstay in my toolbox. "

Toon Boom Animate adapts to any creative habit whether users are trained in traditional or digital animation. It also supports standard formats for seamless asset transfer and multi-channel digital output.

"Toon Boom strengthens its commitment to animation production and extends its industry leadership in supporting digital paperless workflows for delivery online, on video, and HDTV. Animate can serve as a stepping stone for anyone using a combination of tools to
animate, offering instead, a software fully adaptable to their work habits and requiring very little training," stated Joan Vogelesang, President and Chief Executive Officer at Toon Boom.

Feature Highlights
From content creation, to animation and compositing, Toon Boom Animate is a true start-to-finish animation solution. For digital animators wanting to expand their creative possibilities, Toon Boom Animate delivers jaw-dropping features and substantial benefits throughout their entire production process.

Explore true digital animation
Toon Boom Animate enables users to create tradigital and bitmap animation as well as combine both styles. Users can access advanced lip-sync and cell swapping tools to give an extra edge to their content creation process.

Enjoy an adaptable User Interface
Whether users want to create artwork, set up the action or add special effects, they can customize their workspace as needed. Each tool comes with a contextual interface that will let users set their preferences in a click.

Unleash your creative style
Users can refine their artwork style using multiple brush tools, textures and gradients to get a unique look and feel. Vector Art combined with bitmaps deliver a more professional looking animation.

Animate faster
Symbols and pegs work in unison. Keyframing in cut-out and tradigital animation is a breeze. Easily fine tune your animation to get the result users have imagined.

Propel your animation to the next level
Take a leap forward in your animation creation, thanks to morphing, advanced inverse kinematics, library building, intelligent colour ID and the fifteen most commonly used special effects built-in to Toon Boom Animate.

Set the action in style
With its multiplane camera, Toon Boom Animate enables users to set up their scene in 3D, access a powerful Graph editor and apply accurate Ease control on their action.

Enjoy a smooth integration
Toon Boom Animate can import leading file formats, including MOV, SWF, PSD, AI and PDF, as well as export to video in MOV and FLV.

Pricing and Availability
Toon Boom Animate for MAC OS X on Intel® based systems and for Microsoft® Windows® XP and Windows Vista® platforms is ready to ship now with availability through the Toon Boom Store at www.toonboom.com/buy/onlinestore/customer. Valid until December 25, 2008, Toon Boom Animate is available at the launch special of US$699. Estimated street price for Toon Boom Animate is US$999.

Toon Boom Animate comes with a Personal Learning Edition and over two hours of video training that will make any new user get up and animating quickly.

For more detailed information, please visit www.toonboom/animate.

About Toon Boom Animation Inc.
Toon Boom Animation Inc. is the worldwide leader in animation software solutions. Toon Boom carries user-friendly animation applications for all and develops new geographies to make the animation community as global as can be. In that market segment, Toon Boom caters to the needs of children, home users, creative professionals as well as students, educators and schools.

As importantly, Toon Boom is fully dedicated to the needs of independent animators and studios, offering a wide product range from powerful pre-production tools to leading-edge animation production solutions. Relying on its extensive expertise in animation production, Toon Boom provides consulting services in the fields of optimization, pipeline integration, production assistance and custom development.

In 2005, Toon Boom was granted the Primetime Emmy® Engineering Award by the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences for its significant contribution made to the animation industry targeted for television. In 2006, the IT Federation of Quebec (FIQ) awarded an OCTAS 2006 in the Multimedia – educational and cultural sector category, for Toon Boom Studio. In 2007, FIQ awarded an OCTAS 2007 in the Technological Innovation category, for Toon Boom Storyboard Pro.

Toon Boom's client base ranges from major studios creating Hollywood blockbuster animated films to individual animators creating their first masterpieces. Market-leading studios using Toon Boom's products include Nelvana, Warner Bros., Mercury Filmworks, China Central Television, Toonz Animation India, eMation, Rough Draft Korea, Alphanim, Cosgrove Hall, Cromosoma and Enarmonia, to name a few. Some of the prestigious productions done with Toon Boom’s technology include Les Triplettes de Belleville, Looney Tunes: Back in Action, The Rugrats, SpongeBob The Movie, Curious George, Go West: A
New Lucky Luke Adventure and Simpsons The Movie.

For additional information, visit Toon Boom at toonboom.com.

bigbackcomics
11-11-2008, 02:03 PM
Hi all

Has anyone found a comparative chart outlining the differences between Studio, Animate and Digital Pro?

I have Studio and reading the Animate product I see some of the new features of Animate I could use like the morph, IK, etc, but what are the differences between Animate and Digital Pro?

Cheers,

cresshead
11-11-2008, 02:10 PM
i bought toonboom studio this summer [now at 4.5] was surprised to see this appear
and will look forward to an upgrade pricing from toonboom studio as THE thing i'm interested in would be IK in this new app.

i know there's a lower price point currently but that's for 'anyone' not toonboom cutomers looking to upgrade frpom toonboom studio etc.

steve g

bigbackcomics
11-11-2008, 02:58 PM
i bought toonboom studio this summer [now at 4.5] was surprised to see this appear
and will look forward to an upgrade pricing from toonboom studio as THE thing i'm interested in would be IK in this new app.

i know there's a lower price point currently but that's for 'anyone' not toonboom cutomers looking to upgrade frpom toonboom studio etc.

steve g

Yes I am in the same boat really. I bought 4.5 this recently to I must say I really have enjoyed Toon Boom Studio for cartooning. But it lacks some kind core features like morphing which Animate looks to include. I had been looking at cross grading to Digital Pro but maybe I don't need to now. But I can't for the life of me find a comparison between Digital Pro and Animate.

I downloaded the PLE of Animate and man its pretty different than Studio. YIKES! Here I go learning again!

Cheers,

Pinoy McGee
11-11-2008, 04:10 PM
but what are the differences between Animate and Digital Pro?

Seems like there's no fx tree feature in animate. No auto seam erase. I don't think the morph is the same as in DP (looks more like morph lite in my opinion). Cam orbit view of the layout (Anime Studio already has this and IK and doesn't cost as high).

I'm using TBS 4 (along w/ flash and afx) and animate more drawing my keys as opposed to cutouts so I don't feel like upgrading or switching at the moment. But if DP's price goes down to say something similar to a new license of an Adobe product, I'd go for it right away.

cresshead
11-11-2008, 08:24 PM
Seems like there's no fx tree feature in animate. No auto seam erase. I don't think the morph is the same as in DP (looks more like morph lite in my opinion). Cam orbit view of the layout (Anime Studio already has this and IK and doesn't cost as high).

I'm using TBS 4 (along w/ flash and afx) and animate more drawing my keys as opposed to cutouts so I don't feel like upgrading or switching at the moment. But if DP's price goes down to say something similar to a new license of an Adobe product, I'd go for it right away.

yeah, if toonboom offer toonboom studio 4.5 users a way to upgade i'd be interested if the upgrade price wasn't too high..say an upgrade around $500 for toonboom current liecence holders...i'd def be up for that.

bigbackcomics
11-11-2008, 08:33 PM
yeah, if toonboom offer toonboom studio 4.5 users a way to upgade i'd be interested if the upgrade price wasn't too high..say an upgrade around $500 for toonboom current liecence holders...i'd def be up for that.

I have a call into Toon Boom. I will reply back with my findings on features and cross grades from Studio.

Things I have noticed with the demo are the fx or node view in digital pro isn't there, I don't see support for the higher end effects like particles and water that digital pro has, I also don't see the glue tool for gaps that digital pro has either. Course that doesnt mean anything I have spent only a few mintues in the demo I could very well be missing something..

Pinoy McGee why do you say the morph looks like a lite version? I haven't played with digital pro so I would be curious to see the difference if any between morph tools.

I will hopefully post back soon with some more definitive answers.

Cheers,
Jeremy

bigbackcomics
11-11-2008, 10:07 PM
Hey all

Just got off the phone with Toon Boom. I am told that a comprehensive features chart will be uploaded by the end of the day outlining the differences between Toon Boom Studio, Animate, and Digital Pro.

I am also told that Animate is a subset of Digital Pro and not an update to Toon Boom Studio, and that for us Toon Boom users that an affordable cross grade option will be available sometime tonight or in your in box coming soon.

Cheers,

cresshead
11-11-2008, 10:36 PM
thanks for posting back, sounds exciting...will keep an yee out over at toon boom and my inbox!

cresshead
11-12-2008, 11:28 AM
i've just been reading thru the info on the new app Toon boom Animate and it 's their first app to adopt a software key't rather than a usb dongle or just a serial number.

it allows you to move your install to another computer but it's not as dynamic for those who want to take /move installs f rom one pc to another as you have to de authorise on the computer then get a new key for the new install...similar to autodesk's software key i think.

anyhw i'll try the demo out and lookforward to the upgrade price being posted soon.

cresshead
11-12-2008, 09:28 PM
hi
toonboon have updated their site and now have the upgrade pricing for users who already have toon boom studio.

good price too...$399 upgrade from toon boom studio 4.5 to toon boom animate

http://www.toonboom.com/buy/onlinestore/customer/product.php?productid=16217&cat=&page=

TopherMartini
11-12-2008, 10:25 PM
There's also a comparison guide (http://www.toonboom.com/products/productComparison.php) between Studio, Animate, and Digital Pro available now as well!
:beer:

cresshead
11-13-2008, 12:47 AM
There's also a comparison guide (http://www.toonboom.com/products/productComparison.php) between Studio, Animate, and Digital Pro available now as well!
:beer:

yeah nice table, the only thing i'd like to know is what does 1 star, 2 stars and 3 stars mean in that comparison table?

here's my guess...
1 star means toonboom studio type tools/capabilites..ie all have the same roatary disc feature.
2 stars mean it's like digital pro tools/capabilities
3 stars mean only available in digital pro...and if animate has a 2 stars next to the 3 stars in the digital pro then animate has 'different' capabilities to toon boom AND digital pro..


on the whole looks pretty good, on the support forum's it seems that animate cannot open up toon boom studio files but CAN open up digital pro files...[it can import swf's btw]

downloaded the ple and will have a play this weekend...so looks like it's a no go for a mixed production of toon boom studio and animate without some workarounds with swf imports.

though i also read that the drawing tools are much better and can emulate the THIN pencil style lines you'd like for anime type projects.

TopherMartini
11-13-2008, 06:38 AM
The ambiguous star ratings are a little weird but it's a simple visual way to show that some features are similar across all three products while others stand out in one or more products.

Toon Boom seems to be rather aggressively going after Studio customers looking to upgrade. When Digital Pro came out with a crossgrade of $1999 it was just too out of reach for the majority of Studio customers, so now with Animate they can offer a compelling feature set at a fraction of the price.

A little interesting that there's no real scanning support since Studio offers a basic level of support, but guess that's the push for paperless workflow in this product :shrug:

For $399 to existing TBS customers it's a darn good deal...

bigbackcomics
11-13-2008, 02:11 PM
The chart is odd in a number of ways really. If you look it seems that symbols are only offered in the Animate product and are not in the higher end Digital Pro. I wish they would put up some kind of legend explaining the star systems.

Anyways the $399 sure seems like a great deal for us Studio users. Last night I finished watching all the videos that come with the Animate demo and not only are we getting great new animation features but the implementation of existing features seems to be more streamlined and efficient to.

Praedicator you are right. That $1999 cross grade price was simply too much for me, even though I found myself wanting more out of Studio.

Now that I have gone through the videos I am going to give the Animate demo a bit of a workout and see if it holds up. New products tend to be buggy.

The other option for us to consider would be the new CS4 Flash. Adobe has introduced IK and new tweening options and more in the latest release. Since I rely on Flash daily for web and new media work, it would be the smart thing to do, but nobody ever accused me of being smart LOL. I personally like the way Toon Boom works for animation production better.

Anyways off to try to break the Animate demo.

Cheers,

DaveW
11-14-2008, 07:36 AM
The other option for us to consider would be the new CS4 Flash. Adobe has introduced IK and new tweening options and more in the latest release.


Prepare yourself for disappointment. I don't think anyone at Adobe understands animation beyond simple banner ads. TB Animate might finally be the Flash killer that animators have been looking for.

TopherMartini
11-14-2008, 05:39 PM
Prepare yourself for disappointment. I don't think anyone at Adobe understands animation beyond simple banner ads. TB Animate might finally be the Flash killer that animators have been looking for.
Animate feels more like a specialization product then a Flash killer, similar to Aperture / Lightroom not being intended as Photoshop killers.

Can't wait to install the Animate PLE this weekend and give it a test drive :buttrock:

bigbackcomics
11-14-2008, 06:01 PM
Hi all

After a bit of time with the PLE of Animate here are some first impressions.

The bad or my bad...
1) I can't seem to get clean brush strokes when drawing. These are supposed to be vector brushes and they well look chunky and bitmappy to me. Especially when I zoom in I really see the jaggies so to speak. In Toon Boom Studio the brush strokes sure look more like vector graphics in that they are super clean and crisp even zoomed in. I must be doing something wrong?

2) There doesn't seem to be an easy way to dim images to trace over which is wierd. Toom Boom Studio lets you import art, turn on the light table and BOOM instant dim image. I can't seem to get this to work in Animate for some reason.

3) There isn't an opacity layer animatable effect tied to each layer. This seems like an odd ommission to me?

The good
1) The UI is very elegant, clean and much improved over Toon Boom Studio
2) The workflow is much more efficient and user friendly. For example 1 paint bucket tool in the tool bar that you use the properties panel to set its behaviour instead of having 5 different paint bucket tools. I like this workflow/methodolgy better myself.
3) Flash like keyboard shortcuts and presets for other keyboard schemes like Toon Boom Studio
4) Great preset UI's for different tasks.
5) Much improved timeline and workflow. For example you don't need to "peg" layers to animate them now.
6) Animation symbols

I haven't really done much but these are my thoughts so far anyways.

Cheers,

bigbackcomics
11-14-2008, 11:31 PM
The bad or my bad...
1) I can't seem to get clean brush strokes when drawing. These are supposed to be vector brushes and they well look chunky and bitmappy to me. Especially when I zoom in I really see the jaggies so to speak. In Toon Boom Studio the brush strokes sure look more like vector graphics in that they are super clean and crisp even zoomed in. I must be doing something wrong?

2) There doesn't seem to be an easy way to dim images to trace over which is wierd. Toom Boom Studio lets you import art, turn on the light table and BOOM instant dim image. I can't seem to get this to work in Animate for some reason.



Man it feels wierd to quote my own post..anyways.. I got some information back from Toon Boom on my problems. Turns out it was my bad after all. Or at least I didn't understand what was going on.

1) Animate uses real time anti-aliasing on its lines to simulate the final rendered look of the video. Luckily you can turn this off when you are drawing if you want to by going into preferences-open gl- and enabling or disabling the real-time antialising check box. This is a neat feature really.

2) To dim a background image you have to lock the underlying tracing layer in the timeline and in the preferences-camera check the show locked drawings as outlines checkbox. You can further adjust the opacity in the camera preferences as well.

So pretty darn cool that support would support demo users silly questions, and pretty darn cool solutions to my problems.

Well back at it!

Cheers,
Jeremy

cresshead
11-15-2008, 12:15 AM
ahh thanks for the info on the clean line being based on realtime antialiasing viewport.
looks as though animate is pretty good so far...i have the ple installed at work and will put it on my home pc for a play tomorrow.

steve g

DaveW
11-15-2008, 04:55 AM
Animate feels more like a specialization product then a Flash killer, similar to Aperture / Lightroom not being intended as Photoshop killers.

Can't wait to install the Animate PLE this weekend and give it a test drive :buttrock:

If you need Flash for its programming features, then obviously Animate isn't a Flash killer. But if you're using Flash for character animation, especially for tv or web shows, then it just might be a Flash killer. I'll have to do some serious testing with it when I get a chance, but so far it feels a lot nicer than Flash.

aaraaf
11-17-2008, 11:56 PM
I really, really wish that Toonboom would come out with a bitmap drawing program that utilizes classical animation theory like their current programs.

The interfaces are pretty intuitive and the timeline setup is a really nicely translated x-sheet.

Just don't like drawing in vector. I always liked Mirage's drawing tools better than its UI, and its timeline is more of a hendrence than a boon, especially at TV Paints newer price point which is steep for what I use the software for.
Looking forward to playing with Animate still as more of a finishing application.

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