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Toon Boom Ships Toon Boom Studio for OS X

Animation suite adds Illustrator, QuickTime support By Dave Nagel
Toon Boom Technologies has announced the commercial release of Toon Boom Studio v1.0 for Mac. Toon Boom Studio is an animation suite from the makers of USAnimation, a higher-end tool used extensively in television and film.

According to Toon Boom, after extensive testing with professional animators, the commercial version of the software was tweaked by incorporating many of the testers' suggestions, such as output to QuickTime, a second camera-view in the scene-planning mode, and Adobe Illustrator input. More than 12,000 people downloaded Toon Boom Studio during the beta period.

The Mac version of Toon Boom Studio runs only on OS X. It's a fully native suite and uses the Quartz engine of OS X for rendering files. It's also multithreaded and, according to the company, takes full advantage of "all of the goodies in OS X."

Toon Boom Studio is targeted toward smaller animation houses and even Web animators. (It can output Flash and QuickTime all the way up to 30 FPS.) The tools are all "more or less" based on the tools found in the company's higher-end USAnimation product, which is one of the dominant animation systems on the market, used in everything from Saturday morning cartoons to feature films like Rugrats and Rugrats in Paris.

Toon Boom Studio is not just a "lite" version of USAnimation. While it does not have the client-server functionality of USAnimation, it does include a number of high-end tools for creating 2D animation. These include:

  • A 3D scene planning environment, which allows you to organize scene elements from a 3D perspective. You can drag and drop your element layers in the 3D space and interpolate motion, scaling, and rotation effects in a single operation, creating complex multiplane motion effects. You can then preview your creation in real time.
  • It also comes with a lip synch function, which allows you to import audio files and interpret sounds for phonetic references. A graphical display then lets you correlate your basic mouth positions with the program's interpolation.
  • Use the rotating light table to draw your objects at different angles.
  • Use the animation templates to package animation elements for reuse.
  • Experiment with unlimited palette styles and view the results instantly.
  • Optimize your output file for the Web distribution by automatically reusing media in your animation.
  • Keep track of your scenes element layers with the storyboarding and exposure sheet tools.

Toon Boom Studio is available for $349 (download) or $374 (with printed documentation). The student price is $99. For more information, visit

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Related Keywords:animation, flash, quicktime, cartoon


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