Animators have more options for hand-drawn software than ever before, a fact that is reflected daily in the projects we feature on the site. For example, the short Junkyard was produced with TVPaint, the TV series Sarah and Duck was made with CelAction2D, and Disney’s new Mickey Mouse shorts are animated in ToonBoom Harmony. Of course, there’s the ubiquitous Adobe Flash which is still the most widely used 2D animation tool, though its influence has been waning in recent years.
Part of the reason that Flash has been losing marketshare in the U.S. and Canada is due to ToonBoom’s Animate line of software, which is considered by many to be an affordable alternative with better workflow and a superior set of tools for vector-based 2D animation. The company recently announced the pre-launch of Animate 3 and Animate Pro 3, which adds some much desired features like the ability to taper pencil vector lines, draw with textures and output in 64-bit high-resolution. Many of these features were previously available only in ToonBoom’s much higher priced Harmony software.
Here are some of the new features announced by ToonBoom:
Toon Boom Animate 3 highlights:
- True Pencil: Animate 3 gives you the ability to draw with True Pencil, a pencil line with variable thickness that supports pressure sensitivity. Draw clean lines with the pencil and have the ability to modify the lines easily. You can apply the style across hundreds of drawings. Incorporate texture on your lines for cool effects.
- Texture Brushes: Animate allows you to draw with texture brushes using the Brush tool. Take advantage of this to do rough drawings just like you would on paper, simulating that pencil-on-paper feeling.
- Tool Presets Toolbar: When creating paperless animation, you often want to save frequently used brushes or pencils so you can quickly go back to those preferences. Using the new Tool Presets toolbar, you can save presets for any tool, remembering the properties of that tool.
Toon Boom Animate Pro 3 highlights:
- Bone Deform: Animate Pro 3 now comes with Bone-style Deform! Bring your cut-out characters to the next level by adding deformers to bend drawings around bones and articulations. Apply deform to vector drawings, textures, or imported bitmaps.
- True Pencil: Animate Pro 3 gives you the ability to draw with True Pencil, a pencil line with variable thickness that supports pressure sensitivity. Draw clean lines with the pencil and have the ability to modify the lines easily. Incorporate texture on your lines for cool effects.
- Tool Presets Toolbar: When working in cut-out animation, you often want to save standard brush or pencil settings for different areas of your character rig. Using the new Tool Presets toolbar, you can save presets for any tool, remembering the properties of that tool.
Both products are now supercharged on a 64-bit core. This gives you the freedom to use more of the computer’s resources, and output high-resolution files for a professional-quality production. In addition, they both support standard two-finger Touch Gestures for zooming, rotating, and scaling of the canvas, when using a tablet. Finally, they both benefit from interface enhancements designed to simplify workflow and streamline the animation process.
Pricing and Availability: During this time-limited pre-launch period, you can buy Toon Boom Animate 3 for $599 US and Toon Boom Animate Pro 3 for $999 US – a saving of $100 US. Customers will receive a version 2 license which will be replaced by version 3 upon release. Customers owning previous versions of Animate and Animate Pro may upgrade on release day only.
To learn more and pre-order the software, visit ToonBoom’s website.