Help Tupi animation editor support graphic tablets

Help Tupi animation editor support graphic tablets

At the risk of being renamed to Kickstarter Graphics World we'd like to draw your attention to a fundraiser for Tupi, a free 2D animation software for Linux.

Tupi is a spin-off from KToon, the original project being abandoned by its developers. Tupi has basic drawing tools and support for different kinds of tween animations. If you are not familiar with the application, here is an introduction from the depths of YouTube jungle:

Gustav Gonzalez, who is lead developer in the project, started raising funds to implement pressure sensitivity in the application, which means he needs a Wacom or a similar graphic tablet and a coverage of expenses for the time spent on the project. He has 800 euro more to go, the campaign ends in 29 days.

As the fundraiser's description page doesn't have a terrible lot of extra information on the project, we asked Gustav several questions.

Gustav, which tools exactly do you want to make pressure sensitive?

Initially the target I had in mind was the Pencil plug-in, but as usual, some ideas started to come into my mind about the other tools. So, I think is very possible to try some kind of pressure-effect for ellipses, rectangles and polylines. The issue about it is to have the device to play with.

Maybe the challenge is easier than I thought, or maybe harder... but how to know how hard is to ride a bicycle if you never have done?

I don't know if you already checked the Tupi tool called “Scheme”. It is my first approach to the pressure problem. What it does is to draw lines with a simulated “pressure” generated using a random function. No big deal at all, but I think it is a beginning.

Are you going to make width of strokes editable after drawing, that is, with controls like in Synfig's advanced outline or Inkscape's PowerStroke?

Yes. If you check the “Scheme” plugin source code, you'll realize that Tupi's storing the points of the path created by the user. The idea is to build a shape (closed path) using those points and my algorithm. As this shape is 100% vectorial, then it MUST BE editable.

How much time do you think it's going to take you to complete the project?

For the Pencil tool, that would be 2 months, because there could be “surprises“ during the implementation. Nevertheless, the first version of the algorithm will be just the first step of a long way.

My idea is to keep working on it to enhance the user experience. I don't like to see all that beauty that MyPaint can do, and then turn to my project and watch my very basic pencil tool. I can't help myself crying. OK, it's a joke, of course, but the brushlib library behind MyPaint is shocking, so I have been thinking of how to bring some of that magic into the Tupi architecture.

On the other hand, the idea of a vecto-raster concept is surrounding my head since a couple of months. For now, it's just a thought.

And here is my last statement about this campaign.

People used to ask me: how could we be sure you are going to do what you promise? And I answer: man, I have been working on this project for the last three years and for free, and I keep doing it.

Whether you want to help me or not, I'm going to do it. Of course, if people support me, I can work faster and better, but remember: I won't stop.

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