Loud Inc. will release three new animation applications this week, as well as an update to the Stop-Motion Studio application.
Stop-Motion Studio lets you use a Mac and a digital camera to create stop-motion (also known as stop-action, stop-frame or claymation) movies. The new version (1.5) touts a new user interface and the ability to create smoother motion with “onion-skinning,” a technique that superimposes the current camera preview on the last frame in your animation.
With the US$45 Stop-Motion Studio 1.5, you can also record a soundtrack with your Mac’s microphone or by importing music. The update also lets you: adjust color and white-balance for camera input; capture frames from digital video cameras, still cameras, or image files; play back movies full-screen; export finished movies to QuickTime; and make time-lapse movies.
Loud’s new $35 Stop-Motion Junior lets children create animations with clay or toys. The software teaches kids how to create a narrative and tell a story.
On the other end of the scale is the new $129 Loud Animation Studio, a full-featured animation tool for professional animators and art students. It sports onion-skinning and “flicker” camera previews and editing tools based around a multi-track timeline. Loud Animation Studio also boasts such high-end features as the ability to add markers on top of animations and display graphic waveforms of audio in the timeline for accurate synching of animated characters.
Then there’s Loud Pencil Studio, built for professional cel animators. The $159 software provides a pencil-testing application for the timing of test hand-drawn animations, incorporating multiple transparent levels in an X-Sheet, reshooting and retiming frames and graphic audio waveforms.