I'm evaluating different animation software packages, I like Toon Boom, really don't like the Flash interface. tried Moho, Mokeyjam etc. etc. and I heard all the hype about Mirage, so I downloaded their 30 day demo. They are offering a cross-grade right now that is within my budget.
I'll begin by saying I'm a seasoned veteran with Adobe Photoshop, After Effects and Priemere and know my way around a computer pretty well. I have a cross platform studio and consider myself pretty savvy for an amateur.
However, either I have suddenly become really dense - or this is the most user-unfriendly, tutorially-bereft software I have ever seen. I can't figure out how to even START an animation - there are no beginner's tutorials anywhere on the net that I can find, except for some videos in French. I've searched every forum I can think of and there's NOTHING about this software except the occasional user hype. I would love to try it out - but if I can't even figure out how to start an animation in it I don't think I'm going to get very far. Does anyone here use this product? If so, is there a beginner's introduction or tutorial anywhere? I've watched all the videos on the Bauhaus site and they were of little help. The Bauhaus forums are impossible to get into - even after registering, so no help there either.
Can anyone point me in the right direction??? I'd appreciate it!
Thanks for the update Faith!
I went back to the manual as you suggested and DID find out how to start an animation on page 151. I played with it for a couple hours. My personal opinion is that it may be a powerful program but it really isn't very user friendly or intuitive compared to other products I use. There were also some problems with my Mac G4 locking-up on the program and having to 'force quit' everytime I wanted to close it. So I've decided to stick with Toon Boom and After Effects for what I'm working on right now and not buy the crossgrade.
Thank you to everyone who offered their opinions on this. I really appreciate all the input! :)
How's Plastic Animation Paper compare?, I've never heard of that before. :-o
Cathy, you know best what suits you. I'm with XP and haven't got any problems with the software at all. Mirage is quite powerful, indeed, but takes some learning time. I'll see if I make something nice with it :D
Hi ecec, :)
Here's a link to their site:
They have a shareware version that you can download. Currently the software is for Windows and Linux but they are developing a version for the Mac.
Hope this is helpful,
If you give up on Mirage so quickly you'll really be missing out. I would suggest carefully going through the manual and the Bauhaus Software Forums. It will take time, but it's worth it.
In the meantime just use other programs to get the jobs out quickly, and in a little while you'll feel confident enough with Mirage to use it for jobs.
It's a very deep program, so it will take effort to master it. The standard flow of programs like AE, Photoshop, premiere, etc. can't handle what Mirage does. Mirage has a totally different way of dealing with things and it is superior.
Hey! I did all right watching Bauhaus' videos and asking questions on the forum! But I've been using Mirage for all of my recent projects, and if you ask some specific questions, I can let you know what I know at least? :)
It's not difficult at all to start animating! Just select your layer, right click to turn it into an animation layer, then add as many frames as you need by clicking on the little tab on the right side of the frame in the timeline and dragging it until you've got the number of frames you want. Then select the first frame, draw - then go to your next one! :) And you can press play at the bottom to see what you've got.
Hey - Thank you very much!
That is EXACTLY the information I was looking for!! The basic - "How to" begin an animation from scratch in Mirage. Do you have the manual? Does it cover things like this? The PDF manual that comes with the demo was not very helpful to me.
There does seem to be very little in the way of user groups and forums for this software - perhaps I'm just spoiled comming from 'Adobe-land.' But I have found very little community support for Mirage. Do you know of any that I may have missed?
Thanks again for your help!
I don't think you're dense at all. I come from Adobe land and taught myself Maya from manuals (and now use it professionally) and still couldn't get anywhere with Mirage. I couldn't even get it to draw a solid line (just a bunch of dots) and my computer is definitely up to the challenge of drawing lines. It looked so promising but the complete lack of any useful information completely turned me off from it.
If you come across any more info like ecec just shared, please post it. Good luck!
Producing solidily ok animation since 2001.
Now with more doodling!
I've got the exact same problem. I mean - so far I enjoy the software, but, damn, how the hell can I make an animated feature? Does anybody know how to work with the program..? The paint and effects are awesome, but.....
I just use the Bauhaus Official Forums?, linked off their website? :)
I've been experimenting a lot!, but eventually it clicks - I promise!
To save both time and nervs, there's a link for tutorial videos, made by the lead Mirage programmer. The site is french, but the registration is nothing special so you'd be okay. Videos are .mov, the format is 7zip (http://www.7-zip.org/)
like any software sometimes you feel lost with an interface. I evaluated mirage sometime ago and my team just couldnt come to like it so we stuck to Flash and to some extent ToonBoom.
but mirage just dosent do it for us. I think they have an official forum and the guys are real good with issues and help so try their forum out
Thanks for the validation gang! It really is a shame about Mirage - because the software has some very strong tools and features - but if no one can figure out how to use them, what good are they?
kdiddy13 - I absolutely LOVE your animations! Would you be willing to share where you got that great 50's background music you use? And also what tools do you use to produce your animations? Inquiring minds want to know!!!
I just downloaded the demo a couple of days ago to test it myself. The interface is a bit different, especially if you're used to Adobe/Macromedia stuff. The pdf manual is great for describing all of the drawing tools/effects, but has nothing about actually making an animation.
There is a "Clock" tutorial on the Tutorials page that does give you the basics you need to start an animation (not much more than what ecec gave you above).
I've used Flash for years (though more for web design than animation), but I've really wanted a raster look rather than a vector look. On a Mac, Mirage seems like the only affordable option (at least until Plastic Animation Paper releases their Mac version), so I'm going to keep plugging away at the 30-day trial and decide at the end whether or not to take advantage of the cross-grade pricing.
Yes Grumbelboy - I've got my eye on PAP as well - waiting for the Mac release. Let me know how much progress you make with Mirage and if you decide to buy it - the crossgrade offer is tempting - but not if I can't put the software to use.
I love Mirage!, and I've been using it just fine since I got it myself. :)
To switch from dots to solid lines, be sure you've selected -- in your brush options window -- the solid line, rather than the dotted line.
The Blue Pencil Toolbox really 'made' this program for me!, that's just so handy and so cool for character animation. Be sure to check the website thoroughly to download all the neat little extras like it!
DAMN! I love Mirage! 3 Hours ago I did not know even how to start an animation, but after reading some pages of the manual, I'm aware of the most easy effects (exactly for the beginner). However, I just wanted to say that the manual is made for that - to be read. :D