Friday, May 6, 2016

Opentoonz adventures - mini review

When I heard that the software that ghibli uses is going to be open sourced, I became so hyped about it that I went through all the features that it will bring before even getting the open source version.

I kept stalking internet for more information, kept waiting for the day Dwango will release it on github - looking at what time it is in japan and for footage or livestream of the conference.

Opentoonz did get a release and it was a bumpy one.
On the day it came out, everyone thought that the developer is just dumping the code for someone else to maintain.
Compared to the latest version of toonz harlequin, open toonz turned out to be quite unstable, full of bugs and missing features.
The features were apparently removed by ghibli developers who thought that they get in the way of traditional animators.
Naturally all the features missing were the ones that paperless/cut out/2d rig animators cant do their jobs without. :D

I fell in love with the thing, but became disapointed at first in the same time.
I wanted it to get better, so every bug found -I reported at the bug tracker. Almost 30 reports there as I write this are mine:

I had a couple of false ones - which I closed myself. almost all of them - regressions created by alterations made to toonz harlequin.

And in the end - only one minor bug that both harlequin and opentoonz share:

The japanese developer (mainly Shun Iwasawa) has fixed a lot of them and brought back most of the removed ones. He seems to be the most active contributor and has patiently explained the reasoning for the changes in the software here:

But there are still a couple of very serious ones.
Namely, it is no longer possible to edit sub x-sheets in place.The curves editor's interface has been made a pain in the ass to use.

The default layouts are broken - toolbar missing, nonsensical room layouts hiding vital editors - if you are a paperless animator. So If you do give OT a try, make sure to download these premade layout files I made:
You might still need to add some menus back.

Development hasnt been active for a while now. I hope that devs are taking a vacation and not just abandoning it.  I really like the tool, I think it has a long way to go to be on par with toonboom - but it is already the most advanced open source traditional animation package out there.

It puts both krita and synfig in the dust. Not to mention pencil2d.

I might continue my review of the tools once they get on par with harlequin. My biggest hope is that OT continues to grow and even become something more than harlequin. Right now it is still something less. But things are changing.

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