Speaker Elizabeth Garbee
Time 2008-01-31 16:40
Conference LCA2008

In my spare time I use pecial and paper.

Rule #1 in animation: No rules, just lots of tools.

Physical animation

Tools for making physical animations, paper, clay, or feathers.

  • do need modelling or sculpting clay.
  • camera
  • must be colors that your capture device can recognize.
  • if using clay, don’t bake them, otherwise animation might be very still.
  • Undisturbed area for filming, somewhere you can leave, but not have it mess up. 30 seconds, takes 4 hours; seriously consider getting a warehouse, especially if you have pets. Plenty of light required.
  • need room for camera, computer, characters, and set.
  • if camera moves, the animation won’t be still.


  • fixed focus, better for far away images.
  • variable focus, better for close up.
  • use a camera that shows up as a USB device.
  • stand is preferred, otherwise use lump of clay.
  • program uses Video for Linux 1 drivers, not Video for Linux 2 drivers.
  • Digitial camera, shoot stills. No onion paper effect.


  • stop motion
    • rather buggy
    • able to use jpeg of gif images, and live webcam feed
    • 640x480 VGA resolution required
    • most use friendly application
    • packaged in Debian

Digital Animation

  • GIMP
    • Familiar interface, well supported, stopmotion supported.
    • Can’t create 3D images.
    • No predefined animation affects.
    • gimp animation package - GAP. onion skinning supported.
  • Inkscape
    • vector based, infinitely scalable
    • grouping feature
    • easy to follow tutorials
    • cloning feature
    • potrace - bitmap –> vector.
    • large files
    • learning curve
    • smooth gradients
  • Blender
    • vector based
    • 3d based tool
    • python scripting
    • steep learning curve
    • very non-standard GUI
    • 3d modelling tool
    • user interface overwealming at first
  • KToon
    • good for simple animations
    • “onion paper” effect
    • Debian package is broken
  • Synfig Studio
    • best program
    • “tweening” effect, use keyframes, it will fill in the rest.
    • well documented and maintained.
    • difficult GUI, but not as hard as Blender.
    • command line interface
    • time consuming
    • undo sometimes doesn’t work as expected
    • not available in Debian stable (etch).