Pipeline suggestions

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sharkcellar
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Pipeline suggestions

Post by sharkcellar » 26 Feb 2014, 20:56

Hello all,

I'm looking for some help in creating a streamlined pipeline involving creating line art and clean up in TVP, exporting to Photoshop for coloring, and finally to After Effects for sequencing and post-fx. Does anyone else use a pipeline similar to this? Let's discuss. Thanks!

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D.T. Nethery
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by D.T. Nethery » 26 Feb 2014, 21:04

sharkcellar wrote:Hello all,

I'm looking for some help in creating a streamlined pipeline involving creating line art and clean up in TVP, exporting to Photoshop for coloring, and finally to After Effects for sequencing and post-fx. Does anyone else use a pipeline similar to this? Let's discuss. Thanks!
I guess I don't really have any suggestions for that , since you can do all those things within TVPaint - rough and clean-up line art , coloring , and camera moves & FX . (I'm not sure what "sequencing" is ... ) To me , the most streamlined pipeline would be the one with the least amount of steps , so why not just do it all in TVPaint ?

What is the advantage of taking the line art created in TVPaint to Photoshop for coloring ? I know some people prefer After Effects for camera moves , but I'm pretty happy with a combination of the Camera Tool or KeyFramer or Multiplane Camera in TVPaint .

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sharkcellar
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by sharkcellar » 27 Feb 2014, 01:36

Thanks for the reply, D.T.,

My main reason for the Photoshop part is that I really do not like the painting tools in TVPaint, to be quite honest. I'm interested in being able to utilize Photoshop's editing powers and its Timeline, which I'll then use in After Effects as sequenced layers (that's what I mean by sequenced). I know this may sound overly complicated, but I really like using TVPaint just for creating the animation, not coloring.

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Fabrice
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by Fabrice » 27 Feb 2014, 09:09

Please can you explain what exactly you don't like in the painting tools ?
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sharkcellar
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by sharkcellar » 27 Feb 2014, 14:27

Thanks, Fabrice, for your reply.

I don't like that there is no "magic wand". I don't like the way that you size the brushes. I don't like the way you sample colors. I don't like the color picker. I don't like how complicated it is to duplicate something. I tried using the painting tools and found the configuration settings non-intuitive. There are a lot of things I LOVE about TVP, when it comes to animating. Unfortunately, color is not amongst them.

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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by Elodie » 27 Feb 2014, 15:03

sharkcellar wrote:I don't like that there is no "magic wand".
wand.jpg
wand.jpg (9.82 KiB) Viewed 19636 times
sharkcellar wrote:I don't like the way that you size the brushes.
Well, in Photoshop, if I remember well, the basic shortcuts were "[" and "]"
In TVPaint, you can use :
• [+] / [-]
• wheel up / wheel down on your mouse
• [Z]
• the double arrows directly in the size parameter
• enter the value in the size parameter
sharkcellar wrote:I don't like the way you sample colors.
There are many ways to sample colors :
colors.jpg
colors.jpg (63.97 KiB) Viewed 19636 times
Or are you annoyed because the shortcut is not [alt] but [;] ?
sharkcellar wrote:I don't like the color picker.
Could you explain more ?
sharkcellar wrote:I don't like how complicated it is to duplicate something.
Duplicate what ? layers ? images ? brushes ? colors ?
sharkcellar wrote:I tried using the painting tools and found the configuration settings non-intuitive
Which ones ? The flood fill tool ? The Fill inside option ? Did you try to follow the explanations from the user guide ?
sharkcellar wrote:Unfortunately, color is not amongst them.
Your opinion is important anyway : the fact you prefer to color in a software mainly made to retouch photographs instead of an animating / painting software is interesting.

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Peter Wassink
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by Peter Wassink » 27 Feb 2014, 20:37

Elodie wrote:
sharkcellar wrote:I tried using the painting tools and found the configuration settings non-intuitive
Which ones ? The flood fill tool ? The Fill inside option ? Did you try to follow the explanations from the user guide ?
sharkcellar wrote:Unfortunately, color is not amongst them.
Your opinion is important anyway : the fact you prefer to color in a software mainly made to retouch photographs instead of an animating / painting software is interesting.
Elodie, although sharkcellar is at times a little vague in his complaints and some can be easily addressed.
( the duplicate complaint for instance most likely comes from not knowing the custombrush )
i do think it would help to take them more seriously.
For instance, i think he is right about the intuitiveness of the painting tool settings.
i believe that TVPaints tools are potentially more powerful but they are also harder to control.
and control is also a power factor.

another example is about sampling colors
an often occurring problem is that you pick a color that you have just applied with a custom tool
but then when you start to paint with the picked color it outputs a color that appears very different from the sampled one.
this has to do with how some custompaint tools use a combination of A and B color etc... of course once you know you can figure out ways to deal with it but... in the end... you cannot call it intuitive.
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sharkcellar
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by sharkcellar » 28 Feb 2014, 00:36

Elodie,

Thank you for the reply, but I ask to not be patronized, please. I use Photoshop, as does MANY, for illustration (it's the industry standard in the concept art field) and disparaging it because it is, on paper, a photo editing software, is quite a bit disingenuous as it has more than proven itself to be much more than that. Following that logic why should I expect an animation program to be as rich a graphics editor as Photoshop?

I stand corrected on the lack of there being a magic wand. Thank you.

What I meant by sizing the brush was specifically the Z command. I don't like how you have to select ESC to get out of it if you decide that you don't need it. I also don't like how it is not "spring loaded", but a sort of toggle. As far as resizing via the shortcuts the brush increments in such small amounts that you end up cranking on the wheel if you want a drastic size change, forcing you to resort to using the Z key.

What I meant by duplicating is, say I have something selected with the Transform tool. Can I duplicate that selection by holding down the ALT key and moving the object? It doesn't appear that I can. Am I missing something?

As far as the painting tools. I was messing around with the "Large Paint Brush" in the Painting tools collection. At first I thought it was cool, as I liked the oil-like texture and blending. The non-intuitive part came about when I wanted to try to tone down the characteristics of the brush to behave more conservatively (not change hue and saturation so much with the strokes), this led to a frustrating trip down the rabbit hole and left me pining for the ease of configuring brushes in...wait for it...photoshop.

I do really like the paint bucket's feature of using the layer above as a reference to quickly fill an area that exists on another layer. I wish Photoshop had that. I can see myself using that feature to block tones in to color later using the "lock pixels" feature in Photoshop. Yes, I know that TVPaint has a similar feature...

Peter,

Thank you for backing me up. I'm not here to rant about how TVP isn't everything I want. I'm here to ask a sincere question about how to do something very specific. I love the power of TVP for doing my "pencil test", nothing else comes close.

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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by Elodie » 28 Feb 2014, 11:02

i do think it would help to take them more seriously.
If I was not taking Sharkcellar's post seriously, I wouldn't have taken the time to answer him and ask him more details than just "I don't like" :)
My last sentence "the fact you prefer to color in a software mainly made to retouch photographs instead of an animating / painting software is interesting" was sincere and serious curiosity.

When I was a student and discovered TVPaint, my group and I immediately decided to use it for our graduation film. We finished our film with 1 week in advance, without doing sleepless nights.
I knew maybe just 10% of the software capabilities, but I still remember I thought my other fellow students were very dumb to spend hours to paint 1 image, while I could paint a sequence in the same time (with the same quality of result).

Since those days, each time I read someone animates on TVPaint but paint on Photoshop, I sincerely don't understand why.
(And each time I ask "why", I'm answered "because" or "I don't like to paint with TVPaint", which are not accurate answers for me :wink: )
Peter Wassink wrote:i believe that TVPaints tools are potentially more powerful but they are also harder to control.
I don't disagree with you ;)
When I was a student, I didn't understand the difference between the Tool bin (= custom panel) and Tool panel (a way to configure different category of tools)
Peter Wassink wrote:but then when you start to paint with the picked color it outputs a color that appears very different from the sampled one.
this has to do with how some custom paint tools use a combination of A and B color etc... of course once you know you can figure out ways to deal with it but... in the end... you cannot call it intuitive.
Sure, I agree : but the behavior you describe means 2 possibilities :

• you used some custom brushes from the tool bin (which are hidden by default).

or :

• you succeeded to create a custom brush with different colors / hues etc...
• you maybe modified the color mode and used the Alpha Diff mode
• you also changed the stamp mode of your custom brush and used, for example, the Luma mode

I mean, the problem you describe is true, but it means also you went deeper in the software to have this peculiar problem.

If you just try with a simple airbrush, the way you pick up colors to paint a gradient is not that different from Photoshop.

What do you propose to make thing easier ?
I use Photoshop, as does MANY, for illustration (it's the industry standard in the concept art field) and disparaging it because it is, on paper, a photo editing software, is quite a bit disingenuous as it has more than proven itself to be much more than that.
Sorry, looks like I didn't express myself properly (English is not our native language ^^)

I'm truly fascinated of Photoshop's or even Flash's fame : these both software had dedicated purposes (retouch photographs / animation for websites) and users bypassed their features for other jobs.
Photoshop is now used to paint and draw (and now, to make "animation") / Flash is used in the animation market to do TV series.
That's at the same time senseless and fascinating to me.
Following that logic why should I expect an animation program to be as rich a graphics editor as Photoshop?
TVPaint was firstly created as a painting software :wink:
Then, 5 years after its first released it became an animation software.
sharkcellar wrote:I stand corrected on the lack of there being a magic wand. Thank you.
You're welcome :)
What I meant by sizing the brush was specifically the Z command. I don't like how you have to select ESC to get out of it if you decide that you don't need it. I also don't like how it is not "spring loaded", but a sort of toggle.
I suppose you would prefer then a "floating" command ? I mean : you hold "Z" = > you can change the size | you drop Z => you can't change the size anymore.
A little like the color picker with ALT in Photoshop ?

In a way, I agree a lot with you : for Z, for the color picker and other features.... : I would really like to have "floating / toggling" keys, but it's not possible with the current architecture =/
sharkcellar wrote:What I meant by duplicating is, say I have something selected with the Transform tool. Can I duplicate that selection by holding down the ALT key and moving the object? It doesn't appear that I can. Am I missing something?
Ah Ha ! I understand now the problem ! :D
Photoshop users are very depending on selection and transform tool. So when they use TVPaint, they expect the same behavior.
In TVPaint, the equivalent of selection and transform tool is the "custom brush tool" :
cut brush.jpg
cut brush.jpg (6.36 KiB) Viewed 19599 times
With that tool, you may cut a zone on the drawing space and automatically turn it into a kind of stamp / brush.
This stamp can be moved, re-apply at the same place, rotated (by using C), rescaled (with Z), flipped (with Y or X) etc...

I use it quite a lot when I'm drawing, to move a part from a drawing for example.
I was messing around with the "Large Paint Brush" in the Painting tools collection. At first I thought it was cool, as I liked the oil-like texture and blending. The non-intuitive part came about when I wanted to try to tone down the characteristics of the brush to behave more conservatively (not change hue and saturation so much with the strokes)
Custom brushes from the Tool bin are examples of what you can do with TVPaint once you master the brush engine.

A custom brush is made from a scribble you drawn on the drawing area.
This scribble may contain several colors, hue, luminosity and transparency values.
Once you cut your scribble, here is the result :
cut brush 01.jpg
cut brush 01.jpg (32.56 KiB) Viewed 19599 times
If I click on the "Origin" button, you may access the "stamp modes" :
cut brushstamp options.jpg
cut brushstamp options.jpg (4.7 KiB) Viewed 19599 times
These modes combine the different original color values from your stamp / brush with colors from the Palette
Some examples with Large Paint Brush :
stamp modes.jpg
stamp modes.jpg (59.56 KiB) Viewed 19599 times
So, in your case, I advise you to use the "Alpha" mode or keep the "Luma" mode, but use the same A & B color.
sharkcellar wrote:I do really like the paint bucket's feature of using the layer above as a reference to quickly fill an area that exists on another layer.
Thanks ! You should also try the Fill inside option :)
I love the power of TVP for doing my "pencil test", nothing else comes close.
Thank you again :]

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Soom
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by Soom » 28 Feb 2014, 12:01

Before TVPaint I was also combining several programs to do the animation job. Normally I was using CTP (Crater Software) and Photoshop and editing soft like Premiere. But now, after working in TVPaint for almost 2 years, I realize, that for 2D animation, there is no better program than that. I also don't like some things in TVPaint here and there, but in general, once the work starts, it just becomes better and easier. And besides - I can be sure, that most things will get improved, because TVPaint people actually listen to each one of us.

I can tell from your questions, that you just started with TVPaint and you didn't have time to learn a lot about it, and you still try to use your Photoshop reflexes, which you are used to. It's normal.

About the workflow itself - the most distinctive thing in animation, is that you mostly use just several tools to draw/paint thousands of images in a similar style. So once you set up your brushes and plan your work, you don't really need to manipulate them too much in the process. After the creative stage (preproduction and animation), the workflow becomes quite monotonic, and to say the truth - the speed/quality ratio, you can achieve in TVPaint is far more superb than in any other software. Once you get used to it a bit, you can find amazing things, that actually make you like it more and more. For example - the "Animated Custom Brush" is some amazing invention, that doesn't exist in Photoshop, and which takes your brushes to a completely new level with almost infinite possibilities.

Another great thing about TVPaint, is that it's interface is completely adapted to use on a Wacom Cintiq, or similar tablet, so that your interface stays clear, and for most things you never need to use the keyboard. The tablet buttons and your pen is enough for almost any task. In Photoshop or Flash you can't really avoid using the keyboard.

So I suggest - if you do intend to do animation, work a bit more and give it a try - you will see how things will start to turn
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Paul Fierlinger
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by Paul Fierlinger » 28 Feb 2014, 12:10

Elodie, a fascinating, careful reply! When I was a beta tester on CTP Crater, I often asked if it would be possible to tweak certain features more; to give us some more detailed options instead of just "pencil" and that's it. The answer was always the same, 'Sure, we could reveal many, many more details that could be tweaked, but that would make the software too complicated for most newcomers and turn them off'. This conversation reminds me of that issue. I came to TVP because finally there was a program that allowed me to make my own decisions about what I would like my tools to look like. PhotoShop is like Crater to me, from what I keep hearing about it (never used it myself but have watched others use it).

Elodie, when you ask how can we make the creation of brushes easier to understand, I have to wonder if it is at all possible and why then even brood over such a question. Complexity brings greater choices and grander possibilities, but the tax that comes with this is the need to spend time to learn and experiment with the variables. Complexities breed complications -- to be able to do more means to learn more. That's why the world has simple jobs for simple people and complex jobs for people who are willing to slog through a higher education. The rewards for that are obvious.
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by Fabrice » 28 Feb 2014, 12:38

Well, after years using and developping TVPaint, it became difficult for us to figure out what problems a newcomer might encounter, because we are too much used to our own product ...
As we always want to improve the software interface and use, we then use to ask a lot of questions in order to understand, think twice about all the small details that can make everything user-friendly.
Elodie wrote her two posts in that spirit. :)
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Soom
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by Soom » 28 Feb 2014, 12:49

Paul Fierlinger wrote: Elodie, when you ask how can we make the creation of brushes easier to understand, I have to wonder if it is at all possible and why then even brood over such a question. Complexity brings greater choices and grander possibilities, but the tax that comes with this is the need to spend time to learn and experiment with the variables. Complexities breed complications -- to be able to do more means to learn more. That's why the world has simple jobs for simple people and complex jobs for people who are willing to slog through a higher education. The rewards for that are obvious.
I, generally speaking, think, that all graphic software in the past 10 years are trying to achieve one goal with drawing tools: to make it look as if it was drawn by hand on realistic surface. Therefore I believe, that at some point, the technology should be able to let you choose any tool with least manipulations but maximum choices, to look completely like a real tool. I mean not only the final result, but also in the drawing process. And the amount of complex controls should be brought down to almost nothing. I think TVP brushes are a step forward among all other software, but amount of variable controls make these things still more complex and keep it from doing the second step. I believe both goals have to be a priority - when we do both steps, I would call that - a progress. So why not - never stop trying! :)
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Paul Fierlinger
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by Paul Fierlinger » 28 Feb 2014, 13:04

The first thing that comes to my mind, if you want to get closer to that goal, would be to offer a lineup of templates instead of just a tiny button with a picture of a brush, because these could assist with the learning curve. These templates should be presented as partial tutorials instead of just more icons. Instead of a small button, each brush variable would have a screen print of the Tool Panel with red ovals circling the salient areas that have been tweaked, particularly those that define the brush's characteristics. This would lead to the user wiggling those values about, which would in turn expedite the learning curve.

I imagine the collection of these brushes to come within a folder containing a row of small picture-grams, each looking like the tool's interface. Once the user would click on any of these illustrations, the brush within would be at the pen's tip, ready to test.
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Re: Pipeline suggestions

Post by Sewie » 28 Feb 2014, 13:36

Though it started out quite interesting, this thread is going off into a convoluted tangent again.
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