Plastic Animation Paper
One form of entertainment that is still enjoyed by individuals of all ages are cartoons. Starting with hand-drawn sketches of each frame, bundled up in a continuous motion to powerful computer apps with high-quality image and video outputs, cartoons are found in various shapes, styles and targeted public. Plastic Animation Paper is an application designed to combine both methods mentioned above, being especially useful for touch-sensitive devices.
Clean, well-organized interface
The interface is designed to put as much editing space as possible at your disposal. A slim side panel is home to most tools you get to work with, which let you adjust pen size and style, manage layers and start playback. On the other hand, there are four additional panels packed with more features.
Shallow set of drawing tools
Drawing is the main activity so you'll need to put your inspiration cap on. Sadly, there are no colors except black and blue, but this is to easily create smooth transitions. The amount of presets you can work with is close to none, with the animation being completely your creation.
In terms of adjustment options, you can set thickness and intensity of the provided color. There's also an eraser to attempt to fix any mistakes. There's only one brush to work with and no possibility to create fixed shapes, nor even add a text box.
Create, edit and move objects around
However, there are several ways in which to easily make your drawings come to life. Cutout tools let you literally cut portions of your drawing, or simply copy them and bring them to the new position. As such, you can clone objects, rotate them, scale or skew for a large variety of effects. It would have been useful to see a magic wand since there are only two colors to work with.
Combine layers and scenes to animate your project
Another component as useful as drawing is layer management. This assembles all of your sheets in a specific order and plays at a custom time rate in order to make drawings move. There are up to six layers to add for which you can toggle visibility. Each one can be equipped with a custom number of frames that hold a little bit of the while animation.
This makes it possible to animate six different objects or characters in the same clip. However, it can take some time to get all of them right, because there is no option to have all of them displayed for careful timing.
Could do with more tweaks
There are still a few unpolished features here and there. For instance, you can save and import sound, cutouts and layouts to make it easier to implement in other projects, but the lack of an objects browser forces you to constantly use the file menu for each small item you need.
A few last words
All in all, Plastic Animation Paper is not really a pro of its kind, but it's practical enough to deserve at least a try. The overall design comes in handy if used on touch-supported devices because of the large workspace and clever placement of toolbars and menus. What's more, with all the available layers you can create independent animations in the same scene and pile them up in a surprising result.
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