My name is Jakob Koch, and I have worked professionally with animated cartoon for 40 years. I have been an animator, trick photographer and animated cartoon film producer before the computer really took effect in the animated cartoon film production. Now I’m retired, and I have made several small animated cartoons on the computer. I use Pencil2d with great satisfaction, but here I miss the opportunity to import the animation drawings, which I, as an old animator, prefer to make on paper and pencil on lightbox.
I can import the drawings, but not in plain line, and I can only work with the drawings by tracing them into the program. This need I mentioned to my former colleague, David Lamhauge, who is part of the Pencil2d team development program.
David has now made ‘Bitmap coloring feture’ as an addition to the program, and I have had the opportunity to test it.
‘Bitmap coloring feture’ is a valuable addition for the animator who also wants to animate traditionally with paper and pencil on lightbox. After the brief guide David gives on his YouTube video, I was ready to test the program. The process is simple and intuitive, and after a few tests it is easy to go. I hope this feture will be included in future updates of Pencil2d.
Another need I have mentioned for David is an opportunity to more precisely control of the camera function.
In the program there is a "Color Inspector" where you can see and enter the color values. I would like to add a "Camera Inspector" where you can also see and enter the camera positions (x, y and z) in each camera keys.
I hope you can develop this feature.
With kind regards, Jakob Koch
@Jakob First of all thank you for your interest in Pencil2D Jakob. Yes David has showed the feature to us and we’ve taken steps to not only provide him with feedback but also to improve the feature so it is properly integrated with Pencil2D, while fulfilling it’s philosophy. We not only have to cater to seasoned animators but also to people that have no idea how to use a computer, or how to animate, and that in itself is a challenging task that we’re happy to tackle.
Currently we’re consigning all the important bits of the design phase so we can take David’s implementation and smooth it out over the program so it works for everyone in the simplest yet most effective way we can. Of course in the future it might be able to become even more polished but we too hope to integrate this feature as soon as possible. Hopefully before this year’s end among all the other priorities.
Regarding the precise camerawork I have suggested the same before. I still have to make the formal request on the platform we use to track these issues, but will see to it shortly.
It is a joy that experienced animators such as yourself see value in this tool and rest assured we’ll try our best to improve it. Thanks again for your encouraging words.
You said: “We not only have to cater to seasoned animators but also to people that have no idea how to use a computer, or how to animate, and that in itself is a challenging task that we’re happy to tackle.”
Maybe you should make a simple version of the program for people without computer experience?
@Jakob We’ll try to make it as accessible and easy-to-use as possible. That’s a given. Since we’re all volunteers we do this in our free time though, so the “when” is the real question, we would love for this, and I mean the complete improvement and overhaul of Pencil2D to become the best it can be, to happen right now, but it’s just not feasible unless we do it step by step. However we will keep working on Pencil2D for as much and as long as we possibly can Thank you again for your feedback!
I have had the same thoughts @Jakob, but it is not the road to go. We are only a handful of developers, and it’s hard enough to maintain, debug and develop one version of Pencil2D.
Our vision is to have a easily accessible software, that most user can use intuitively.
For the more experienced user there should be more advanced features, that can be activated and used, when the basic features are not enough.
The coloring feature I am working on is one example. You can colorize your animation by using the bucket tool right now, but when that’s not enough you should be able to some more complicated coloring, which gives a more professional result.
Another example is the camera feature you’re asking for. For most of our users, a fixed field is fine. For you, me and some others, there is a need to be able to define a pan/tilt/zoom in/out, along a bezier curve, and maybe even have the upper layer slightly out of focus. This calls for a more advanced camera, and it will come. Maybe not (probably not) this year, but it will come. I for one will fight for it.