EBSynth lets you paint major keys and then creates the in-betweens.

Secret Weapons has a beta for something that’s called EBSynth. We’ve all seen those impressive AI-driven examples where you can generate an image based on some input and an output style. EBSynth is somewhat similar in that it uses texture synthesis, only it doesn’t use AI, and the artist keeps all the control over the result.

EbSynth Automates Rotoscope in Arbitrary Style.

Using EBSynth, you can paint the keyframes, and the software creates the in-betweens. “We use texture synthesis to distribute changes made in one frame into other frames of the reference footage, so there is no AI involved and the artist keeps all the control over the result,” says Šárka Sochor, Secret Weapons Founder.

“Among the classic rotoscoping, you can use the software to enhance flat 2D animation with shading or quickly.” – You can even input 3D renders and apply painterly brush strokes to them.


Paint the keyframes, EbSynth creates the in-betweens

Prague, Czech Republic – There is help coming for traditional animators who spend enormous time on frame-by-frame painted movies. EbSynth is a new tool from the Secret Weapons company designed to automate rotoscopy in arbitrary style. Animators provide a video reference, but instead of painting over each frame, they only have to paint a set of keyframes. EbSynth creates all the in-between frames in the same artistic style, which can be arbitrary – oil paint, watercolor, pastel, digital media. The algorithm respects the artist’s vision and preserves their style in all its details. This workflow noticeably decreases the amount of time an animator would have to spend on a project. 

“The motivation is simple, we would love to see more painterly animated movies in theaters. And we feel the trend is moving in that direction – Klaus, for example, is such a gorgeous movie. The new animated Spiderman was amazing. And then there is Loving Vincent, which was painted frame by frame and people thought it was crazy. Hand-drawn animation has been an incredibly tedious process until now. But it doesn’t have to be. With EbSynth, we want to help animators speed up the work while preserving their authentic handwriting.” Says Jakub Javora, the lead artist at Secret Weapons. 

“We want each of our tools to be this ‘secret weapon ‘for artists that will help them focus on the creation and eliminate routine work. “He adds. 

EbSynth is currently in its Beta version, and you can download it for free, even for commercial purposes, at this address: https://ebsynth.com

The technology behind EbSynth is, perhaps surprisingly, not artificial intelligence. It’s a texture synthesis algorithm.

 “You can imagine it as a jigsaw puzzle. EbSynth gets a pair of a video frame and its stylized version. It dissembles the stylized frame into little pieces, and knowing the positional and color- based correspondences with the original frame, it uses the stylized pieces to assemble other video frames as well.” Explains Ondřej Jamriška, the lead researcher at Secret Weapons. 

“By using the synthesis, we make sure that the final result is rich in texture and preserves the artist’s style with great fidelity, which is a quality most of the neural methods don’t have.” 

Originally meant as a tool for rotoscopy, throughout the year, during which it has been online, EbSynth’s range of use-cases spread into the VFX industry and 3D animation as well.

“3D artists started using EbSynth to enhance their smooth renders with brush strokes, compositors use it for quick video retouching or colorizing, even people who have nothing to do with art often use it along with FaceApp, for example, to make videos with their older or younger selves. 

It so great to watch people come up with new and original usages for EbSynth.” Says Šárka Sochorová, the producer of the company. “The number of various use-cases makes sense because the idea is so simple – make an edit in one frame, EbSynth will distribute it to the rest of the video. It’s a free 2D tracking, which can be used in so many areas. We would love to see those hand-drawn feature movies the most though,” She laughs. 

About Secret Weapons.

Secret Weapons was founded at the end of 2018 in Prague. The team consists of three people with a convenient overlap of skills in computer science and art. They transform their computer graphics research into production-ready tools. Their first software, EbSynth, was released in its Alpha version in June 2019, and it has now moved to a Beta state. The current primary goal for Ondřej, Jakub, and Šárka is to release EbSynth 1.0. and give users a powerful, professional, and interactive tool for video-editing and animation. The release is planned for the beginning of next year.