Animators of all media

NielsAll49 Comments

So, were where we? … Talking about how amazing Animation Paper is going to be. 😉 I know I’m getting carried away here, but please try to see the vision. I believe I might have some good points in here somewhere…

What will be one of the best things about Animation Paper is how it handles your quick sketching, your flow of rough drawings, the zone you’re in when you’re really animating. The real time instant feedback and effortless feeling you get – makes you able to quickly test your ideas for a specific movement, a character in a scene, your next action sequence – roughing it out by hand.

My point is: This will help animators and professionals of all techniques and media tremendously. Not just traditional 2D type animators; but Maya-, Max- or other 3D-animators, live action film makers, visual effects artists, stop motion animators, storyboarders and artists of many kinds. They will benefit from being able to quickly rough out ideas and plan in Animation Paper before going back working in their own medium of choice.

Animation Paper replaces what animators back in the analogue days used to work with:
– An animators desk with backlighting, drawing with a pencil on sheets of paper

Less is more

Since Animation Paper doesn’t try to do everything (it isn’t a “suite”) – we can make it even less uncluttered and real easy to use.

In a professional production pipeline, you have animators, colorists, compositors and other specialized people. They all want the best tool for their needs – not one big complicated tool that does everything. Animation Paper doesn’t have coloring. It doesn’t have compositing. There are very good paint packages for painting, very good packages for compositing and camerawork and good audio editing software. Animation Paper will concentrate on the actual animation – i.e. the drawing of super quality lines, to form vibrant and expressive movement. Bringing drawings to life.

That is what it is about, that is what is important to the animator.

Native Windows, Mac OS X and iPad app

Animation Paper will be build from the ground up as native apps for Windows PC and Mac OS X. Plans are to do Animation Paper for iPad too (with Android and Linux to follow).

Please help spread the word – and participate in the discussion: What will make the most awesome animation tool ever? Show your support now by signing up in the form at the front page. Many sign-ups will show our investors and partners the potential. As a thank you – you’ll get early access to the software as soon as it is ready.

People talk about the rising hand drawn animation movement. I appreciate why you want to explore the fine old craft of traditional animation… – but obviously you want to do it through the pleasures and benefits of modern technology!

49 Comments on “Animators of all media”

  1. Hey Niels, cheers to all your conception behind Animation Paper and the great efforts to bring it to life! It will be of tremendous help to all animators – sincere thanks!

    P.S. I may even switch to Mac solely because of it:)

      1. Thank goodness! I was sorely disappointed when I saw that a Mac version was being developed first. I can’t wait to see the end result! :0)

    1. Just wondering if you will have a fix for some drawing issues in 4.0 on the Layers/
      using laptop Windows 7 64 bit..drawing in pap is beautiful until you add a layer then the line feels like it is erasing to make room for the new line? as if the anti aliasing is blocking the layer below..when i delete that layer the drawing below looks fine.. it is kinda why i left..but come back because yours is one of the Best Pencil feeling sketching out there! but i cant clean up in it because the image in the layer starts disappearing ….so trying to clean up in black my blue line below starts acting like it is being erased….is this a graphics card issue? is there an optimum setting..

      1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

        Hi Dan,

        What you are describing is actually programmed this way on purpose. I know it doesn’t look optimal when viewed in PAP, but each layer is fine and will continue to be fine further down the pipeline – when you composite your layers together.

        The reason for these light pixels surrounding the lines are to get the best smooth antialias. Each layer is treated as if it was only one layer (and only the 100% white background is see-through). It will not be like that in the new Animation Paper, because we now have lots of computer power from the modern machines, – we don’t need to live with such artifacts anymore.

        PAP is quite old, and thus made to run super fast on old hardware. That’s why we didn’t want the nicer display of the layers, cause it cost CPU time – and would be a little slower to work with.

        I hope you see the point. No worries. It’s only an artifact when layers are viewed in PAP – all data (lines) are perfectly fine. 🙂 Try turning off the top layer – then you’ll see the layer below is still good.


  2. Hi Niels.

    I wrote you at the time you stooped supporting PAP.I even comment you about HUGO, the animation series that was on the TV. Maybe you know remember me.

    Well, I am very happy that you have decided to go in front developing PAP. I am a Pencil2D helper right now, and I would love to help you reviewing the developing buildings of PAP. But I am only working on windows, so not sure if I can be of any help.

    By the way, Does your PAP-windows-versiotn will work with win(?

    thank you, and keep the motivation on!!!

    1. I’m trying it on Win 8 now. So far so good, but when you maximise the window, the entire window is removed off screen. The only way to get it back is to close the window from the taskbar and reopen the program from a shortcut.

      So in short, DO NOT maximise the window. 🙂

  3. Thank you Niels.

    By the way I will be able to test it myself from now to a few days to see if it works OK.

    PAP IS a very good software, even the outdated-as-hell-old-version.

  4. I have tested PAP Pro with a Win8.1 Pro, and it is working fine so far. I din´t get into much details/features, but at least it shows no problem at first glance.

    By the way Niels, I was wondering how long will your team be able to release the Windows version of PAP after the release of the MAC version?

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Thanks for testing on Win8 and letting everybody know.

      About development time for a Windows version of Animation Paper? Hard to say today, but it will be a matter of months. Unless we decide to do them in parallel, then it will be much faster…

      1. Hi Niels,

        It would be great if you could develop both the Win and Mac versions together. The Wacom Cintiq Companion tablet would be perfect for AP on the go! Win 8 only though.

        1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

          We might do that – we might not. It depends on many things. If we decide to do Mac first, then the Windows will be done immediately after and they will have a somewhat shared codebase, which means it will not take that long to get it ready for Windows.

  5. Hi Niels,

    I studied traditional animation for three years back in the early 90’s. I never went on to work in the industry but still love 2D Animation. I would love to get back into it for my own personal love of this art form.
    I recently have looked at purchasing a Mac as i do alot of seascape photography.My question is do i need to have a tablet also to draw with PAP? apologise but im not familiar with this technology and im sorry if this seems like a silly question?

    /landscape photograp

    hy bu

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi Mark. Thanks for your story.

      Do you have to have a tablet to draw in Animation Paper or in the old PAP? Well, technically speaking – no. You can use your mouse. But artistically, you will be MUCH better off with a tablet. A small cheap one is fine though. 😉 The problem is that controlling a mouse isn’t easy when it comes to the details. And what is maybe even more important, you don’t have any pressure sensitivity with a mouse. You need that to control your lines thickness and shading.

      Hope that makes sense?

  6. Hey there! I am super excited about the new macos version of the animation paper. I am a big fan of the old pap and i also tested it with my samsung ativ pro tablet on win8 and a tiny little animation a month ago. It worked like a charm. Have a look

  7. I’m an animation director and tested animation paper 2y ago. It was effective to draw 2D on top of 3D animation as a supervising tool. If it get’s an update, so it works with today’s computer power, I need it. please inscribe us.

  8. I am starting with animation and I find the X-sheet with colors, absolutely awesome!
    To be the king of the animation software you must include a lefty workstation, I am lefty and I use flash, animation desk and flipboom and always have to deal with this, resetting everything in the layout to get it as comfortable as possible.
    Thanks, can`t wait to try it out.

  9. One of the things I absolutely loved about PAP was its simplicity of interface, so I agree with you whole-heartedly about keeping it simple.

    BUT!! I must confess, I’d love some simple paint options. I’m just talking flats here- fill the closed area, expand a couple of pixels to avoid the aliased look, and do so in its own layer to avoid confusion with the drawing layer.

    Other programs address the color issue like Toon Boom and TV Paint, but they are giant convoluted messes when it comes to interface. I know Animation Paper might run similar risks if they incorporated such features, but man some simple paintbucket options would work wonders for me. Just saying!!

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      I think you are right Jesse. We need to keep it simple – but as I have said in other comments, we might be able to do a simple bucket fill in a clever none-complicated way. 🙂 And what is good is that it wouldn’t mean you automatically would find your self needing more tools/option than that basic one.

  10. Wow. I am really excited about your coming release of Animation Paper. I’ve been animating in flash for over 15 years and have yet to find software that considers the intuitive needs of a classical animator. Really appreciative of your initiative. Can’t wait! Thank You!

  11. Definitely waiting on a Windows port. Mac just doesn’t offer a proper native tablet environment. I hope you will proceed to develop directly for Windows after Mac instead of the iPad next. I may have an iPad, but it is a slight work, mostly consumption device. Looking forward to seeing things progress.

  12. Whoaaa, i just posted on your facebook that you should make it for ipad and, bam i come to the blog and you already said that,
    people you make me so happy, i’ll be glad to getmyself a copy of it.!


  13. Please try to develop for Windows in parallel. With the Surface Pro tablets and the Cintiq Companion on the market, these are great portable devices to quickly sketch out and time animations on the go. Also, long time user of PAP and to have an updated version on Windows would be great. Good Luck!

  14. yes !!! exactly ! +1 for the windows version, i’d love to use it on my cintiq companion !
    thanks in advance for your work !
    all the best.

  15. Niels , you are making one of my dreams to become real.
    I’m a Mac user and I have an iPad Air also, “Animation Paper”
    will be great for me. Thanks a lot for creating and developing it.
    All the best.

  16. Niels,
    I still use PAP almost every day, even though I have to edit that blasted wacom offset text file all the time. One thing I really enjoy (besides the obvious speed and simplicity) is that the line opacity seems to want to merge with surrounding tones – a bit like the “alpha difference” blend mode in TVPaint. Was this a feature or just a symptom of the shallow color depth? I like it because it enables me to do quick sketched fills that don’t look too noisy when animated (i.e., they don’t boil too hard). I hope you don’t lose this aspect of the line quality in the new version. Secondly, I wish there were a “mirror this view” option since I don’t always want to cut something out to see it mirrored. And to see one view mirrored and another not is a great feature in TVPaint. Thirdly, I wish PAP had an option to flip forward and backward using the mouse wheel. I manually set this up using AutoHotkey, but it’s an encumbrance.
    Even if you don’t add these things I’ll buy AP, but I hope you see why they’re worthwhile anyway. 🙂

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Thanks David,

      How the line in the old PAP (including when it is in more bold strokes) behaves is totally thought through and on purpose. The drawing engine in Animation Paper will be rewritten completely, but build on the same values and aim to be even higher quality.

      Your other requests are noted. Thanks!

  17. Wonderful news about PAP being developed again.
    It would be great to use this with a Surface Pro 2.
    I agree with the above that a simple fill tool would be a godsend and would make the software even more attractive to a workflow. Just something to quickly get the zones laid out for colouring later.

    Any sort of idea when this will hopefully be released, and pricing?

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hello Harry. Thanks for your comments!

      The release date has not been determined yet, since we are still working on the details of how each of the features are going to work exactly. But a good guess is 10-12 months from now.

      These days we are discussing the pricing. Make sure to check back, for any news coming soon on this site regarding the final price.

  18. Thanks Niels, good luck with it.
    I’m quite happy to carry on using the original PAP for the time being, especially since it’s reassuring to know that development for it is continuing again.

  19. Great to hear that PAP is being looked at again. I used the alpha OSX version until last summer when my 10.6 machine finally gave up the ghost. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a backup and had to move to a different program.

    Put me on the list for anything I can do to help development! I’d love to move back to PAP on OSX!

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Yes, you can import drawings (image files) and sequences of numbered drawings/frames or even Quicktime clips. Background paintings you can import to a lower layer, where it will be converted either to monochrome, like gray scale or shades of blue (for reference). Or have it keep its original colors.

      You must be able to scan or shoot your drawings first though.

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