Pivot Stickfigure Animator
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2013)|
|Stable release||4.1 / October 24, 2013|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Type||Graphics software, Design tools, Animating, Stick figure animation|
Pivot Stickfigure Animator (usually shortened to Pivot) is a freeware application, for Windows, that allows users to create stick-figure animations, and save them in the animated GIF (Graphics Interchangeable Format) format used on web pages and, which can also be converted into videos using other software, such as Windows Movie Maker.
Pivot provides a simple, easy to use interface with a few features. It uses fixed length 'sticks' to ensure size consistency during animation, something which is not as simple to recreate in professional animation software such as Autodesk Maya or Macromedia Flash.
Pivot is widely known for its animations created within Pivot being uploaded frequently to YouTube. They include, but are not limited to, music videos, combat, and humor.
This version of Pivot Animator had several software bugs, as with most first-generation programs. Stick figures were limited to one type of stick figure, the default stickman. Animations could be saved in the .PIV (Pivot Project File) or exported as Animated .GIFs (Graphics Interchangeable Format). Users were given few options of image optimization, compression or resizing when saving their animation.
Second major release of the Pivot Stickfigure Animator. This version implemented the 'Stick Figure Builder', which allowed users to create their own stick figure designs saved in the STK format. This allowed a much wider scope of animation choice for Pivot users. It also fixed a few minor bugs, added the buttons to the main interface to bring a stick figure in front or behind other figures, and could automatically check to make sure the user does not lose unsaved projects.
In this version, Pivot was introduced as a MSI Installer Package, ensuring that the program would be installed properly. This made the use of Registry Keys(.reg) easier to install, and that the appropriate file associations for animation and stick figure files would be set. Other additions include unique icons for .PIV and .STK files, the ability to load JPEG backgrounds, and further warnings when a user tried to overwrite an existing file, to make sure that the animation that they were working on was not lost.
A few more minor bugs were fixed and the installer was improved.
On November 6, 2012, Peter Bone announced the release of version 2.2.7. He stated it was not that different from the previous version.
Pivot 3.1 Beta
This release was sent intentionally to the Pivot Animation MSN groups for testing but the Beta was leaked from various unofficial sources to the general public. Several features had been vastly improved and several new features had been added. There was an improved interface, with new icons, a better default stickman with bolder arms and legs and a reorganization of the features. New features included the ability to import any image as a sprite to be moved around in the animation like a stick figure. Another added feature was the ability to have multiple backgrounds in an animation. When a user saves a .piv file, the frame rate is saved with it. This Beta release has glitches that mess up parts of an animation. One known error is the "Invalid floating point"; this could cause some frames in the animation to be corrupted when saving it. Another error is when saving the pivot animation as an .avi file, an error message appears and the text says "not ready yet."
The new version promises several new features, all of which mentioned on the Facebook page:
- Everything in Pivot 2 and Pivot 3 beta plus bug fixes
- Transparency / opacity
- All handles drawn on top of figures so you can move them easier
- Edit area surrounding the animation area to make it easier to move objects off screen
- Duplicate figure button
- Multi*figure select
- Change the length of segments in the animation by holding Ctrl while dragging
- Change scale and rotate whole figure by holding Alt while dragging
- Pan and zoom and rotate all (by selecting all figures)
- Improved figure selector and background selector (shows images in a list)
- Split segment button in figure builder
- Delete a segment even if it has segments joined to its end or delete a whole branch
- Copy and paste multiple frames
- In figure builder, set circle to filled or not filled or white filled
- Change where the orange handle is in the figure builder
- Improved gif options (dithering)
- Avi video export support
- Join figures together (for creating multi*coloured figures or for holding weapons, etc.)
- PNG support for backgrounds and sprites and export as images
- Press delete key for deleting figure or segment in figure builder * plus other shortcuts
- Figure order buttons; hold ctrl key to send 1 back or 1 front
- Improved Gif export quality
- Multiple languages
- Multiple*onion skins
- Undo / redo button with multiple levels of undo
- Improved handle sizes
- Save figures in the Pivot 2 format
- < and > step through frames
- Change the background or repeat frame number in multiple frames
- Help file
The official beta release was on January 2, 2013.
Personal Experiences with 3.1 Beta