Saturday, March 31, 2007

Paperless Animation

These images and writings are from D.T. Nethery and taken from his blog:

He’s talking about paperless animation using the Mirage software. I think the results are pretty amazing and a hopeful sign that hand drawn animation won’t go away or turn into Flash looking robotics. I don't know if I could ever give up the freedom of drawing on a disk, but I want to get my hand on something like this soon.

Here's what else is on my computer right now : I'm having a ball learning to work with a program called Mirage, from Bauhaus Software. Mirage is a 2-D animation program that allows the animator to draw directly into the program, frame by frame, more or less replicating the traditional hand-drawn animation experience in a digital environment. The drawing tools are some of the best I've used. They can be customized to feel something like your favorite pencil or pen. It's not exactly the same as drawing on paper, but it's pretty darn close and not at all difficult to get used to.

I love that it allows me to draw naturally and not feel like my line is getting "digitized" or changed by the program. You can animate in full screen mode as shown in the first image, with ability to zoom in and out on the drawing (shown zoomed in here); you can access the toolbars when needed by a simple keystroke to toggle the toolbars on and off. (see next image showing the expanded toolbars) .

I like that Mirage allows the user to customize the pencil and pen tools to be anything from a very thin , fine black line for clean up , to something resembling a big ,soft Prismacolor for roughs :

I don't know how well the texture shows up in the posted images, but look at this close-up screen grab showing the "light blue prismacolor" pencil used for roughing-in drawings. Does this look like a computer line to you ?

The above images were all drawn at home , using my regular old Wacom Intous 2 tablet,but let me tell you, Mirage really takes off when used with a Wacom Cintiq tablet. I have a Cintiq at work and using it has totally sold me on wanting to buy one for my own use at home .

I'm just now starting to work with Mirage in earnest again . I started messing around with it when I purchased it last year, then other things got in the way and I didn't do much with it . Now I'm back at it and really excited by the possibilities. Mirage is a 2-D animation studio in a single software. Design, storyboard, animate, clean-up, color, paint backgrounds, composite all in Mirage.

No comments: