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This page will be used to show what's happening with the project developement, and as a 'programmer's diary' to write and share doubts, decisions and troubles regarding the many piece of software and the different technologies we are going to integrate in AniToolBox

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.

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