I have been looking forward to announcing this update for a long time! Alpha 8 contains some really important and useful new features. Get it here:
Here's what's new:
Save and use pen settings
When doing animation, you might have a particular setting for your pencil you need to get back to all the time. You can now save your pen slider settings as a preset. To keep it simple, you have 9 presets available, i.e. 3 presets for each type of pen - Pencil, Marker and Brush.
Let's say you are drawing with the Pencil. You have just the right setting for a particular task, so you store the current slider settings as, say, preset 3 by clicking button number 3 in the row below (see screenshot). Now you continue drawing and maybe adjust your pencil. If you later need your preset back - just hit preset 3 in the top row.
A great way to work with these presets are to put them in a Speed Dial or in the Tool Bar, so you have them at your fingertips whenever you need them.
Scale option - for movie clip export
When exporting a movie clip, like MP4 or MOV, you now have the option to export at another resolution/scale than what you are working in. You can scale both up or down without any blurring or degradation. Choose between, 25%, 50%, 100%, 200% or 400% with perfectly crisp lines.
This way, you can work efficiently in say 2K - and effortlessly output in 4K, or even 8K.
Animated GIF export
Already Animation Paper imports GIF files with multiple frames. Now you can export your animation as GIF as well. Go to File > Export > Movie Clip... and select GIF. For scale, your options are 100%, 50% or 25%.
Animated GIFs are great in lower resolution for showing short animations on websites and in comment threads, etc.
The menus of Animation Paper are now a little less populated and cleaner. We've moved various options, that you normally adjust once, or at least not that often, to Settings - your preferences in one place.
To find Settings, go to the menu Window > Settings... on Windows and Linux, or the menu Animation Paper > Settings... on Mac.
The advanced line engine of Animation Paper enables great features - some already in place and some still to come. However, there's one drawback.
If you like to use the Lasso tool a lot, you can eventually run into problems as internal data of your drawing builds up each time you do lasso, on top of lasso, on top of lasso - making picking up lassoed areas slow and your file size grow. In earlier versions we had a warning popping up, if this problem happened, with info on how to remedy it. Now, we have instead created an option to Collapse the drawing in question. Problem gone.
If you are interested, here's more in-depth information about The Animation Paper Line Engine - and the Lasso problem.
A few alpha releases ago we made the Pencil much more rough and textured than it was before. We might have gone a bit overboard with it 🙂 It didn't work well with very fine lines and was too contrasty. With Alpha 8 we have improved the Pencil a lot. It works well at all sizes and is balanced in terms of texture. Still as fast as always.
You can now enable Autosaving - automated backups. You can choose how often you want it to save - and how many backup files you want it to cycle through. Animation Paper saves the backups unnoticeably and will even detect if you are busy drawing, so it avoids suddenly interrupting your flow, saving the scene. You can Enable Autosaving in the File menu - and select the options in Settings.
Touch gestures on touch screen computers
Doing gestures with your fingers to Zoom, Rotate, etc now also works on computers with touch screens.
Reset rotation with double click
There's a few ways to reset your view back to zero degrees rotation. Now you can just double click while rotating - to quickly reset.
Stamp floating selection in all selected drawings
If you use the Cutter or Lasso to pick up a drawing (or part of it), what you get is a floating selection. This floating selection can be stamped down anywhere on the same drawing or at any drawing in another layer or frame.
The news is this: With multiple drawings selected (in the X-Sheet - click the first drawing, hold down shift and click the last drawing), you can stamp down your floating selection and it will appear on all the selected drawings at once.
We have added options for User Interface (UI) Scale. The default scale is 100% as you are all used to. But now you can make the user interface both smaller or larger, so you can fit Animation Paper perfectly to your monitor setup and what suits your eyes best.
Animation Paper already adjusts the UI according to your screen resolution and scale. So if your screen is a modern high resolution display, your scale setting in Windows might then be set to 150% or 200%. On Mac they call it Retina display - which corresponds to 200%. Animation Paper will then automatically display tool icons and other graphical features at 200% size, meaning they are larger with greater resolution.
With the new UI Scale feature you have more control added to the already existing system scale. Your options (in Settings) are 75%, 100%, 125% and 150%.
Bug-fixes and improvements
We have identified and fixed many issues. Most importantly, a bug that caused problems for some when exporting. Please make sure to report any issues you might find.
This will be the last alpha version before we go beta. Beta means that all the planned features are implemented and only task left are hunting the few remaining bugs. Remember to let me know if you notice anything buggy or just something a little strange.
I'm so excited - we are getting there! I hope you enjoy this update very much. Thank you all!
Happy Holidays! Happy animating!
Niels Krogh Mortensen