Updated comment, September 2008
As of September 2008, the latest version of Artoonix is 1.8 and, as before, it can be used free of charge for as long as you like - but if you register it, you gain access to several advanced features and functions of which tweening is probably the most useful. In 1.8 the sound functions have been greatly enhanced so that from within the program you can now fade in, fade out, alter levels and speed and also reverse whole soundtracks or just chosen sections. The sound options in Artoonix are probably the best that are available in pretty well any animation software. They allow you to synchronise sound and movement to an accuracy of a single frame. The program itself is geared towards traditional drawn animation. Unfortunately, the drawing tool doesn't use vector graphics, but what is provided is certainly adequate unless you require the versatility and transformational properties of vectors. Artoonix is just as useful for importing and manipulating clipart and other images. Onion-skinning allows the user to refer to both previous and subsequent frames when creating or editing an animation. Artoonix is not quite so useful for a full-on cut-out style of animation where you might want to create an animated character made with movable bodyparts. A program such as CREATOON (now freeware) is ideal for this because it offers lockable pivots for all imported or drawn elements whereas Artoonix only has one 'floating' pivot. However, in all other respects, Artoonix is unbeatable as animation software for the beginner or serious amateur.
Author: Alan Sturgess on Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Superb introduction to classic animation styles
I have been using Artoonix for several months and it is MASSIVELY more powerful than you might imagine from the simple 'pony' demo that comes with the download. It's strength is that it can be used for the most basic and simple animations - even to the level of animating scribbles - right up to much more complex work where onion-skinning, imported images and intricate animation can be developed. Even more astounding - the way in which sound (.wav or mp3) can be imported and edited within the program is a revelation. It far outstrips most other animation software in this respect.
Don't expect anything as professional as, say, 'Anime Stduio' or 'ToonBoom', but do expect to be surprised and enthusiastic once you start to experiment.
Visit the two galleries that can be accessed via the homepage. There you'll find examples of everything from stick-figure and blob animation to much more evolved work.
Author: Alan Sturgess on Saturday, October 20, 2007