Software maker DigiCel has released the newest PC version of its popular 2D animation software. FlipBook 5 for Windows includes new paperless animation features to support drawing on both normal and display tablets or tablet PCs, as well as a new light-box feature to control image display.
In addition, a new MayaLink feature enables interfacing between FlipBook and Maya to help animators work out difficult pose and timing issues. Other features include a customizable tool bar, a new video-capture module designed to further simplify stop-motion and cut-out animation, a new lip-sync feature that includes standard mouth drawings to aid in achieving frame-perfect lip-sync, and a crash recovery feature.
Regarding the MayaLink feature, veteran Disney animator Jason Ryan explains that it enables him to "shoot out just my keys with their original timing in Maya, re-time them in FlipBook with real-time feedback, draw markups for new paths of action and send it all back to Maya. FlipBook will not only retime my character rig in Maya, but it also imports my new markups into a Maya image plane for reference -- no more need for grease pencils or dry erase markers."
The new release brings FlipBook for Windows up to speed with the Mac version released last year at Annecy. DigiCel president Kent Braun explains that, for the Mac release, he invited Eric Goldberg to accompany DigiCel to Annecy to demonstrate the software at their booth. "He liked it better than anything else he had used and made a few suggestions to make it even easier, which we have since implemented.
"About this time," he continues, "the animators working on the SIMPSONS MOVIE requested FlipBook, which many of them had used on CURIOUS GEORGE, LOONEY TUNES BACK IN ACTION and RUGRATS GO WILD. Even though they were using version 4 on the PC and version 5 on the Mac everything went smoothly throughout the movie."
In the course of adding the paperless animation features to the PC version, DigiCel completed a few more features that they were anxious to release, so they included them in the PC version as well. Mac users will be able to access the latest features via a free update for version 5.
DigiCel is a privately held corporation that markets software for professional, student and aspiring animators. You can download the latest version of FlipBook from the company web site at www.digicelinc.com.