Alpha 7

NielsUncategorized59 Comments

Why not just get this small update out, so you can test and enjoy - while we relax on our summer holiday 😉 Here's Alpha 7 for you...


This is what's new:

  • Export Open Cell Animation (OCA)

    Animation Paper now supports the OCA format. It's an open format, that eases the exchange of hand-drawn animation between different applications - both commercial and free.

    OCA holds vital x-sheet info like layers, timing (exposure and reused drawings), color, transparency, framerate and more.

    With a free Add-On you can easily import your Animation Paper work into After Effects, Blender or Krita. Add-Ons for Photoshop, TV-Paint and others are in the works too.

  • Export OpenEXR

    Many studios prefer OpenEXR as their file format. Now you have a choice between PNG or OpenEXR when exporting your frames.

  • Right Click Context Menus for the X-Sheet

    Easily reach all relevant Tools and Options for the X-Sheet. Right click your mouse - or the corresponding button on your pen - to open this drop down menu. It is context sensitive, so clicking over a drawing (thumbnail), a layer, or somewhere else in the X-Sheet pane, will give you different options.

  • One more option for Adjusting pen Size and Opacity

    You already have several efficient ways of adjusting your current pen size or opacity, such as holding down D on your keyboard. But now there's one more way of doing it for those who prefers this method better. Just hold Ctrl (on Windows or Linux) or Cmd (on Mac) and drag left/right to adjust the size - or up/down to adjust the opacity. This workflow method is fast, but not as accurate as the D method, because you are controlling both your minimum and maximum pressure setting in one go.

  • Bug-fixes and improvements

    As usual, we crushed a few bugs too.

Now go download Alpha 7 and enjoy! If you stumble across any weird behaviour or bug - don't hesitate to let us know. We can only get issues fixed if we are aware they even exist.

I wish you all an enjoyable July! We will be back soon - stearing towards beta!

Niels Krogh Mortensen

59 Comments on “Alpha 7”

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      The videos were made with Alpha version 1. We are now at Alpha 7. We updated the pencil texture at some point, because people asked for a more rough textured pencil. However, I worry I might have overdone the grittiness. 😉 What do you think?

      The texture of the pencil will not be user adjustable for now. I might adjust it again though for the next alpha release. Especially if people, like yourself and others, want it dialled back to something closer to the previous version (the one in the video).

      In the next major version we plan to integrate an actual brush system. So by then it will be fully customisable.

      Let me know what you think please!


    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Did you download, install and run Animation Paper? If you did that, the first thing you see is a small window asking for the Activation Key. In that same window there’s a link. Click that, register with your email – and you will receive your key right away.


  1. I’m having some trouble with the new pen adjustment system, I find when using Ctrl+Z a lot, it lead to me accidentally changing the pen settings. Enough for it to be annoying. Could there be a way to toggle this feature? Thanks

      1. It’s about the undo shortcut itself rather than undo history. If I’m repeatedly pressing Ctrl+Z, redrawing the line, and using Ctrl+Z again, then the software can sometimes misinterperet me pressing Ctrl as holding it down so attempting to draw adjusts the pen settings instead. It’s just an issue with one key being used for two different shortcuts.

        1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

          Oh, now I see. 😉 Thanks for explaining!

          I really appreciate you telling me this. Nobody else seem to have had this issue – at least they haven’t told me about it. But it’s important – because, as you say, we use the Ctrl key (Cmd on Mac) for two different things here. I thought it was OK, but it’s not for you. And probably not for others then. So I will think about what to do about it. Thank you very much!


  2. Mike Stumbo

    Hey Niel’s!

    How was your summer? Hope it was great, ours feels like it just started, being California is just now getting hot, which is weird for this desert United State! Anyways, was just checking in, and was curious about how beta is looking. Any chance we’ll get it before the new year? Well as always, nice chatting with you. Looking forward to hearing from you!


    Mike Stumbo
    Animation Generalist

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi Mike,

      Sorry – I have been super busy and totally forgot to answer you!

      Yeah, it’s been a record breaking hot summer for us in Europe. But my family and I where on vacation in the alps, so being in high elevation had the perfect temperature for a pale scandinavian like my self 😉 Great times!

      We were on track to release the beta in October. However, unfortunately Frederik, our main programmer was forced to leave for another project right before the finishline. Unfortunate bad timing. We miss him a lot and he misses the project! Anyway, we had to get a new programmer, which we now have (Alex – is great!). So all is good 🙂 Just a little setback. Hopefully we should be able to go beta before the end of the year.

      Thanks for your support Mike – and for checking in with me!


  3. Nono Ignacio

    Can’t wait for the upcoming brush system! I hope you can also add a feature where the user can choose a whole gamut of colors for the pencil and the brush.
    And also, are you going to add a feature where we can import video files for reference purposes?

  4. Pamela Saint-Hilaire

    PLEASE a bucket tool (with an adjustable bleeding property) and a stabilizer D:
    Some of us don’t have a tablet and pen and use our trackpad (me) 🙁
    (and make the stabilizer go up to very high numbers, in my drawings my stabilizer is set to 100, no joke). Please and thank you.
    About everything else, I love it 🙂

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Thanks Pamela! Both of your requests are already on our todo list. 😉 But I do think you will not regret the investment of a drawing tablet. Even the very cheapest are soo much better than a mouse or a trackball.

      Anyway, thanks a lot for letting me know what you are looking forward to the most. Noted!


  5. Zsolt Ludván

    Hi Niels!
    We use your software with my students. They like it and I like their works!
    BUT! Some of the students have problem with video export a(mp4 or mov)

    The same machine, the same software sometimes exports, sometimes not. Has anyone had this problem? What can be the solution?

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi Zsolt! Thanks for introducing your students to Animation Paper!

      Yes, we found a bug in the exporter. Sometimes it won’t export – it just shows the progress window, but the progress bar never increases (stays at 0%). Is that would your students experience too? We do believe we have fixed this problem, so if you download and update next time we do a release (Alpha 8) you should be fine.

      (I guess you have AP installed on more than one computer?) So, as a workaround for now, I suggest you simply load the ap file on another of your computers and export from there. Sorry for the inconvenience! Also experiment with the destination for the export, I mean, I know that exporting directly to Google Drive could provoke this problem.

      Let me know how it goes. If you are still having problems, then we could do a special interim build just for you until you can get the official Alpha 8. It is probably a few weeks away – but it is not yet decided what to include in it yet, ie. how much we still need to do before releasing it.

  6. Zsolt Ludván

    Thank you for your answer!

    Each student registered and downloaded their own program.
    We tried to share the ap file, but I couldn’t export it. I didn’t get the error before on my computer.
    I could not figure out the logic of the error. I can send pictures about the export settings.

    Finally, we exported a sequence of files, which we finished in Premiere pro.

    I like the program, I would like to continue using it for teaching. It would be nice if we could also do the post-production with this.

  7. Zsolt Ludván

    We are an animation group in Kaposvár, Hungary. Animation Paper is a very easy to use program. I can teach students key-phase animation with it. 10 students are working with version 7. We make simple animation exercises. One student more. There are students who can export one but not the other. All exports have been successful on my machine so far (with version 7), so I asked them to help.

    On my machine I could export completely different animations than they could, but I couldn’t do all of them on my machine either.

    We are waiting for version 8, until then we will solve it by interposing Premiere Pro.
    We can export PNG sequences.
    (they also study that program at least)

    (Unfortunately, my English is not perfect, so I used google translator to be able to explain it exactly. I hope it worked.)

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Thanks a lot for clearing that up and for taking your time to write all this to me. Much appreciated!

      Keep an eye out for Alpha 8. I will try to make sure we are releasing it earlier than later so you don’t have to wait too long for it.

      Thank you Zsolt!

      1. Lou Crittenden

        I didn’t have audio included. It failed to export and the progress bar didn’t do anything, forcing me to click cancel. When I said it hung I meant the progress bar hung. I only had a few frames where I was trying the feature out.

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      What we are working on at the moment is finishing a lot of smaller yet important features as well as fixing bugs. Aiming for the beta release. The paint/coloring features are coming as the first free update after our official 5.0 release.

  8. Sofiia Andaliukevych

    Hello there, kind developer!

    I just discovered this software and I am having an absolute blast. The trackpad zoom feature has always been very important for my workflow and I am so glad AP runs so well!

    Can’t wait for a full release! However, the most recent updates are from summer 2022. So I am bit worried on how is the progress going. So I dearly hope, that it’s at least going, otherwise I would be oh so upset…!
    Nevertheless, I just hope you are at least alright and AP will not just die and sink into abyss.
    This is a REALLY promising project here.

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Thank you very much Sofiia!

      Yeah, we had a very unfortunate thing since last release, our main programmer had to move to another project, so we had to find a new great developer. This has taken some time sadly. But we are not sinking into the abyss! 😉 We are back at it with Davide our new guy! We are creating great features and improvements – and we hope to release Alpha 8 very soon!


  9. J P

    I’m very impressed and excited about this software. It feels amazing to use and has so much potential still to be discovered.

    I really hope you guys manage to get to full release with this.

  10. Korolla

    Hey there Niels! Just trying to know if there is any problem with the export feature of the application because when i try to play the exported files they can’t seem to play.

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi Korolla, yes, I’m sorry, we are aware of a complex problem within the exporter of MOV and MP4. We are actually working on fixing it at the moment.

      Luckily most people do not experience this problem at all. A few have it with MOV only and even less with both MOV and MP4 exporting. For some the exporter freezes and no file is ever created. For some, the export results in a file, but a corrupted one, that will not play (it seems that’s your situation) or will play with visual errors in it. So this is super annoying and frustrating for the people who have this problem. I have had it a few times my self, but far from always.

      Do you export with audio included? This can have an effect if it works or not.

      My best suggestion (other than to wait for our next update, that will hopefully have this completely fixed) is to export as a sequence of png files – and convert them to a movie file elsewhere.

      And if you have only tried exporting as MOV, try if it works as MP4 – or vice versa. This is at least easier than the sequence of png’s.

      I hope this helps you just a little. Let me know how it goes.


  11. Randy Hayes

    Adding my voice/vote to the pencil roughness discussion — I think the lines are too dificult to get a clean line even after layering the lines several times over the texure gaps are still there. So it’s more like drawing on rough paper, not so much like drawing with a softer pencil. It makes using the lines in another program more difficult as well, if I want to inknpaint my stuff, becaue the broken lines don’t fill correctly.

    Can’t wait for v8!

  12. Aaton

    Great software project! Simple and very very close to traditionnal ACME methods and tools.
    Since 80’s, I have worked with every process in cartoons (line test on 16 and 35mm b&w negative, fantastic first video japanese linetest called NAC System Quick Action Recorder etc..and finally dedicated digital softwares..I’m dinosaur now ah ah!) Thank you for your work. Still can’t wait for the final release and to be continued my silly cartoons.

    Federico Vitali
    Cartoons director

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      It’s not something I have thought about. However, we do have, what I believe is maybe better ways to relay X-Sheet information. There are two methods: 1) You export as png files with alpha, where the naming of the individual files, includes info on which layer and frame number (with gaps in the number sequence if there are clones not to be painted). Maybe you have tried this already? The other method 2) is to export as OCA (Open Cell Animation format) – which saves the individual drawings like before, but also does a file that includes all the information for timing, layers, etc. This format can be imported by all animation software that supports OCA via a free plugin, like After Effects, Blender, Fusion, Krita and OpenToonz/Tahoma2D. This file is text based and can be read by your assistant as well. Read more here: Let me know if this helps or if I misunderstood anything. Thanks, Niels

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Thanks Henry! We are on summer holiday right now – we only need one more issue to fix when we are back and then we can release Alpha 8. So during August at some point. Next up after that is the beta release and then the final!

  13. Malcolm Burt

    Hi! I don’t wanna be impatient (you can’t rush quality) but I’m just wondering if there are any updates on Alpha 8? You said sometime during August, and now it’s September. Did you run into any unexpected issues?

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Yeah, you guessed it. I even said April at first – if I remember correctly. 🙁 We are now only struggling with one particular, but important, issue, that we just HAVE to fix before we can release it. At the same time we have been forced to change lead programmer – which causes all kinds of delays. That’s how it is on an indy-project like this. Unfortunately. But no worries. We are on top of things! 😉 We have our new guy and we will fix that annoying issue. After Alpha 8 we are aiming for the last features and going beta!

  14. older man

    I have been using pap for the longest time,version 4.0 is still my daily driver for rough character animation(old habits die hard).I am curious how the role out will be. Will the beta be closed if so do we need to apply and when the software is fully released how will it effect or current build will we be grandfathered in or a purchase window to buy the software? These are not pressing questions,but as someone who is considering one day going into teaching animation(and wanting to get people into this software) these are just questions I find myself asking.Also for myself as I really enjoy the software and am curious about its accessibility as I would like to stay on top of any possible updates. Cant wait for ver 8 in the meanwhile.

    Pardon the additional question.I wanted to ask their is a way to get older builds like a archive of previous versions for my ancient machines and just because the old workflow is still deeply etched into my hands.

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Hi! It’s nice (and interesting to me) that the old PAP 4.0 is still being used by quite a large following it seems. 🙂

      The next Alpha release (Alpha 8) will be the last Alpha version of the 5.0 release, the next version will be a Beta. Beta means, feature complete, but needs deep testing. Everybody who already have an Alpha version running (because they registered for a license/Activation Key) will just be able to download and install the Beta without any problems (automatically detecting the license).

      Once the final version 5.0 is ready you will be able to buy it for the introductory price of $79 usd (life time, no subscription). After a little while the free alpha and beta versions will stop working. When you own the 5.0, point-updates (5.1, 5.2, etc) will be free. These free updates will include paint and colouring and much more.

      Regarding you teaching using Animation Paper – that would be fantastic. We are working on an easy system, to enable schools and others to install and license multiple seats in one go. Also we plan to offer great school discounts – though this is not something we have settled on internally just yet.

      We do not have a public record of old releases, but you can download the old PAP 4.0 for Windows here:

      Thanks a lot for your commitment!


  15. older man

    Thank you for the prompt response

    Pap 4.0 is like flipbook 6 its (to put it politely) stupidly simple and you can focus on the fundamentals and the lack of bells and whistles really forces you to focus on the animation.

    Unlike flipbook 6 I can actually see a future for this software,and with tools such as paint and colouring being added,I could see it being my mainline software.The projected pricing is really good and can be afforded to even those like me who dont reside state side making it a good recommendation for students/those who would like to deep dive into 2d animation.The projected price and once feature complete would make it a easy recommendation to other stuck on 4.0/flipbook 6

    I cannot wait for version 8 and to be able to purchase this wonderful software
    (and 79$ it might force flipbook to make the full price of their software more reasonable
    as its currently not even matching the current build of animation paper)

    Thanks again for the answer


  16. dave green

    Hey Niels good luck for the final push on alpha 8! I keep popping back here every few weeks hoping that there will be a new blog post 🙂
    I’m really looking forward to handing you over some cash for this – you are doing such great work.

    1. Niels Krogh Mortensen

      Thank you so much for your patience and commitment Dave! This past year has been especially hard on my patience (very slow progress because of change of programmer twice). 😉 But everything is clearing up now. 🙂 Can’t wait to release Alpha 8!

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