PAP format is a new way of placing fast animated graphics on a standard PC screen.
Today, there are only two formats: Bitmap and Graphic. PAP is neither bitmap, nor vectoral.
It has a special way of coding pieces of information where every piece of drawing has identity and certain geometric values. In pap format, drawings are eyes, eyelashes, mouth parts, fingers, etc.
How are drawings formed?
Characters are designed the same way as standard cell animations are done; on paper. After getting scanned into the computer, they are painted in the PAP painter Program, to the PAP format requirements, where information is tagged after each piece of drawing.
The drawings can have up to 16 million colors and every line segment can have its own thickness, color and attributes.
What about animation groups?
The drawings that belong to the same character are stored in the same directory and called to the PAP composer. Here, within seconds, the groups of animation are composed by the animator. Every animation group may have multiple layers, logic values and attributes. These values can be changed anytime as well as in runtime. Also, a key can be assigned for every group to be able to run that particular animation in real time.
Unlimited number of masks can be added to each layer, both rectangular and free.
Ten characters out of 100 can be displayed on the screen at the same time.
Drawings of a character will be broken to basic three groups: Head, torso and legs. Every group will know and call all the details and parts that belong to that certain animation group. Most of the body parts are fully interchangable within the character and also may be used together with parts of other characters. A mixture of body parts can be co-related to form new characters and new animations.
A new program that will appear in the early 2001 will enable object-oriented character designing where once the character is designed, it will automatically know how to talk, walk, dance etc. This will enable end users who know nothing about animation to form their own characters and animations. A great tool for schools and amateur groups as well as production houses who can exploit this idea to its farther limits.
How does the animation take place?
Animation can be activated in many ways:
a) Real time animation
Here, the animation can be manipulated by pressing keys of the computer. F keys selects the characters as other keys enable the character to move to the actions wanted. Direction, position, zoom, mood, speed and many other aspects are controlled in real time.
b) Script animation
Program will read and evaluate a simple text file. If any commands are planted in the text, those will be placed in the time pipeline and executed. Also, the program will search for any recorded files that match the dialogs, examine them, compare the lip flaps and place those flaps as necessary while those sounds are played.
Script animation will also load the backgrounds, do the camera angles, pans, zooms etc. as well as titling, effects and sound.
The results of the script animation can be previewed and altered on the storyboard.
c) Storyboard animation
A storyboard can be formed by just placing characters on the screen and after positioning them stamping the result on the storyboard display.
All these ways can be activated together as well as one after the other.
What are the advantages of PAP?
PAP format is the fastest way of placing animation on the screen. It works on pre-calculated data that has identity. It also uses bitmaps for background definition yet even the display of these bitmaps will be lightning fast.
Another very important issue is the size of data. Once the characters and backgrounds are formed than its only a matter of 2-3 kilobytes for the data of an hour of animation. This of course makes it a perfect solution for the web animation. An average data file of a character would be less than a megabyte and that would cover most of the different actions that a character can have.
Animators have a chance to change the story, colors, camera positions and other attributes of a project even in runtime.
Banks of voice-tone data allow the characters read any script instead of playing back wave files. Music files can be mp3, wave or midi.
PAP format also can cover standard cell animation drawings and keep them in very small files and execute them when needed.
The final playback will be played to the real-time clock so even very slow machines, even if they skip some animation frames, will not lose sync.
It works perfectly well with the major 3D packages so the 2D-3D marriage takes place easily without any major postproduction.
What are the disadvantages of PAP?
The initial study to form a character takes some pre-planning and more attention. Although calculations are not needed, the character should be drawn to the format needed by PAP. Since the program notices the drawings by their name-tags, every drawing should be named and tagged very carefully to the requirements. Surface, shadow and bump mappings are not supported yet however like the other 2D programs, the shadow effect can be obtained by painting the high-lighted and shadow area in different shades of that color.
PAP format, definitely is a very easy-to-perform kind of animation where massive productions can be done in fractions of what it takes with other systems. As the internet media advances, the only feasable way to make long animation projects can only be achieved using PAP format.
PAP format is created by Ali Murat Erkorkmaz and is the property of Aniventure inc., under the program named Animpression.