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Welcome!

My name is Boris Dalstein, I am a French computer scientist and software engineer, but most importantly, I am an animation lover! I have studied the science behind animation during my master's and PhD degree in computer science, and I have worked on animation-related research projects at Inria, Disney Research Zurich, and Pixar Animation Studios.

About this project

Animation is a fascinating medium where art and science complement each other, enabling creative minds to tell meaningful stories that have influenced many generations, and will continue to influence generations to come.

Unfortunately, animation is also one of the most difficult art forms! In particular, while there exist a lot of powerful tools for 3D animation, there hasn't been much innovation for 2D hand-drawn animation in the last decades. This is a shame, because while 3D animation has its own merits, 2D animation is really where artists can truly express their creativity with almost limitless freedom of art style. It's much more fun too!

For this reason, I have founded VGC Software, a startup company whose mission is to develop radically innovative technology for 2D animation, hopefully making it a more appealing choice for freelance artists and big studios alike. In particular, we desire to automate the generation of inbetweens as much as reasonably possible, so that your creative time can be better spent on what matters most: key drawings, breakdowns, and spacing/timing.

But you can't have great 2D animation tools without great 2D drawing tools! In fact, drawing is the heart and soul of traditional animation. This is problematic for computer-assisted animation, because while we believe that vector-based animation is the future (automatic inbetweening, shading, iterative tweaks, etc.), the truth is that most vector-based drawing tools aren't as fun to use as pencils and paper.

Therefore, we are also developing new vector-based drawing technology, which aims to feel just as nice as drawing on paper, but also automatically understands the connectivity and structure between your lines, making it possible to intuitively edit your drawings in ways no other tools can. Since this technology is great for non-animated graphic design as much as for 2D animation, we will be releasing two separate applications, fine-tuned for each use case.

VGC Illustration

VGC Animation

VGC Illustration will be a vector graphics editor, that is, a competitor of products such as Adobe Illustrator, Autodesk Graphic, CorelDRAW, or Inkscape. Unlike these other programs, VGC Illustration will be based on vector graphics complexes, a new mathematical concept which we developed and presented at SIGGRAPH 2014. The key breakthrough was to discover a novel way to keep track of the connectivity between lines in a drawing, making them very intuitive to edit. For example, this technology allows artists to easily represent two shapes sharing a common border, such as two neighbor countries. Such common border is typically painful to create and edit in most existing tools, because it has to be created twice (once for each shape) and edited separately. Instead, using our vector graphics complexes, the border only has to be created once and can be edited with ease. The technical video below showcases some early examples of what this technology can do.

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Meanwhile, VGC Animation will be a vector-based 2D animation editor, that is, a competitor of products such as Adobe Animate (formerly Adobe/Macromedia Flash), ToonBoom Harmony, CACANi, Synfig, or OpenToonz. To some extent, VGC Animation will also be a competitor to pixel-based 2D animation editors such as TVPaint or Krita. VGC Animation will be based on vector animation complexes, an extension of vector graphics complexes that supports animation. This mathematical structure represents an animation as a “continuous space-time topological complex”, which is scientific jargon for “represent the connectivity between lines within each frame, but also across several frames”. Representing this connectivity makes everything easier and more intuitive! In particular, the fact that it can represent shapes with shared boundary makes it extremely well suited for automatic inbetweening. Also, it allows to represent vector animations of shapes that split and merge in ways that were not possible before. Below is a technical video giving some insight on this novel data structure.

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Pricing

Note: VGC isn't released yet! However, you can become a sponsor to unlock access to alpha versions, or try our earlier research prototype VPaint.

We hope to release the first stable version in late 2021, but we can't promise an exact date at the moment. Initially, it will be available on Windows, macOS, and Linux, but we are planning to create iOS and Android versions too in the future (we know, the iPad Pro is super nice to draw on!). Just to give you an idea, you can find below the expected prices, although they are still subject to change until the actual release.

VGC Illustration

VGC Animation

Perpetual licenses

Provide access to a specific version of VGC, forever. Minor upgrades are included (1.0 → 1.1), but you need to pay for major upgrades (1.0 → 2.0), which are expected once a year.

New License
$60
$100
Upgrade
$30
$50

Subscription plans

Provide access to all versions and upgrades as long as you're subscribed. After 24 consecutive months or 2 consecutive years of subscription, you unlock a perpetual license to the current version which you can keep using even after canceling your subscription (you just don't get upgrades anymore).

Monthly
$3 / month
$5 / month
Yearly
$30 / year
$50 / year

Note that despite being sold as a commercial product (which ensures sustainability of the project), VGC is proud to be publicly developed on GitHub under the Apache 2.0 open source license. Indeed, we believe that source code is knowledge, and we believe that knowledge is meant to be accessible to everyone for free. We also believe that users should have the freedom to modify the software they use. Finally, using VGC on Linux distributions is free of charge, although users are encouraged to buy a license or subscribe to one of our plans to support the project.

Join the Discord!

Discord is the best place to learn more about this project, ask any question, share your artwork, or simply hang out! It's like a VIP room to see what's going on behind the scenes. Just click the button below and follow the steps.

Join the Discord

Stay tuned

This project is still in early development. We're not quite sure yet when VGC 1.0 will be released, but we can let you know by email when this happens. Also, if you'd like to follow our progress, we can send you progress updates, approximately twice a month.

Become a sponsor

Excited about VGC? Join the sponsorship program to help us make it happen!

Indeed, we made the choice to be funded by future users like yourself rather than business investors, to ensure that your interests always come first.

How does it work?

For only $1 per month (Bronze Sponsor), you get instant access to all exclusive news as well as all alpha and beta versions of VGC. This allows you to try out VGC right now, which is a unique opportunity to provide early feedback and shape the tools the way you want them to be. Welcome to the team!

For $3 per month (Silver Sponsor), you also get a perpetual license key for the upcoming VGC Illustration 1.0 and VGC Animation 1.0. Higher amounts (Gold Sponsor and above) also give you software upgrades for up to 10 years! It's basically like pre-ordering VGC at a discounted early bird price.

You can either pay in USD via Patreon, or in EUR via Tipeee. You can cancel your monthly payments at any time, and still keep your rewards, no questions asked: we trust you to contribute for a number of months which seems fair to you. Alternatively, you can also choose to make a one-time payment via Paypal rather than monthly contributions. Just click on the chosen button and follow the instructions. Thank you!

Contact us

Questions? Feedback? We'd love to hear what you think of this project!

Feel free to email me directly at boris@vgc.io, your messages really help to drive the project in the good direction, and keep the motivation up.

Thanks for scrolling until the end, and have a great day!

— Boris Dalstein