The Bottom Line
- Highly affordable while offering professional tools.
- Uses bone systems to make animation quick and easy.
- Simplified timeline incredibly easy to use.
- Intuitive, easily-navigable GUI.
- Enhancements make pro animation and audio simple.
- Still missing more advanced drawing tools I'd like to see.
- Not as easy for beginners as claimed.
- Provides professional tools such as lip-synching and 2D bone systems.
- Able to import and export media in a wide variety of supported HD and standard formats, including publishing to YouTube.
- Features motion tracking for video clips.
- Full library of online tutorials and examples lets you branch into learning more complex animations.
Guide Review - Anime Studio Debut
While not a radical transformation, this release of Anime Studio is definitely a huge step up in quality and usability. The first thing I checked out (before playing with the shiny GUI) was the bone system. Anime Studio 5 had a small issue with distortion when using bones to animate flexible 2D characters; in the old version, sometimes basic movements created unexpected distortions. Debut has improved the bone system to the point that it morphs animated shapes more naturally, making this release less of an upgrade and more of an essential.
The drawing tools start off uncomfortable, if only because they're both similar to Flash and entirely different. Once you stop expecting them to behave exactly like Flash, you end up with a nifty set of basic vector drawing tools that offer a similar feel to pen-and-paper. You won't get complex Photoshop-style drawing but you do get freehand line drawing, some shading, and shape drawing tools. Primitive, but powerful in the right hands.
While I'm not that interested in the ability to publish straight to YouTube, web content producers will find this feature a blessing. What's more interesting is the ability to publish to multiple TV and web formats, leaning this more towards a professional animation package.
Overall, I'd recommend Anime Studio Debut for hobbyist animators looking to go pro. It'll give you a taste of a professional animation program without the high price tag.