Thursday, October 23, 2008

Official Interview with Sijmen!

Here's the interview that we got with the Developer, Sijmen! It's the first official interview with the programmer behind Dimp Animator!

Kryn, the head of the first Blog/Fan-site of the upcoming Dimp
Animator, animation program for the Mac OS X, organizes a short
interview with the Developer, Sijmen Mulder.

K: What made you consider making Dimp?

SJM: For a class back in school I had to create an animation with
Pivot Stickfigure Animator. Unfortunately I did not have a PC at my
disposal, so in two or three frantic nights I wrote most of the basic
functionality. From some Google searches it appeared that I certainly
wasn't the only one looking for such software, so I uploaded two
videos to YT to get some feedback.

K: Do you enjoy developing your new project?

SJM: Yes, this program is exactly what I had in mind for creating fun
software. It was kind of accidental how it started out, but all the
pieces came together beautifully. The genre is perfect because it's
very visually oriented and creative. I love to use it myself, too—
even though it's far from finished right now. The timing was perfect
because Leopard was out for a while already so I could use all the new
fun stuff it has for programmers. Also YouTube was a hit because
there's a huge concentration of Pivot users and lovers there. Lastly,
a program like this has huge potential besides being just a Pivot
clone (which it was only in the beginning), since it has a very low
barrier to entry. Oh and I can play around with Final Cut 'for work'.
And all the feedback from people on YouTube, much more than what I
expected.

K: At what stage in development is Dimp now? And what have you gone
through so far to produce Dimp?

SJM: It's still in alpha, and only a few people have a current copy of
the app. As for what I've gone through, not much. It has been a fairly
straightforward project so far, didn't really have any show stoppers.

K: What would be, for you, the most frustrating thing you've
encountered so far whilst creating your latest piece of software?

SJM: That I have to beat people with a stick before they let go of my
laptop once they try it, haha. No, the problem isn't really with
developing the app itself. I also have to do some client work, which
takes up a lot (the majority) of my time, so I can't finish Dimp as
quickly as I would have wished. If I'd known that beforehand, I would
not have put up videos on YouTube that soon.

K: What do you aim to achieve with Dimp?

SJM: The most important goal is to make an animation program for the
Mac that everyone can use and enjoy. Catering to the Pivot Stickfigure
Animator users is what naturally follows from that. Also, I want to
have some sustained income to allow me to make some more consumer apps
without doing b2b projects, which are not my primary interest.
Eventually I want to keep making programs like this for a living.

K: Any ideas on how long we have to wait to get our hands on Dimp?

SJM: Giving estimations is always risky business, but I'm hoping to
release a public version before the end of this year. That can be
either the full, final version for sale, or 'just' a beta. At first I
planned on releasing before the holidays but there's no way I'm going
to make that, unfortunately.

K: Could you let us in on any pre-release information?

SJM: Haha well it's just an animation program, what is there to know
about? I think that for Pivot fans the most important thing is that
you will be able to save and load Pivot 2 STK files. This means that
there's instantly a lot of content available to stat working with.
There won't be compatibility with the animation files though, Dimp
Animator is just way too different for that.

The biggest difference between Dimp and Pivot is that in Dimp, time
and space are infinite. Pivot has frames for the time, which means
that you only have as much precision as the duration of a frame.
Instead, Dimp uses tweening. There's a timeline without fixed steps.
You can go to one part of the timeline, put the guy's arm up, then go
two seconds further, and put the arm down again. Dimp wil smoothly
animate the in-between (hence tweening which stands for in-
betweening). Now the cool part here is that time isn't in fixed steps,
you can make parts of the animation faster or smoother without loss in
animation quality.

For space, Pivot uses a fixed-size canvas. With Dimp, you'll have an
infinitely large (and precise!) canvas to work on. You'll even be able
to zoom in out and out as far as you wish. Figures can also be scaled
without loss of quality. And the camera is not tied to the canvas,
instead there's a separate camera rectangle that you will be able to
move around.

Only when you finally export to a video, the animation will be
rendered into frames and pixels. So you can make an HD widescreen
animation or a YouTube video from the same animation. Of course
there'll be export presets for both.

K: Finally, has Dimp been your most fun/exciting project so far?

SJM: Yes it has been great so far indeed.

K: That's all for now. We'll try to catch a hold of you later on down
the track in your development of Dimp Animator. Thanks for your time
Sijmen

SJM: No prob, fun to see a site dedicated to Dimp so soon already!

Hope you all enjoyed that!

2 comments:

paul said...

very nice interview
makes me wanna see the real thing

Kryn said...

Glad to hear, make sure to let other Mac-friends know about Dimp. ;)

What's more look out for a video coming out by me!