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#1 2012-12-23 18:13:42

blurymind
Member
Registered: 2011-07-31
Posts: 11
Website

what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Hi, I just wanted to put my thoughts and impressions of pencil.

Its a great animation app that has unique features that absolutely no other free open source animation package out there has ever had. However, it's in a sad condition right now and that is really annoying to someone who needs this sort of software on linux and cant afford tvpaint's price tag.

Here are the issues:

1.Pencil doesnt seem to have a dedicate repository for comiting source code and making forks - or people are just not using it enough for some reason. The forks that are out there, seem to be scattered over numerous random servers and dead links , posted in sunken threads from ages ago.
Look at mypaint's git for example- that thing is thriving right now-  with new features and fixes being comited every day.
The reason for that is the good house cleaning that pencil seems to utterly lack.

2.Pencil's test builds are adding essential feature that I absolutely need- the onion skinning options. However they are quite frankly unstable. The undo is somewhat broken.The export to video crashes it randomly. It doesnt remember the camera position. The pencil and brush options are acting up strange and dont seem to work 100%.

I want to tweak the onion skin transparency in  the stable branch, instead of using the unstable broken morevna build!

This makes me very confused.

3. At first impression Pascal is either dead or missing- hasn't worked on this for half a decade. Lots of threads are from years ago too. The community is stagnating.

Please do something! This is a really good piece of software. It deserves some nurturing. At least make a dedicated GIT server (like mypaint's- even that got an animation branch) and invite the contributors to put their forks there and document what patches do- all in one place. Packagers stop using random hosting sites. Put your deb packages at launchpad and official repository servers,  post links to them in one thread- not 10 different threads. Stop it with the crappy web hosting and dead links. sad
Dont force the moderator to do it for you every time.

Pascal, please do something. I am not asking you to develop/work. Just to get this infrastructure sorted at least.

Last edited by blurymind (2012-12-23 18:38:27)

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#2 2013-04-30 19:43:06

pollywoggles
Member
Registered: 2007-08-09
Posts: 14

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Maybe use Plastic Animation Paper instead?  It's free and is on Linux.

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#3 2013-05-27 13:51:24

ottovonstein
Member
Registered: 2011-01-19
Posts: 15

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Yeah right!
I have been willing to right some thing like that for a while but never got the nerve. What a mess in deed. I don't want to blow the place apart but where are wee going and what are wee doing. I started a project a year ago or something and came back and forth between pencil and blender. I prefere in some regards pencil for my personnal use. Blender is still a superd tool and wee can do a lot with it but that's not the point.
Pencil has i believe a potential to bee a great tool. The interface,The timeline, onionskin etc... All that is cool. But look at it there are no developers on our side. Bugs have been out for ages. Now new release since ... god nows...
I don't want to blame anyone. But i do agree with blurymind. It's a mess. In my opinion and at least for the moment te fork is pointless. Why would you fork a dead project? Just bring it back to life. One could do with help on pencil. And i can't see why fork. It's not there where different opinions on what to do next or what should bee done. And anyway apparantly the fork is at the same point for month to. A part from changing the title in documentation and??? What's the point in dividing the efforts. I would have hoped that it at least would of been easier to find the source code to browse it but gave up.

What's next? I am getting myself in a bit of coding. I just went through some basic training course on my free time. Cause i thought i my have to code my own features in pencil. I don't dispear, but the road is long...

I really hope wee can get Pencil working correctly because i really think it shoudn't stay a work in progress. It should bee achieved!

Sorry from the poor inglish... Doing my best! ( je fais de mon mieux!)

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#4 2013-05-28 03:45:36

ZZDas
Member
From: Portugal
Registered: 2010-02-25
Posts: 536

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Good points everyone!
Pencil community it's large but it really miss some developers...apart from learning programming, what we can do it's to keep this forum alive and sharing whenever, we can, the need of programmers.

I've found a lot of Pencil made animation and tutorials on sites like YouTube but none of them are linked to the forum (although they're linked to the main page).
I'll create a topic on Animation to post this kind of videos, hoping that at least it will create a kind of dynamic gallery for upcoming users, so any help would be appreciated

More than that, let's keep using Pencil and spreading the word wink

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#5 2013-05-29 18:10:52

Oluseyi
Member
Registered: 2009-09-22
Posts: 774

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Hi. My name is Oluseyi, and I'm a former Pencil developer. I quit the project more than 2 years ago for a very specific reason: I recognized that its GPL license terms would interfere with my aspirations to produce commercial 2D animation software. I said I'd keep an eye on Pencil, though, and I have. This thread raises some good questions; here are answers.

blurymind wrote:

Pencil doesn't seem to have a dedicate repository for committing source code and making forks - or people are just not using it enough for some reason. The forks that are out there, seem to be scattered over numerous random servers and dead links, posted in sunken threads from ages ago.

Pencil is older than the relatively recent popularity of git. That also explains why it's hosted on Sourceforge rather than Github. At one point I tried to put the code on a distributed revision control system (launchpad, for bzr), but, without the formal blessing of the project, few people learned of that branch and the effort faltered.

blurymind wrote:

Look at mypaint's git for example- that thing is thriving right now-  with new features and fixes being comited every day.

Don't ignore the impact of having a stable, relatively feature complete build to start from. Then again, I never could get MyPaint working for me on OS X…

blurymind wrote:

Pencil's test builds are adding essential feature that I absolutely need- the onion skinning options. However they are quite frankly unstable. The undo is somewhat broken.The export to video crashes it randomly. It doesnt remember the camera position. The pencil and brush options are acting up strange and dont seem to work 100%.

Welcome to open source. You want 100% stability (which nobody can guarantee, anyway), code it yourself or pay for it. Pencil's version number is not a misprint: it's beta software.

blurymind wrote:

At first impression Pascal is either dead or missing- hasn't worked on this for half a decade. Lots of threads are from years ago too. The community is stagnating.

Yes. Pascal failed to hand the project over when he ran out of time. Pascal is gone; Pencil as it stands today is dead.

blurymind wrote:

Please do something! This is a really good piece of software. It deserves some nurturing. At least make a dedicated GIT server (like mypaint's- even that got an animation branch) and invite the contributors to put their forks there and document what patches do- all in one place.

You've got some good suggestions, but some of the mechanics work differently than you presume. The beauty of git is that anyone, anywhere, can fork a repository, modify their branch in isolation while preserving complete version history, and then create a pull request to the original maintainer (whether informally as an email or through more structured facilities such as are available on Github/Bitbucket/etc).

In other words, there is nothing stopping anyone from forking Pencil right now, creating a canonical branch on github, and inviting others to contribute. Sourceforge was an implementation of open source project hosting based on the best practices of the 90s and early 2000s. Linus Torvalds created git to address the specific needs of the Linux kernel, eliminating the maintainer bottlenecks necessary to protect the integrity of the monolithic repository. While git has its flaws, dvcs as a whole embodied a better way to create, share and contribute to open source.

So yes, Pencil needs a project infrastructure overhaul to bring it into the 21st century proper. But it's probably not going to be Pascal.

(It's probably not going to be me, either. My commercial ambitions are in progress and command my attention. I won't even have time to do something like this for months.)


ottovonstein wrote:

In my opinion and at least for the moment the fork is pointless. Why would you fork a dead project? Just bring it back to life. One could do with help on pencil. And i can't see why fork. It's not there where different opinions on what to do next or what should be done.

You misunderstand the proper meaning of “fork” in this context. It doesn't only refer to divergent efforts, typically due to irreconcilable differences. It also refers to asserting control of a moribund codebase: if you find an open source project that could meet your needs with a little work, but it hasn't been updated in forever and you can do the work yourself, it's perfectly fine to fork the project so that you have full control over the repository, web site and mailing list.

Decorum says you should shoot the old maintainer an email outlining your goals, ideally with a code contribution that demonstrates your probable ability to succeed. Many times the old maintainer will gladly hand responsibility over to someone with the mix of passion and skills to push the project forward.

(Your English is very good, by the way! Much better than my French smile )

ZZDas wrote:

Pencil community it's large but it really miss some developers...apart from learning programming, what we can do it's to keep this forum alive and sharing whenever, we can, the need of programmers.

Hey ZZDas, long time no read.

That's a very positive attitude, but it's not going to be enough to revive Pencil. 3D graphics are so dominant (not to mention potentially lucrative) these days that it’s hard to find a lot of programmers with a passion for 2D. On top of that you need programmers with a passion for and understanding of traditional animation and traditional animators. You'll find much more activity in vector-based interpolated skeletal animation (Flash-style) because it’s similar to 3D: asset management, polygon transformations, texture mapping…

Even Flash stopped focusing on the needs of animators and became about “rich Internet application development,” right? This is what led to the rise of Toon Boom, neglect from Flash.


This project needs a competent fork, spearheaded by the right person. Good luck finding them.

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#6 2013-06-02 16:55:25

ZZDas
Member
From: Portugal
Registered: 2010-02-25
Posts: 536

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Hello there Oluseyi! Miss you around here smile

Oluseyi wrote:

3D graphics are so dominant(...)these days that it’s hard to find a lot of programmers with a passion for 2D.
(...)You'll find much more activity in vector-based interpolated skeletal animation (Flash-style) because it’s similar to 3D: asset management, polygon transformations, texture mapping…

True enough...We once had this conversation and i admit i was totally against Pencil having such features(that was before i knew it was Pascal vision) but more important than keeping the main animation ideal, it's to keep this project alive, and you guys saw it first...
But it also means that it'll be even more difficult to find someone willing to do this since there are already vector animation projects with strong foundation such as Synfig or Tupí...


Oluseyi wrote:

This project needs a competent fork, spearheaded by the right person. Good luck finding them.

Thanks...that's a great journey Pencil will have to face roll
And good luck with your commercial project

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#7 2013-06-03 09:16:21

Oluseyi
Member
Registered: 2009-09-22
Posts: 774

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

ZZDas wrote:

Hello there Oluseyi! Miss you around here smile

I lurk from time to time, but I'm trying to discipline myself to focus on my own project and bring it to fruition, so I don't post so as not to get sucked into something I can't dedicate myself to right now.

ZZDas wrote:

Oluseyi wrote:

3D graphics are so dominant(...)these days that it’s hard to find a lot of programmers with a passion for 2D.
(...)You'll find much more activity in vector-based interpolated skeletal animation (Flash-style) because it’s similar to 3D: asset management, polygon transformations, texture mapping…

True enough...We once had this conversation and i admit i was totally against Pencil having such features(that was before i knew it was Pascal vision) but more important than keeping the main animation ideal, it's to keep this project alive, and you guys saw it first...
But it also means that it'll be even more difficult to find someone willing to do this since there are already vector animation projects with strong foundation such as Synfig or Tupí...

Very true. I think there's value in a comprehensive traditional animation suite having quite a few 3D-/vector-based tools, but I also think the focus should absolutely remain squarely on drawing. One of the trends I very much hope to counter is TV shows that have been produced in the traditional fashion adopting vector/Flash-style to save cost, typically to terrible results. Between my disinterest in subscribing to cable television in the US and my 1.5-year old son, I watch a fair amount of PBS Kids, and I've noticed the shift in CyberChase and Arthur, both of which suffer because they weren't designed for that kind of animation. (Compare with, say, Martha Speaks, which was.)

ZZDas wrote:

Oluseyi wrote:

This project needs a competent fork, spearheaded by the right person. Good luck finding them.

Thanks...that's a great journey Pencil will have to face roll

Yeah... I wish I could take it on, but I can't support two projects at the same time (yet), and I can't afford to open source the codebase for my commercial project. I would really like to see Pencil thrive.

ZZDas wrote:

And good luck with your commercial project

Thanks! I'll keep you guys posted on my progress from time to time.

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#8 2013-06-06 13:56:01

ottovonstein
Member
Registered: 2011-01-19
Posts: 15

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Hy again!
Well i am glad this thread helps us get a bit of feedback or let's say some knowledge about the "history" of pencil. I know i'm not really a pencil forum guy. But i feel wee might get the opportunity to learn a bit more on who we are and what we want. Even though i'm not a coder i feel like it a try on this project and get my hands dirty. I do realize i don't realize what a fork means in term of sticking to the original project or what. I had the impression it was some kind of a "Bye Bye! Thank's for the code. Good By." Maybe it's not that bad in deed.

I'm really happy with pencil. It's the kind of tool i need. I want to draw. For other stuff there are loads of great programs. In my opinion pencil should really concentrate on the 2D animation. If it's not fashionable at the moment, never-mind. I' don't give a damn on fashion anyway. Like i'm a linux user so what? Were like 1% or less of desktop user's. But i won't change cause every body got Win XP or later and i can't help them cause i don't know anything about it! See in pencil we are so few that i don't think we should try to push all the flash like stuff into the soft cause, well personally i wouldn't bother...
Of course i volunteer to help with the development even if i just don't know were to start.
I can open the SVN source code in Qt, but never found how to get the pencil2D code... I could do with some advise.

Long live Pencil !

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#9 2013-06-10 06:28:57

gordie
Member
Registered: 2013-01-13
Posts: 22

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Hi guys.  I'm happy to read some news from someone who worked on the soft and knows things about its developpement.
Well.  I think it is clear : the only thing to do is to fork it.

cpsmusic did a try with Pencil2D (I was the website webmaster); bug I have no news from him so I guess he's out of that idea, I don't know. 
The good news is that another programmer (chcwhy) is starting a brand new fork (the chchwy branch) and seems to have great ambitions about all this.

I did start to discuss with him and I have the hope he will be able to do something with this wonderful (but dead) project.
He also did open a Bitbucket project page.

Well, I think I will recycle the pencil2d website for the chchwy branch (he's ok for it); or maybe even for a general pencil community.
I invite you to have a look at the website : don't take it personnally but I don't like this website (here) much; it's a mess; and...  if the project is dead, it's dead.
Maybe a community could grow elsewhere, and maybe that place could be pencil2d.org...  What do you think of it ?

I'm sure people around the chchwy branch could give it's developper some motivation !

Maybe we'll meet there !

Long live Pencil !

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#10 2013-06-10 08:42:50

Ayetach
Administrator
Registered: 2010-05-30
Posts: 1136

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

My two cents.

Pencil is pretty much dead in the water -

There's a point when there's only so much that can be done for Pencil before you realize that its become more and more of a relic. I saw this after Oluseyi stopped developing beta builds for v0.5 (I thought we were pretty close to getting that beta out the door) - So I went on finishing Solid State for the sake of working up some interest with other potential developers and artists.

I have made efforts to advertise its existence to other programmers and artists to raise awareness about its development by doing short animated clips using the Pencil v0.4.4b and v0.5b builds. I moderated the forums and created threads that helped direct users to the latest builds by various developers and attempted to keep Pencil users up-to-date with the work of developers around. I also went to various animation and software conferences to discuss with attendees the potential of this program. At the end of the day however, I had other endeavors and moved on to focus my energy there.

Hopefully all this would act as a source of inspiration for some ambitious programmer out there to pull off something similar someday smile

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#11 2013-06-12 02:56:38

gordie
Member
Registered: 2013-01-13
Posts: 22

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

@Ayetach : thanks for your feedback.  It is important to know what you people think of this.  But my question is : is there any reason (other than having developpers involved) to this ? Is there problems (technical ones, for example) making Pencil unable to grow ?
Would like to know a little more.
Also, I once read a thread with a link to a PDF file called "Vision of Pencil by Pascal" or something like that.  It was hosted on Oluseyi's website; but the link is dead.
I can't find this thread anymore.  I would like to read this document, does anyone have it ?
Thanks !

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#12 2013-06-12 06:48:32

ZZDas
Member
From: Portugal
Registered: 2010-02-25
Posts: 536

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

@Gordie
I didn't saw your post, nice to see that someone is forking Pencil, will take a look
I upload the copy of "pascal-vision-document.pdf" i have, here

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#13 2013-06-12 08:05:41

gordie
Member
Registered: 2013-01-13
Posts: 22

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

@ZZDas : thanks !

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#14 2013-06-12 09:22:04

gordie
Member
Registered: 2013-01-13
Posts: 22

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

I did a transcript of the PDF to a blog post, on pencil2d.org : http://www.pencil2d.org/2010/06/the-vis … al-naidon/

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#15 2013-06-13 06:08:43

blurymind
Member
Registered: 2011-07-31
Posts: 11
Website

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

this is great news for me.

Oluseyi> thank you for clarifying all this. Your post is like a wake up call for the community. It's also very interesting and informative on the history of pencil.
I wish you all the best of luck with the software you are developing. If you ever release a proprietary 2d animation package similar to pencil(but more complete)- it runs on linux and windows- I will be very interested to buy the license- if its not as expensive as tvpaint's. big_smile
I already own a copy of toonboom and love it, but it doesnt work well with wine on linux!
gordie> Thank you for setting up a new website. Having one dedicated place to track forks, keep a community forum and a bug tracker will tremendously improve things in my opinion.

It would be great if we get developers more motivated to work on this.
For example if you start a funding campaign, it will need a promo video in which the developer explains that he or she will dedicate a few months of their time for things that pencil needs- code clean up, bug fixes, new (already existing, but unstable fork) features incorporation, etc. Similar to what kdenlive did
http://www.h-online.com/open/news/item/ … 77335.html

Crowdfunding means that if an experienced developer stands up and outlines goals and time frame, the community will feel motivated to give that developer monetary support.
Indiegogo, kickstarter, etc are seeing more and more initiatives started by open source developers. And that sort of thing is very successful.
for example openshot raised twice the amount it needed:
http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/421 … -and-linux

There is also the google summer of code initiative. If we bring awareness to the cause of improving pencil2d, it's advantages for the community.

I would love to help in any way possible. If you need a video for kickstarter for example, we can figure out how to sell it to the art community.
I have experience in video editing and a pretty good idea what to say to get people motivated to support this cause.I believe we all do. However, this will not work without the actual developer, who can convince the public that these goals can be achieved,can show a demo of some sort and dedicate the time to do the work he gets paid to. That developer needs to follow pencil's original design document, needs to put priorities on things to meet based on funds raised. Needs to show that he or she knows the current code very well.
Ideally that developer would be the founder of the software or one of the core devs. But seeing as to how things are at the moment, such a developer would be someone who has to prove their worth with a worthy fork.

I know this is some wild thinking, but it's the best I can do atm smile
Get in touch if you need help with promoting. If we get all the pieces of the puzzle that is. Pieces are still missing.

Remember, without the promotion people will not believe that their monetary support will bring a change. I am so dedicated to such cause that if you ever need someone to put together a video for crowdfunding, feel free to get in touch with me. I am gonna do it for free and then even chip in for the cause, because I want this software to get better. I need it for work.

Last edited by blurymind (2013-06-13 06:15:28)

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#16 2013-06-13 06:27:08

ZZDas
Member
From: Portugal
Registered: 2010-02-25
Posts: 536

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

@Blurymind
Kickstarter it's very...scary smile and a good way to test popularity. It would be good if Pencil had some real developers to take it to the front instead of just some users, it's not that we cannot do it but it would be easier and much more trustable for the future backers, to know that the there's some organization behind it.
Any information about how to put Pencil on Google Summer of Code?

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#17 2013-06-14 05:41:21

gordie
Member
Registered: 2013-01-13
Posts: 22

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Putting it on Google Summer of Code is also an idea I had : http://www.pencil2d.org/forums/topic/co … loppement/

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#18 2013-06-23 00:19:34

Oluseyi
Member
Registered: 2009-09-22
Posts: 774

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Popping back in; hey everyone! smile

ottovonstein wrote:

Of course i volunteer to help with the development even if i just don't know were to start.
I can open the SVN source code in Qt, but never found how to get the pencil2D code... I could do with some advise.

This is why the project needs strong leadership. By far the most important thing in an open source project is to make it easy for people to download, compile and run the source code. In the case of Pencil, the required third party libraries (Qt and its spinoffs, some now dead such as Phonon) are not the easiest thing to download and configure, especially if people need to find a specific older version. One of the things I was working on for Pencil v0.5 was "vendor branches": pulling in specific revisions of third party libraries so that a full checkout of the Pencil repository included everything you needed to build. I would certainly recommend that as a priority for any would-be forkers.


gordie wrote:

cpsmusic did a try [to fork Pencil] with Pencil2D (I was the website webmaster); but I have no news from him so I guess he's out of that idea, I don't know.

One of the challenges of forking Pencil is that it's written in C++, which not as many programmers as you would assume are skilled in. In particular, C++ (still) has an extremely finicky compilation/build process, so setting a project up to build cleanly for multiple platforms and with third party libraries can be nontrivial. On the old developer's mailing list the idea of porting Pencil to another language (Java was suggested) came up more than once. I cautioned that full rewrites are huge tasks, and often falter under their own weight. Essentially, anyone looking to fork Pencil needs to be committed to its current implementation and dependencies for at least a while to come.
 

gordie wrote:

Well, I think I will recycle the pencil2d website for the chchwy branch (he's ok for it); or maybe even for a general pencil community.

If you're serious, I'd recommend the latter: make it a general hub for the Pencil community, developers and users alike. Host an open submission gallery (and maybe even get a developer to add direct submission from within Pencil as a feature) and link to all significant branches and repos contributing to further Pencil.

gordie wrote:

I'm sure people around the chchwy branch could give it's developper some motivation !

Well, the thing is: how do we know if he's any good? It's up to a developer to at least follow through and produce something, and in so doing rally a community around the project. People don't spontaneously get behind projects just because of ideas—or, rather, they do, but such projects tend to fail. Let results, not hope, guide you.


Ayetach wrote:

My two cents.

Pencil is pretty much dead in the water -

There's a point when there's only so much that can be done for Pencil before you realize that its become more and more of a relic. I saw this after Oluseyi stopped developing beta builds for v0.5 (I thought we were pretty close to getting that beta out the door).

First, hey Ayetach! smile

Second, the lack of people willing/able to evaluate, test and bug fix my changes on Windows in particular and the personal hassle of trying to wrangle three platforms (I'm an OS X-first guy, and always have been) submarined v0.5. Realizing the limitations of the licensing dissuaded me from putting any more effort into Pencil. Around that time I started to realize that I could probably build a more sustainable income around offering animation software tools than working as an independent animator, perhaps enough to allow me to animate purely as a passion rather than as a product. Pencil, being GPL'd, was not going to be the basis for that future, a fact driven home to me by the VLC iOS situation.

Third, yes, Pencil is dead and a "relic" right now, but it's not beyond being revitalized. I think it also needs some reimagining for today's software environment, which has changed considerably since 2009. Cloud services, multi-format, multi-national, multi-language distribution. It needs clarification on the audience (audiences?) it's targeting, and to let all these factors guide its redesign and subsequent redevelopment.

Ayetach wrote:

I have made efforts to advertise its existence to other programmers and artists to raise awareness about its development by doing short animated clips using the Pencil v0.4.4b and v0.5b builds.

For serious artists, I don't think that Pencil offers much over the commercial, freeware and even abandonware tools out there now: DigiCel Flipbook, Plastic Animation Paper, Toon Boom, Flash, etc.

For developers, as I mentioned earlier, the barriers to entry to getting started hacking on Pencil are just too high. Somebody has to do the initial work of cleaning up the repo, simplifying the build process and setting a tone for future development. That's part of what I was trying to do with v0.5. I failed.


blurymind wrote:

Oluseyi> thank you for clarifying all this. Your post is like a wake up call for the community. It's also very interesting and informative on the history of pencil.

I wish you all the best of luck with the software you are developing. If you ever release a proprietary 2d animation package similar to pencil(but more complete)- it runs on linux and windows- I will be very interested to buy the license- if its not as expensive as tvpaint's. big_smile

Thanks! Linux is a stretch, to be honest, as there doesn't appear to be a vibrant proprietary software marketplace on the low end, only enterprise products costing thousands of dollars. Windows, though, is intended; I'll be focusing on OS X for now as I figure out my go-to-market strategy and refine the product offering, then hopefully expand to Windows in the second phase of the product lifecycle. A lot of that will depend on how the whole Windows 7/Windows 8/Windows Marketplace thing shakes out, though…

blurymind wrote:

I already own a copy of toonboom and love it, but it doesnt work well with wine on linux!

Part of my second phase plan is a server-side workflow component, and I intend to have that run in Windows, OS X and Linux/BSD. So there's that…

blurymind wrote:

It would be great if we get developers more motivated to work on this. For example if you start a funding campaign…

Personally, I'm not a fan of funding campaigns for open source projects. I'm particularly not a fan of funding campaigns for open source projects being developed by unknowns not under the auspices of any reputable organization and which have not yet demonstrated viability on their own. I suspect that any attempt at crowdfunding the [re]development of Pencil will fail for exactly those reasons.

It's about trust: I don't particularly trust kdenlive, but I do trust KDE: it's a well-established, well-known project that can ultimately be traced back to real people with reputations to maintain. That would give me the confidence to contribute to a kdenlive crowdfunding campaign, if I felt I could benefit from it.

I don't have any reason to trust anyone associated with Pencil's development—and I worked on it! smile I'd recommend forgetting about raising funds or using money as a motivator. Finding people driven by a passion for animation and technology may take longer, but it will be more sustainable in the long term.

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#19 2013-06-25 11:05:26

carlosgf
Administrator
From: Portugal
Registered: 2012-04-24
Posts: 78

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Hello @Oluseyi,

I feel like you were a big, big help on those past days... (re) programming Pencil.

I have a felling that if you are good programming as you are explaining yourself when you are writing  smile then I believe Pencil would be in a very good position right now, walking side-by-side with PAP Pro (amazing soft but with no colour brushes), TVPaint (the very good quality of its strokes), ToonBoon (the creation of vector and bitmap renderings)...

...That would be like Pencil on its 7th version...

(I couldn't resist this comment !)


Instead of God, Love, Happiness, Comfort, Passion...(you name it) give me only The Truth, The Truth and I will become enlightened.

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#20 2013-06-27 06:43:26

Oluseyi
Member
Registered: 2009-09-22
Posts: 774

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

carlosgf wrote:

Hello @Oluseyi,

I feel like you were a big, big help on those past days... (re) programming Pencil.

Hi carlosgf; thank you very much.

carlosgf wrote:

I have a felling that if you are good programming as you are explaining yourself when you are writing  smile then I believe Pencil would be in a very good position right now, walking side-by-side with PAP Pro (amazing soft but with no colour brushes), TVPaint (the very good quality of its strokes), ToonBoon (the creation of vector and bitmap renderings)...

The usual challenge with nascent open source projects is that there are so many things to do, and so little time to do it in. Each contributing developer usually has a day job, family and/or social obligations, and can only contribute in the spare time left over after all that. Also, with the way Pencil's development was structured—a single repository that you had to be granted access to, the expectation that any major architectural changes would be run past the developer mailing list and Pascal in particular—significant change was really slow. With the popularity of today's distributed revision control systems and the ability to work in isolation while maintaining full revision history and then submit a pull request to a maintainer, it's easier to make substantial breaking changes.

Back then, I was convinced that Pascal would be able to find the time to lead the project again. Today, I have to say the evidence states otherwise. If I were to consider contributing to Pencil again, I'd fork it and give myself the freedom to change stuff readily.

As an aside, it's no small thing to get high-quality brush strokes like in TVPaint or MyPaint, Corel Painter or Photoshop! I've been working on just that for nearly 2 months on my new project and I haven't quite cracked it yet. Sigh.

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#21 2013-06-28 02:49:25

gordie
Member
Registered: 2013-01-13
Posts: 22

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Oluseyi wrote:

If I were to consider contributing to Pencil again, I'd fork it and give myself the freedom to change stuff readily.

https://bitbucket.org/chchwy/pencil2d smile

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#22 2013-06-28 08:27:59

Oluseyi
Member
Registered: 2009-09-22
Posts: 774

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

gordie wrote:

Oluseyi wrote:

If I were to consider contributing to Pencil again, I'd fork it and give myself the freedom to change stuff readily.

https://bitbucket.org/chchwy/pencil2d smile

Yes, I'm aware of it. But I'm not contributing to Pencil at this time, as I'm working on a proprietary competitor that I intend to offer for sale later this year. Yesterday I solved a bug in my continuous line rendering, and was able to quickly draw this using my very primitive first-iteration digital brush:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/1315232/first-drawing.png
Today and into the weekend, I'll be working on improving pressure-based size and alpha jitter; possibly moving the brushwork from Core Graphics to Core Image (because the filters are yummy!); using OpenGL to accelerate rendering and provide anti-aliasing; implementing the eraser; and implementing the color picker and palette.

I've got a pretty full plate, thanks smile

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#23 2013-06-29 07:06:48

carlosgf
Administrator
From: Portugal
Registered: 2012-04-24
Posts: 78

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

gordie wrote:

Oluseyi wrote:

If I were to consider contributing to Pencil again, I'd fork it and give myself the freedom to change stuff readily.

https://bitbucket.org/chchwy/pencil2d smile

smile smile smile


Instead of God, Love, Happiness, Comfort, Passion...(you name it) give me only The Truth, The Truth and I will become enlightened.

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#24 2013-06-29 07:11:41

carlosgf
Administrator
From: Portugal
Registered: 2012-04-24
Posts: 78

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Oluseyi wrote:

Yes, I'm aware of it. But I'm not contributing to Pencil at this time, as I'm working on a proprietary competitor that I intend to offer for sale later this year. Yesterday I solved a bug in my continuous line rendering, and was able to quickly draw this using my very primitive first-iteration digital brush:

Today and into the weekend, I'll be working on improving pressure-based size and alpha jitter; possibly moving the brushwork from Core Graphics to Core Image (because the filters are yummy!); using OpenGL to accelerate rendering and provide anti-aliasing; implementing the eraser; and implementing the color picker and palette.

I've got a pretty full plate, thanks smile

It seems that you are working hard!..

We all certainly would like to see your work when it is finished


Instead of God, Love, Happiness, Comfort, Passion...(you name it) give me only The Truth, The Truth and I will become enlightened.

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#25 2013-07-06 14:34:54

Ayetach
Administrator
Registered: 2010-05-30
Posts: 1136

Re: what a collaboration mess this here is :/

Oluseyi wrote:

First, hey Ayetach! smile

Hello Oluseyi smile

Oluseyi wrote:

Second, the lack of people willing/able to evaluate, test and bug fix my changes on Windows in particular and the personal hassle of trying to wrangle three platforms (I'm an OS X-first guy, and always have been) submarined v0.5. Realizing the limitations of the licensing dissuaded me from putting any more effort into Pencil. Around that time I started to realize that I could probably build a more sustainable income around offering animation software tools than working as an independent animator, perhaps enough to allow me to animate purely as a passion rather than as a product. Pencil, being GPL'd, was not going to be the basis for that future, a fact driven home to me by the VLC iOS situation.

I actually had the impression at the time that there was more feedback on the Windows builds than the OSX audiance (which is probably why I made sure to do a quick turn around on bug testing for that platform). Looking back at it all its not surprising to see how the cards were stacked against you in pushing v0.5 out the door. It did feel like we were so close though!

Oluseyi wrote:

Third, yes, Pencil is dead and a "relic" right now, but it's not beyond being revitalized. I think it also needs some reimagining for today's software environment, which has changed considerably since 2009. Cloud services, multi-format, multi-national, multi-language distribution. It needs clarification on the audience (audiences?) it's targeting, and to let all these factors guide its redesign and subsequent redevelopment.

I don't doubt there would be a way to revitalize the project but it really comes down to who, when, and for what that would propel the project out of its idle state.

Oluseyi wrote:

For serious artists, I don't think that Pencil offers much over the commercial, freeware and even abandonware tools out there now: DigiCel Flipbook, Plastic Animation Paper, Toon Boom, Flash, etc.

For developers, as I mentioned earlier, the barriers to entry to getting started hacking on Pencil are just too high. Somebody has to do the initial work of cleaning up the repo, simplifying the build process and setting a tone for future development. That's part of what I was trying to do with v0.5. I failed.

Things like the Mona Lisa in MSPaint...

http://www.maniacworld.com/mona-lisa-video.jpg

...just goes to show that it really doesn't matter how simple the tool is - its what the artist is compelled to create out of it. That said though, I can also agree with you that professional artists and animators alike wouldn't feel compelled to use this program (it says a lot when even the save function doesn't work properly). I think just getting a buzz among enthusiasts would have been a nice start to help snowball it into something people would be interested in contributing tools and plugins for, which it would vastly expand on the capabilities of the simple program that it is.

When you discussed v0.6 ideas involving a plugin library and functions for Pencil I was very much behind that - things like that would give developers that nice flexibility of making programming that can be added at personal preference and free up the effort of merging code into truck while testing for stability and other bugs for the program in general.

There were lots of great ideas actually, it was just all that effort to implement the work behind those feature ideas which made it tricky to see executed.

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