The application I want to talk about is called Cartoonist.
When looking into the different apps for the workshop it was at first dismissed as it does look like it is very basic and made for children.
Yes it is set up so children or anyone can open it up and start to play with figures and animate them without any effort. But it can go much deeper than that.
The big difference with other apps is that you can do a lot of things with this app that is not possible in any other animation application for Android and it is a lot of fun for people that do not draw too well for reasons that will be clear later.
So it is the only application that use a skeleton system and that also uses something called tweening (yes this is written for people that have no experience in animation so if you have some experience please be patient as the concepts are already familiar to you)... Making it possible to set up a character once and just move the limbs or whatever is connected to the “skeleton” in comparison to draw each frame.
So that works by drawing / painting different parts on small pieces that you can combine into “skeleton” system. So in the end it can become a pretty big construct and it seems to be able to take it pretty far. Did not hit any limit on how many parts that was possible to combine. Plus that you can make parts that have the function to stick to other parts for being able to more easily animate and then separate those parts while making the animation.
Of course it is not as a impressive set of function for skeleton rigging as there is in full scale programs like for example Anime Studio or for the free Synfig Studio (impressive professional totally free software) and there is limitations but those can be liberating forcing out of the box thinking.
So the other aspect that is not available in other apps (with the exception of some very simple apps where there is only pre-created figures to use) is what is called tweening which means that the app calculates all the intermediate steps when moving something into images.
Instead of as in traditional animation where each image has to be drawn. In the video with the figure juggling two moons there are over a thousand images to get everything looking smooth. This would obviously been a pain in the ass to do by hand! In the video it is about thirty to forty images being manipulated by hand... And everything being rigged it is not a lot of work.
The drawing tools are adequate and think that as long there is an eraser and the possibility to paint/draw with varying opacity it is enough to create interesting drawings.
Another thing that can lead to a lot of creativity is that instead of drawing it is possible to import images and link them up in a skeleton or have them free floating as in the second video or cut up arms legs etc and build characters with.
There are other animation apps that allow image import but nothing as easy to use as in this application. The limitation is that the rectangles that are used for drawing or the images are smaller and the background image is the only image that allows for the full screen but think that it is great in either case.
Wrote the developer twice with some questions but he did not feel like answering which is a little bit sad as I would not mind to make a small series of animations based on personal creations and my main reason why I would not do it is because it seems that there is no easy way (could not figure out how…) to reach the characters that got made so if the device gets lost/broken the characters would be gone.
The other things that I was wondering that I have not figured out are the export quality as there are no options and it could be nice to know. It does look good enough for YouTube or a computer screen in either case (do not have a TV to see how that would look like).
Would also be good to know the image resolution for import of background which could be figured out with some testing but have been too lazy to do…
There is a free version to try but it is a nice thing to have to make small videos to use as part of a music video for example and like mentioned before it is easy to do something even if you do not know how to draw as soon as something looks good it is fixed or just use photos creatively.
It comes with a lot of premade figures and as such it can be fun for children to make short animations to.
So will pop up here at Musical Android and write about other aspects of visual fun you can use your device for once in a while, as I got kind of hooked using apps as part of my art regimen.
Think that it took some time and had some aversion with the drawing on a smaller screen but after being forced into it because of the workshop have come to the realization that it is not too hard especially with a pen even if it is not one of the fancy pens or a Samsung Note device.
The pen I use is about a euro...
P.S - If someone knows how to reach the characters that gets made please share in the comments section and it will be added to the main post.