View Full Version : Are there any MPEG cartoon/anime tools?

That Adrian Guy
05 May 2002, 04:10 PM
As I do a search for such a program, all I find is a whole bunch of programs for animated gifs (which I don't have the deepest appreciation for).

This is my goal, I'm going to composite a 2D anime style animation that is made frame by frame on to a rendering I'm making in C4D. I'm shooting for a 640x480 screen resolution.

I plan to use Adobe Premier for compositing, I have the 3d animation almost rendered, all I need now is a way to "CREATE" the 2D animation, but I can't seem to find one that isn't made for silly animated gif's. I want to draw every frame in (a bit of automated interpolation couldn't hurt)

Anyway, Does anyone know of any programs that would allow me to make a frame by frame animation for DIVX quality movies? Any help would be truly appreciated!!!!


05 May 2002, 04:31 PM
Programs for 2D animation:

In the past I have used Director, After Effects and Flash for 2D animation.

If you really wanted to be particular and use what alot of 2D houses use, try CTP, Retas, or ToonBoom.

Frankly though I prefer After Effects. It gives me the freedom I want in regards to compositing and post.

05 May 2002, 04:55 PM
This is a question I asked once in another forum, and although I never really got any good program (Well I tried SoftImage Toonz, but if really a real human being somewhere could understand it... I would be VERY impressed ;)), though the ToonBoom Studio ( that bentllama suggested too, looked nice. I'd say try to get that.

I haven't used After Effects, but isn't it a compositing program? I doubt it would be a good option for doing 2D animation... or am I wrong?

That Adrian Guy
05 May 2002, 07:51 PM
Mmmm... Toonboom is cool... but vector based. :hmm:

I think what my best bet will be, is using photoshop and exporting frames, and then using afteraffects to mesh them all together. I'm trying to stay "rasterized" because vector animations are all too common.

05 May 2002, 09:41 PM
I don't know if this suits your goals but, what about a Celshader?
The "2D" renders straight out of your 3D app. I'm not quite sure C4D has a celshader though. I know Lightwave, MAX and Maya have them.

Some lightwave links: (
Unreal Shader by D-creation (
Big Eyes Small Mouth shader (

04 April 2005, 05:20 AM
Animo Director is designed for Major Studio Feature Animation (used to be used by Dreamworks and Warner Bros in 2D days not so long ago) to be used from pencil test (toonshooter) through ink and paint and on to final render with multiplane compositing and particle/dynamic simulations. It is also a high end compositor.

Softimage Toonz is very popular at Japanese studios, but many also just use the cheaper After Effects which does have any of the tools geared specifically for Cartoon Animation like Ink & Paint, libraries, Peg Bar recognition (for feeder scanned images) etc. If you are scanning drawn frames then Photoshop/After Effects should work, but the process is a bit slow.

US Animation is supossed to be as powerful as Animo and has been used by many western animation studios. Toonboom is the Flash/Internet/Lightweight version and Opus (I think) is the latest Pro Studio version. It is possible they merged these products.

If you want to draw directly in the Program then you should consider Vector programs like Flash and Toonboom - If all you are doing is Inking the lines digitally there is no reason why you can't get the same line quality with Vector lines - only with more control over the results. You can also use Adobe streamline to Vectorize your raster scans - result is heavy vector line, but if youre final output is video this shouldnt matter too much.

Bauhaus Mirage is a nonlinear editing/painting/compositing/effects program that is designed for doing Feature/Broadcast quality Cartoon animation. It is a young package that looks really awesome, but seems to have come into its own at a time when 2D has vanished (at least from North America).

The TAB is another new one along the lines of Usanimation/Animo. Digicel is yet another, but it has been around for a while now.

Also, RETAS makes Japanese Animation software that is popular with studios in Japan - may not have an English version.

There are many others that have emerged recently - I have seen tryout versions in 3D World.

04 April 2005, 11:15 AM
there is a small piece of software called bmp2avi which takes a directory of images and turns them into an uncompressed .avi file.

as for compositing. have you thought about using c4d for the compositing? you could map your 2d animation onto a polygon. of course you would need a black and white matte version of the .avi to act as an alpha mask

05 May 2005, 06:55 AM
Hi Adrian,
try the free version of this one:

05 May 2005, 01:05 AM
I sometimes use Bauhaus' Mirage. It sounds like something you might want to check out. It has strong 2d animation ability, as well as being a very good film and video compositor/effects package:

In reference to doing something Anime style, these two guys use Mirage in their work:
Hiroyuki Nishimura
Terrence Walker (mixing 2d and lightwave)

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