Wow. Talk about a wealth of active development…
Bravo to Dan Ritchie on his remarkable ability to add even more exciting features to this great software!
And now available to MAC users? Really cool!
I am so happy to have finally taken the step into buying Howler. It really is an excellent addition to my CG toolbox. Of course, if you don’t need to paint onto and into video files, the Artist edition, which is even less than Howlers already low price, is everything that Pro: Howler is, but without the ‘Animation’ menu. Some of my favorite non-animation tools include (but there’s so much more):
Transforming my mouse or stylus into real art media - from globby oils to delicate watercolor; a number 5H crisp pencil to a fat charcoal stick, not to mention the fact that it is completely set up around the idea of making your own brushes in the easiest way I’ve ever seen.
The ability to paint in alpha, which is incredibly useful for getting super detailed with selections.
Using anything you want as a colors pallet. From a photo to a bunch of colors smeared onto a plane. Then there’s the plethora of color pickers to choose from. It’s all so very natural - especially if you’re used to painting with real paints.
Blue screen, green screen, magic pink and drop magenta for compositing layers. Yet there’s a lot more ways of combining, too. Dogwaffle is a bit different than what I’ve been accustomed to when it comes to layers. This is a welcomed challenge for me.
Filters, filters and more filters. It’s simply amazing how much versatility these things provide.
Symmetry, smoothing, pressure sensitivity… even if you don’t have a tablet, you can ‘mock’ sensitivity!
We can draw a shape. If we get it right, undo it to clear what we’ve drawn. Now you can replay that stroke using many different tools. This can be used for animating a brush stamp along consecutive frames or used to make overlapping strokes on a still, and a whole lot more. Works great for outlining shapes with any sort of effect you wish. Then you can come back and repeat the stroke again with a white brush (or whatever background) to hollow the center out again… well… that’s a really, really basic rundown of how this function can help.
For animation work, we can create sprite sheets and convert them to sequenced image animations or avi. You can even convert avi to sequenced and the reverse. You can filter across each frame individually or across the entire sequence. Use animation files as a selection. Several methods of time stretch - depending on how you need the outcome. Key frame in changes to anything in the animation using any filter or the above mentioned stroke repeater, text, effects, whatever you want. Dan Ritchie does a great demonstration video on how he made his cartoon horse animation - where the entire works was done directly within Howler.
All sorts of effects from animated (or non, for stills) lens flares, light rays, mystic or evil effects… this whole operation is set up by an effects creation expert (Dan Ritchie) for creating effects - so the possibilities are totally endless. Really cool, too, is the fact that, if you’re trying to get something done, and haven’t found your solution, you can ask Philip and/or Dan directly and they help you. Very personal towards their customers and their ultimate satisfaction, these two are amazing.
The Daily Dose and all of the video tutorials that followed in that tradition are definitely one of the best teaching tools I’ve seen so far from the staff to the customer. Free on YouTube for anyone. I watched quite a few of them before buying. Then I was convinced. Watching Phil demonstrate the software in front of my eyes like that really helps to instill methods of working within the application for many techniques. Of course you’ll enjoy finding new ways of doing things too! But these videos really help to get you started - and Phil is always willing to make a new one if more clarity is needed.
And, like I point out in the first post in this thread, here are where you can find these videos:
► Dogwaffle Tutorials at The Best 3d.com
this is the Tutorials section of Phil’s site
► My Playlists of his YouTube tutorials
this is a playlist I’ve made with a table of contents for each to help myself find exactly the tutorial I’m looking for. Although the title of each video does help to explain the main context of the video, you’ll find that you learn a lot more as well. I watch these to help when I want to do something particular, and I’m not being successful. Sometimes I’ll have to watch through several to find exactly what I need to know. Eventually, I get used to knowing what information is found in each title - but there’s so many of them, sometimes I just have to start a playlist and watch through a bunch of them. But I like that. Philip is a very fun teacher, and Dan pokes in now and then with a video of his own