Eating milestones for breakfast!

Niels Krogh MortensenUncategorized53 Comments

As we continue our steady progress we are now over half way through our alpha stage tests - currently preparing to release our 4th alpha version for our internal testers.

Our internal test team is a small group of some of the best and most experienced animators. They are very impressed with AP so far (he says with pride and some amount of relief! Hehe :D).

And... Finally, we are now far enough to dare announcing a "date" for the beta! - See below...

Less important details just to prolong the suspense: We recently finished lots of advanced X-Sheet functionality, reference layers for video/rotoscoping or 3D reference, copy/paste of connected drawings (clones), off-the-pegs feature, etc, etc. AP has our awesome line drawing engine, with great advantages, like lines don't degrade when copied, moved or scaled. Layers are fully in place. Light-table (onion skinning) is good. Everything works super fast and realtime - on both PC and Mac. I promise you, animating with Animation Paper is so much fun!!

We continue implementing the remaining planned features (like coloring) - and if all goes as we expect, we will reach beta stage this August!

That means! If you are amongst the many people who've already signed up on the front page of this site - you will automatically be invited to try or buy our pre-release (beta version) as soon as it is ready in August!

If you're not on the list yet, no worries, there's still time to sign up for the beta here.

You’ll then get the option to test it for free (trial), or, to buy the full license pre-release. If you choose to buy ($79 USD), you will of course get upgraded for free to the fully tested final version, when it is released a few months later.

To be clear: If you previously signed up at the home page of this site, you are already on the list for the pre-release. No need to sign up again.

53 Comments on “Eating milestones for breakfast!”

  1. Ernest Skocdopole

    Just a reminder for some people (like myself) who might think I was signed up already from about a year or more ago; I tried to leave a comment and tried to log in, but the system did not appear to have my email or username in the system. So, I re-signed up to be in the beta again. No one wants to miss out on this great piece of software and we need to support Niels and his team. Can’t wait until August!!

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Thanks Ernest πŸ™‚ It is two different systems. If you signed up a year ago, you are on the list.

      But, the system that handles the comments on this blog has been updated and in that process email adresses of previous commenters like yourself has unfortunately been lost from that isolated system. Again, the sign up list is safe. Thanks for bringing it up though.

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      And PAP was created in 1996! We stopped development around 2006. It continues to amaze me that it still is used be so many people! And at the same time I’m so much looking forward to show the world how much better the modern version is!!

  2. Scott Robinson

    I would like Walt Disney Animation Studios to start using the Animation Paper App when its Beta or its Final version is released so it can test of reviving hand-drawn animation for the big screen and make hand-drawn animated movies again.

  3. Druyman

    Hi, Niels.

    I can’t wait to try the Beta version of Animation Paper. For now, I love OpenToonz more every day, although it still has some bugs and it crash sometimes. Precisely, what I want from Animation Paper is affordable software that is robust, fast and reliable.

    I want to make a suggestion, if you allow me: I don’t know if you have seen the onion skin of OpenToonz, which I find very versatile and comfortable (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n28fCWgK8qw ). It allows not only to activate de display of the range of previous and subsequent drawings that you want, but also to choose precisely which frames you want to see from that range.

    In addition, it offers a very useful feature, which is to be able to choose specific drawings that will be visible regardless of where we are located in the timeline or even if they are out of that range. This is very comfortable, for example to have activated a specific frame that serves as a reference of volumes or to create a cycle that begins and ends in that drawing. I know that this can be done with layers, copying and pasting, or coping the first drawing and pasting it at the end of our cycle, but it is really quick to simply activate one or several drawings and be able to move through the timeline with them visible.

    I know it’s possibly too late to make this request, but I think it would be very interesting if you thought of including these useful features in the onion skin of Animation Paper.
    Anyway, thanks so much for your and your team efforts.

    Regards!

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi Duyman,

      Thanks a lot for your suggestion. You are right – we are set for what we include for the rest of the development period. However there will be updates after that, so… πŸ™‚ And we will continue to be highly flexible all the way to the end, if stuff needs to change for good reasons.

      I checked out the video and read your remarks. I think I do understand your point. Actually we already have a feature working now, that might work for your needs. It’s not the same as you know from OpenToonz, but a continuation of something we had in the old PAP. You will be able to mark a drawing (as “key”). What this enables you to do are two things: One thing is that you will be able to only flip through your marked keys (skipping frames in between) – but that is not relevant for you in this regard. The second and more interesting thing is, that you can make the light table only show your marked keys. That means that you can at any time turn a frame on or off in the light table simply by marking/unmarking it as key by hitting your K key. The light table will only show a number of keys back and a number of keys forward. By updating which ones are keys, you can control your light table much more on a frame by frame basis. It’s not what you suggested, but maybe it will prove to work great for you. We’ll see. πŸ™‚

      What do you think?

      Best,
      Niels

  4. Herb Montes

    Great to hear you are making progress. I have been working with Pap4 but have some issues with it. I’m drawing on a 22″ touch screen monitor at 1920×1080 resolution. This makes the on screen icons in the program very small and hard to read. I haven’t found a way to make them larger and more readable. I hope the new version does allow me to adjust the tool icons sizes for readability. Best of luck.

    -Herb

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Thanks Herb – yeah, I know. PAP was designed in the mid 90’s, where 800×600 resolution was the norm. πŸ˜€ At some point we did double the icons in size, but still with evolution of monitors/resolution and PAP being kind of locked in to how we did it originally, you end up with this problem of yours – as do everybody else. I’m all too aware how bad this is.

      With the new development of Animation Paper from scratch, things are being done right. I’m looking forward to showing you and everybody else the new version, and let you get rid of the ancient PAP. πŸ˜‰

      Best,
      Niels

  5. Tri Stratos

    Great news!
    Can’t wait to test this.
    Please also share your plans about iPad Pro availability port.
    I know that this will come after, but what is the time estimation about this, as with ios13 things will get wild on this end. Having the ability to animate on the go is a long wait feature already.
    Please keep us posted and your wonderful work on going πŸ˜‰

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Thanks a lot! πŸ™‚

      Yes, as soon as we have the Desktop version done and out, we’ll begin the iPad Pro (and Android) version. It will have a redesigned interface suitable for touch screens, but it will share most of the codebase with the desktop version. This makes it compatible and much faster to make. I can’t say how long exactly, just that it will be considerably faster than what it would normally take to develop.

  6. Leaf

    This software is looking amazing so far. I especially like how simple you’ve made the interface look. I’ve tried TVPaint, Clipstudio Paint, Krita, and others for animation. All of them put way too much clutter in your drawing space and it shrinks canvas area to be almost unusable. I also like how you’re keeping the number of tools small and manageable just like they would be in real life.

    I’d like to offer a suggestion though. If possible, it would be great if you could make all the tool pallets / panels auto hide themselves when the cursor is away from the edge of the screen (and outside of the panel itself), then have them pop into view when the cursor touches the edge of the screen. This is a lot like how the windows taskbar works with auto hide turned on. I haven’t seen many art programs do this other than TVPaint and MyPaint. It’s a very useful feature for maximizing the canvas area when you need to draw and also giving you your menus and pallets back when you need those – just by moving your mouse to the edge.

    Very much looking forward to this software and have been following it’s progress for a few years. Best of luck to you! Can’t wait till August gets here πŸ™‚

  7. Chris Collins

    Sorry if these questions have been answered. If so please point me to that post.

    How customizable is the UI? Can I hide the dope sheet/timeline or varius other menu and tool bars and just have a hotkey assigned to make them visible when needed? Or a hotkey that hides everything but the canvas?

    So for instance if I’m doing my roughs and I have “next frame” ,” previous frame”, etc hotkeyed then it would be nice to have as much “screen real estate” as possible for the canvas seeing that I won’t need those tools/menus on screen all the time.

    Also will you be able to set your project up to skip frames? So if I hit the next frame button it jumps to every other frame if I’m working on twos for instance?

    Thanks again, great to see things are moving along.

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi Chris,

      All this is sort of thought into the whole concept from the beginning. I mean, there’s hardly any tools or information taking up space to begin with. Everything is simple, and you have the large paper/canvas area filling almost the entire window/screen. Still parts of the interface can be hidden, like hiding your X-Sheet using the tab button.

      You flip back and forth through your frames using the arrow keys. Left/right is back/forward (think of the horisontal timeline). Up/down is the same, but skipping clones (think of the vertical x-sheet). Additionally you will be able to mark drawings as “key” (press K) – then you can use shift up/down to flip through marked drawings only. You can set the backlight (onion skinning) to respect this as well and only show keys.

      So, working on two’s, every other drawing would be a clone-drawing. And naturally you would flip skipping the clones (besides using arrow up and down, you can flip using 1 and 2 on the left side of your keyboard).

      Best,
      Niels

  8. Scott Robinson

    Don Bluth would love to see your Animation Paper app you made when its final version is released. He would love to use it to revive hand-drawn animation and make hand-drawn animated movies again for the first time since his Titan A.E. was a failure. It would make Don Bluth’s next animated movie a great success in hand-drawn animation. Could it?

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi Tyrell, thanks for your comment! No, sorry, no plans for a symmetry function. I believe it is too much of a special feature, that it wouldn’t fit the concept of Animation Paper. I try to keep it to few highly usable and effective tools.

      In the version that comes out in beta this August, we will not have advanced brushes, like Photoshop. The ones we have are simpler, but highly responsive and clean. Basically you control only two parameters: Size and opacity – through simple settings and pressure sensitivity of your stylus.

      Pen Settings

      We have experimented with incorporating paper texture into strokes, and it looks promising. We might manage to include this in the upcoming release – we’ll see. Support for advanced brushes is at the top of our list for the next future update.

      I really look forward to showing you and others Animation Paper as soon as it is ready. Despite my above answers – I think you’ll like it a lot. πŸ˜‰

      Best,
      Niels

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi Guillermo,

      Yes, the plan is to make Animation Paper for Android as well as for iPad Pro. But first we are doing the desktop version, i.e. Windows, Mac and Linux versions. We are quite far with development and we should be able to release the beta version this August. Once we have the finished version out we immediately begin development of the touch version for Android. It shouldn’t take that long, since we can reuse most of the code and it will be compatible with the desktop version.

      Best,
      Niels KM

  9. Guillermo

    even if it was a reduced version, it would be very good thing, I have invested a lot of money in samsung s4 (with pencil) and I am animating like my grandparents, frame by frame …
    Anyway, there is a word in Spanish to express what I feel when reading your answer:
    OLE!

  10. Scott Robinson

    Could it be possible that just after the final version or the beta version of your Animation Paper is released that Sylvain Chomet would look at your Animation Paper, buy it and use it to make his next hand-drawn animated movie that will be successful thanks to your Animation Paper app?

  11. E.K.

    Hey Niels,

    Getting antsy to finally try this! Been following since 2015 and I need a quick easy animation tool to follow my dreams.

    I have a question on the way you worded this post, do we have to choose to outright buy the beta version? Like can we try it for free and then buy now for when the full version becomes available?

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi E.K.

      Yes. We need to have the licensing system in place for the beta, because it will be very close to the finished version. This means you can choose to just buy it as a pre-release and get upgraded for free when the final version is ready. Or you can try it for free (trial for 2 weeks or so) – and then buy when you feel comfortable it is for you. If we release more beta versions and at least when the final version is released, you will have 2 more weeks in a free trial. If and when you choose to buy is completely up to you.

      Additionally. all license holders will after the final release get future smaller upgrades for free as well. Only when major new stuff is released long time from now, we will ask for an upgrade fee. We after all have to have some kind of income. πŸ˜‰ But I think this is the most fair model. Any version you pay for you can keep forever, including upgrades. When major stuff comes out, you can decide if it is worth the small cost to upgrade. Anyway… πŸ˜‰

      Best,
      Niels

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hehe thanks πŸ™‚ yeah, August is close, you don’t have to remind me about that πŸ˜€ it’s getting really good, but at this time we still have lots to do! We’re focusing on all the things we need to finish, so no time for teasers sorry. πŸ™‚

  12. Todd Dolce

    OK,..We HAVE to be getting close!!! Let’s get it released already!!! OK Niels,..you know I’m just playing around here! I know these things take time; serious time! I’m just getting really excited!!

    Can I ask you if this program will be user friendly for an artist ( uhhhhh,..like me ) that hasn’t much in the way of experience of animation but has a very big interest into diving in to see about putting my characters to action?

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      πŸ˜€ thanks for you enthusiasm! Yes! It is very user friendly – that’s one of the big points of Animation Paper. All the features the pro animator needs, but in a very easy, fast and artist friendly manner. I do believe we are succeeding with this.

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi Scott, yeah, it’s still the plan to do a pre-release this month. Not the finished version though. We still have plenty of stuff to do, but now we need to have it tested more broadly. So it is super exciting! Looking so much forward to it. If all goes well, we will do the pre-release within the end of this month.

  13. Scott Robinson

    Will the new Animation Paper app make hand-drawn animation a lot easier and cheaper to do for the big screen and can the animation studios that use the Animation Paper app make very successful and award-winning hand-drawn animated movies with it?

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi Scott, thanks for your question – I feel like you have asked this before? But to answer anyway: Animation studios have the opportunity to do good hand drawn animation wether they have Animation Paper or not. However, I do believe AP will help animation-production to be better, easier and cheaper – that’s why I am doing it. If movies done with AP win any awards is up to the filmmakers. πŸ™‚

      Best,
      Niels

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