Draco, who lived in 7th century BC, was the first recorded legislator of Athens in Ancient Greece. He replaced the prevailing system of oral law and blood feud by a written code to be enforced only by a court. Draco's written law became known for its harshness, with the adjective "draconian" referring to similarly unforgiving rules or laws. source: Wikipedia To me this made sense, since laws are written down but evolve over time; however, the team told me that their selection of a project name was a little whimsical. Originally, it was named after one of the drawings having a Dragon in it. Draco means Dragon.
I remember when I first saw Autodesk Research's video about Project Draco. I said "Now that's cool."
Project Draco is our free technology preview that makes animation as easy as sketching. The easy-to-use interface allows you to add a rich set of subtle, continuous animation effects to your images (e.g., JPGs, PNGs, GIFs) without the complications of timeline and key-framing. Project Draco outputs to video that can be used to create an animated GIF file with tools like Camtasia Studio.
Here are some examples:
The Autodesk Research team is looking for iPad users who want to participate in the project and provide feedback. They deliver the tech preview to you using Apple's TestFlight platform. The team has a limited number of TestFlight slots available, so they are accepting requests for participation.
Once accepted into the project, you can provide feedback via the project forum or email@example.com. In anticipation of that, here are some answers from Senior Research Scientist, Rubaiat Habib, to frequently asked questions:
What are the applications of Project Draco?Animation is a powerful tool to communicate your ideas, thoughts, and emotions. Our goal is to make animation as easy as sketching and make it accessible to a wide range of users. Draco can be used for animated illustrations, comic books, teaching materials, presentations, eBooks, technical diagrams, greeting cards, animated selfies, storyboarding, and much more. Go wild with your imagination!
Can I import images into Project Draco?Yes. You can import any existing photographs, images, and drawings from iPad Camera Roll into Draco as a background. You can also take a photo directly from the app and use it as a background image. Currently, we do no support importing TIFF or PSD files into the app.
How can I share my animated drawings?There are several ways you can share your work with others. Firstly, you can upload it into the community, and others can view it through the community from the Draco app. Secondly, you can export it as a (7 second) video and share it from the Camera Roll directly into social networks. Currently, we do not export into .GIF files. You need to use third party tools to generate .GIF files from the video.
Are there any additional painting brushes?
Currently, we have one brush in the app. Project Draco is tailored for animation authoring. If you want to use more sophisticated drawing tools and brushes, we recommend using other drawing apps (e.g., SketchBook Pro) and import the drawing as a background in Project Draco.
Can I have customized canvas dimensions?
Not in this version. Currently, the canvas dimensions are fixed (1024 X 768).
Where is the eraser tool?
There is no eraser tool in this version. You can undo your operations, delete the animation behaviors, or even clear or delete a layer.
Can I invite my friends and peers into the beta program?
Yes! We encourage you to recommend this program to your friends and colleagues. Please forward the Autodesk Labs page to sign up for the beta testing.
Animation is alive in the lab.