May 5, 2022 at 8:12 pm #4683LucasSaturnParticipant
Hi, I originally had covered Plastic Animation Paper in a video from a few years ago, and had a comment to try the software out. Here were my first impressions.
The main thing that stands out to me are;
- The tools feel extremely nice to use. Hopefully there are more options for the brushes coming in the future, but what is there already feels extremely natural (that brush smoothness I don’t think I’ve ever felt in any app ever).
- Maybe I’ve missed the option, but you should be able to remap keyboard shortcuts. There are shortcuts I don’t think are very helpful (such as Ctrl+ and Ctrl- to zoom in and out, as it requires your hand stretching really far across your keyboard!).
- I love that the drawings work in a way where changing one changes the other copies of it across your animation (like Toon Boom Harmony does, the software I’m used to). I would only say that the link between drawing substitutions should be made more obvious, as currently down to accessibility purposes it’s a fail (contrast is not clear enough).
- The backlight/onion skin window for functionality is great, but I personally would want that docked somewhere in the UI, and whilst you can leave it open, it’s just such a huge window it gets in the way (especially on a 1080p display).
- ProRes export is always my favourite.
So yeah, I’m considering doing a longer form animation in the app, just to see what I think on a larger project. As it stands now though, despite a few qualms, I’m fairly impressed.May 5, 2022 at 9:20 pm #4724
Thanks a lot for responding to my YouTube comment and for your time! And thank you for your critique and very nice words too! Much appreciated – all of it.
Much of what you stumble across in your video is representing only one way of doing stuff. Like zooming as you mention with Cmd+/-, adding blank drawings by standing on the dotted rectangle, etc, etc. A lot of things can be done in multiple ways in Animation Paper, so every user can find his/her preferred way, or the most effective way in that particular situation. For instance, jumping to certain zoom levels is on Cmd 1 through 9 and Cmd 0 is Fit View and just hitting 0 is Reset View (to 100%). I mention these keys because I was reminded of them when you talked about the number keys in Toon Boom. I don’t know if it is exactly the same there, but at least it is standard like this in many other drawing software. To add a new blank drawing, there’s an icon in the Tool Bar or the 2nd Speed Dial (hold Shift S) – it’s called Add Blank Drawing (the icon with the + sign) and the shortcut is Cmd Arrow Down. Anyway, I recommend you check out all the drop down menus, which gives you a good overview of what is in AP. Also there’s a shortcut list linked to from the Help menu. And remember you can use both the left Cmd and the right Cmd in order to better reach keys (on PC it’s Ctrl left and right).
To adjust pen size and opacity try holding D for the drawing tool or E for the erasing tool. Your selectors and sliders pop up right at your cursor. Also you can use standard PS shortcuts for many things, like decrease/increase pen size using the square brackets [ and ].
Anyway, I do understand and appreciate what you say about muscle memory. I agree. As you discovered, we haven’t yet done user remapping of the shortcuts. This will come. But really, the shortcuts are quite well thought out if I may say so my self 😉 Hehe. And again, we have many alternative ways of doing all sorts of things.
I think it is interesting, from an UX/UI point of view, why you would want the link for the clone drawings much more obvious/visible. I mean, we had it like that in the beginning of development, but I decided to dial it down. We also considered some kind of lines or something, from one thumbnail to the other, to show the linkage. However, at least in my mind, it is not really that important information. But what IS important is to keep the interface clean and not lighting up like a Christmas tree everywhere. It has to be uncluttered and pleasant – although, of course, important stuff must be easy to spot. So I ask, why is it important to have it scream this drawing is a copy (“clone”) of this drawing? If you flip back and forth over it in AP, you can easily see the linked drawings highlighting/blinking elsewhere. But maybe it is just me. I am genuinely interested in why more contrast is important? (maybe I missed something)
Backlight window could be more compact I know. I chose to do it this way to make it easer to grasp. Also I did the A and B setting, exactly because then you wouldn’t even have to have it open all the time as you suggest. You can set both A and B as you like it and then only need toggle backlight on/off or toggle between A and B setting. And we don’t clutter things up with yet another window or pane. Again, that’s at least as I see it. Please correct me if I’m wrong!
Anyway, thank you again! I hope you will keep using AP for a little while to get more used to it. I hope you will enjoy it!
NielsMay 5, 2022 at 9:29 pm #4725
I just checked and the pencil is limited to 15 px as you say, but the marker is 30 and the brush is 60. Still arbitrary I know 😀November 15, 2022 at 4:44 am #5123pinkibluParticipant
Hi Niels and AP team!
I’ve been playing with AP for a short while and can only say that I greatly enjoy the software. Initially, it took some getting used to the shortcut and functions but in general, it is easy to pick up and start drawing. I find AP to be user-friendly without having all the overwhelming fluff like Flash and Photoshop. I also enjoy this better than animating with Procreate. I truly love that there is practically no lagging with the drawing tools and have not once made my computer fan go crazy…yet. (I’m still practicing with exercises so I have not done intense full animation to push the limit.).
I’m still poking around the nooks and crannies but here are a few items on my “wish list” that I would like to see in future AP builds:
- Sometimes I still struggle with P/M/B (due to being accustomed to adobe shortcuts.) This is no biggie but one thing for sure is the keys are too far apart from each other to easily switch between the tools. Maybe consider having 1 key that can switch between the drawing tools like what you have to draw/erase function.
- Hovering the cursor over the tool will show the keyboard shortcut OR easy access to a cheat sheet would be awesome esp for newbies!
- Adding “+/-” buttons on the X-Sheet aside from pressing “N” and “Cmd + Shift + Delete.”
- The grid is very difficult to see. The lines are too faint to see and it would be great if visibility could be more apparent or if we could adjust them.
- A ruler for creating guidelines.
- Of course, as mentioned in other threads, the ability to draw straight lines.
The list of things mentioned is a few that I think could help make the workflow easier. Super thank you for creating AP!November 15, 2022 at 8:23 pm #5128
Thank you so much for your nice words and for your list!
I can tell you that some of it is already there. I’ll comment on your points below…
– The pen tools do have close-to-each other shortcuts too! The erasers are 1,2 and 3 and the pencil/marker/brush are 4, 5 and 6.
– Hovering the curser over the tool will actually show the “tool tip” – ie the name and the shortcut. Maybe you didn’t wait long enough for the first tool tip to appear? The next ones are instant, so you can “browse” around.
– Buttons in the X-Sheet are on our todo list. Coming soon! But already you can right click and get everything as a context sensitive drop down menu. Be aware, that the menu changes depending on what you are hovering over (1 – thumbnail (aka drawing), 2 – column (layer) or 3 – other area inside the X-Sheet.)
– I don’t remember hearing from others that the grid is hard to see. I suspect it depends on your monitor settings of course. It might be a good idea to include some kind of opacity adjustment though. Noted! Thanks!
– Ruler, lines. Sure! It’s on our list!
Looking forward to being able to release updates including these things – to make life just a little bit easier for you and others! 😉
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