Short Animators Feedback of the new timeline tools

Hello,
at first and for my first time: Thank you so much for this wonderful and nice software. I use Krita since you can animate with it and started to love it more and more.

I am very excited about the new version and tested a bit with the 5 beta. Everything is great, but I want to give a short feedback about the new animation tools on top of the timeline.

Now we only have the Preview Playback Speed in front of our eyes as a speed percentage field. In older KRITAs I loved to see directly the FrameRate settings and also the Start and End Values of the timeline.

Animators like me are trained to THINK in frames. I know how to draw and animate when the framerate is 6fps or 8fps or 12fps … or 24fps. It is also common to change the framerate during the animation process.
Now, the fps Frame Rate settings are hidden under the Animation settings menue, which means, you don’t have it in front of your eyes and you have to click to find and change it. Also using a speed percentage field for manipulating the preview playspeed feels a bit strange for classical animators. Yes, watch your work at 12 fps means 50%. But what is with 8fps? … Wait, I have to open my calculator … it is 33.33333…%. (OK, I am kidding a bit.).

It’s a bit the same with the Auto Frame Mode. I would really prefer to see and change the settings directly. It is common to change it often during the animation process and to know wich mode you’re on…

It’s not a big thing - but I really would like to have the animation settings as part of the timeline (there seems to be enough space). Or maybe as a flying docker. For me, this was one of a lot advantages of KRITA compared to some other animation software.

Many thanks if you considering my point of view.
And again … many many thanks for KRITA at all :-).

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Hey @Animark, I’m glad to hear that you’re enjoying animating with Krita and I want to thank you for sharing your opinions with us.

We’ve had similar discussions about this over here where I’ve shared the basic philosophy and intentions behind the original design: (1) that the most commonly used pieces of GUI should be put out front while the more rarely used ones are tidied away, (2) that every out-front widget should be continually useful, regardless of state or context, and (3) that, even though it might not always seem that way, UI space is a finite resource and clarity is important.

I understand this is all very subjective. Some people might not agree with those ideas at face value, and even people who do agree might have different opinions or interpretations when it comes to the actual implementation details.

We could add frame rate, or clip start/end, or autoframe, or onion skins options, or some of the many other animation features that are hidden behind context menus or key-bindable actions directly to the Timeline’s toolbar–but we can’t add them all, not only because of the fact we lack the space to do it (we have to consider 1080p, and to some extent 720p, still), but also because it would become, in my opinion, a messy sea of icons that hurts the ability of all users, but especially new users, to separate the signal from the noise. So it’s just a matter of deciding where to draw the line, and accepting that with every decision decision come some kind of trade-offs, right?

Anyway, I hear ya and I appreciate the feedback! Right now we are in the final stretch of development for Krita 5.0, so there won’t be any significant changes to the design that happen before the release, but Krita is never finished and we will take every piece of feedback that we can into consideration in the future as the timeline and other animation tools continue to evolve.
– Emmet

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Hey emmetpdx,
thanks for your reply. I found the discussion later after I posted my feedback and I totally understand the different opinions. Having a clean interface is a good argument :-). Maybe I have to dip a bit deeper into Krita and maybe there is a way to code something helpful like changing framerate by shortcuts for e.g… I often use MOHO and TVPaint and there you have good and often used possibilities to code some extras :D.

But I cannot follow the argument not to unsettle new animation beginners. I am teaching animation now over 20 years and the most difficult technical aspect on learning animation is to learn the relationship between timing and framerates. Every animation tutorial (books, online, …) is talking about frames and framerates. In my classes users often forget at which framerate they are animating and sometimes they are changing the fps when they would like to have faster movements for e.g… But that is breaking the technical standards in the world of film and video. I think, it will getting more complicated and error prone, when having a speed field on the timeline with percentage values wich is only changing your preview speed instead of showing the excactly framerate of the project. Because with it you only have the illusion of manipulating the speed of your movie but it’s not what you will get in the end which could be very irritating.

“Hey teacher, I swear! In Krita the character walked nice, but now in the mp4-file it is walking way too fast!”

I know, changing the preview speed could be helpful if there would be some features like “play the frames forward and backward and automatically come back to the frame your working on”. With that you could imitate the classical flip and roll technics - but this is something for more advanced users. I guess the decision to have this instead of a framerate-field on top of the timeline was not made by animators. Or maybe I miss something.
When I teach my students how to animate with KRITA, one important message in the beginning is not to touch the preview speed. Only use the fps settings and make sure that it is a factor of 24.

But anyway, the new timeline is nothing you cannot live with and I am very much looking forward to the new alpha version. And yes, I am a bit late with giving my opinion to the discussion. Maybe it’s something for the future.

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I haven’t been animating but I will check this out to see how it is. Percentage is a good thing if you have the frame rate next to it and it makes all the sense to have.

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I only used preview speed to spot specific problems in the animation. Never used it when animating. Like you, I believe showing the exact frame rate is very relevant.

Autoframe Mode is something new for me in Krita, so I don’t have a strong opinion yet.

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it is certainly in a unique disposition but I am not against it.
but I do feel start and end are more used than this.

But I have so much empty space on a bigger screen a bit sad.

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Hey @EyeOdin,
thanks for having a look at my proposal. I agree, that START and END are also often used when watching only a part of an animation. You can reach the same effect but mostly faster, when selecting a row of frames and play them. I was very happy when I discovered this feature. It is very good and helpful.

If I personally had to set a priority, which functions you should have direct access to:

  1. Play / Stop / Skip back, … - Buttons
  2. FrameRate
  3. Frame Actions (new Frame, delete Frame, …)
  4. START/END
  5. Frame Register
  6. Animation Sub Menu
  7. Auto Frame Mode
  8. Onion Skin Menu
  9. Drop Frames Button
  10. Preview Playback Speed

Some arguments (IMO):

  • Onion skin has an own docker which mostly is already open during animation process. Activating OSkin for a layer has already direct acces from the layer buttons. The OSkin Button could be placed in a submenu if space is a problem.

  • Auto Frame Mode. At least it should be indicated somewhere which mode you`re on (Off / Blank / Duplicate). The button itself shows it, so I would also put it directly on the timeline.

  • Preview Playback Speed is something I never use. There is nothing you cannot also do with the framerate-setting. And as mentioned before, for animators it is absolutely uncommon to think in percentage speed values. But here I am a bit unsure - maybe there are thousend of users using it … But having the Preview P S in a submenu also don’t make any sense.

  • Drop Frames Button: The function is very usefull but users need some basic understanding on how to watch and analyse their own animations when computerperformance starts to lack. It is always better to make a test rendering instead. IMO it could also be placed in a submenu because it is a function for advanced users who use it very consciously.

Anyway I don’t want to force someone to change the UI concept of KRITA during the last minutes before publishing a new version. I never had a look at this forum before and I feel a little uncomfortable jumping on the train now. Hoewever I am very happy with KRITA even when some little things not exactly fits my needs. And it is a lot of fun to teach animation using KRITA as the main tool.
If there is someday in the future where the animation possibilities of KRITA will be discussed again it would be great if I could join the process.

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I completely agree with the playback speed being in fps. While animating today I found myself just adjusting the document framerate instead of trying to even mess with some weird percentage.

İ have mentioned this topic before :wink: