An Inkscape extension to import a pencil test for inking
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README
hideframelayers.inx
hideframelayers.py
importpenciltest.inx
importpenciltest.py
makefile
outputframes.inx
outputframes.py

README

Inkscape Animation Extension
============================
This extension can import a series of image files and place them into frame numbered layers. Each frame layer consists of sub-layers for inking over the images. An output extension is included. It saves a series of images using the inked frame layers. ffmpeg or a similar program can then be used to make a movie file from these images.

==Version 0.4 download: http://nathanjent.com/downloads/inkscape-animation-extension_0.4.zip==

A simple example that I created in about a minute:

http://nathanjent.com/images/animationextensionexample.svg

(example can only be viewed in a browser which supports svg like Firefox or Chrome)


USAGE
=====

Begin by using the 'Import/Create Frames' extension. I recommend starting with a new inkscape document when importing your pencil frames. But the new frames will not affect any existing layers. I like to create my pencil test using Pencil http://www.pencil-animation.org/
1. Input the frame range you'd like to import/create. 
2. Input the frame duration. This is used to preview the animation by loading the svg file in a supported browser like Firefox. The timing works best when animations start from frame 1. Keeping the amount of frames low helps inkscape run better.
3. It is recommended to set the document dimensions equal to the imported image size.
4. Set the import options: Check the box to import images. The base filename should include the directory but not the frame number or file type extension. If you save your inkscape file in the same directory as your imported images you can get away with just using the filename. Then enter the filetype extension of your imported images. The imported files must be named with a trailing 3 digit frame number before the file extension. Frame numbers should be between 001 and 999. If the pencil images have more than a 3 digit frame number be sure to apend the first digits to the file name. (example: /home/inkscaper/frame00001.png would become /home/inkscaper/frame00 in the extension dialog)
5. Background color can be set on the background tab. If you only need a static background, hide all of the background layers and create a new layer under all of the frame layers.
6. Apply the extension to create a series of numbered layers with four sub-layers: ink, paint, pencil, and background. The pencil layer will contain the imported images. The background layer will contain a colored rectangle filling in the document boundary.

The 'Set Frame Options' extension is used to adjust the frame duration, display the frame numbers, and to hide or lock multiple layers/sublayers.  Frame duration settings work best when setting the 'From' frame to 1 and the 'To' frame to the last frame layer number.

Once you have all of your frames inked and painted its time to run the output extension. Enter the directory and the base filename without the extension and apply. This should give you a series of inked image frames to input into ffmpeg or maybe imagemagick and create a movie or gif file. The extension only outputs to png format. This is a limitation set by the Inkscape exporter.

HISTORY
=======

October 2014 -- Updated readme.
June 2014 -- Changes made to use inkscape 'shell' mode. This means only one other instance of inkscape is run to process the frames instead of running an instance for each frame. I am hoping this will speed up frame processing.
July 2014 -- Added options to display frame numbers and a frame duration option for previewing the animation in a supported browser like Firefox.

TODO
====

Fix bug with option to hide pencil layers during output.
Add option to choose background image(s).
Add option to choose sub-layer names.

LICENSE
=======

GPL2

Installation
============

Copy the .inx and .py files into ~/.config/inkscape/extensions/ and restart inkscape. 
Or use the makefile to install.

For global installation place in /usr/share/inkscape/extensions (your distro may vary)

For MS place in \Inkscape\share\extensions\