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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.

Starting with TVPaint version 10.5.0[1] the option has been added of using advanced .TVPP File Compression. Activating the .TVPP Compression option in Preferences will use an advanced compression algorithm when saving the TVPaint project file, resulting in significantly smaller .tvpp file sizes without compromising image quality. (it is important to note that files saved with advanced .TVPP compression cannot be opened by versions of TVPaint Animation older than 10.5.0.).


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.

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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.


TVPaint Animation 11.0

TVPaint Animation Standard and Pro 11 is released on February 3, 2015.[2]
Template:Underline 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...
Template:Underline 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.
Template:Underline 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.
Template:Underline 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.
Template:Underline Auto-save is now possible, users can also add a slate when exporting, and TVPaint Animation 11 exports .XLM formats to be compatible with Flix solutions (The Foundry©). A Search engine has also been added.
Template:Underline Standard Edition on Linux

TVPaint Animation 10.5

TVPaint Animation Standard and Pro 10.5 is released on August 5, 2013.[3]
Template:Underline local network file sharing, automatic save alarm, advanced file compression.
Template:Underline improvements to Filled Stroke and Line Smoothing tool, improvements to Color Palette, new "Projection" parameter for brushes.
Template:Underline framerate accuracy, multiple "Out of Pegs" linking, new hotkeys for flipping...
Template:Underline improved CSV export, new zoom tool, tutorial recorder...

TVPaint Animation 10.0

TVPaint Animation Standard and Pro 10 is released on December 6, 2011.[4]
Template:Underline graphical improvement of the interface (buttons, FX stack, layer stack, export panel, menus' reorganization...)
Template:Underline a new internal AVI codec
Template:Underline line smoothing, brushes history, new drawing mode, brush history
Template:Underline creating automatically new instances when drawing in an “empty” space of the timeline
Template:Underline 64 bits versions for Windows and Linux, actions history, new Tool Bin

TVPaint Animation 9.5

TVPaint Animation Standard and Pro 9.5 is released on September 8, 2009.[5]
This version contains many 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).

TVPaint Animation 9.0

TVPaint Animation Standard and Pro 9 is released on June 24, 2008.[6]
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..).

TVPaint Animation 8.5

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

TVPaint Animation 8.1.1

TVPaint Animation Pro 8.1.1 is released on December 13, 2006.
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.

TVPaint Animation 8.0

In 2006, 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.

Mirage 1.5 (TVPaint Animation 7.5)

Mirage 1.5 is released in 2005.
German and Spanish support is added, along with more effects including Color Replacer and customizable toolbar interface. Scanners with paper feeders are supported.

Mirage 1.2 (TVPaint Animation 7.2)

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)

Mirage 1.0 (TVPaint Animation 7.0)

In 2003, Bauhaus Software begins distributing Mirage in the US for Microsoft Windows / Mac OS X.
FX Stack, volumetric lights, and enhanced light table are added.

Aura 2.5b (TVPaint Animation 6.5b)

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

Aura 2.5 (TVPaint Animation 6.5)

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

Aura 2.0 (TVPaint Animation 6.0)

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

Aura 1.0 (TVPaint Animation 5.0)

In 1998, TVPaint is marketed by Newtek under the name of Aura for PC/DECAlpha systems.

TVPaint Animation 4.0

In 1997, Layers became animatable, thus the name TVPaint Animation.
Projects were also given the ability to support an unlimited number of layers. This is the last version that runs on SGI Irix.

TVPaint 3.6

1995 : TVPaint is 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"[7]

TVPaint 3.0

1994 : 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.

TVPaint 2.0

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

TVPaint 1.4

1992 : ARexx scripting language was integrated for automation of repetitive tasks.

TVPaint 1.0

1991 : 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.

Other TVPaint products

Aura VT

In 1999, TVPaint Animation 5.0 is ported to the Video Toaster under the name of Aura VT 1.0.
In 2002, Aura VT 2.0 (TVPaint v6.0), the second version for Video Toaster is released.

Aura DV Clay

Aura DV Clay is an improved Aura 1.0 version targeted towards the Japanese claymation industry. It was released in 2002, only in Japan.


In 2004, CBPaint, an add-on for the Casablanca video system is created, developed by TVPaint Developpement and distributed by MacroSystem.[8] CBPaint is the equvalent of TVPaint Animation 7.0 for Casablanca. In 2005, the CBPaint—Filter pack, object tracer and Deluxe 3D titler add-ons are developed by TVPaint Developpement and distributed by Macro System.

Notable feature films created with TVPaint

Notable short-movies created with TVPaint

Notable animated series created with TVPaint

  • C'est Bon, a French animated series produced by Folimage,[22] with the voice of Jean-Pierre Coffe as the narrator.
  • Tu mourras moins bête (can be translated in You'll die smarter), a French animated series produced by Folimage and created by Marion Montaigne and aired by Arte[23]
  • Simon's Cat, an animated cartoon and book series by the British animator Simon Tofield. It was created using Adobe Flash, and TVPaint was used in the episodes Scaredy Cat,[24] Snow Cat[25] and in the Off to the vet special (to be released in 2016[26])
  • Gigglebug, originally an iPad app made by Anima Boutique,[27] is a Finnish[28] animated series, expected to air in April 2016[29]

See also


  2. TVPaint Animation 11's new features
  3. TVPaint Animation 10.5's new features
  4. TVPaint Animation 10's new features
  5. TVPaint Animation 9.5's new features
  6. TVPaint Animation 9's new features
  9. Template:IMDb title
  10. 'The Apple & the Worm' feature film made with TVP, paperless-animation blog

External links

TVPaint user community

Template:Raster graphics editors Template:Animation editors