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Skuid may let non-animators do Disney-style animation

Tuesday, May 24th, 2016 | Posted by Jim Thacker

Autodesk Research has released a very cool preview of Skuid, an experimental 2D sketching tool designed to enable non-animators to make their drawings move – and apply Disney’s 12 classic principles of animation.

Use readymade ‘activators’ to turn any sketch into an animation
The video above shows an artist sketching characters on a graphics tablet, then simply lasso-selecting them and recording a basic movement by dragging the cursor on the screen.

Linking a series of ‘amplifiers’ – shown as icons at the top of the viewport – to the character adds classic cartoon animation effects like squash and stretch, slow in and slow out, and even staging lines.

Amplifiers can be linked to part or all of the character, meaning that secondary motion can be applied only to a creature’s tail, for example.

According to Autodesk, the system works on a “purely geometric” basis, working with any freeform sketch, and doesn’t require an artist to set up a skeleton for their character before animating it.

Not a commercial product – yet
At the minute, Skuid is purely a research project, having recently been presented at human-computer interaction CHI 2016, and due to form the subject of a talk at Siggraph 2016.

However, the technology is based on 2014’s Project Draco, which was released publicly via Autodesk Labs, and which is still available for beta testing.

A number of projects from Autodesk Labs have gone on to be released commercially, or incoporated into Autodesk’s existing tools, so there’s a good chance you’ll be able to get your hands on the technology soon.

Read more about Skuid on Autodesk Research’s website

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