The Helium Frog Animator Version 2.05
Full Audio capabilities - Load an audio soundtrack via the settings window. The soundtrack will now play in both the main window and the editor enabling the user to syncronise movement or lip syncing with soundtrack.
Offset audio and X sheet - Using a frame offset, the user is now able to use one long soundtrack and X sheet for the complete film. For example setting the offset to 500 will mean the soundtrack and x sheet start 500 frames in enabling each scene to be produced as a separate animation.
Simplified starting - The program no longer exits if it cannot find a source device, but waits for the camera to be connected.
Exposure sheet - A full length exposure sheet is now visible in the main form. The sheet scrolls with the animation, so the user can see exactly what the next frame requires.
Lip sync capability - The exposure sheet now contains Preston Blair phoneme mouth shapes. The program recognises lines on the X sheet which contain bracketed phonemes eg. [WQ] [MBP] and the mouth image respond to these.
Papagayo import - Papagayo lip sync software produces .pgo files. The utilities window now enables these to be translated to .txt files to be used as the Helium Frog X sheet.
Error Reporting - Should Helium Frog fail at any point, the error is caught and the user has a chance to note down the error and can then send feedback.
The Helium Frog Animator Version 2.04
Full X sheet editor - With the editor you can manipulate frames to get your animation timing as you want. You can also add a phoneme sheet by using a text file named the same as your animation, but with a .txt suffix.
Undo Button - Take back the last frame if it is not exactly what you want.
Load Button - You can now load in old animations from disk and add frames to them.
Slider Buttons - The slider buttons now have visible "pips" on the slider so you can see where they are positioned.
Quick link to website - It is now easy to visit the Helium Frog Website or documentation from the settings window.
Reduced Skin file size - The skins have now been modified to jpegs. This keeps the file download size as small as possible.
Error checking - More error checking has been added to try to improve the stability of the program.
The Helium Frog Animator Version 2.03
Time lapse mode added - Just press Hotkey "T" to activate. Time frame delay can be set between 1 and 3600 seconds via the settings window.
Revised program startup. Now takes you straight to the live window.
Utilities form. You can now extract individual frames from your motion Jpeg files, or build them from separate jpeg images. There is also a facility to change the frame rate of completed animations, so you can view your work at any speed you require.
A "WAITFOR" command has now been added in the camera control macros so you can pause the macro to give time for the remote camera to operate.
You can now stamp your captured frames with the frame number. This is useful if you are using Helium Frog as a video assist program.
The title bar of the playback window now displays frame and time position of the animation.
Memory leaks have been cured. This previouisly could cause problems if you animated for long periods of time.
The Helium Frog Animator Version 2.02
Improvements to the Hotkey routines to eliminate slow response when capturing.
Added camera macros to enable shutter control for Digital cameras. If you have bundled software with your camera to remote control the shutter. Helium Frog can now take control of these programs via simple text based macro files.
The Helium Frog Animator Version 2.01
This is a quick bugfix on the code, plus a few extra features
The program no longer crashes if the user enters non numeric data in the hotkey settings.
The loop function now plays the last few frames, rather then all the animation!
Hotkeys are not triggered when the user is focused in another application.
Onion skinning has now been corrected to show the last frame, not the last but one!
You can now change the filename, directory and frames per second after you have captured frames. This enables you to start a new animation without exiting the program. It also creates a destination directory if it doesn't exist.
The destination directory is now saved when you exit the program.
The Helium Frog Animator Version 2.00
Major changes in this issue have been carried out in the core routines.
The animator now uses Motion Jpeg files as opposed to bitmap avi files. This reduces the file size to around 5% of the previous version!
Playback has improved considerably due to the above modification. The ability to lower the playback quality should enable helium frog to be used with slower hard drives.
The two window option has been abandoned in favour of a single window which can be flipped using a toggle button between live and playback. The window overlay is now more accurate.
Options to output single frames in jpeg, tiff, gif, png and bmp have been added / improved.
The old bitmap avi format is retained as an option.
Direct show routines are now used for the playback, which makes them more reliable.
Loopback to live - The loop function now shows the live window for 1 second then loops back again.
Pressing the play button when you are at the end of the animation, plays the animation from the start
The utilities window has been removed as it no longer works with the new format avi files
The Helium Frog Animator Version 1.03
In response to the feedback from users I have included the following changes:-
The program now automatically starts streaming from the last source if it is connected, to avoid the user constantly having to reset the source each time the program loads.
There is now a single window mode available in the settings window. This enables the user to have one large window for detailed animation. You then toggle between live and preview windows using the toggle button or hotkey.
The button box always stays on top of the live and playback windows, so it doesnt get lost by the user when animating.
The loop button now immediately plays back the last few frames with the click of one button.
A "Rotoscope" window is available so the user can load any video alongside the animation to use for timing / lip syncing.
In addition to single frame bitmap output, a jpeg option is now available. The user is free to choose the output compression ratio.
A selection box has been added to the capture sound options in the settings window.
More error checking has been included.
More minor bugs have been removed.
The Helium Frog Animator Version 1.02
A new interface has been added on the initial load form, the source selection form and the settings forms. This continues the work to remove the windows look of the program and make a coherent workspace for the user.
The program now has keyboard shortcuts for all the buttons. These are fully programable from the settings window using ascii codes.
The settings window is now available whilst the user is working, not just before work has begun.
The user is now prevented from entering data in the settings window that could cause problems.
The length of the loop back in frames can now be customised.
Other small bugs have been eliminated.
The Helium Frog Animator Version 1.01 - First release
First of all I should apologise if the program is a little "clunky". This is the first release.
It is not my intention to develop this as a commercial piece of software, but to keep it free to use, so your help and advice would be appreciated.
When choosing the camera source, setting frame rate values in the pin properties window can crash the program. I will try to rewrite this.
The loop back 15 button does not automatically start playing the animation. I believe this would make animation easier if it didn't require 2 button clicks.
I would like to offer the user the option to compress the .avi file when exiting the program.
I would like to develop a simple editor, so the user can cut and paste individual frames.