Cartoon Animator 4
Issue 7401
Confusion with Pipeline Render Styles Manual & Marketing
There is no real pipeline for G2 characters and props. It is very hard to edit them. The documentation is confusing as it doesn't mention Adobe Animate as the program needed to animate the vector files. You have to search for the file types needed (flv, fla, swf). There also is not a plugin to quickly edit G2 characters like there is for G3 & G360 characters. There should be a plugin that links to Adobe Animate like there is one for Photoshop and After Effects.

The marketing for this feature is also confusing. It states: Design Your Vector Content to be Compatible with Multiple Render Style. I can't post a link but it is on the page that explains the Pipeline Features.

First, there is a typo. It should read "Styles" not "Style". Also, when people think of vectors, they think of modern file types such as ai or svg. They don't think of Flash. It should read Design Your Flash Content to be Compatible with Multiple Render Styles so it is not misleading.

The link on the page does not go to the Cartoon Animator 4 manual. It goes to the manual for a previous version. It also doesn't mention the vector file types needed are flash (fla, flv, and swf) or a requirement of having a program similar to Adobe Animate. When people think of editing vectors, they automatically think of Adobe Illustrator, not Adobe Animate.

The marketing page should list that the feature is only compatible with swf files. It should also list a few programs that are required so the purchaser knows what programs are needed to use this feature. The marketing page for the Pipeline version mentions Adobe Photoshop and After Effects. There is no mention of Adobe Animate in the Render Styles section.

The initial marketing also doesn't mention the full features are for G2 characters and not G3/G360 characters. Only the basic render styles can be changed for G3/G360 characters.

The video tutorials page only has videos for the After Effects and Photoshop Pipeline features. There is no video indication how Render Styles are used in Adobe Animate. There should be a video that explains how to use this Pipeline feature under the Pipeline section.

On the Cartoon Animator 4 manual page entitled G2 Characters with multiple angles, there is a chart under Render Style Capability. This chart does not mention anything about G3/G360 characters. I am assuming from experience, it is the same as G1 Characters.

Also, in the manual there is a page titled Character Types (New for V4). On this page there is a comparison table. The table says for G3/G360 characters render style is not fully supported. The table also states that vector-based is fully supported for the G3/G360 characters. This part is confusing because vector characters support full render style. Also, vector characters were G2 characters not G3/G360 characters.

Another thing I found in the manual is that on the page Customizing Render Styles for Image-based Props has an option that is missing. It says I need to execute Modify >> Toggle Between G1/G2 Render Styles to get 10 for image based props. The option is missing from the menu. I see this option on other pages in the manual but I can't seem to find it in the menu.

There is the Toggle Render Styles Option. I believe it does the same thing. I am not sure because after selecting it, I am unable to modify the render styles. When I selected this option, I get the notification the actor/prop does not have defined render style groups when I try to modify the render styles. The prop also loses all animations previously applied to it.

On this page, there is a note that should only apply to vector based images. The note also appears on the Changing Render Styles for Image-based Objects Page. The note says the Affect All and Affect Same group options can be enabled or disabled. Earlier on the page it states that image-based files are put into one group. It seems the note doesn't apply to image-based props. The Affect All and Affect Same Group are grayed out. The Affect Same Group is selected and there is no way to change this. Selecting the basic elements of the prop individually does not change the render styles for each element of the prop.

On the Changing Render Styles for Image-based Objects Page, there is a section called Fine-Tuning with Color Sliders. It seems this section is for vector based props. There is also the page Customizing Render Styles for Image Based Body Parts. This page also seems to be for vector-based images. This tutorial page cannot be followed for images-based actors and props because they are imported as one layer in Cartoon Animator 4.

The page Using Mask Props is listed under Render Styles in the manual. This type of prop does not change the render style of the object is is placed over. It seems to just be a regular prop you can place in front of the objects to add different effects to the scene.

It is confusing to have the Using Mask Props page under Render Styles when it should be under props. The reference to render styles should be removed because the props in this category do not have render style options. They also do not affect the render styles of objects.

Prop Masks also do not function the same as the mask used in composer mode to mask out part of a character or prop. The terminology makes understanding this type of prop confusing.

The What is a Prop? page in the manual doesn't differentiate between image-based and vector-based props. This is confusing when you read more about props in the manual. The page doesn't differentiate between animated props and those with render style. It also doesn't explain the difference between G2 and G3 props.

Under the Pipline section on editing with the PSD editor, there is no mention that the vector-based props and characters will be converted to image-based.

The terms vector-based and image-based are confusing. There are different definitions on the Body Types page. In one instance, image-based it refers to characters and props that are images such as .psd files, jpg, jpeg, bmp, gif, png, tga. Vector-based are those that are composed of .swf files. The image below shows the bodies of the G3 elastic man and woman as being vector based when they are actually image based.

On the comparison chart on the Character Types (v4) page it says G2 characters can only use G2 body parts and G3/G360 can only use G3/G360 body parts. The Body Types page also shows mixed Sprite-based body parts. Based o the comparison chart, this is not possible.

The page Replacement Characters show the replacement tables for CrazyTalk/Cartoon Animator 3. I am not sure if it is the same for Cartoon Animator 4. I am assuming the same applies. In the table it show when replacing a G3 characters with a G1/G2/G2+ character, a new character will be added because they are not compatible.

On the Replacement Characters page on the Head/Body Replacement table it shows that G3 Characters are only compatible with the heads of G1/G2/G2+ characters. The body is not compatible. Yet, on the Body Types page, there is an image indicating these body types can be mixed.
OS: Windows 10
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Submitted bydeborah_293014