First impressions of the application, from user interface to documentation.
I purchased the download version, and did not receive any packaging or paper documentation. The pdf documentation has a nice table of contents, which is very useful. Also useful are the “See Also” listings at the end of each section, hot-linked to their destination. The actual content of the documentation is not as great. Its strength is that it works as a reference document, and looking things up is very easy. I have had to struggle with figuring out how to actually use the application, which as far as I can tell from a rough poll of associates is a common problem. I think the main problem is that after using Flash for so long, I am very set in the Macromedia way of doing things, and the Toonboom documentation does little to address “making the switch”. Hopefully this blog might shed some light.
The user interface has a ton of potential. I love the idea of being able to rotate the workspace, and having multiplane is very cool (especially coming from Flash, where making camera moves is a pain). Just opening up the application tickles my animator bone — right there is a 12-field grid, and a traditional dopesheet. Tablet support is ready to go (more on this later), and onion-skinning is much more obviously available than in Flash. In all, first impressions of the UI is promising.