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Toon Boom Animate

About.com Rating 4.5 Star Rating
User Rating 3.5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)

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Toon Boom Animate

The Bottom Line

Toon Boom Animate is just another example of Toon Boom's constant effort to produce the best in digital studio animation software. While this effort makes a few missteps as far as system compatibility, when it comes to the animation features, it sails far ahead of many competitors to offer features that would normally require multiple programs to achieve.

Pros

  • Allows natural drawing in a vector-based environment.
  • Enhances the features of Toon Boom Digital & Studio.
  • Supports multiple input/output formats.
  • Interactive cameras are a dream.
  • Customizable user interface.

Cons

  • A little slow to load, freezes a bit even with 4GB RAM.
  • Had to try 3 different computers before it stopped crashing.
  • Very little support for non-NVidia chipsets.

Description

  • Takes the next step up from Digital and Studio to further enrich the animation experience.
  • Simulates an entire studio in a single software package.
  • Offers advanced features that render months of work into a few hours' time.
  • Enables beautiful, richly-featured animations with great detail and effects.
  • Easy for both traditional and digital animators to adapt to.

Guide Review - Toon Boom Animate

Right from the start, Toon Boom Animate takes a tip from Adobe Premiere and sets you up to publish straight to television, with several default options on the startup screen that allow you to create new animation files preset to North American and European resolution and aspect ratio standards - exactly what you'd expect from an advanced program targeting studio quality animation.

At first glance the interface is rather daunting, even for a veteran animator. When you stop to take it all in, the important tools are there: drawing stage, brushes, editing tools, effects, and the all-important timeline. Animate takes the foundation of standard 2D animation and builds on it with just about every extra feature imaginable: symbols, fluidity between vector and raster work, inverse kinematics, a lovely A/B editing environment, and lip-synching, just to start.

My favorite feature would have to be the interactive, multiplane cameras, although the morphing is a close second - not to mention the rich shading options that make it easy to move beyond the flat, single-color painting of cel animation. What may discourage some, though, is a lack of compatibility with some graphics cards. The hardware requirements for Windows ask for an "NVIDIA Video card fully supporting OpenGL with 128 MB of RAM." Many computers run on Intel, including my brand-new laptop - which suffered several BSODs from simply drawing. But in a household with 14 computers, after some hunting and trial-and-error I found one that'll support it...but that still knocks off half a star from an otherwise glowing review.

While I worked with the full edition, Animate also comes with a trial / Personal Learning Edition with startlingly few limitations, giving it a leg up over Flash - which charges even for student editions.

User Reviews

 2 out of 5
PLE edition very limited, Member ja4cake

Just thought I would clarify the limitations to the PLE edition as the review above does not make it clear what they are and neither does the ToonBoom website until after you have registered. This is what they tell you after you have registered ""Those using Toon Boom Animate Pro Personal Learning Edition have access to the same toolsets of Toon Boom Animate Pro. The PLE restricts users to non-commercial applications through the display of a watermark on images, as well as the use of a special non-commercial file format (please note that projects done in this version can only be opened in the PLE version)."" The same restrictions apply to Animate PLE. As a trial version this is fair enough, but the PLE edition is useless unless you seriously intend to spend $400 on Animate or $2,000 on Animate Pro. Just thought people should be clear on what the PLE version is and make their own minds up.

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