Topic: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

Boats Animator

Boats Animator is a free, open-source stop motion animation program. It will initially support webcams and be for Windows, Mac and Linux. As BA's first full release is worked towards I thought I'd make this topic to keep you up to date with its progress.


https://i.imgur.com/uQC7BC7.png



Key Features

  • 1080p support


    https://www.charlielee.uk/assets/boats-animator/capture-options.png


  • Instant playback


    http://www.charlielee.uk/assets/boats-animator/playback.png


  • Onion skinning


    http://www.charlielee.uk/assets/boats-animator/onion-skin.png


  • Open source


    http://www.charlielee.uk/assets/boats-animator/github-logo.png



Check out Boats Animator's documentation to learn about its complete set of features.



Contribute

As an open source project, any help in improving Boats Animator is very much welcomed. If you are interested in testing or contributing code, more information can be found on the project's GitHub repository.


Download Boats Animator from
https://www.charlielee.uk/boats-animator/

Please note that Boats Animator is pre-release software and many features are still a work in progress!

Last edited by BoatsAreRockable (February 22, 2019 (05:50am))

Boats Animator
Free stop-motion software with 1080p support!
YouTubeBrickfilms WikiBoats Animator

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

Is this compatible with DSLR's? If so that would be wonderful.

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Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

@Harborlight D-SLR support would not be in the first release but it is a feature I would certainly look to add in a subsequent one. There are various programs you can use to set up your D-SLR to act as a webcam which I believe would allow it to show up in Boats Animator and in fact any other frame capturing program.

Boats Animator
Free stop-motion software with 1080p support!
YouTubeBrickfilms WikiBoats Animator

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

BoatsAreRockable wrote:

There are various programs you can use to set up your D-SLR to act as a webcam which I believe would allow it to show up in Boats Animator and in fact any other frame capturing program.

What programs are those, pray-tell? I could really use one!

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Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

I haven't tried it my self but "Sparkocam" looks like it would do the trick:
http://www.cnet.com/uk/how-to/how-to-us … pc-webcam/

Boats Animator
Free stop-motion software with 1080p support!
YouTubeBrickfilms WikiBoats Animator

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

There's also a workaround that I think works in turning your DSLR into a webcam using camtwist and the Canon EOS utility. I personally haven't tried this, since I use Nikon, but others use this to use their DSLR on Skype, so I think it should work. Also, I think the Nikon equivelant of EOS costs money and doesn't come free with your camera, but there is a product out there.

http://blog.planet5d.com/2010/06/using- … r-ustream/

I don't know how easy this is to set up compared to Sparkocam.

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Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

Update (v0.4.1) - progress continues...

http://i.imgur.com/MsHvp6M.png

Boats Animator continues to mature! Since my last post here there have been some UI enhancements to the program, the main one being that the preferences sidebar collapses. In addition the program now has file, edit and capture top menus and keyboard shortcuts. Also a notification system now provides messages when a camera is successfully connected and frames are deleted.

We're still working towards the stage where BA is ready for beta testing with the following features still in progress for its first full release:

  • Frame resolution selection

  • Video source selection (if multiple cameras attached)

  • Project loading and saving

It would be unwise for me to give a specific release date for this first full release but do expect it very soon. When the time comes I hope some of you will be willing to assist me as Windows, Mac and Linux beta testers! mini/smile

Last edited by BoatsAreRockable (October 27, 2015 (04:26am))

Boats Animator
Free stop-motion software with 1080p support!
YouTubeBrickfilms WikiBoats Animator

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

Improved user interface! (v0.6.0)

http://i.imgur.com/99Ooe6y.png

Thanks to BiM's Rioforce, I'm delighted to show off a revamped UI for Boats Animator. As you can see the interface now has a dark colour scheme and looks rather professional. For those who preferred the lighter colour scheme the ability to select different themes will be introduced to BA at a later stage. I should also give a shout out to GitHub's le717 who has been helping out with a great deal of things, in particular rewriting the frame reel section.

Working on Boats Animator has been a truly collaborative experience and I am very proud of what has been achieved so far.

You can try out the new UI and help out by giving feedback here.

Last edited by BoatsAreRockable (October 31, 2015 (07:29am))

Boats Animator
Free stop-motion software with 1080p support!
YouTubeBrickfilms WikiBoats Animator

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

This is really coming along nicely. Excellent work, Boats. I'm glad I can be of help to this project. While this isn't quite stable enough for real animation work YET, it's coming along by leaps and bounds, and I'm sure it'll be stable enough soon. I can't wait. mini/bigsmile

In the meantime, everyone should download and test the program. New things are constantly being added, and your feedback helps the development.

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Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

More UI Improvements (v0.6.1)

The interface improvements continue with a more streamlined onion skinning function and better placed playback looping and frame rate adjustment functions amongst other things. Try out v0.6.1!

http://i.imgur.com/tRdy3WW.png

Last edited by BoatsAreRockable (October 31, 2015 (07:29am))

Boats Animator
Free stop-motion software with 1080p support!
YouTubeBrickfilms WikiBoats Animator

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

I went ahead and tried out v0.6.0, since that was the latest available build. Even though this is still very much a wip, I nonetheless liked the simplicity, and effectiveness. The only issue I was finding were a weird glitch when the onionskinning slider would go from 10% to 0%, or 90% to 100%. the slider would start spazzing out. The UI also had some complications with the scroll bar along the bottom, but it looks like that may be fixed already. Besides that, it ran smoothly with my c920. I look forward to seeing where this will end up. mini/smile

Last edited by legoguy501 (October 31, 2015 (01:18am))

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Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

@legoguy501 Thank you for trying BA out! Version 0.6.1 has been just been released so it would be great if you could see if the issues you were having are still present in it. In particular the onion skin slider issue you describe is something I haven't personally come across.

Boats Animator
Free stop-motion software with 1080p support!
YouTubeBrickfilms WikiBoats Animator

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

Version 0.6.3 - Playback Improvements

It has been a while since Boats Animator's last release but work has continued over on GitHub. This version notably brings playback from any frame in the timeline and a clearer indication of which frame is being previewed.

I urge you to try it out and as always your feedback is greatly appreciated here on BiM or on GitHub. mini/smile

Download version 0.6.3

Last edited by BoatsAreRockable (February 17, 2016 (08:28am))

Boats Animator
Free stop-motion software with 1080p support!
YouTubeBrickfilms WikiBoats Animator

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

I just downloaded and did a short test with Boat's Animator this afternoon. This is a neat program. The layout simplicity is very nice-easy to navigate. Also, my Logitech c920 was able to function quite well. I didn't experience any connectivity problems. For me though, the best thing about this program is the individual frame export. Great feature.

I suppose the only downside would be the output resolution, though I completely understand as this is an ongoing project.

For those animator's out there using a webcam, I'd definitely recommend this program. I'll keep an eye out for future updates.

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

Feature Roadmap

I've just updated the feature roadmap for Boats Animator.

While the version numbers mentioned are not set in stone, everything listed (include higher resolutions!) is something we want to eventually implement. I'd welcome any suggestions that are not currently on the list! mini/smile

Boats Animator
Free stop-motion software with 1080p support!
YouTubeBrickfilms WikiBoats Animator

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

OMG!  Finallly!  An up-to-date, open source, cross platform stop motion tool!  I've been trying to make stop motion videos using wooden train toys (ala Brio, Thomas etc...) and I can't believe how hard it has been to find something that works with the latest version of Ubuntu...  Ironically, the first scene I've been trying to shoot is of a cargo ship:D
Now if I could only find something to help with post-production editing that could be as user-friendly as Inkscape, I'll be home free!

As far as features are concerned, I guess it would be awesome to have some kind of foreground/background selection but I realize thats not at all as simple as it sounds...  It would also be fun to have an Arduino plugin for syncronized led lighting, automated movement or pan tilt movements.  In the same vein you could also utilize the Processing framework for things like Computer vision or other real-time effects.

In the meantime, I'm just happy to finally find a framegrabber that actually works!

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

I'm glad to hear this could be of use! mini/bigsmile

Humblehacker wrote:

I guess it would be awesome to have some kind of foreground/background selection but I realize thats not at all as simple as it sounds...

I assume you are referring to chroma keying here. This is certainly something I'd like to add to the program in the long term.

Humblehacker wrote:

It would also be fun to have an Arduino plugin for syncronized led lighting, automated movement or pan tilt movements.  In the same vein you could also utilize the Processing framework for things like Computer vision or other real-time effects.

This would be very sweet indeed, although I'm afraid it's definitely off the cards until I can hold of an Arduino.

Boats Animator
Free stop-motion software with 1080p support!
YouTubeBrickfilms WikiBoats Animator

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

Humblehacker wrote:

...It would also be fun to have an Arduino plugin for syncronized led lighting, automated movement or pan tilt movements....

That actually might not be too hard to implement, as you would just have to be able to select a serial port, and then write a forward command to it (which could be one letter) with a slight delay every time you took a picture, and a back up command if you deleted the most recent frame. the rest could be done by the person who had their lights or camera movement setup hooked to their arduino.

Last edited by MarkNelsonMovies (May 8, 2016 (01:19pm))

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Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

That actually might not be too hard to implement, as you would just have to be able to select a serial port, and then write a forward command to it


Yes, one of the reasons I mentioned Arduino is because of the fact that BA is based on .js which means you have all sorts of options for programming the device functions directly into javascript instead of the user having to program the Arduino natively.  The user only needs to load up a Firmata sketch https://www.arduino.cc/en/Reference/Firmata and everything else can be done straight from the web app!  A good example of this approach can be found in the Johnny-Five platform but there are also other ways of doing it through a RestAPI. (Running up against the two link minimum but it should turn up if you search)
  I've also noticed some high-end stop motion apps like Dragonframe advertise Arduino integration http://www.dragonframe.com/moco-3d.php#arduino , and while their approach is still pretty straight forward, it requires programming the Arduino natively with a pre-written sketch.  The fact that BA is javascript-based opens up a whole new level of possibilities!

Re: Boats Animator - free, open-source stop motion program

I guess I must've only tested the Windows version (even though I do my production on my Linux laptop) because the Linux executables aren't recognized on my machine running Ubuntu 15.10.  Do the Linux packages need to be built from source?