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TVPaint Animation
Developer(s) TVPaint Developpement
Stable release 11.0.2 / July 28, 2015; 3 months ago (2015-07-28)
Written in C++
Operating system AmigaOS, Mac OS X, Microsoft Windows, Linux, Android
Type Raster graphics editor, animation and storyboarding software
License Proprietary

TVPaint Animation (also known as Tecsoft Video Paint Animation, Tecsoft Video Paint, TVPaint, TVP Animation, Mirage and Newtek Aura) is a 2D bitmap-based digital animation software package, developed and distributed by TVPaint Developpement, France.

It has been developed for the Amiga platform and then ported to the Microsoft Windows and Apple Macintosh platforms and is currently at version 11. It became available for the Linux platform with version 9.5.

The latest Amiga version available is 3.59 and is distributed publicly, but the source code is still proprietary.


TVPaint is bitmap-based, unlike such vector-based animation programs such as Adobe Flash and Toon Boom Studio. The workflow differences between a bitmap-based and vector-based animation package have their advantages and disadvantages. While vector art excels as a medium for cutout animation and is resolution-independent it is difficult to reproduce the highly detailed texture effects commonly found in traditional media. Bitmaps can represent natural art media more readily, although they are not resolution-independent, as aliasing or blurring artifacts become an issue when enlarging a bitmap. High resolution projects are also memory intensive, presenting storage issues that are multiplied over each frame.

TVPaint Animation manages large amounts of bitmap-based footage using a proxy playback system and scratch disks. It supports several different image formats such as JPG, TGA, FLI, QuickTime, AVI, BMP, PCX, PNG, TIFF, PSD, GIF, and DEEP (TVPaint's proprietary sequence format). Projects are saved in self-contained .TVPP files.


An animation software package presents the user with various tools to edit multiple (bitmap/vector) frames simultaneously (in the case of applying effects or for cutting/X-Sheet purposes) or in rapid succession. TVPaint Animation includes functions to allow the user to 'flip' a segment of the animation while working on individual frames to help the user feel the movement of the animation. There is also a function called a 'Light Table' which allows a user to see superimposed frames before and after the current frame. This function also goes under the name of "onion skinning" or "tracing paper" and is not unlike using tracing paper for an animation in real life.


TVPaint Animation's GUI has been programmed from scratch, eschewing the use of standard the GUI libraries provided by the OS. Cosmetically, the rebuilt interface looks somewhat different, but retains much of the functionality of its OS-based GUI counterparts.

Most features accessible through the GUI can be assigned to hotkeys, and combinations of features can be assigned to a single hotkey, resulting in a short macro. GRG scripts can also be assigned to buttons in TVPaint Animation's toolbars, as well as practically any function available in the interface. The result is an interface that can be automated to handle many of the repetitive tasks that face an animator. The George scripting language (also known as Element, for Mirage users), can also be used to create new macros and tools.

The plugin API allows third-party C/C++ developers to create image filters, colour palettes, or tools that do not fit into any category.


2015 February 3 : TVPaint Animation Standard and Pro 11 :
GUI improvements : revisited color scheme and new icons, updated Timeline, new way to manage Color Groups, Image Library (Pro-only), Layer Preset Manager, better management of 2K and 4K screens...
Colors and Textures improvements : New layer type : Colors and Texture Generator (CTG). This new layer can apply colors and textures, depending on one or several sources of the user's choice. CTG Layers also let the users generate color libraries. It can also generate textures, by tracking one or several color area. Two new FX have also been added : Brush Spreading (uses a custom brush of your choice to redraw a shape's outline) and Inlay Texture (uses an image source (paper, custom brush), and makes it mold the whole shape to give it an embossed design or a painting looking). Also, a Chromatic Wheel has been added.
Drawing improvements : Drawing Guidelines (lines, ellipses, perspectives with several vanishing points, grids, image references, safe area outlining), new Warp tool, Eraser tool and Line Smoothing. Anti-aliasing can now be used in all filling tools.
Animation improvements : New Flip panel, "Auto Break" & "Auto Create Frame" are now layer depending, faster proxy, Light Table changes : new tint mode and Out-of-Pegs value can be changed with values.
Workflow improvements : Auto-save is now possible, users can also add clap bars when exporting, and TVPaint Animation 11 exports .XLM formats to be compatible with Flix solutions (The Foundry©). A Search engine has also been added.
Miscellaneous improvements : Standard Edition on Linux

2013 August 5 : TVPaint Animation Standard and Pro 10.5 :
Workflow enhancements : local network file sharing, automatic save alarm, advanced file compression.
Drawing enhancements : improvements to Filled Stroke and Line Smoothing tool, improvements to Color Palette, new "Projection" parameter for brushes.
Animation enhancements : framerate accuracy, multiple "Out of Pegs" linking, new hotkeys for flipping...
Miscellaneous updates : improved CSV export, new zoom tool, tutorial recorder...

2011 December 6 : TVPaint Animation Standard and Pro 10 : 64bit, an internal AVI codec and many improvements on existing tools.

2009 September 8 : TVPaint Animation Standard and Pro 9.5 : This new version contains many great features like : a Storyboard tool, a Peg-hole tracker, a Smear mode, a Camera tool, an Out of Pegs feature and many panels and features are improved. July 1: TVPaint Animation becomes available for Linux for the first time (Pro only, 32-bit and 64-bit).

2008 June 24: TVPaint Animation Standard and Pro 9 : TVPaint Animation 9.0 Standard Edition contains many improvement : the layer blending modes, the Panel Bin feature, the TimeLine Notes, the TVPX format, the Drawing Recorder... In addition to all those improvements, the Professional version allows to integrate numerous audio tracks, to mix layers with many blending modes and gets four separately customizable workspaces. Each workspace's panel layouts and hot keys can be customized to a different stage of your animation (for researches, storyboards etc..).

2007 May 28: TVPaint Animation Pro 8.5 : A major free update is released in June 2007. This update contains an instance system allowing you to easily time your animation, profiles on tool's connection for a custom behavior and new customizable interface look.

2006 December 13: TVPaint Animation Pro 8.1.1 : In December 2006, TVPaint Developpement released TVPaint Animation 8.1 Professional Edition, second software based on the TVPaint Technology 8.1. In addition to the features of the Standard Edition, this version benefits of an XSheet System allowing you to make your lip-sync and of a lot of video functionalities.

2006 : TVPaint Animation -- TVPaint Developpement begins distributing their products under their own name. TVPaint Animation is dedicated to graphic creation and 2D animation. It is 100% compatible with MacIntel computers. New Effects : MultiPlane camera, Rotating project, Toon Shading, Add Border, Scan Cleaner, Lens Flare.

2005 : CBPaint—Filter pack, object tracer and Deluxe 3D titler add-ons developed by TVPaint Developpement and distributed by Macro System

2005 : Mirage 1.5 (TVPaint 7.5) -- German and Spanish support, more effects including Color Replacer and customizable toolbar interface. Scanners with paper feeders supported.

2004 : CBPaint—Add-on for the Casablanca video system, developed by TVPaint Developpement and distributed by Macro System. CBPaint is TVPaint 7.0 technology for Casablanca.

2004 : Mirage 1.2 (TVPaint 7.2) -- Rototracker, improved particle engine, ease curves, MP3 support, new AVI engine (support for 4GB+ files), frame buffer for Bluefish and DPS cards and international language support (French)

2003 : Mirage 1.0 (TVPaint 7.0) -- Bauhaus software begins distributing Mirage in the US for Microsoft Windows / Mac OS X. FX Stack, volumetric lights, and enhanced light table added.

2003 : Aura 2.5b(TVPaint 6.5b) -- LW unwrap mesh function for drawing textures in a project

2002 : Aura DV Clay—Improved Aura 1.0 version targeted towards the Japanese claymation industry. Aura2VT(TVPaint v6.0) -- Second version for Video Toaster

2001 : Aura 2.5 (TVPaint 6.5) -- Proxy player, MMX support, live video stream background for telestration

2000 : Aura 2.0 (TVPaint 6.0) -- Support for sound tracks, 16-bit drawing masks, selection tools and pixel tracker added (PC/DECAlpha)

1999 : Aura VT 1.0 (TVPaint 5.0) -- TVPaint/Aura ported to the Video Toaster

1998 : Aura 1.0 (TVPaint 5.0) -- TVPaint marketed by Newtek under the name of Aura for PC/DECAlpha systems

1997 : TVPaint 4.0—Layers became animatable. Projects were also given the ability to support an unlimited number of layers.This is the last version that runs on SGI Irix.

1995 : TVPaint 3.6—Ported to the SGI and DEC Alpha systems, while still being available for the PC and the Amiga. An API was created to allow third-party developers to create plug-ins.

Trivia: Interestingly enough, a screenshot of the TVPaint 3.6 About Box shows TVPaint's original name: "Tecsoft Video Paint"[1]

1994 : TVPaint 3.0—This release was the first to arrive for the PC, though the Amiga continued to be supported. ARexx scripting was supplanted by George scripting. Also, TVPaint Junior, a light version of TVPaint, was being bundled with the VillageTronic Picasso, EGS video card.

1993 : TVPaint 2.0—First appearance of a multi-window GUI, Propelling Pencil & Chalk added

1992 : TVPaint 1.4—ARexx scripting language was integrated for automation of repetitive tasks

1991 : TVPaint 1.0— TVPaint's first incarnation was a 32-bit painting software on the Amiga called TVPaint, programmed by a student of the Metz Academy of Arts.

Notable films created with TVPaint[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

TVPaint user community[edit]