For anyone trying their hand at drawn animation for the first time, and with limited money to spend, the prospect of having to pay out at least £100 for PC software to scan their drawings & edit their animation to the dope sheet must be very daunting.
For many years now the original Tapptoons Linetester has been available free of charge and I hope it`s been a help to budding animators everywhere but it was showing its age now that computers are a lot faster than they were ten years ago. So I`ve decided to distribute an improved version that can produce higher definition AVI files up to 1024x576 pixels........ the TAPPTOONS LINE TESTER PRO programme!
The linetester can use either scanned images, a video capture card or imported bitmaps to create an animation sequence.
You`ll need a flatbed scanner with TWAIN software (it usually comes with the machine) to scan your drawings into the computer or you can use a video camera hooked up to a suitable Firewire, USB or Analogue Video Capture card installed on your computer.
Cameras and capture cards known to work with the Tapptoons Linetester and other Tapptoons software include:
Pinnacle PCTV Rave PCI capture card (use Firewire/USB/WDM or TWAIN image source options)
Creative Webcam Pro USB (use with Video For Windows, Firewire/USB/WDM or TWAIN image source options)
Miro DC10plus (tested with original version (1999), use with Video For Windows option only)
Videologic Captivator PCI (and possibly other Brooktree BT848 decoder-based capture cards)
Using the scanner option, the programme will scan in a preset number of images (either drawn or cut-out figures manipulated on the scanner surface), save them to the hard-drive and record them in the on-screen dopesheet which can then be edited and re-arranged as much as the operator wishes. Using the camera option you don`t need to pre-set a number, just click as required.
There are 10 levels of animation which can be viewed in motion seperately by selecting an individual level or the levels can be merged and viewed as a composite at the click of a button (or two).
Scanned images can be rotated automatically, if required, either clockwise or anticlockwise. Playback speed is adjustable with frame rates of 8, 12, 15, 24, 25 and 30 frames per second.
Individual cels can be duplicated, deleted, replaced with blanks or other cels, renamed and coloured to make a final, finished animation project which can be converted into an AVI complete with soundtrack. The Dope Sheet and Project settings can be saved for future reference.
A wav. soundfile can be added to a project to test lip-synch sequences.
Minimum system requirements:
A Windows XP PC
350Mhz Processor (may be okay on a slower machine); at least 64 MB RAM (the more the merrier) and lots of hard-drive space (animation files take up a lot of room) and, of course, a TWAIN compliant flatbed scanner.
And, if all that isn`t enough, the Tapptoons Linetester Pro is completely FREE!
(Download last updated 19th June 2017)
Download the TAPPTOONS LINETESTER PRO version 184.108.40.206 for Windows XP/Vista/7/8/10 now: CLICK HERE
Detailed HTML help files are included with the programme.