2d animation software ctp pro review reviews

CTP Pro 5 Review – Crater Software’s 2D Animation Program

The Cartoon Television Program (CTP) Pro software program is designed to be a used by the normal frame-by-frame second animator with out the necessity for expensive cameras and different gear. It’s Crater Software’s flagship program and has been round for nigh on 20 years.

The newest version 5 has some new updates and additions and Crater Software program have been sort sufficient to offer me with a evaluation copy of the Pro HD version which I’ll be taking an in-depth take a look at it in this evaluate.

I first came throughout CTP Pro while at university within the early 2000s and totally fell in love with it. (I also assume their mascot “Villy The Devil” needs to be the most effective mascot for a second animation program ever invented!)

Villy the Devil CTP Pro review

It might sound unusual now, but again then having a standard animation and ink and paint system all on a traditional residence pc was still pretty revolutionary. I was doing my drawings on an animation desk with a pegbar, after which scanning them in to CTP the place they might be inked, painted and then output for compositing in Adobe After Results.

The Newest Version 5

After a lot of years away from the software I have revisited the newest Pro HD model 5 in this assessment and am pleased that numerous new things have been added, however without changing it too much so that it’s unrecognisable, which sadly happens so much with software program packages…with a purpose to maintain releasing new updates corporations typically change things that have been working completely wonderful in the first place, or change up menus and interfaces to be able to’t discover what you used to.

One factor to note is that CTP is a bitmap-only software program, so doesn’t work with vectors. If you need a vector-based animation program then you definitely’re better off going with Toon Growth Harmony or Moho Pro.

Comparing Versions of CTP

CTP is actually out there in 3 totally different variations: CTP Pro HD, CTP Pro SD, and Pencil Check.
Pencil Check is because the identify suggests the reduce down model and is designed for testing out your drawings so doesn’t have any ink and paint capabilities, and has restricted layers.

CTP Pro SD and Pro HD are very comparable however Pro HD has extra layers, a better output resolution (up to 8k) and so is more suited to broadcast manufacturing, while the Pro SD model is best for net based mostly animation at a lower resolution.

CTP Pro HDCTP Pro SDPencil Check
Max. resolution (pixels)8192 x 8192800 x 6008192 x 8192
Scanner capture


Video seize


File Import/Export


X-sheet modifying

Prolonged sheet settings


Color fashions (CMA)

Standardised colour palettes


Background composition

Digital camera animation

Picture processing / filters

Audio capturing / modifying


Automated pegbar recognition


Network license out there

Variety of layers200200200

Interface and Accessibility

For me one of the largest strengths of the CTP program has all the time been the format of the interface and its accessibility. The primary time I ever used it, I might work out where every thing was and getting started actually shortly, and I’m glad to see that the clear and economical interface has survived the check of time and continues to be there.

Distinction it with something like Toonz or Toon Growth Concord and they’ll take you numerous longer to figure out and require numerous bedtime studying of instruction manuals and consumer forums.

CTP Pro interface

When you’ve ever used Digicel’s FlipBook software you then’ll be acquainted with this type of format, however I truly assume CTP’s format is superior as a result of the X-sheet feels extra conventional and the area is maximized with all of the instruments needed inside the display area – in different phrases you don’t have to go searching by way of totally different menus for what you want.

CTP menu visibility

Regulate the visibility of your format shortly and easily

This hastens your workflow and retains you targeted on the job in hand – i.e. animating! 😊

Drawing Tools

This to me is where CTP Pro really falls down and disappoints. The drawing instruments comprise the standard pencil, airbrush and straight-line choices which were obtainable in Microsoft’s Paint program because the dawn of time and to be trustworthy, don’t really have any more flexibility than that.

Perhaps this can be a little unfair of me, because the software program isn’t actually designed as a totally paperless answer like Toon Growth Concord, but since there are such a lot of strong drawing packages available on the market nowadays and with the proliferation of low cost graphics tablets I assumed this is able to be an space that had been improved however sadly it is nonetheless really missing here.

The pencil / brush device does permit for a different thickness and opacity of line depending on strain utilized by way of a Wacom or different drawing tablet, but the whole drawing process nonetheless feels slightly cumbersome and unnatural, which makes cleaning up or transforming any drawings after scanning just a little troublesome.

Likewise, the paintbrush and airbrush tools don’t give quite a lot of flexibility, and you can’t really achieve any painterly results.

The best choice can be to do the drawings on paper first and then scan them in, or do them in something like Photoshop, Clip Studio Paint, or another paint program where there’s better line quality and adaptability for roughing out your animation.

Motion / Digital camera Instruments

What I actually like in CTP Pro is the convenience with which you’ll be able to animate your digital camera, by setting keyframes which appear as a “K” within the dopesheet, after which by clicking on considered one of these “K”s you get entry to the Movement Panel which is a neat little graph editor permitting to play with easing in and out of your keyframes and making some good clean digital camera strikes.

CTP Pro camera graph editor

Simply control your digital camera movement

Word nevertheless that these are second cameras and don’t have any 3d digital camera performance like in After Effects or Toon Growth Harmony.

While there isn’t a precise multiplane digital camera impact inbuilt to CTP you’ll be able to pretend it by animating the size and motion of every of your layers, since each layer can have a “camera layer” added to it which principally controls how that layer moves by means of the body.

It takes a bit of work and organization but you can do it, it simply relies upon on your own creativeness.

Scanning and Ink and Paint Instruments

CTP Pro has all of the scanning instruments you’d anticipate from a standard second animation software program reminiscent of pegbar recognition (recognising several totally different makes) and line cleanup.

What’s really nice is the simplicity with which you’ll be able to arrange and duplicate any frames. For example, let’s say you’re working on “twos” as an alternative of “ones” so you might have 12 drawings per second of footage with each drawing masking two frames. Nicely, as you’ll be able to think about it could possibly be extraordinarily time consuming in case you needed to copy and paste each body to duplicate it, however with the “Repeat cells” perform you simply spotlight the drawings you want duplicate, then say what number of frames it ought to repeat (in this case “2”), hit the button and hey presto! all your frames are duplicated and also you’re ready to go.

Here’s one thing I did on CTP Pro many years in the past…it’s a bit of off on the timing and spacing and I might change a few of the poses if I used to be to do it again however it’s an excellent instance because it took me about an hour to scan, paint and output this animation.

Burglar sneak - CTP Pro review

Slightly one thing I scanned and colored in CTP Pro many years in the past

The ink and paint instruments also make life easier as you possibly can arrange your personal color mannequin archives (CMA) from a single frame that you’ve already painted. By shifting the paint software over a painted area on the colour mannequin and choosing, it mechanically chooses that colour for you and you then simply the press the new uncoloured frame to colour that part of it. Simples!

There are additionally a number of layer results and filters that you simply discover in other paint packages like Photoshop, akin to Brightness, Gamma, Blur, Posterize, Emboss, Sharpen, Add Noise and so forth.

Digital camera Capture

There’s the power with CTP Pro to hyperlink up a digital camera so you possibly can direct seize into the software in the form of particular person frames or as a film.

You would use it to report your paper drawings by way of a digital camera you might have arrange, or you should use it as a stop motion software which is pretty good fun.

Audio and Export

Audio information may be imported and edited in this system, so it’s straightforward to match up your lip sync, sound effects and background music.

You’ll be able to have up to 200 layers (picture and sound) in any scene so there’s greater than enough for just about any animated manufacturing.

There also plenty of export codecs to output your animation to, from the usual jpeg, mov or avi, via to PSD and even Toonz information (TZP and TZU) if you wish to send work between the 2 packages.


As mentioned above, to me the most important let-down in CTP Pro are the drawing tools. Today with so much competitors out there amongst animation packages, and even the only apps on tablets and iPads having some respectable drawing instruments, I actually feel that CTP must be doing better with this.

A strong set of drawing and portray instruments which let you achieve painterly results and types would really put CTP up there forward of the competition.


On the entire I really like CTP Pro, should you use it as it is meant…to assist you in a standard animation workflow, the place you do your drawings on paper first and then scan, ink, paint and organise them in the software. It additionally works nicely as a cease movement software program together with your digital camera related.

Nevertheless, when you’re on the lookout for a totally paperless answer or vector-based animation with tweening controls and a robust set of drawing tools then it will not be right for you.

I feel the interface could be very nicely designed each visually and from a practical perspective as you virtually by no means have to entry a hidden menu to get your work finished.

It’s competitively priced with totally different editions relying in your wants, and even has an academic model at a big discount.

I undoubtedly advocate you testing CTP Pro to see what you assume.

>>> Click on right here to obtain a free trial of CTP Pro HD