What is animation? Like flip books, Disney movies and TV, it’s a way of creating the illusion of motion by displaying a series of still images, rapidly enough to fool the eye—or more accurately, the brain. Professional animators have developed a whole arsenal of techniques for character animation—rendering human (and animal) movement in a convincing way.
A clear distinction has to be made between two types of animation techniques, both possible from within DrawPlus, i.e.
also known as Stop motion animation, involves the animation of static
objects frame-by-frame. In the film industry, Stopframe animation is used
within widely known productions based on figures made of clay or other
bendable material—think King Kong!, and more recently Wallace & Gromit
Keyframe animation: performs movement of computer-generated objects from basic shapes to cartoon characters (used traditionally in Stopframe animation). Using the power of computing, smooth playback of animated objects is easily achieved between key moments in your animation, defined by the user as Keyframes.
DrawPlus lets you export Stopframe or Keyframe animations to a variety of different formats. For more details, review Exporting animations.
For now we'll look at how to set up both Stopframe or Keyframe animation within DrawPlus.
Start DrawPlus (or choose File>New>New from Startup Wizard... if it’s already running).
Select Create>Stopframe Animation or Create>Keyframe Animation from the Startup Wizard.
From Page Setup, review document types in the left-hand pane.
Select a document type thumbnail from a category in the left-hand pane.
(Optional) For custom settings, from the right-hand of the dialog, click a Paper or Animation properties setting and either choose a different drop-down list option or input new values to modify. Typically, you can change Width, Height, and Orientation settings in the Paper category.
Click OK. The new document opens.
Stopframe Animation from the File
- or -
Select New>New Keyframe Animation from the File menu.
A new document window opens in the respective Animation mode.
Choose Convert to Stopframe Animation or Convert to Keyframe Animation from the File menu. You'll be prompted to save changes (if any) to your existing drawing.
Select Yes to save your work, No to convert to an animation or Cancel to continue working on your current drawing.
Setup from the context toolbar (shown with Pointer or Rotate Tool
- or -
Choose Page Setup... from the File menu.
Adjust your settings as described above.
You can modify page characteristics such as page size and orientation from the Pages context toolbar.
Choose File>Save... DrawPlus saves animation documents in the proprietary .DPA format.