Data Sheet

This document lists the technical specifications of the Toonloop live stop motion animation software.

Copyright (C) 2009 Alexandre Quessy.

Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.3 or any later version published by the Free Software Foundation.

Short Functional Description

Toonloop is a live stop motion animation software. It aims at showing the creation process the the audience as well as the result of the creation. The frame by frame animation is made by adding frames one by one to a clip made of many frames. Clips are displayed in a never ending loop.

Video Specifications

Features

  • Input : NTSC camera using S-Video or Composite connector, if using an analog capture card, such as the Osprey 110, or the WinTV.
  • Output : Full screen VGA or DVI output. Can also be used in windowed mode.
  • Saving : Saves clips to the hard drive as JPEG images as well as Quicktime movies using the motion-JPEG codec at 12 FPS.

Operation Details

  • When using the chromakey effect, the background is a JPEG image with a 320x240 size. (or other)
  • Ten clips can be open at the same time. Each one is assigned to a number key. (from 0 to 9) Each can contain an unlimited number of images. If ever the RAM of the computer reaches its limit, Toonloop will simply warn the user using the standard (text) output, and try to free a few images.
  • The project name can be specified on the command-line.
  • The path to the directory in which Toonloop should save the images and movie clips can be specified using the command-line. For example, one might want to specify the path to a directory that is shared in read-only mode using Samba.

Supported Video Devices

On the GNU/Linux operating system, Toonloop supports V4L2 video devices. The video device is specified using the "device" command line option with a positive integer as an argument. Typical numbers would be 0 or 1. If only one V4L2 device is found on the computer, that number will be 0, which is the default value. In that case, there is no need to specify a video device, as Toonloop will use the first one available. This is the recommended setup, as V4L2 devices might be assigned a different number each depending on the order they are detected by the operating system.

Recommended devices are either :

  • A V4L2-supported web cam, such as the Logitech QuickCam Pro 9000
  • Or a video capture card, such as the Osprey 110, with any NTSC analog video camera.

There is a nice list of V4L2-supported web cams on the Linux USB Video Class (Linux UVC) driver web site. The devices with a green check should work with no problem at all on Ubuntu GNU/Linux.

Operating Systems

To use Toonloop for Python 1.x, we recommend one of the following operating systems :

  • Ubuntu GNU/Linux 8.04
  • Ubuntu GNU/Linux 9.10
  • Ubuntu GNU/Linux 10.04

Once Ubuntu is installed, one only need to install the Pygame 1.9 package and the Toonloop package. Finally, one needs a V4L2-supported web cam. That's it ! See http://www.ubuntu.com/ to download Ubuntu.

Connectivity

Toonloop supports MIDI input, the Open Sound Control protocol, the FUDI protocol (to communicate with Pure Data) and provides a media RSS web server. See the advanced how-to to learn more on Toonloop's OSC and MIDI interfaces.