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Autodesk's Draco Lets You Animate An Illustration In Seconds

Posted By : Animation Galaxy    At 04-06-2014 10:41:50


Tags : Animate An Illustration In Seconds    


Being an animator is painstaking work. Even the most advanced animation software, which uses all sorts of tricks to streamline the process, still requires a lot of drawing. After all, you're illustrating 24 frames a second.

A new system called Draco, developed by Autodesk’s R&D department, creates animated images in seconds. It’s not intended to animate the next Disney feature. Instead, Draco is designed to bring still illustrations to life through what the team calls “kinetic textures”--bits of movement, such as bubbles and leaves, that repeat and oscillate infinitely. And it's no small thing. In high-end animation, these are, after all, the kinds of details that top-drawer animators specialize in.

As explained in the video above, the methodology is as follows: You draw a few of the objects you want to animate (say, three raindrops), you indicate the spot where you’d like them to start from (the lower line of a cloud in the sky), and the path(s) along which you’d like these drops to fall. And you're done. Those three drops will become hundreds of drops that fall from the cloud to the ground.

Draco is a sketch-based interface that allows artists and casual users alike to add a rich set of animation effects to their drawings, seemingly bringing illustrations to life. While previous systems have introduced sketch-based animations for individual objects, Autodesk's contribution is a unified framework of motion controls that allows users to seamlessly add coordinated motions to object collections.

Autodesk propose a framework built around kinetic textures, which provide continuous animation effects while preserving the unique timeless nature of still illustrations. This enables many dynamic effects difficult or not possible with previous sketch-based tools, such as a school of fish swimming, tree leaves blowing in the wind, or water rippling in a pond. Check out video demonstrating Draco’s Kinetic textures in motion.

Source: Autodesk Research and HOW

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