Krita Animation


Since the first Beta release I’ve tried and tested out Krita’s new animation features and tools. I must say not only am I blown away but I think I can finally stop aiming for TVPaint and happily stick with Krita for a long, long time.

Raster animation isn’t just my preference, it’s been a long time goal. Something I’ve been aspiring to and chasing for years. I was thrilled to see Toon Boom Harmony finally add raster layers but they still lack an awful lot of basic painting and blending tools. Unlike Krita which started out as drawing and painting software. I’m really excited to try it out when it’s officially released and start a new project.

I’ve always wanted to create a classic paint styled animation but doing that on paper and Cels is incredibly expensive and you run out of storage fast. That’s simply not the case with digital animation. Although storage can become a problem, it’s also an easily solvable one.

I’ve tried multiple freeware. And if it wasn’t vector only it was pixel only which frustrated me. I tried animating with GIMP but it was even more horrendous than animating in photoshop.

First Impressions of Krita Animation

My first use of Krita 2.9.9 Beta, I noticed a dramatic improvement in brush speed. That was always one thing that put me off when it came to drawing with Krita. I’ve been an on and off user for quite a few years now. I think the first time I used it was in 2010 but I’m not sure any more. I’ve picked it up more seriously in 2014 and I’ve been using it more regularly since.

I noticed a number of improvements to various tools but the animation features were what I was most interested in so I didn’t dig to deep into much else. For a first Beta it was very impressive and worked well. Only crashed once or twice during various animation tests.

Krita 2.9.10 Beta though some improvements were made, for me personally it was more buggy. For whatever reason I could not edit an animation file if closed and re-opened. It was as if the layer was locked though it wasn’t. But hey, it’s Beta, bugs are bound to happen. There were a lot of improvements but from the first to the second Beta’s I tried, there was an issue with playback. I noticed I wasn’t the only one. It would not playback in real time.

In Krita 3.0 Pre Alpha the brushes were a lot faster. Sometimes it lagged in the previous alpha’s but it’s working even better now during animation which makes me very eager to see the final release of Krita 3.0 and what else they’ve added and achieved.

The files were editable after saving, closing and re-opening. No crashes thus far and a drop frame rates button which solved the playback issue. There were a few jumping and skipping of frames but I expected as much since my PC was doing to much at once. After closing the excess programs I noticed a huge improvement.

The user interface is a LOT more spacious than before. This was something I liked a lot especially for animation. It was starting to feel very cramped. It’s a little bit buggy while arranging and docking items but that’s to be expected.

Frames move without issue and testing playback speeds is a lot more accurate now if you’re a windows user like myself. Onion skin seems to be functioning better in the latest release. Before it was a little buggy trying to turn certain frames on or off with onion skin. Turning the visibility on and off was a bit difficult but not anymore. It was also a bit buggy altering the onion skin tint before as well, but that seems to be resolved.

I love the onion skin feature in Krita. I wish more programs had their onion skin set this way. It’s easy to customise the onion skin visibility on specific frames and very easy to change the onion skin tint colour as well as turning it off. However I can’t comment on using it with full coloured animation as I haven’t gotten much further than clean up inks.

The main reason I haven’t gotten as far as coloured animation was the lack of editing after saving in previous Beta versions and some crashing occurred. But I plan to try coloured animation in the current release. It will be fun to see how I go and what happens.

So basically to sum it up, I really love the animation features added to Krita. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Speed Paintings and Timelapses


 

This is what I have currently been up to lately. I’ve been reviving a webcomic, catching up on old webcomics and still studying and practising 2D animation. Mostly I’m taking some time off learning to paint and do webcomics. Software used was Clip Paint Studio EX. In all 3 videos.

Frustrated Plus Some Blender Hotkeys


[UPDATED Hotkeys added]

[Warning: Frustrated rambling. Skip to the pink heading to find the helpful info below]

It’s love hate with Blender for me. I really want max but it’s literally impossible. With how much it costs AUD, it’s never going to happen. I’ve been doing 3D solo with no schooling on and off for a couple of years, seriously in the last 2yrs. If I had to sum up all the time I’ve spent and read, I have about a year of work under my belt and that makes me sad because well imagine if I had the opportunity to go to school right. But I learned a lot. Most of it the hard way.

However before the last version came out, I was using a version of Blender that was before tabs were introduced. I personally hate the tabs and I wish there was a revert to old UI (if there is please tell me), but what annoys me most is some subtle changes in hotkeys that I use frequently and no real warning about these changes until about a week later, however some people close with development have been releasing detailed info on the changes but sometimes it would be nice if there was a constantly updated newsletter to subscribe to about such changes in stead of blog after blog that usually gives up on posting (sorry for the random rant).

To anyone knew to Blender, a new version pops up literally every year sometimes 2-3 times a year. The development team are always working hard so if you find a version you like, don’t worry because that version is always available to download despite it’s age if you upgrade and change your mind and want to go back. That’s one of the real beauties of blender. Also, I highly recommend going on youtube and searching “What’s new in Blender “whatever version you’re using” to find out the latest changes and new features. Main reason I recommend it is because not only are the videos short and sweet but they usually mention in them any major features that were dropped or added.

This is what I mean by love hate. It’s powerful, fast and relatively easy to learn, especially in comparison to certain Autodesk products. As far as performance, Max use to lag for me even on min specs doing low poly but Blender rarely lags even for some pretty high poly and intense work, and I can push my work to levels I can’t in other professional apps. But at the same time, trying to find the updated hotkeys list and other such info on the latest version can sometimes be like trying to find a needle in a hay stack. But what really kills it is the high and mighty attitude of the community towards newcomers. I do not recommend going to forums for Blender help if you are new, they can be quite rude and all things opposite of helpful. I do however recommend going to youtube before anywhere else. Don’t even bother with a Google search, just go to youtube first and you’ll likely find your answers there.

I highly, highly recommend anything by Johnathan Williamson. And I also recommend joining Blender Cookie. There’s some incredible tutorials on there.

It’s like I said though, sometimes I love Blender and everything about it and other times it just frustrated the heck out of me. But that’s enough complaining. I decided for my own personal use and to help out others that I’d list some Blender Hotkeys that I know for certain work. A lot of these I found by mistake.

Hotkeys!!

So below are some of the hotkeys and tools I frequently use in Blender and how to use them:

All of these are in Edit Mode with the exception on Spacebar and alt+C

ctrl + R and hover the area. A pink line will appear looping the area. This is good to if you screw up your edge loops and you want to check it. Left click to OK it, then move and position it and left click again. If you want it in the centre instead of positioning it, right click and it will insert in the centre.

Screenshot 2015-02-09 21.15.13

ctrl + E to bring up a pop up menu for other various things to do with edgesScreenshot 2015-02-09 21.15.48

Hold SHIFT while selecting which mode to select multiple modes. Example: Face select mode and vertex mode are both enabled in the lower picture after holding select and clicking both icons. I can now edit my model by each vertex or face instead of changing modes one at a time. (Love this feature)

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.19.02

E to Extrude (no picture for this one)

Shift + E to make an edge crease. This one took me forever to find because I could only find the hotkey for old blender not new and I found this one by mistake while I was using ctrl + R.

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.23.19

Spacebar for quick search. You can find almost all the commands you need if you can’t find them in the menus.

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.24.42

A select all and A again to deselect all. C for brush select, right click to get out of selection brush mode and keep selection or enter. B for Marquee select. Lastly L. L selects a whole object. Say for example you have a sphere inside an eye socket and for whatever reason you want to remove it or move it from your joined mesh. Selecting a vert and then pressing L should select the sphere. You can then use P to separate by selection.

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.26.32

W for some of the most used and important features. Most people only use it for sub D and Smooth (also known as Relax in other programs).

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.28.11

crtl + B + drag I’m not sure what it’s called but it’s useful especially when making eyes.

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.30.33

S to scale, R to rotate, G to grab/move. It’s sometimes ideal to turn on proportional editing when using grab while SubD is on. If you enable proportional editing, use the mouse wheel to expand the area of effect. Below is where to find proportional editing and when it’s turned on. Also, when using any of these if you follow straight after with X, Y or Z before you move your mouse you can snap it to the specified axis. For example press G then Z to move along on the Z axis only.

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.33.06Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.33.31

H too hide and Alt+ H to unhide. The number of times I have hidden something and didn’t know as a newbie, is astonishing. Finding out about alt H was a life saver. (No image for this one. No point because it would be invisible.)

K to cut and Enter when you are satisfied with your cuts otherwise, right click to cancel. Now this one is tricky as well to describe. The knife tool goes in an un-breaking line much like the slice tool in Max, except you can break the knife path by pressing E. Below are to examples of using knife and then using knife after pressing E.

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.37.50Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.39.02

P to separate by selection. I use this one a lot. Usually I make the head whole then I select the scalp area and separate it. It turns it into a separate object which I usually use for a base for hair and then later delete it to keep it low poly. It’s really useful to use.

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.40.45

If you’re constantly setting the pivot in weird places press Shift+ C to recenter the pivot. For anything else such as placing the cursor yourself and snapping the object to it, the easiest way is just to hit Spacebar and type the word “cursor” and navigate from there. But if you’re new to Blender you will be constantly misplacing the 3D cursor or pivot. (no image for this one)

Alt+C to convert too. Very useful if you use grease pencil a lot or nurbs. (no image for this shortcut)

Alt + M to merge selection.

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.48.08

F to fill face. If you’re super new, you need to have at least 2 verts selected. You can make an edge, a tri or a quad with this shortcut. (No image for this one.)

Click middle mouse button to rotate object view. (No image for this one.)

Shift+ clicking middle mouse button to pan view. (No image for this one.)

Middle mouse button scroll to zoom. (No image for this one.)

ctrl+ G to assign Vertex groups.

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.51.51

USEFUL ADDONS! MUST have for saving time:

LoopTools: Go to file>> User Preferences>> Addons and type in the word “Loop” in the quick search bar. As shown below. Make sure to hit Save user settings then close and enjoy this amazing addon.

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.29.21

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.51.51

Now press W in edit mode and there will be the new LoopTools at the top of the menu. This is excellent for neatening up topology among many other uses. Below shows the new menu and the use of make circle in use. Great tools, I highly recommend using them. Of course it’s not perfect but it can be an incredible time saver.

Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.54.06 Snap 2015-02-09 at 21.56.03

I also recommend, but only if you have the specs to run them  becuase having too many addons can slow down Blender’s performance, IvyGen, Sapling, Simplify Curves, Bsurfaces (if you can figure out how to use it), F2, Import image as plane, Mesh Relax and Freestyle SVG exporter.

But that’s all I know so far as far as hotkeys that work in current Blender. Which, as of writing this is 2.73

If you have any hotkeys that you think I’ve missed and would like added please do leave them in a comment below for others to find and use.

Zbrush Update Plus…


Well my daily efforts are dead. The cause? The heat. Simply put. It’s been that odd heat where it’s not warm enough to put the AC but my laptop and tablet suffer. But I will make up for it and start to at least share screencaps.

I’ve decided as well to go back too tool tips and I’m going to start with Toon Boom. The biggest reason I am going to start with Toon Boom is so that if I forget again, I can come back here and re-learn from my own tips. I know it sounds funny but it’s no different to how we learned in high school. Learn something, write it down. I will most certainly be doing photo’s.

Among other things I need to clean up my work area and once I do, I will be doing a sewing walk through like I promised. But first I need a tidy desk and a cool room to do it in.

And that’s pretty much it. I’ve been slaving away learning 2D animation and 2.5D and I think I almost have the hang of 2.5D animation. I’ve mostly been struggling with animating the clouds scrolling by at a natural and peaceful speed.

I’ll also be picking up this old zbrush model and reworking it and hopefully finish it.

Render Test

Animation Plans


So some of you may know but most may not if you don’t follow me on DeviantART and read my journals but I’ve been hitting it pretty hard with animation. Despite trying hard, the wallet and my PC and laptop can not handle 3D animation. Yes Blender is free, it’s what I use even though I want to be using Max but my RAM and GPU can’t handle it. So recently I opted for 2D frame by frame animation merged with 3D and 2.5D in areas where I can get away with it. But I am back at square one having taken such a long break from it. But I’m not doing to bad. Below is one of my first full colour blinking tests. I am aware of the various errors though. This was more to see if I had enough skill to use cel shade. I’m still on the fence with having shading in my animation. I haven’t fully discovered myself yet with animation.

The second video was my first ever attempt at rain. I know it’s not great but now that I know more about after effects I think if I made the store a 2.5D or 3D scene I could make much better rain. I’m trying to learn how to animate rain with droplets on the ground but I’m having trouble doing it on my own since I’m still very beginner. I have learned an awful lot though. So I’m still pretty happy, just frustrated.

You can check out all of my animations here http://draconianrain.deviantart.com/gallery/44699976 and in my scraps folder you may find a few very early test animations.

So far my main plans are:

  • Learn Adobe After Effects
  • Learn how to animate better in flash
  • Learn other frame by frame animation techniques

Art Rage (not the program) And Discoveries


So, after a long time of painting I realised it was a one layer painting. I was somewhat enraged but fortunately it doesn’t matter to the person I am drawing for. I just get really annoyed when I want to go back and edit things and that kind of thing happens…

Anyway, as far as discoveries go, I FINALLY worked out how to rig in blender. I can rig in everything else but blender. I found out today that I was just missing one tiny yet important step and it was so simple to set up and now it all works! All this time I have been in the hair pulling out stage and the issue was simple. But then again I blame the tutorials for skipping such a basic step. It might be obvious to other beginners and intermediates but not to the very beginner like me. So there goes a lot of stress and not I can finally keep moving forward. It was definitely the big culprit in making me stop doing 3D. Maybe later in the week when I get the spare time I might build up a model and pose it.