Author Topic: SAI Animation Peek 1.8.0 (Free utility for frame-by-frame animation)  (Read 20761 times)

alexandervrsTopic starter

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SAI Animation Peek
Quick Animation Preview for Paint Tool SAI
version 1.8.0 by Alexander Vourtsis (@alexandervrs)


( Introduction )

SAI Animation Peek is a small utility to quickly preview layers as a sequence of animated images. In other words, it greatly helps animators previewing their work while working in Paint Tool SAI. As I work a lot with Paint Tool SAI myself in order to create frame-by-frame animations, it was a lot counter-productive to export every single layer as a PNG manually in order to test if any details were off. This tool will take a PSD file that you will be working on, and every time you save a new animated preview will be generated for you, so you can quickly preview your animation.

The problem with SAI is that the .sai file format is not under anyone's radar, plus it is not well documented, so there's no parsers out there to help, but for PSD, no matter how broken the file format is, there are some (non-perfect) solutions. ImageMagick is one of the best choices I had when creating this tool.


( Installation )

SAI Animation Peek depends on ImageMagick commandline tools (which are free), to install them please go to:

http://www.ImageMagick.org/script/download.php#windows

Make sure the ImageMagick version you are installing is 7.0.7 or later


( Usage Instructions )

1. Open Paint Tool SAI and save your work as PSD (not SAI as you normally would do)
2. Use individual layers as frames for your animation
3. Press "Open PSD..." button to select the target PSD
4. Draw in SAI on some layers, Save the PSD, the preview will be automatically updated
   *** Important note would be not to Save too fast one time after the other, otherwise SAI will throw an error. In that case, save your PSD with a different name and reopen the utility. SAI2 handles this better
5. You should now see your PSD layers animated with your set FPS

When loading the PSD, the following options affect how it displays:
* Quality - Determines the conversion quality, this might affect the Update speed the larger the value
* Exclude Layers - You may use a layer placed at the bottom of the layer tree as background to help you draw in SAI, in case you do that, you should choose to exclude the bottom layer. In the same way excluding the topmost layer can also help you if you're using some sort of guide lines or grid. You can also exclude both at the same time
* Exclude Odd Layers - Ignores every odd layer in your PSD file (e.g. layers 1,3,5,7...). Useful if you use odd layers for your frames' colors below the frame lineart & want to keep them all in the same file but still wish to preview and fine-tune the lineart

The following preview options are also available
* Color - The preview pane background color
* FPS - Determines how fast the animation plays
* Animate Yoyo - Animates the frames back in reverse when the animation ends, useful if you want to see if your animation loops backwards seamlessly and might save you redrawing some similar frames

Check the included Readme.txt for more info on advanced settings too!

This app is free! If you are using this app and find it useful, please kindly consider a donation, thanks!




Follow me @alexandervrs on Twitter for any future updates!

>> Download << Updated to 1.8.0!

Suggestions & feedback welcome! :)
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 05:55:46 PM by alexandervrs »
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Keitou

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Re: SAI Animation Peek 1.0.2 (Free utility for frame-by-frame animation)
« Reply #1 on: February 18, 2015, 02:29:04 PM »
quite nice tool.

i've been checking it and I have the followings suggestions.

1) when you work on SAI, usually works with a white background. sai shows you a white one. but this tool, takes the background color as black.

is you work with the first layer with another color, this will be the only background colored image. while the other frames, appears as black.

2) this is more like a visualization issue I have than a suggestion:
in the ~tmpPreview folder, I have the frames as many layers I had used. quite good thing.
but in the preview mode, the animation makes a "jump" between frames.

as you can see here, the jump from these 3 frames, goes from 1 to the 10 and 11 frames.





but in the ~tmpPreview, I had them in the correct order.



another thing to add is if you change the quality from 50 to 100, the image shows these.


again, I don't know if this just happends to me or anyone else...


so, as I say, I don't know if this is a visualization issue or just my machine. in any case, please if  you update the tool, do not remove the tmppreview as close, or add a message that individual files are saved and if you want to save then apart or something. those files can be pretty usefull as I may say.
also, if you can have a export option to save those frames in any other format, that could be very a sweet option. jpg is not a very friendly image for animations if I may say.
I know is a preview animation tool, but this could become a very usefull tool aside from previews.

I hope to see more updates. thanks for your work

alexandervrsTopic starter

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Re: SAI Animation Peek 1.5.0 (Free utility for frame-by-frame animation)
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2018, 02:39:58 AM »
Finally got around to properly updating this, I needed to use it recently but it had quite the shortcomings. Updated first post with the link and info to new version 1.5.0

Changes include:
Quote
* version 1.5.0 (09 March 2018, 00:13 UTC+2)
Added: Filewatcher, removed Update button. The preview now auto-updates when you save your PSD file
Fixed: Hidden layers in the PSD are now correctly exported as well, no need to manually enable all layers anymore
Fixed: Image loading order fix, was often confusing file order after the 9th frame because it was using the filesystem sorting order
Added: Color option for changing the preview background color
Added: An ImageMagick check in the start of the program, it will throw an error and direct you to download ImageMagick if it can't find the "magick" command
Added: A button to close/unload the PSD
Fixed: Changed initial position of the window to take account of SAI's statusbar
Added: Keyboard shortcuts to playback the animation
Added: Clicking on the preview area now will also play/pause the animation
Added: A Rewind button that stops the animation and resets the current frame to 1
Added: A tray menu item to to be able to quit the app from the system tray icon
Added: UI changes & improvements
Added: Application's taskbar button is now hidden to avoid Taskbar clutter
Added: Settings are now saved and restored from in the file "SAP.Settings.ini", saves Color, FPS & Quality. If you delete this file, the program will generate a new one with the default values next time.
Added: MaxMemory setting in "SAP.Settings.ini" which changes the memory allocated to ImageMagick when exporting PSD layers. Default is 512, you can increase this number for larger files, but it might crash your computer if you set a memory limit larger than your computer can handle
Added: Auto-cleanup of the "~SAP.Cache" cache folder at the end

As you see, background color is now customizable, the image file order is fixed too, problem was the sort order was incorrect (was using the OS ordering instead of actual numeric sort). As for keeping the exported image files, I think I might just add an option to properly export them as PNG and GIF, though the scope of the application wasn't really the export part, but we'll see.  ;)

Enjoy!
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 02:41:45 AM by alexandervrs »
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alexandervrsTopic starter

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Re: SAI Animation Peek 1.5.0 (Free utility for frame-by-frame animation)
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2018, 11:53:17 PM »
Slow day today so I added a few more features in and fixed some more bugs. Now it seems that the app works correctly.
Using ImageMagick's "sample" instead of resize now by default, should speed things up a lot but there's also the option to revert to the "resize" command or "scale" for better quality, if you need that

Quote
* version 1.6.0 (09 March 2018, 22:32 UTC+2)
Fixed: Used a more direct method for image conversion, cut down update delay by 3/4, also reduces memory usage
Fixed: An issue where ImageMagick calls would stack up each time a new PSD was loaded
Fixed: Changed initial maxMemory back to 256 which is safer for older machines
Fixed: "updateSpeed" default is now 50ms, set it higher in "SAP.Settings.ini" if it causes issues
Fixed: Removed "showDialog" error when could not remove cache directory
Fixed: Removed error/crash if you press ESC while PSD is updating
Fixed: Playback UI elements now hide when not needed
Fixed: Now using non-SDK version for nwjs, should strip all debug info and reduce filesize
Added: "updateSpeed" option in "SAP.Settings.ini" which controls how fast or slow the filewatcher updates your file after a save. Value is in milliseconds
Added: "autoplay" option in "SAP.Settings.ini" which controls if the animation will auto-play
Added: "scaleMethod" and "scaleBefore" option in "SAP.Settings.ini" to choose which resize algorithm to use for the preview and in what order
Added: "windowOffsetX" and "windowOffsetY" option in "SAP.Settings.ini" to let you fine tune the initial position of the window
Added: Extra checks for invalid values in "SAP.Settings.ini"
« Last Edit: March 09, 2018, 11:56:25 PM by alexandervrs »
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asinnelius

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Re: SAI Animation Peek 1.6.0 (Free utility for frame-by-frame animation)
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2018, 08:32:00 AM »
 :)

so nice if it works inside SAI. very light too.

alexandervrsTopic starter

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Re: SAI Animation Peek 1.8.0 (Free utility for frame-by-frame animation)
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2018, 05:57:58 PM »
Quote
so nice if it works inside SAI. very light too.

It works on top of it to the side, should not get in the way, especially if you got an ultrawide screen like I do!

Updated to 1.8.0!

Quote
* version 1.8.0 (18 April 2018, 22:12 UTC+2)
Fixed: Re-placed Quality option under PSD load settings instead of runtime
Added: More options for excluding topmost and bottom layers
Added: UI improvements, moved Open PSD to the bottom in order to be more clear that you first need to change the layer and quality options and then open the PSD
Added: Numeric values now check if valid number
Added: Numeric fields can now be incremented/decremented by mousewheel up/down
Fixed: Changing FPS option now updates animation speed automatically and smoother
Fixed: Closing the application from tray icon now saves settings and cleans up the "~SAP.Cache" folder
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Castiel

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Re: SAI Animation Peek 1.8.0 (Free utility for frame-by-frame animation)
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2018, 11:53:00 PM »
Hello, does this work with Paint Tool Sai 2?

Also, any chance that someday we will have proper onion skin/easy way to navigate between layers? I think the dev accept suggestions, but not sure if my goofy english would be clear enough to explain any of this to him...

alexandervrsTopic starter

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Re: SAI Animation Peek 1.8.0 (Free utility for frame-by-frame animation)
« Reply #7 on: June 16, 2019, 06:25:19 PM »
I believe it should work fine yes, the program just reads a PSD file after all.

Yes onion skinning is a feature I'd like to add, it's a little more complex but certainly would love to have that sometime.
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