Even in this age of powerful digital tools, creating animations still isn’t an easy task. Sure, it’s a heck of a lot less tedious than it was back in the days of repeatedly drawing everything on a transparent plastic sheet, but there’s still plenty of room for automating many of the steps. The new Autocomplete Hand-Drawn Animation from Microsoft Research offers an advance in that front.
A collaborative effort with the University of Hong Kong and the University of Tokyo, the tech, basically, predicts the succeeding frame in an animation sequence and renders it automatically. Sure, it’s not perfect (prediction can’t possibly be an exact science, after all), but it does get plenty of things right, potentially shaving a good amount of time from your workload.
The Autocomplete Hand-Drawn Animations will predict what happens in a frame based on the first line you draw, copying the previous frame, but adjusting it to align with the just-drawn line. It auto-adjusts this illustration based on further items you draw, assuming you ignored the previous suggestion. Once you’re happy with the software’s suggestion, you simply long-press on the canvas to accept it and go to the next frame. It does this with color, too, so you only need to color the first frame and the tool will handle filling in the succeeding ones. Aside from autocompleting a frame, the tool can also autocomplete patterns, so if you’re drawing a wall with prominent brick outlines or a fish with scales, it will automatically fill in the rest of the section with lines similar to what you’re drawing.
Unveiled at the Siggraph Asia conference, you can check out the full paper below.