2002/04/13 - Some news again...
After more than a year, some news again. First of all, I'm now running my own
businness, and AniToolbox is a part of it. The plan is to try and create an
independent production studio, funding it using money earned selling my IT experience
to local customers, and leveraging OSS advantages where possible.
I obviously plan to use AniToolbox as my animation developement tool, expecially
since obtaining funding for animation here in Italy is almost impossible. For the same
reason, maximizing the impact of the animation while minimizing production costs is a must.
Currently, I've tested the interface with Autotrace, and I'm about to test the first
level of integration between Qt and AT. The goal of this first "milestone" is being
able to load an image using QT, trace it and display it using a QCanvas. The next
simpler milestone would consist in being able to scan an image using Sane, testing
a suitable save file format, and integrating a database backend.
After the next few weeks, that are full of animation events, I plan to decide on
some release dates for these two milestone, so that maybe I'll be able to work with
more focus on the project.
2000/12/01 - Autotrace works again...
... At least on my SuSE (6.4+7.0)/2 :-)
It seems the introduction of ImageMagick support had
some problems due to the IM changes that happened between 4.x and 5.x Many
of the tracing feature now works as before or even better. Still, there
are no traces of a libautotrace (pun intended ;-). I'll ask Masatake how he's doing... :-)
2000/11/20 - GUI Wars!
Now the main task at hand is to understand what user
interface to use: the options are many: since we'll need a lot of custom
widgets anyway, we could afford to choose "strange things" (multiplatform
toolkits? SDL userinterfaces?) but the "usual suspects", Gnome and KDE
do have their advantages. I'm currently investigating KDE developement,
since I know very little about it: it seems to work better than Gnome (KDE
developers seems to be much more in control of the project than Gnome's
ones, and the project is more stable and more predictable) but Gnome does
have very interesting things, like Glade.
Our goal is to have an *extremely* user friendly system
for an animator with the minimum programming "costs", and that should be
the only thing to consider.
2000/11/13 - Some random thoughts on the project
To better specify: the general idea behind AniTollBox
is to be able to cut all the usual costs associated with running a studio
that works on many things and with many other studios: the program should
allow a single animator to work freely, and a team of directors/animators
to collaborate on different parts of the same animated production: think
of it as "CVS for animation", if you like. We think this is as important
as not having to pay huge sums of money for software, if not more if you
are a successful professional studio that's able to split program acquisition
costs on its many productions.
The project is still in its planning phase, even if some
work has been done mainly in the "subsystems" developement (drawing vectorization
using Martin Weber's AutoTrace and Image acquisition using SANE). We've
already announced the project to some Italian animation studios, and they
were very interested, mainly because of the collaborative-enabling feature,
that could allow to them huge savings and a significantly better control
over their work.
As of "us", I'm (sadly) the only developer up to now,
but I'm enjoying the collaboration of two other people that have experience
in the animation industry (an animator and a writer/director).
Regarding the project development, we still are in a situation
where full open souce metodology does not apply (we still haven't anything
functional or useful) so many of the advantages of the open source developement
model are not available to us. We'll be trying to create something that's
useful to at least a group of people, then we can "announce" the project
to a wide audience of programmers/users (ASIFA, Slashdot, Freshmeat...).
This is not to say, however, that we don't want help:
on the contrary, anyone with useful experiences that's interested in the
project can join us: I want however to stress the fact that
joining the project now will give you very little practical advantages.
But: if you're a programmer, and you have experience
in some field you think is related to the project and want to work with
us to build AniToolBox, you're very very welcome to join us. Since this
is my first big linux project (but not at all my first big project) I could
use every kind of advice.