Issue: Volume: 24 Issue: 8 (August 2001)

Toon Boom for Web Animation

Toon Boom Studio allows users to work in either of two modes: drawing or compositing. In the first mode, the artist creates vector-based animations; in the second, he or she collects all the 2D elements that have been created and arranges them in 3D space, with the option of viewing them from front, top, or side. Automated lip synching is also featured; the software analyzes a character's vocal tracks, then selects a mouth position that matches the character's speech at each frame of the animation.

Studio does not support interactive animations, but it is not designed to, according to Beland. Instead, "It's very complementary to Flash. You do an animation, then import it into Flash to make it interactive." Studio also supports Adobe Illustrator files.

Version 1.0 is scheduled to ship first for Windows 98/2000/ME platforms, with a Mac OS X version due out shortly thereafter. Both versions will require a recommended 128mb of RAM. Prices for Toon Boom Studio range from $209 to $374. (Toon Boom Technologies; -JD