Okay, I'm officially impressed.
The animation tools could hardly be easier to use. Once you've learned how to set up a puppet by connecting the invisible bones to its various parts (a process explained in easy to follow tutorials included in the package), animating it just means moving to a new point on the timeline and repositioning. You can then copy and paste keyframes (though not cut and paste for some reason), and slide them along the timeline to alter the speed of your animation, and (while I'm sure there are more frustrations in store when I start trying more complex tasks) producing basic actions is simple and quick.
There are a few glitches that are slightly irritating but easily fixed: you can lock any bone into place, which is very useful (I've done it here with the feet of the robot when they hit the ground) -- but when you unlock the bone it will often spring into a strange position and you then have to correct it by hand.
Animators who are used to setting keyframes and then adjusting curves may have to get used to working on a more frame-by-frame basis with this program. That doesn't bother me because I started in animation with stop motion, when all of this was just fields and we had to walk a hundred miles to school in the snow in our bare feet and if we were lucky our parents would let us eat coal before we snatched half an hour's sleep and then got up to take the next frame.
Kids today, you don't know you're born. Morph could only walk when held up by fishing line, for frick's sake.
But I digress. So yes, very easy to use animation tools, and damn near perfect for cut-out style stuff, or mechanical/puppet subjects. I'm not sure yet how effectively the bone system combines with frame-by-frame drawn cartooning, so that'll be the next experiment.
Watch this space.
Old Town, San Diego
1 day ago