Updates?



  • It has been over a year since this was asked and still nothing. I would like to hear from other users on recommendations on alterative software to MotionArtist. I’ve enjoyed using MotionArtist but it seems to be dead in the water.



  • Is it broken?

    If it's not broken, then there is really no need for updates. If it works, it works.

    If it has noteworthy issues that affect work-flow, and prevent using it, then that's a problem if it doesn't get fixed; and might be a good reason to find another motion tool. But if it works as intended, then why would it need to be updated?



  • @mechanaut

    That’s the kicker. I guess for an inexpensive program, yes it works as intended. There are areas that could use improvement (text is one of them). As to my intentions, there are things that I would like to do that seems to be lacking with MotionArtist.

    So, I’ve decided to jump into After Effects and see what it can do. I realize that this is case of apples to oranges, inexpensive to expensive but I would like to expand my skills in Motion development.



  • @Mnor said in Updates?:

    So, I’ve decided to jump into After Effects and see what it can do. I realize that this is case of apples to oranges, inexpensive to expensive but I would like to expand my skills in Motion development.

    I would highly recommend trying Blender. It's not respected as well at it should be, but its feature list is immense; and it is more than capable of equaling Motion Artist for everything except HTML 5 output... And yet there is the 3rd party Blend4Web plugin that converts a scene to HTML 5.

    Blender has a capable compositor, and video sequencer. It also does motion/camera to tracking for using with imported 2d video. I use it a lot for compositing.

    Here is a video I made before the game Fallout 4 was available to the public. I made it using Blender, a released screen-shot from Fallout 4, and recorded video from the Fallout: New Vegas game.

    link text



  • This forum software is pretty bad IMO.

    Here is the above link as a simple URL: https://www.dropbox.com/s/didx0sni3bpo2qk/Cheers_0002d.avi?dl=0



  • @mechanaut

    Thanks for the recommendation. I'll check it out. Speaking of immense, I didn't realize just how complex After Effects would be. But I love learning new stuff.

    That's one thing to be said about Motion Artist, it's very easy to learn and use.

    Nice work on your video.



  • @mechanaut said in Updates?:

    Is it broken?

    If it's not broken, then there is really no need for updates. If it works, it works.

    If it has noteworthy issues that affect work-flow, and prevent using it, then that's a problem if it doesn't get fixed; and might be a good reason to find another motion tool. But if it works as intended, then why would it need to be updated?

    I don't think "works as intended" is a positive attitude. I don't see MotionArtist as perfect, far from it, which is what you are implying. I've asked for various improvements in the past, with not even an acknowledgment from Smith Micro. I happen to believe that successful software is like a shark -- you have to keep moving forward or you die.



  • @jahnocli said in Updates?:

    I don't think "works as intended" is a positive attitude. I don't see MotionArtist as perfect, far from it, which is what you are implying.

    Really? (That's news to me.)

    @jahnocli said in Updates?:

    I've asked for various improvements in the past, with not even an acknowledgment from Smith Micro.

    This I can understand, and it's unfortunate when companies don't reply.

    @jahnocli said in Updates?:

    I happen to believe that successful software is like a shark -- you have to keep moving forward or you die.

    This I don't agree with; not at all. What you describe is "Feature Creep", an insidious trap for the software developer. Make something, make it work as intended; then go make something else... Don't continually remake the same thing with added tangents. Nobody needs an audio editor that also makes animated Gifs. If MotionArtist works as intended (and only they can know this), then it's done; but if not, then it could use a patch... A patch for existing features, to make them work as intended—not one for grafting on new ones, that themselves may add new bugs.

    **Just look at the mess that happened to Microsoft Office.



  • @mechanaut Well, I'm not going to get into a flame war. I'll just point out that it is several years since the last update for MotionArtist; a lot can happen in that time, especially in the internet environment, and there has been no response from Smith Micro in that time. I hear what you're saying about feature creep, but I think making software and then abandoning it is an inadequate response.



  • @jahnocli said in Updates?:

    @mechanaut Well, I'm not going to get into a flame war.

    Of course not; and not intended so.

    I'll just point out that it is several years since the last update for MotionArtist; a lot can happen in that time, especially in the internet environment, and there has been no response from Smith Micro in that time. I hear what you're saying about feature creep, but I think making software and then abandoning it is an inadequate response.

    I think it's a shame that they haven't released a Motion Artist 2.

    I would love to see a built in symbiosis between Motion Artist and Clip Studio; in the way that Photoshop worked with ImageReady, and the way that Paintshop Pro worked with AnimationShop. Though by design, it's a great omission IMO that Motion Artist cannot create content from within, and must import—everything. I think a bridge between itself and a content creation app (like Clip Studio) could help both apps, as Clip's animation feature seems tacked on, and not very robust.



  • mechanaut:

    I would love to see a built in symbiosis between Motion Artist and Clip Studio; in the way that Photoshop worked with ImageReady, and the way that Paintshop Pro worked with AnimationShop. Though by design, it's a great omission IMO that Motion Artist cannot create content from within, and must import—everything. I think a bridge between itself and a content creation app (like Clip Studio) could help both apps, as Clip's animation feature seems tacked on, and not very robust.

    Totally agree. I certainly think Smith Micro should do SOMETHING...



  • Additional: This, from one of the original MotiionArtist development team:

    "MotionArtist was created before WebGL was widely adopted by browsers.
    It can export some bone animation, but nothing where shapes get warped by
    bones - strictly rigid layer binding. If I were to update the HTML player now,
    I would definitely go with WebGL and allow for proper bone warping."

    There is a need for development. Meanwhile, other software is coming up hard on MotionArtist's heels:

    DragonBones still has many rough edges, but it can already do stuff that MotionArtist can't do, it is being actively developed, and can export to HTML5. Oh, and it's free...



  • @jahnocli said in Updates?:

    DragonBones still has many rough edges, but it can already do stuff that MotionArtist can't do, it is being actively developed, and can export to HTML5. Oh, and it's free...

    That is very neat software. I think it's something a MotionArtist 2.0 would need to eclipse, it if were going to sell commercially.



  • Look out MotionArtist!
    Here's another authoring/animation program with bags of HTML5 functionality: Saola
    And here's the Saola Manual
    (From a link supplied by Telemacus in the Lost Marble forum)
    Makes MotionArtist look real dated. So, SmithMicro, if you have something up your sleeve, now would be a good time to produce an update...



  • I was excited to read about Saola, but HTML5 export is only available at the $299 license level. And I'd miss all of Motion Artist's comics-specific features (like zooming in on panels).

    So while I'd be happy for some competitor to release a comparable product (like Tumult's Hype for Windows, which will never happen), my ideal would be for SmithMicro to put some resources back onto this program.

    (Likewise, why is there a Japanese version 1.6.6 of ClipStudio available while the English is stuck at 1.6.2?)

    I also looked at DragonBones. They have a nice page and graphics showing that the program can make motion comics, but once you download and run it, there's no obvious way to do such a thing -- it's very oriented to making game sprites -- and there are no demonstration videos, either. The example pictures on the motion comics page don't have links attached to them.

    So, again, MotionArtist, long in the tooth as it is, is still the best option here. Does SmithMicro figure that more development would be good money after bad, have they gone through heavy restructuring, or... what's going on? From a customer perspective, it makes me worried for these programs I like and depend on.

    I'm just happy Clip Studio is, in reality, handled by someone else, because I use it to do all my work.



  • EDIT: Sorry, I was wrong. That's for another product. Saola has a $39/year perpetual subscription fee (ugh) or a lifetime fee of $99. (I don't trust many technology companies' "lifetimes" as being especially long.)

    I've had a quick look at Saola, and it doesn't have .PSD import, which I use a lot with MotionArtist -- not to mention that MA recognizes folders as frames to zoom in and out of. It's pretty basic in general -- a lot like Google's Web Designer (which is free).

    Saola's interface is clean and modern, though.



  • @hamishmacdonald Yeah, I hear all that! It's very new, but they are inviting suggestions for improvements (which makes a refreshing change), and when I think of animation, for example, I compare their sprite sheet approach to the horrible compromise used in MotionArtist and it's no contest. So, early days, but it already makes MotionArtist look old-fashioned and clunky. I agree that subscriptions are a terrible idea; I'd have to go with the lifetime fee if I was to buy it, and hope the lifetime is longer than a hamster's!



  • Been trying out Saola over the last few days, and the more I use it, the more impressed I am. MotionArtist has better control of panels, but in all other respects Saola is superior. In the next week or so hope to have something to show...



  • @jahnocli
    Gave Saola a quick look but I'm still digging into after effects. Looking forward to your some of your examples.



  • @jahnocli I'm looking forward to seeing what you create! And I've re-downloaded Saola to give it a second look.

    I tried to use MotionArtist for a project two days ago, but so many things didn't work (like applying a link to an image), and I had to rebuild the project from scratch three times (changing the original Photoshop file at all completely borked the MotionArtist's referred images, even though all layer names remained the same).

    I built my website in Xara Designer 365 (or whatever it's called today), and decided to see if I could achieve what I was going for right in that program. Sure enough, it has a "presentation" feature -- like HTML5 PowerPoint slides -- that did the job.

    The presentation is even responsive, and you can use touch to slide forward and back in it. I'm happy with the result, but disappointed that this means I probably won't try to use MotionArtist again.