Animation's always been teriffic fun. But producing an animation has
traditionally involved an awful lot of sheer slog and drudgery before
any results can be seen, and only the most dedicated and patient
people have ever really seen animation as a rewarding hobby.
Bring in a computer, on the other hand, and you can eliminate all the
sweat, hassle, and tracing paper. With The Complete Animator,
animation becomes easy and rewarding for everyone ... it's like we've
invented a whole new art form, even though all we've really done is
make it easy for the first time.
You don't even have to be able to draw (though I guess it does help);
the frames you draw will only be visible for a split second each, so
you can get away with a lot as long as you produce a compelling sense
of motion and activity. Remember the TV cartoon series Roobarb and
Custard? Nothing much on that ever looked like anything, but
because the movement was so fluid and natural, everyone remembers it
as good animation.
The Complete Animator is available on either floppy discs or a
multi-platform CD-ROM which can be used on either an Acorn machine or a PC
(provided, of course, that you have a CD-ROM drive).
The Complete Animator has a set of painting tools built in, for
you to draw the frames of your animation with. You've all seen sets of
painting tools before, but, I have to say, this is quite a good set of
painting tools, so much so that I often use Animator for
graphics work even if it won't be animated.
To make your animation as smooth as professional animators do, you'll
need to use the techniques they use -- so Animator includes
on-screen equivalents of the tools of their trade. In particular,
when drawing a sequence of frames, an animator would draw the first
and last frames on thin paper, then stack them under a new piece of
paper on top of a lightbox (a glass table with a light in), in order
to see, through the paper, just how the frame in between should be
drawn. Animator gives you a "lightbox" or "ghosting" mode, in
which the previous and next frames of your film are shown, faded,
"behind" the one you're currently working on. All the painting tools
work as normal when in ghosting mode -- they ignore the ghosts; only
you can see them.
If you want to impress people even more, you can add sound effects to
your animation. Animator comes with a collection of noises for
any occasion, and it can use any sound sample you already have. You
can even sample new sounds directly into Animator if you've got
Once you've finished your animation, you can save it in formats
understood by almost any multimedia package -- or you can even print
it out as a flick-book, with all the crop-marks ready printed!
You can even use Animator to produce
animated Web content!
Differences between the PC and Acorn versions
- Importing graphics
- The PC version can import BMP, WMF and EMF files; the Acorn
version, sprites, Draw files, and Artworks files.
- Exporting films
- The PC version can export BMP, FLI and AVI files; the Acorn
version, sprites, Ace Films, and Replay files.
- Sound effects
- The PC version can load any WAV file as a sound effect; the Acorn
version, any Armadeus file.
- Sound samplers
- The PC version works with any Windows-compatible sound card; the
Acorn version, with the Oak Recorder, SEMERC's sampler, and VTi's Sonor.
||Acorn ||Any Acorn computer, including StrongARM based
computers, with Risc OS 2, 3.1, 3.5, 3.6, or 3.7; 2Mb of RAM or more; a hard
disc is handy but not essential.|
|PC||A 386DX/40 or better (486 recommended); 6Mb of RAM
or more; a hard disc with at least 8Mb of free space; an accelerated graphics
card; Microsoft Windows 3.1, 95, 98, Me, NT 3.51, NT 4.0, 2000 and XP are all supported. Under Windows 3.1 and 3.11, The Complete Animator installs
Microsoft Win32s 1.25 (included in the pack) -- but not, of course, if you've
already got a later version of Win32s.|
|| £84.26 + £3.50 (P&P) + VAT single user; site licences are available,
contact us for more information|
Overseas purchasers: please contact Iota.
A taste of paradise
If all this talk of animations has made you want to see some, check
out our films page. To play back
the Animator ones, you'll need a copy of our screen saver; however, some of them
are available as FLI files as well.