TVPaint for the Disney feel?

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Jitters
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TVPaint for the Disney feel?

Post by Jitters » 06 Aug 2020, 10:58

Hi,

I have a big problem with the choice of animation tool. I'm hesitating between Harmony's Toon Boom and TVPaint. Is it true that TV Paint is more bitmap-based than Harmony (vector-based), so you can hardly import bitmaps to Harmony without lowering image quality? But it's much easier to create marionettes and animations with Harmony.

However, if I care about animation and a feeling similar to the Disney studio works, then I should opt for TVPaint, right?
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slowtiger
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Re: TVPaint for the Disney feel?

Post by slowtiger » 06 Aug 2020, 12:36

If you want the real "Disney feel" you need to draw every frame by hand. No marionettes, puppets, cut-outs. "Much easier" is not a thing associated with Disney.

Importing any bitmap, from whatever source, will not lower quality as long as it's in the correct resolution from the start on.
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D.T. Nethery
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Re: TVPaint for the Disney feel?

Post by D.T. Nethery » 08 Aug 2020, 12:58

slowtiger wrote:
06 Aug 2020, 12:36
If you want the real "Disney feel" you need to draw every frame by hand. No marionettes, puppets, cut-outs. "Much easier" is not a thing associated with Disney.

Importing any bitmap, from whatever source, will not lower quality as long as it's in the correct resolution from the start on.

I agree with Slowtiger: the classical animation ("Disney") look comes from solid drawing with the principles of animation applied. Hand drawn images (even if drawn on a digital tablet) , frame by frame. I tend to want to use the terms "classical animation" or "hand drawn animation" rather than "Disney animation" (even though that is the tradition I was trained in) because I think sometimes people hear or read the word "Disney" and they bring along a lot of baggage with what they perceive as being "Disney animation" , based on a certain style of drawing/character design, or a certain approach to storytelling. But of course there are many wonderful examples of hand drawn animation that are not in the Disney style or the Disney approach to storytelling. At any rate, I don't think achieving a classical look or a "Disney" look to your animation has much to do with the software as such.

So, back to the discussion about what software to use : it has become somewhat possible to "fake" the more superficial aspects of the classical Disney look with rigged vector puppets in Harmony (see an example , such as "The Lion Guard" ) but I believe anyone with a good eye , professional or fan , can see the difference. I've had some people tell me that they can't tell the difference , but I think they are not looking carefully. They only see the surface elements that look similar. (and in a show like "The Lion Guard" there is still some hand drawn frame by frame animation mixed in with the rigged puppet animation , it's a hybrid). Again, I would say that the classical hand drawn look is not really software dependent. You can use TVPaint or Harmony or OpenToonz or Clip Studio Paint , what have you. It is a choice of what software you prefer to use , what software will "get out of your way" and let you animate in the most natural way. For myself and many other traditional animators that is TVPaint. But you can move back and forth between different softwares. Slowtiger has mentioned many times on this forum that he uses Moho (a vector program) alongside of TVPaint. Many people (myself included) will use TVPaint's JSON Export script to take our animation from TVPaint to After Effects to do certain things that are better accomplished in AE. (for example, complex multiplane camera moves). I am aware of a TVPaint Forum member who is currently at work on a custom script that will export line art image sequences from TVPaint and then the script will automatically import and vectorize the line art in Harmony. I've tested it and it works. A few things still need to refined in setting the vectorization parameters in the script , but this script will make it feasible to work in both TVPaint and Harmony. I know many animators who prefer animating in TVPaint , but on certain productions they are required to use Harmony because that is how the show will be finished, with the digital ink & paint work (in Harmony) outsourced to one or more of the large service studios that specialize in this sort of work. So if a production wants the animation delivered as a Harmony file there would be no reason that an animator could not animate (and do the clean-up work , too) as line art in TVPaint , then import and vectorize the line art to Harmony.

As Slowtiger mentions, the key to working with bitmap images that will be vectorized is to work at a high enough resolution that will maintain the line quality when the line art is vectorized. This is especially true if you're working with clean up (final line) drawings that will be vectorized and then colored in a program such as Harmony. (the other option would be to do the rough animation in TVPaint, then import the rough animation to Harmony as bitmap layers , then do the clean up on a new vector layer in Harmony. I prefer doing both rough and clean-up in TVPaint , but either way would work. If the production you're working on has a very specific line style for the clean-up it might be easier in the long run to do the clean up drawings directly in Harmony. It depends on the style ...) I would advise working at least 2K resolution (in 1:77 /16:9 aspect ratio that would be 2048 x 1152) but most of the work I've done lately is originated at 4K (4096 x 2304) and then downscaled for final output at 2K or at HDTV 1080p resolution.
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slowtiger
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Re: TVPaint for the Disney feel?

Post by slowtiger » 08 Aug 2020, 13:27

There's one user, sang820, in the Moho forum, who is one of the very few animators I know able to do fluent character animation in a vector/puppet program nearly on par with "Disney". Here's some of his stuff: https://www.facebook.com/wodeMoho/video ... 098543086/. There was another one some years ago, from a studio in Cairo, who was equally capable.
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