Once we defined that the short film would be made in traditional animation, trying to recover the forgotten methods, we had to decide on the tool. One possibility was to do as in the old days, using pencil and paper, but quickly dismiss it because it would have involved a significant cost of material and scan time, and difficult to preview and fix. As I am interested in free software and I am also a programmer, I was aware of the great application “MyPaint (MyPaint)” http://mypaint.intilinux.com/, which closely mimics the drawings done in pencil on paper, and other media as oil or watercolor. Then I started from it and added the ability to do animation. MyPaint has a very simple interface, is free software so I can modify it without problems, and is written in the programming language that I like, Python.
The first weeks of the project were difficult because the little program was not quite ready. It was hard to use, and we often had to stop and recover files and correct programming bugs, something that annoyed a lot and prevented moving. Even appeared the uncertainty of whether it was worthwhile to keep trying, or use a conventional tool (or ultimately pencil, paper and scanner). So instead of spending off-hours in programming work, I began to spend time at the same workshop, and receive help from the animators. Now, after a while, I see what we were really doing was polishing our own tool between ourselves. Everyone contributed with comments, “a shortcut would be better to go the next keyframe”, “If you do such a thing the file gets broken” and so on. I think the experience was great and according to the spirit of appropriation of free software, build on what already exists for not reinventing the wheel. And it can serve others. A salute to the great beta-tester, Ariana, who was making program crash even when it seemed that everything was solved, heh.
Surely it is not better than commercial alternatives (yet!), but it is ours, and fills our needs! And anyone can continue adding to improve the tool!
Announced the project yet because I think it lacks a little, but the code is public and free for those who want to try: