Animation-ish Review – Toon Boom’s Drawing Software For Kids
Built in collaboration with professional cartoonist Peter H. Reynolds, Animation-ish claims to be the best software available for budding young artists.
In this Animation-ish review we take a look at the software to see if it’s all it’s cracked up to be and whether it is worth your hard-earned cash (and your little one’s time)
Is It Easy To Use?
Upon opening the program you notice that the interface is very simply laid out with all the necessary tools in plain view – which means no trawling through hidden menus to find what you need – a real creativity killer. Your child will be up and animating in no time.
There are also 50 (yes, 50) short videos from Peter which gives help, tips and a spark of creativity whenever you need it. These can be accessed at any time while using the software.
What Age Group Is It For?
One of the cool things about Animation-ish is that it comes in 3 separate modules, designed around 3 different levels of ability from children aged 6 up to teenagers.
The 3 modules are:
This is the basic level and is designed for very young children and absolute beginners.
The premise is that you do a simple drawing or “doodle”, then trace it, and then trace it again, giving you 3 similar drawings. When you press Play, hey presto! you have an animated doodle!
Don’t worry about staying in the lines and making a perfect tracing…the rougher the line the more character it gives to the final moving doodle.
This module builds on Wiggledoodle-ish and lets you create more frames instead of just 3, giving your child a better understanding of the animation process.
This is where it really gets fun! The advanced module introduces your child to more traditional animation concepts like multiple frames as well as foreground and background images.
There is a greater variety of tools available too like brushes, grabbers, paint tools and colour palettes which provide your child with the ability to make short little cartoons.
You are also able to move the whole drawing in this module as a layer (similar to Photoshop).
For me the biggest drawback in Animation-ish is that you can’t import sound directly into the program – you have to export your animation as a QuickTime file and then add the sound or music in a 3rd party editing program.
This may not be a big issue for some users but it could become frustrating particularly if you wanted to do a talking character, as you would have to keep moving between the different programs to get your timing right.
You also can’t import other images like photos or scanned drawings to use as backgrounds.
Another minor drawback I found is that there is a tendency that all your animation begins to look the same. It all has the same wiggley line quality as a Peter H. Reynolds (the software’s creator) or Quentin Blake drawing.
Now don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with that style, I really like it, it’s just that sometimes it’s nice to try something different. However this is quite a small gripe that only more advanced users may have…beginners will just be happy to see stuff moving no matter how it looks.
All in all, Animation-ish is a wonderful little program for absolute beginners who want to try traditional animation processes and see results within minutes.
On that it scores top marks. However, I found it limiting in that you can’t import sound directly into the program, and older or more advanced children may feel they want to experiment with different styles of animation that are difficult to do in this software.
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