Hi!
Can you recommend me some software for cutout animation? I'm just a beginner and I was doing research today about that but this is quite an emergency. I figuered out some software called Toon Boom, but it only has trial version and I can't afford the original. I have Macromedia Flash 8 on my computer so I was wondering could that work? I also heard about Adobe Flash, and can't figure out is it actually this Macromedia Flash 8 or something different? I saw there is Adobe Flash Pro on Torrent.
And is it possible to draw in some of those programs and then export image sequence so I can print them and do my cutout animation based on them? Is it posibble? I really need something to do for me frame by frame thing.. Please, help asap

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Do you want to do real cut-out animation with paper, scissors, a camera and a framegrabber? That is a form of stop-motion, you move the cut out paper with your hands.
Or do you want to do some kind of computer animation, where all the moving is done in a computer program? I use a French program called TV Paint Animation for 2d animation, as well as for post production effects on my stop motion puppet animation. But it is expensive, around $1000 I think.
I did some searching, but I can't work out if Adobe Flash and Macromedia Flash are the same or different. They seem to be a video format and video player for use on the web. I have heard of 2d flash animation But I can't work out if it is connected with either of those. Sorry this is not helping.

yes, I wanna do it with paper and everything, but I can't use framegrabber. And because of that I must draw it on computer first, so I can print every frame and match a cutouts with it ( I guess I will use transparent celluloid paper for help). I'm a student, I can't afford those expensive softwares. And I was wondering if this could work. This means lot to me cuz I can't determine timing and spacing without it. I'm just a beginner.

I looked up Flash Animation in Wikipedia, that helped explain what it is, and listed some programs like Adobe Flash or Toon Boom that can create flash animation. These programs are mostly for doing everything in the computer. You draw the characters in the computer, you move them around, you don't need bits of paper or a camera.
I don't know why you can't use a framegrabber. You need to, if you want to capture your cut-out animation and see how it looks while you work. There are cheap or free framegrabbers around, costing much less than 2d animation software. Why not draw on the paper with a pen instead of drawing in the computer, then printing it out, then shooting it with a camera, and putting it back in the computer again? It seems a long way around.

I can't use framegrabber because I'm shooting with still camera. And anyway, if I had one, I'm not experienced enough to use it. It will take a much more time to experiment with it, because I can't determine how much to move cutout by my eye.. In computer it will be much easier.. it is a way around but I can't figure out any easier way to me..

Use surface gages.

that wouldn't help. As I said, I'm not experienced enough..

It could be difficult to work out how to,help, if you have no money, and no time.
Have you used 2d animation software before? That takes time to learn and get good at it, probably longer than learning what you need to do with a basic framegrabber.
How far should you move a puppet or a cutout? You can do the action yourself, and time it, to get a rough idea. Or you can just try something and see. Load the images to your computer and play it back in QuickTime Pro or some editing software, whatever you are planning to use - if it is too fast, do smaller moves so it takes more frames to get from A to B. If it is too slow, make the moves a little bigger, so you use less frames to get there.
That's what we all have to do, try it out, see where it could be improved, and do it better next time. I learned on film, before home computers, so I didn't see what I did wrong until my film got processed and sent back to me. Using a framegrabber means you learn much more quickly. It only needs to be basic, like one of the free ones.
Some still cameras work with frame grabbers. (Most of us shoot with DSLR still cameras.) If yours does not, consider getting a webcam that does connect to your computer so you can see what you are doing. If yours is a compact "point 'n shoot" camera that only has auto focus, auto white balance, and auto exposure, it won't be very good for animation anyway because those things will keep jumping about from one frame to the next. If it does have manual settings, it's worth seeing if you can use it with a free or cheap framegrabber.
If you can't use it with one, the best thing is to do what Don said, use a surface gauge. That does not have to be something you buy. If you put a coin next to your cutout and just touching it, then move the cutout away, you can see how far you've moved it. Take the coin away, take your shot, then put it back so it touches the cutout again, and make your next move. That is all a surface gauge does. Measure the move with a ruler if you like, so you can keep track of how much you are moving each frame.

thanks very much! this means a lot!

Macromedia Flash 8 is Adobe Flash, just an old version of it. Adobe acquired Macromedia in 2005, absorbing their products. Some of the software that made the transition was Flash, Fireworks, Dreamweaver, Director and ColdFusion.

Though I've only dabbled with Flash myself, I don't think it will be a good fit for what you've described.

okay, thank you.

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