... but I haven't found it yet and I have tried out Toon Boom Studio, Toon Boom's Harmony Essential, Anime Studio and now this. I will go on testing it out, but allow me to come with a very quick first-hand impression and also some thoughts about what I am looking for. I guess I need to say something about my background then. I am a professional artist, illustrator and cartoonist, so what I am interested in, is an application with which it would have been easy to animate my creations. In other words, I know how to draw so the application should be one with which I can use my own drawings first and foremost. If it also has good drawing tools, it is fine, but since I prefer to draw on my iPad Pro or on paper, it should be able to import drawings and vectorise them on the go, and importing multi-layered psd-files is of course very good, all of which I understand this application does.
But I still haven't found what I am looking for and why is that?
First of all; the applications which present themselves as easy to use, are mostly kids' stuff. I read a review saying that Crazy Talk combined the easy and the advanced, but as far as I can see, it is not intuitive. By that I mean that I should be able to understand the basics without having to read instuctions or watch tutorials. I whould be able to import a drawing and view a timeline with frames etc. Or, if I am not viewing it, I should be able to view the animation in real time, but perhaps that would require fast rendering capacities and thus, a more powerful machine than my aging iMac Late 2009.
Anyway, I should be able to add some bones and manipulate my drawing right away, just by clicking on the parts I want to animate and then manipulate the image. Simply play around with it to see what it can do. Just play and go.
The next step would be to add a background, something which should be as easy as to add a background in any graphic or drawing application. Add Background. See the layers and manipulate them. Reorder them. This in front and that more to the back. Let me put a tree here. OK, so that is a new layer. What about a rock there? OK and that is adding a new layer. Shouldn't the rock be behind the tree? Just move the rock-layer behind the tree-layer. Then a sky behind it all. Some clouds? That adds a cloudlayer. A bird? That adds a bird-layer.
Then one should be able to simply pull and push the bird where it should fly, thus creating a motion path.
OK, so now I want to add a person running and hiding behind the tree. So then I go to the library and open the run cycle, which I just drag into the timeline and a new layer is added. Now I need to draw the person running and each part is labeled on the stick figure. Head, left arm, right arm etc. So I draw the parts and import them and drop them on the respective parts on the default stick figure et voilá; they form a running person with a perfect run cycle.
Well, you get the hang of it. The application should do the complicated stuff and the creative artist should be allowed to have as much fun as possible, without having to learn much about classical animation.
I still don't know about this application, but that is one of my gripes with the Toon Boom-products; they are too much based on classical animation studios, which is difficult to get into if you are coming from the computer world, used to work with graphics on computers. Animation programmes should instead base themselves on the likes of Photoshop, Illustrator, Affinity Photo and Design and the likes of it. Forget the old studios and think computer.
And then, when the creative person have played around and is happy with what s/he has created so far, it is time to dive into the more advanced aspects of animation. Perhaps there could even be two modes to it? I don't know, but if I will win the fat one in the lottery, I would like to hire my own team of programmers and order them to create exactly what I am looking for:)
Well, I still have 15 days of the trial period and I guess I need to look at some of the tutorials to get something done. So far I couldn't get a thing to move. Didn't understand much of the interface and the tools and the GUI is boring and rather unintuitive, alas. Very grey.
But if anyone knows about such an animation application as the one I am dreaming of, give me a shout. There is a Danish who is working on something called Paper, which looks like something. But I don't know if he will ever get there.