Animators New Favorite Software: Animation Paper

Let’s revive hand drawn animation! Let’s get the fun and ease back into 2D! You, and the animation community, can now make this awesome dream tool happen!
Niels Krogh Mortensen
Email Verified
493 Facebook Friends
6 Team Members

"Wow! This looks great!
I really like the layout. Just like working on paper at my desk!"
- Aaron Blaise
Supervising animator, Digital Domain & Disney,
Director of Brother Bear

"This looks like really intuitive and exciting software.
I can’t wait to get my hands on it!"
- Victor Navone
Supervising animator, Pixar

"Really excited about Niels and his work to create
a great 2D animation app! Please support him!"
- Jason Schleifer
Animation Industry Veteran, Head of Character Animation

When this campaign has ended, please go to for more info!

Dear Animators,

I am animator and director, Niels Krogh Mortensen. For the last few months fans and artists of hand drawn animation, seasoned industry professionals, possibly some of you reading this - and myself, have discussed the vision of Animation Paper and our combined ideas:

What goes into the most awesome software for doing hand drawn animation?

It must be fast and powerful - yet simple, intuitive and effortless to work with. Light weight, uncluttered and free from over-technical stuff. Get your productivity and quality of work way up - get your drawings flowing with ease!

Animation Paper will have exactly what you need as an animator. No more, no less. Even if you are working in 3D, stop motion or cinematography, Animation Paper will be of great value for quickly testing your ideas, rough out key poses and frames - and check your timing possibilities. Animation Paper is going to revolutionize hand drawn animation by its simplicity, quality and ease of use. It is going to be awesome! Not to mention, sooo much fun!

So, what does go into this software? After all the considerations and brilliant suggestions, I strongly believe we now have the answer. We are ready... Now let's make Animation Paper happen! (Read on!)

Interface Detail. From bottom: Range marker. Scrubable timeline. Layer ordering. X-sheet thumbnails. Soundwave and scribbled notes. Drawing area to the right.

We need your support

Support the development of Animation Paper. This is do or die! If we do not get fully funded and reach our goal with this Indiegogo campaign, the project will unfortunately not make it - but at least all backers will keep their pledged money according to the fixed funding rules. Only a successful campaign will do - this is your guarantee that your and other backers pledged money is withdrawn only if Animation Paper will become reality. - And you will be sure to get your perk as promised.

Pledges of any amount, large or small, are greatly appreciated. Obviously pledges are vital for our project, and a lot of people need to chip in to reach our goal. - But another great help, that doesn't cost any money, is to let your industry colleagues and animation interested friends know. This is a highly specialized niche product, so we need to make sure that all corners of the animation world know about it. Only then can we make sure that Animation Paper will be funded and available to everyone. So let's do this!

When this Indiegogo campaign is successful, Animation Paper will later be available at online stores for only $79 USD, once it is finished. But if you pledge $59 now, you'll get Animation Paper as a perk/reward first thing. This equals a 25% discount.

Make sure to check out all the perks, listed here at the right, to find just the one for your need and budget.

Interface detail. From top: Tool bar. Layer visibility and linking. Layer naming. Color of layer and color selector. X-sheet thumbnails with key frames and clones. Top right, pencil size and opacity.

Mac OSX, Windows and so on

First we aim for the Mac version. That's why the perks include the Mac OSX app. Then we go for the Windows version, meaning that if we reach our first stretch goal, all backers will be able to choose between both Mac or PC versions as their perk reward. Even versions for iPad/iOS, Android and Linux could be up for grabs if things get crazy.

So to be absolutely clear about PC/Windows: The perks, listed to your right, mention the Mac version, - you will be able to change your perk for the Windows version, what ever you prefer, but only if the Windows stretch goal is reached.

Windows-only users who want to support now, and help reach the goals, should consider the $20 perk. You can even take two of them.

Funds, Budget & Timeline

To develop Animation Paper on Mac OS X to the point of final fully tested product, we need to raise $175.000 to pay for programmers and other expenses. If we raise $125.000 more ($300.000 in total), we will be able to do the native Windows version as well. Everybody on the team are highly qualified and highly motivated to deliver their best, - and at the same time work for a greatly reduced salary in order to get Animation Paper out to everybody.

With the help of you and the rest of the community - here's how we will use the funds:

The production will begin immediately after the successful Indiegogo campaign ends and will end with release of the finished product in April 2015. Roughly the timeline looks like this:

Some perks include getting access to early versions, so backers will be able to test and work with alpha or beta versions already in November 2014 and February 2015 respectively.

All the details about Animation Paper

Smell the roses…
Enjoy drawing the rough blue lines over layers of red layouts, do keys and breakdowns, turn on your real time light table, quickly move drawings around, refine your x-sheet timing to perfection, clean up in smoothed black ink, zoomed in and rotated - and get the most beautiful hand drawn lines and expressive animation you can ever do. Feel your computer and tablet pen become a true extension of your creative self. Experience the freedom of animating without constraints. Animation Paper is going to be awesome!

Interface detail: Toolbar customized with favorite tools. Return flip. Playback controls. Loop and Once. Full frame play. Ref on 2nd monitor.


The No.1 feature of Animation Paper is the limited number of features. :) Keeping it clean and simple.

Other than that, here’s the list of main features:

  • Super fast responsiveness – while drawing, while flipping, while everything
  • Quality lines – built on high speed, high resolution input from your tablet (like a Wacom)
  • Small to large format frames
  • Realtime smooth rotation and zooming of the view (and mirror) - controlled with gestures (pinch/rotate) or quick zoom function
  • Light table (onion skinning – advanced and customizable)
  • X-Sheet – easy, yet powerful timing and reuse (also scribbled notes and sound wave display)
  • Layers (each layer colored black, blue, red, green or custom)
  • Cutouts (easily reposition/rotate/scale drawings or parts of drawings)
  • Clean up (smoothed lines)
  • Paint (simple coloring with eyedropper and fill. May not be included in first release, but in free upgrade)
  • Many alternative ways of flipping (keys, wheel, springy return flip, etc)
  • Customizable Tool Bar and Quick Select (marking menu) for reaching favorite functions with a flick
  • Realtime full frame reference on 2nd monitor
  • Play scenes in sequence to check continuity
  • Import and export of video and frame-stacks (including alpha and X-Sheet timing data)
  • Native Mac OS X app (but also done natively for Windows, iPad and Android if stretch goals are reached)

If you want to check the details of what exact content is going into Animation Paper, you can explore the planned menus and study the interface below. Click to see full size 1:1 interface

Video Tour of the Animation Paper Interface

Questions? Comments?

Now you know about Animation Paper. If anything is not clear or you have any questions or ideas, don't hesitate to leave a comment - we will do our best to answer promptly (as long as we are not during the night here on European time - sleeping).

Again, we hope for your help to spread the word. And to simply buy Animation Paper up front.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart. Thank you - for all your help to make this dream tool come to life for all of us.

Vive la animation!

Niels Krogh Mortensen,
Animator & Creator of Animation Paper

Do you remember PAP?

Almost 2 decades ago I (together with my friend programmer Jakob Frandsen) created Plastic Animation Paper (PAP) - the predecessor to Animation Paper. Even though it is now completely outdated, it still has a large fan base. This loyalty towards hand drawn animation and not least PAP is for me quite incredible to experience, - and this is why I now want to take the proven core values of PAP and with the help of you and the rest of the community recreate it as a modern and beautifully light weight piece of software. The old PAP has not been developed or supported for years, but it still runs (more or less) on modern computers with Windows, - so if you like, you can download it for absolutely free, no strings attached, here:


Q: What makes Animation Paper better/different compared to other software?
A: The most important differences will be the ease of use, the speed of the workflow and the super responsive feel. Animation Paper will be much simpler than its competitors, but much more powerful focusing on what is key for the animator. And then it is well designed. Competitive software in many cases even have you dig deep into submenus to get functions you use often - or force your attention to constant popup windows. Competitors might have more features, but this makes everything much more complex, resulting in heavy and annoyingly slow software. Especially when you pressure them with modern resolutions. Some will even let you stop and wait while your lines or drawings are rendering! That's just ridiculous. Additionally the Animation Paper X-Sheet will be working properly: With effortless efficiency. The drawn line will be super high quality. Etc, etc.

Q: Will we get Animation Paper for Windows?
A: Yes, if the stretch goal are reached. We focus on developing for Mac OSX first. Then, immediately after the release of the Mac version, plans are to do the Windows version. This will be quicker and cheaper to do, since a part of the code will be shared between the two.

Q: I am concerned that some potential Windows backers are holding back. Why don’t you have more Windows perks?
A: The dilemma is, that we are raising funds for two different things. First for doing the Mac version, then for the Windows version. I can not hand out any Windows perks, if we are only doing the Mac version. Naturally. I know this kind of puts the Windows-only users in a waiting/hoping position without being able to do a lot to help to begin with.
We want to do both Mac and Windows versions. We want to do both as proper native software. We begin with one, and then we do the other. The second one, will be quicker to do, because algorithms and some code is reusable. Not to mention, that the concept will be fully documented at every level at that time.

So let’s say we “only” reach our base goal for the Mac version. What happens then? No worries - what ever amount raised, beyond the base Mac goal, large or small, will help getting the Windows version developed. Of course we will have to find any remaining portion to cover all expenses for it - but this will be my priority, raising the remaining funds, from say smaller investors, any potential income from the Mac version sales - and other means. My priority will be, getting Animation Paper made for Windows.

Windows users can help now, by pledging $20 or more. This will give them a ticket to save the $20, when either pledging for Animation Paper later in this campaign after the Windows stretch goal is reached. Or when the Windows version eventually is out because it was made from other means of funding.

Q: Will the scene file format be exchangeable between the Mac and the Windows version?
A: Yes, it will be 100% the same format - so files can be shared between the systems as as you see fit.

Q: What are the hardware requirements for running Animation Paper?
A: Since the software hasn't been programmed yet, it will be up to testing to check the exact requirements. But just about any fairly modern computer will be fine. Of course you will need more memory (RAM), the more drawings, frames, scenes you plan to work on simultaneously. But all your frames will be non-destructively compressed internally, so you'll have plenty of space. No worries.
While Animation Paper will be able to work using a mouse, you'll be much better off with a drawing tablet, such as a Wacom or other brand. To do any serious work, you'll need this.

Q: What is in the "Exclusive Gold Edition"?
A: It will basically be the same software, with the same functionality as the standard, but the "wrapping" however will have a more exclusive feel with a limited edition golden launch splash and your name "engraved" in a special honorable section. Backers of the exclusive gold edition will know they have helped our project tremendously. So it comes with bragging rights!

Find This Campaign On
raised by 483 people in 1 month
19% funded
0 time left
$175,000 USD goal
Fixed Funding This campaign did not meet its $175,000USD funding goal by the deadline.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on August 1, 2014
Select a Perk
  • $5USD
    Good Karma

    Our sincere gratitude and emailed thank you with inside news and photos from our production.

    18 claimed
  • $15USD
    30 Day License

    A 30 day license of Animation Paper for Mac OS X - test it, play with it, animate, do your stuff - including commercial work. Everything is enabled, but only for 30 days.

    9 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2015
  • $20USD
    Windows Version Ticket

    For all of you, that want to support the project, but have no use for a Mac version. This is your ticket to get a $20 discount, when Animation Paper will eventually be available for Windows.

    125 claimed
  • $30USD
    90 Day License

    A 90 day license of Animation Paper for Mac OS X - test it, play with it, animate, do your stuff - including commercial work. Everything is enabled, but only for 90 days.

    1 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2015
  • $59USD
    Animation Paper for Mac

    The real deal: 1 copy of Animation Paper for Mac OS X. Full License. (Retail price for Animation Paper will be $79 once it is finished and sold online. You not only save 25% by pledging $59 now - you also participate in making it happen!)

    272 claimed
    Estimated delivery: April 2015
  • $118USD
    1+1 and Exclusive Beta

    2 copies of Animation Paper. One for you - one for your friend. As well as exclusive access to early beta versions of Animation Paper for both of you. Full Licenses.

    33 out of 1000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2015
  • $200USD
    Gold Edition

    Your name in the About section of the software, beta access, and 1 copy of a special exclusive gold edition of Animation Paper for Mac OS X only for IndieGoGo campaign contributors.

    11 out of 500 claimed
    Estimated delivery: February 2015
  • $500USD

    Get to test Animation Paper in the making - already in a few months! This perk gives you access to very early development alpha versions of Animation Paper for Mac OS X, as well as exclusive access to participate in development discussions. Special credit in the About section of the software. You will eventually get your alpha version upgraded to a full license of the special exclusive gold edition of Animation Paper for Mac OS X.

    2 out of 100 claimed
    Estimated delivery: November 2014
  • $1,000USD

    Personal chat and talk with Niels Krogh Mortensen via Skype. Discuss ideas, features, animation techniques, etc. Plus what’s in the $500 perk.

    0 out of 10 claimed
  • $3,000USD
    Personal Animation Course

    Exclusive personal 6-lesson animation course via Skype spread over one intense week of your choice on animating and mastering Animation Paper. If you want to come to Copenhagen, Denmark, you’re welcome, and we can drop Skype. You will also get a full license of the special exclusive gold edition of Animation Paper for Mac OS X.

    0 out of 20 claimed
  • $6,000USD
    Your Logo and Link

    As an individual, company or say an art school or animation course - that offer services to animators, you will benefit from this perk. Get your logo or banner displayed on the Animation Paper website as a sponsor - as well as inside the actual Animation Paper software (in the About section) to let interested users head directly to your website. Your logo and link is to be on display for at least five years. (We reserve the right to turn down offers, if link is not of genuine interest to users)

    1 out of 20 claimed
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