Justin, Owner / Lead Instructor and Designer at CartoonSmart.com Working with Toon Boom Animate….
While learning Toon Boom Animate, I kept thinking over and over again…. “wow, this program was made by someone with actual animation experience.” Rigging a character in Animate demonstrates that the most. Artwork in a character hierarchy can be animated with inverse kinematics and while doing so you can keyframe the z-depth (i.e. visually move symbols back and forward), and symbols can be swapped out at anytime. All that, is a major time saver. You’ll never need to move a symbol off one layer and onto another just to make it seem like its going behind something else. Or you’ll never have to break apart your IK chain, just to substitute in another hand pose, for example.
Animate also has a simple slider-based setup for quickly substituting artwork over time. So imagine changing mouth sequences for lipsyncing by just moving a slider between poses. You don’t have to pull down a menu and locate an alternate symbol. Just slide, find a pose, and move onto the next frame.
Also on my most favorite features list: an animate-able camera and an amazingly responsive brush tool when using my Wacom tablet.
Ten years ago, I started my 2D animation career using Flash, and today, Flash is about the same for animation. Its a great software for web development and coding, but for serious character animation Toon Boom Animate is unquestionably the superior toolkit. Here’s my ultimate endorsement: When I finally find the time to animate my masterpiece, I’ll use it Animate for it.
Justin Dike graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Arts, specializing in 2D and 3D animation. In 1999 Justin began working for Rumpus, a toy company turned animation studio. What initially began as a solo job creating short animations in Flash, Justin became the Art/Animation Director when the company started producing longer, broadcast quality productions with a team of around 30 animators and illustrators. Around 2003, Justin started CartoonSmart.com, which produces software tutorials focusing on animation, illustration and web development. Toon Boom Animate is now one of CartoonSmart’s regularly taught animation tools.
Flash CS4 vs. Toon Boom Animate