Following Animate’s rebirth just a few months ago, Adobe’s latest update is actually attempting to include animators and artists, which a huge welcome change! The two biggest additions are allowing a layer to be transparent! I know that’s SO 1995 but at least they’re finally listening! Also a new inclusion is the Frame Picker which mimics Lipper and Keyframe Caddy but is now included in the Application itself. The one thing I’m hoping for in the next version is to have the Frame Picker set a keyframe when you select a drawing form it’s display. Also there is the new-ish Pattern Brushes, which is very similar to Illustrator’s brushes and while I personally have not found much use for them, they ARE an artists addition and you might find a need for them. Actually I take it back, I made wallpaper on a background once using them.
(graphic symbol thumbnails)
Visually preview and choose the first frame for a graphic symbol. In previous releases, you could not preview the frames without getting within the symbol. This feature enhances the user experience for animation workflows such as Lip Sync.
You can now skip manual workarounds and sketch on top of other layers right inside Animate. To set the visibility of the layer to transparent, Shift+Click on the eye column in the timeline.
Paint a vector pattern along the path or stretch to its entire length. You can use the integrated global library within Animate to use Art and Pattern brushes. In addition to the default brush presets, you can import new Pattern Brushes to your Animate document using the CC Libraries. See them in action here.
If you’re a fan of Sketchbook Pro like I am you know it’s an amazing program. I would argue it’s the easiest program to use digitally out of the box bar none. No other program is intelligently designed enough to allow a 5-year-old to use it yet create broadcast or print quality work as well. You can draw, paint, and even animate with it and it is available on most platforms including OSX, Windows XP through Windows 10, and even your favorite Android tablet or iOs device as well! In short it’s an extremely versatile program all for $185! Not bad! They even have subscription for $4.99 a month which allows you to get the latest builds as they upgrade the software.
In short, pretty damn amazing if you ask me!
PLUS, it has a small footprint, which means it will work on old tablet PCs like the Motion Computing LE 1700 which you can get for a song these days on eBay and other places. Of course you can also use it with a Surface Pro or iPad Pro as well.
The latest version Sketchbook 8 has redesigned it’s brushes so you can really get some interesting details you can mix colors and blend them as well. Oil paint, watercolors, ink and chalk are some of the default choices but there are many others to choose from as well. Lately Sketchbook.com has been posting free custom brushes for download, and this week a buddy of mine was feature on the blog. Keith Cowan creates some truly amazing pieces of work and you owe it to yourself to check his work out.
Below is Keith‘s custom art brushes as well as other Sketchbook Brush download sets to get you started!
If you’re NOT familiar with Sketchbook Pro yet, below is a list of some of the things it can do right out of the box…
Advanced perspective guides
Synthetic and blending brush types
Dynamic gradient fill
Custom canvas size up to 64 MPX
Copic Color Library
Create and customize your own brushes
Advanced layer functionality
Now go out there and make some amazing content!
Seeing as how Adobe dominates the animation industry, and you can no longer purchase Adobe software outright, I figure this might be of use to some of you out there. Right now until June 3rd you can get 40% off a subscription to the Adobe Cloud. Click here for more info.
You’re welcome! 😉
If you haven’t seen anything about this yet, Grease Pencil is a plugin within the free 3d program Blender that started as a tool to allow animators to give notes on scenes and strengthen poses by using 2d drawings as a guide. A 3d animator named Daniel M. Lara has been posting short bits of animation showing off what the plugin will do for 2d animators and I have to say it’s incredible. This could really revitalize the 2d animation community. The best part of all of this? Blender is FREE! Granted, it’s not an easy tool to understand or use but they seem to be getting better and better at making the interface easier to use. Really looking forward to this tool coming out of beta.
Adobe Animate brings new features but some challenges when installing extensions. The old way of adding features was to use the Adobe Extensions Manager and install extensions that way, but with Adobe Creative Cloud they’ve done away with that and the Extensions Manager no longer exists. This creates a bit of a problem for classic Flash users because the new Adobe Store unfortunately does not have all the useful tools Flash developers have created over the years and so when you find an great extension you’re unable to install it unless you find it in the Adobe Add Ons store. Well, the developers at Adobe that work on Animate have your back in the form of a stand alone application to allow you install those older extensions. Enter the Manage Extensions Utility which allows you to manually install extensions not in the Add On Store. Simply double click the program, navigate to the Install An Extension button, find the extension you wish to install and double click it. The program will install the extension. You can also set it to install a whole folder full of extensions at one time. Easy Peasy!