Welcome to Tools Of The Trade, a series in which industry artists and filmmakers speak about their preferred tool on a recent project — be it a digital or physical tool, new or old, deluxe or dirt-cheap. This week’s guest is Gitanjali Rao, whose debut feature, the acclaimed Bombay Rose, debuts worldwide on Netflix in early 2021 (read our review here). The director’s previous work includes the animated shorts Printed Rainbow and TrueLoveStory, which won at Cannes.
Rao’s chosen tool is painting and design software Corel Painter — specifically its Frame Stacks animation feature, which she has used on almost all her films (including Bombay Rose). Over to Rao:
I used Corel Painter for the first time way back when it was introduced as a free software along with the Wacom Intuos tablet. Back then, around 2002, it was called Metacreations Painter. So I started exploring the software. At the time, it was still marvelous because of the authenticity of its few but brilliant brushes. And it had the Frame Stacks feature, which allowed you to make and see your animation at 25 fps at the click of a play button. It had four layers of onion skins and that was more than enough. The only limitation was (and still is) that you cannot maintain your layers as FRM files — they have to be flattened into a single layer.