First Release: TBA
Latest Release: TBA
Piga Animator is a project to create a suite of two-dimensional computer animation tools by Piga Software. It was started for the Symel animation project, which is a free content web cartoon project of technical director Graham L. Wilson hosted by Malcolm Wilson Multimedia. Development officially began on August 19, 2008 inside Gambas 1.0.19, but has since sprawled out into several years of sporadic experimentation and conceptual development, as well as two generations of Gambas (2.x and 3.x).
The first releasable version, code-named "Adam", was in active development since October 2012 and from there was hoped to progress via an open development model. In late 2018, Animator was formally split into a suite of applications to handle different forms of animation built atop the underlying Gambas Performance System. An open development model for each independent component is still planned, starting with the release of a finished production from each tool. This is intended to start with Cutout Coliseum in a series called Ludicrous Lectures, and later with Sprite Stage in a re-booted Symel.
Unlike other free software 2D animation tools, such as Pencil2D for traditional animation and Synfig or Tupi for vector animation, Piga Animator is based on digital puppetry and machinimatic techniques (as well described in this article by Free Software Magazine, or this HowStuffWorks article); noted by Graham L. Wilson specifically as a "game engine developer's approach to animation." This is based on the usage of real-time interactive actors, which can be ordered to transverse and otherwise interact with the environment, which in turn can apply an effect on them. A selection of similarly real-time props will be available as well, all of which are intended to be usable within in-built systems for procedural animation.
- Sprite Stage (for layered sprite-based cell animation)
- Cutout Coliseum (for segmented cut-out animations)
- Speech Generator (amplitudinal lip-synch tool)
- Character Creator (creates different types of animated characters)
- Puppet Projector (Gambas Projection Engine powered 2.5D machinima tool)
- Polygon Pantomime (PS Tech powered 3D machinima tool)