Pencil2D philosophy

Hi !
I think that we need to set a “philosophy” behind the software.
This software could be a killer app, but it needs to have its identity defined :

For me, it should remain as simple as possible but with some efficient tools : a pen, a brush, an eraser, … and some great animation tools as an onion skin.

We don’t need to make a Photoshop of it : one day or another, a software like Krita will have a timeline and will allow to draw complex 2D animations.

I think Pencil2D should be on another “niche” : be an equivalent (for animation) to drawing softwares like ArtRage or SketchBook Pro : an enjoyable and intuitive tool to draw animation roughs.

What do you think of it ?

Agree with you, Pencil should be simple.

But in other hands, 2D animation is really a hard work, you have to draw frame by frame.In real world, animator only draw the key-frame, and his assistant will fill the inter-frame.

I believe there is some way to reduce the work load by computer.

I believe there is some way to reduce the work load by computer.

Sure ! What are your ideas about that ?

I think cameras could help; another important thing could be to have the ability of really duplicate frames instead of cloning them. I mean; having a copy which is exactly the same than the first one.

  • If one or another is edited, the duplicates are updated too.
  • When one is selected on the timeline, the other instances should be "semi-selected" (or so) so we can see where are all the instances of it.
  • Having the ability to "break" this (so it becomes a regular frame), and other custom functions for dupliframes. (well, let's call this dupliframes ? :))

A good way to make frame loops should be great too. But we have to find another good (& intuitive) system for it. It’s not an easy problem !

And the ability to animate layers (position, opacity, etc). I like the way you can animate settings in Blender. You can not only animate your objects; but also, for example, the color of a light. You just push “i” (add frame) on the color light setting; edit it; then on another frame you do the same. And it is animated !

Pencil frames contain an image and each image has a position saved in a data file, right? So you could probably implement a motion tween and/or duplicate frames easily enough. I wonder if this could be done while maintaining that “simplicity”, though, and how would the data be saved?

Another suggestion: I used to use a branch of Pencil known as “Clash” which saved animations by putting the folder and data file in one .zip with it’s own file extension which worked very well.

I just retranscribed the PDF document “The vision for Pencil ( by Pascal Naidon)” on a blog post; check it, it could give ideas !

OK, I’ve read it. It’s great. Lots of good things, the main idea was the simplicity too.
Somme stuff needs to be discussed, but I’m sure this will be useful ! Matt, what do u think of it ? Do you think it is possible to go towards that way (let’s have a priority list, but…) ?

I’m not opposed to adding ‘tween’-like features, but I see a strong place for Pencil initially as a ‘ninja tool’ for making frame-by-frame animation sketches and line art in the traditional method. Not bloated and overladen with features and a complex interface, but the quickest and most comfortable way to sketch movement and complete a ‘clean up’ phase if so desired. It’s in the name, if you think about it. :slight_smile:

Executing this idea really well would make Pencil attractive even to professionals who already have all the expensive software, IMO. When you are doing the initial animation, you really want to get all the noise out of the way so you can focus on making good movement and line quality.

I think trying to go for ‘free version of TVPaint’ isn’t the wisest idea at this point in time, if ever. I’m a fan of painted animation, but this is quite a complex feature set to implement, and it isn’t integral to basic animation for most artists. Who will want to use a Pencil with painting and effects tools but a poor animation experience?

There was an argument about this on the old forums, and I can’t remember what really resulted from it, if anything (anyway, I think it involved Oluseyi who has moved on).

@leedar : I totally share your opinion !

Ha ha, sorry gordie, I didn’t read your posts too well. :-/

Hallo to everybody, it’s me again.
I have read the “Vision for Pencil”, very impressive and involving document, with a freedom spirit inside, in many senses.
The original vision for Pencil was just a pencil test software.
This justify its initial name.
However, I think that if this software will grow much, with more draw & paint tools, animation, sound editing (something like Audacity) and compositing (something like Premiere) …
If this software will get a suite of specialized applications (according to the 2D animation workflow)… well, I guess that ‘Pencil’ will not be the proper name for this app anymore.
Except the matter of the name, I think that the main purpose now is fix the bugs.
Forums full of users complaining for this or that bug is not very attractive, you know.

Have a nice day