CREATING EVEN A few seconds of a hand-drawn animation—think old-school Looney Tunes, or earlier Disney films like Snow White—is a painstaking process that requires artists to draw hundreds, if not thousands, of frames. Over the years, advances in digital animation tools have streamlined that process and, in doing so, created a new aesthetic best seen in the faces of Pixar’s canon of characters.
Microsoft Research, along with the University of Hong Kong and the University of Tokyo, just unveiled a proof-of-concept technology that could bring back the charm of older, hand-drawn cartoons, with the speed and fluidity of today’s animation software. “Autocomplete hand-drawn animations” debuted at the Siggraph Asia conference, and it’s an interactive system that watches what the artist draws and then predicts what frame or line might come next. READ MORE: Microsoft’s Dope New Tool Is Like Autocomplete for Drawing | WIRED