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DigiCel Flipbook 6

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating

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DigiCel Flipbook 6

The Bottom Line

DigiCel Flipbook may not be as well-known outside the industry as the larger commercial animation software packages, but it's been a staple of animation studios for some time - and with good reason.

Pros

  • Runs lightly and cleanly; no lag / drag.
  • Features layers, light box, background, trace functions.
  • Features Camera Capture - directly captures images.
  • Makes lip-synching easy with timing breakdowns.
  • Allows color-keying.

Cons

  • Could use a few more specific, less rudimentary tools.
  • Right-clicking tools for options takes getting used to.
  • Floating palettes and X-sheet.

Description

  • An affordable alternative to major commercial animation packages, used in studios worldwide.
  • Combines traditional animation with digital animation using professional standards.
  • Hands-on look and feel that brings you right into the studio and integrates well with paper animation.

Guide Review - DigiCel Flipbook 6

First off, let me start off by saying that DigiCel Flipbook is not a program for the uninitiated. It doesn't have a slick, shiny interface, nor does it come with packages of hundreds of pretty but ultimately useless effects. It does, however, come with the features necessary to translate the pen-and-paper 2D animation process onto a digital canvas, and that's what's the most important.

The interface looks simple enough and really, whether you're a novice or expert animator, it's pretty easy to pick up - and it has an X-sheet / dope sheet, which just made my day. It's mainly the terminology of various settings that will throw newbies off. Veterans will love the options available for layers and layer compositing, not to mention the ability to easily switch between color modes and turn the background (which can be an actual movie) on or off. My favorite feature has to be the options on the Light Box setting, which lets you determine just how visible previous and next layers are when in-betweening. The Trace tool comes in a close second, making it delightfully easy to redraw roughs as finished linework.

One thing that really impressed me was the smoothness of the pencil when drawing. I've worked with high-end animation and drawing programs that don't bother applying an iota of smoothing to drawn lines, leaving you with a grainy, pixelated mess. Flipbook softens that so that, if you're working with a fine enough line, it feels almost like drawing with a real pencil.

If you're used to working with a maxed-out full screen, it can be a bit tough to arrange the multiple segments of your working area to your liking. Overall, though, this is a minor irritation that's easy to bypass. In the end it's easy to see why DigiCel Flipbook has been a popular animation tool for so long.

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