Request for Enhanced Character Posing Features in OpenToonz

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Armentero Studios

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Mar 31, 2024, 9:42:58 AMMar 31
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Dear OpenToonz Development Team,

I hope this letter finds you well. Firstly, I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all the hard work and dedication you put into making OpenToonz the incredible animation software it is today. It has been an invaluable tool for countless artists and animators worldwide, including myself.

I am writing to you today to suggest a feature enhancement that I believe would greatly benefit the animation community and further elevate OpenToonz as a leading animation software. Specifically, I would like to propose the implementation of advanced character posing features akin to those found in software such as Blender, Cartoon Animator, and Moho.

These software packages offer users the ability to easily manipulate and animate characters by utilizing a posing library. This library allows users to swap or modify different character parts, such as limbs, facial features, and accessories, with ease. Additionally, users can keyframe poses, especially if characters are rigged with a bone or skeleton system.

I believe that incorporating similar functionality into OpenToonz would revolutionize the animation workflow for users of all skill levels. By providing a comprehensive posing library and intuitive tools for customizing and animating characters, artists would be able to work more efficiently and bring their creative visions to life with greater ease.

Here are some key features that I envision for the enhanced character posing system in OpenToonz:

1. Posing Library: A library of pre-made character poses and templates that users can easily drag and drop onto their canvas.

2. Customizable Characters: The ability to customize characters by swapping out different body parts, adjusting proportions, and adding accessories directly within the software.

3. Keyframe Animation: Intuitive keyframing tools for animating characters, including the ability to keyframe individual body parts and create complex animations with ease.

4. Rigging Support: Seamless integration with bone or skeleton rigging systems to enable more advanced character animation techniques.

5. Export Compatibility: Ensure compatibility with industry-standard file formats for easy integration with other software and pipelines.

I truly believe that these features would not only streamline the animation process but also empower artists to explore new creative possibilities. With OpenToonz already being an open-source platform, I am confident that the addition of these features would be warmly welcomed by the community and further cement OpenToonz's position as a leading animation software.

Thank you for considering my proposal. I look forward to seeing the continued evolution of OpenToonz and eagerly anticipate the possibility of these enhanced character posing features being implemented in future updates. 

OneWatt

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Mar 31, 2024, 12:09:28 PMMar 31
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I fully respect your idea - and echo the deep appreciation we share for the efforts that bring us these amazing tools! 

But not being fully familiar with all of the other programs you've cited, I think you've raised features that are mostly available within OpenToonz/Tahoma2D already ... with the notable exception of "pre-made" character body parts. Such a library, however, would be inherently limiting as compared to the creative expanse of the "blank page." 

Providing other people's creative work in the form of a library package of body parts/poses seems like a bit of a philosophical leap (i.e., about the purpose and boundaries of software as a creative tool). Like the difference between freehand drawing and using stencils. 

Of course one is currently free to cruise the internet to capture images of all sorts (respecting copyright where applicable depending on intended use) for cartoon-like characters, expressions, body parts, etc. These images can be easily imported into OpenToonz/Tahoma2D wherein all the functionality you describe to deconstruct and reconstruct to your liking (and animate accordingly). The "plastic" and various mesh, skeleton, and deformation tools provide seemingly limitless possibilities.  

In short, I'm not sure I see meaningful program limitations currently - other than saving users the trouble of deciding for themselves what character look/feel they want to establish for their own animations.

Would be curious to hear others' views on this. 

Armentero Studios

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Apr 2, 2024, 5:51:10 PMApr 2
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1. Is there a necessity for pre-made character body parts library?

Yes, absolutely. When working solo or in a small team, time is of the essence. Having a library of pre-made character poses and templates would significantly expedite the animation process. While I cherish the traditional method of creating animations slowly, the reality is that it can become quite tedious and time-consuming. By utilizing a pose library, creators can save a substantial amount of time, potentially up to 30%, which is invaluable when working with limited resources.

2. Would providing pre-made character body parts library contradict creative freedom?

Not at all. The beauty of such a library is that it doesn't restrict creative freedom; rather, it enhances it. While some may prefer to create everything from scratch, others who may not possess drawing skills or prefer not to draw can still utilize these assets to bring their ideas to life. Additionally, utilizing pre-made assets can serve as inspiration for creating original content in the future.

3. Can't users achieve similar outcomes by sourcing images from the internet?

While sourcing images from the internet is an option, it doesn't offer the same level of control and customization as creating assets within the program. For instance, when creating sound effects, using pre-made ones may not perfectly match the animation, leading to a disconnect between the visual and auditory elements. Similarly, puppeteering characters using pre-made assets may result in limitations and awkwardness in movement. Having the ability to create and manipulate assets within the program ensures complete control and alignment with the creator's vision.

4. Are there tangible benefits to providing pre-made character body parts library?

Absolutely. Aside from saving time, there are numerous tangible benefits to having a pre-made character library. For example, collaborating with other creators who specialize in motion tracking or have access to motion tracking suits could allow for the creation of high-quality animations that can be integrated into the library. This opens up opportunities for creators to share and collaborate on animations, ultimately enriching the animation community as a whole.

Furthermore, the integration of other software like Inkscape, Krita, or Blender for character rigging would expand the functionality of OpenToonz, allowing users to create and customize characters using a variety of tools and techniques.

while traditional animation methods hold their charm, leveraging technology to streamline the animation process is essential for increasing productivity and expanding creative possibilities. The proposed pre-made character library would serve as a valuable tool for creators, empowering them to bring their visions to life more efficiently while maintaining the flexibility to work in their preferred manner. What we have here is an opportunity to make things more flexible create more options for people I mean a lot of people will find this to be quite scary and never even open the program but this can be a new way to invite them because it is complicated there's a lot of things to learn which probably means that it needs an upgrade in its own on UI interface Like it's needs a new makeover.

Artisteacher

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Apr 3, 2024, 5:18:45 PMApr 3
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1. Personally, I'm philosophically opposed to premade parts libraries. Apart from that, it bloats the software unnecessarily. If it's really wanted, there's nothing stopping people from making a project behave like a parts library or pose library and then sharing it with others as they feel led. I think that's better done at the community level, not directly in the software. Now could there be a better system in place for utilizing existing assets as a library? 100% yes.
2. We can already do this? Just use the replace level command to switch out parts and resize with either the select or animate tool as needed. You can assign a shortcut to the command for easier access.
3. What would make this more intuitive? I'm not saying it couldn't be, but a clearer description would be helpful. We can already keyframe individual parts - do you mean like shape keys for the vector levels? Because yes, that would be amazing.
4. Current skeleton tool rigging could definitely be improved. I'd love to see time invested in a more flexible rigging system that allows for multiple character views/turning within a single rig - or even multiple skeletons that could be changed between - like the plastic tool has.
5. What specific formats?

Armentero Studios

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Apr 10, 2024, 5:38:41 PMApr 10
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Well I'm not asking to remove anything from it rather to improve and add to it and this could be very beneficial convenience and it would have his own purpose I mean you can still do it in the traditional way nothing is removed from that for that aesthetic that OpenToonz is for. And if it stays the way that it is then eventually it's just going to become obsolete like an old program that is just not keeping up or it's relevant anymore so I think the key word here is relevant since it'll allow it to stay relevant in today's modern world while also keeping a traditional at the same time.
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