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Chapter 5. 2-D Tools > Cel Animation

Cel Animation

Existing cel animation suites are intended for a professional crowd that's doing animation for television and film. In a word, they're expensive. Surprisingly, the features in full-featured cel animation systems have not found their way into hobbyist and shareware products, even though they are, by most standards, simple in their capabilities. These capabilities include scanning or importing images, managing an exposure sheet, inking and painting with onionskinning, animating backgrounds, combining animations with sound, and exporting the finished images in final format. Ironically, all these features are available in various low-end and even shareware painting and multimedia software tools, but they're not combined in any single application that costs less than $1,000. If you are in a commercial-art-studio environment, the cost of a full-featured cel animation system (such as Animation Stand or Retas Pro) may be justifiable. But if you are a beginning animator, an alternative solution is to combine the capabilities of several programs to get the equivalent features, albeit with less convenience and somewhat fewer animation-specific features.

Basic line-test applications, such as X sheet 95 and ANIMAC, which handle scanning images and previewing animations, are available for far less money than animation suites, because they lack the painting and keyframe animation features of the higher-end software.


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