Tupi is a project about 2D animation art and freedom. Traditionally, big software corporations like Adobe develop software, becoming the industry standard for artists—from big companies to independent animators.
Users are the base of the commercial software industry. For animation software, the base is the creative community. With no users, there's no way a software company can survive as a business. Ironically, big software companies don't care about users although they say they really do. Let's face it: artists never have the opportunity to define the price of software, the hardware/software requirements of the upgrades, or the new features for the future versions. Users also have no say as to whether software should be discontinued or not. Currently, digital-animation artists don't have little control over their work tools. If you think you "own" the Adobe or Toom Boom installation in your computer, it's just merely an illusion—the copyright of the software doesn't belong to you and terms can change at any time.
Several years ago, the Free Software movement began and has become a new alternative for digital artists. People from many artistic disciplines can now find an open and free version of software that meets their creative expectations. Now, if you add crowdfunding platforms like KickStarter to the Free Software movement, you’ll find that we’re living in an exciting time where the digital-artist community can shift the power, giving them actual control over their tools.
The Tupi project wants to give the same freedom to 2D-animation artists. Tupi is a 2D animation platform (GPL licensed ) whose main focus is to become the free/open source industry standard for every person interested in learning 2D animation—from beginners to professionals. Tupi’s strength is its emphasis on usability and a friendly interface. This project is still under development and requires a lot of work. That's the reason of this campaign. If you are a 2D animator and you want the freedom to express yourself with software that is truly yours, Tupi is your future and we need your help.
The main challenge of this campaign is to reach the version 1.0 of Tupi, which means to implement the full list of features defined in our route map  for the next 12 months.
Freedom is not about a cheap special offer, it’s about commitment and belief, and we are committed and believe in this project from the very beginning three years ago. We are asking you to believe too and to join us. Since the first minor version of Tupi was released until now, we have advanced a lot on our route-map, but there's still a long way to go. To reach the version 1.0, we need your support to pay a full time developer for one year and to afford new and better hardware for proper testing and development.
This campaign is a call out to every artist around the world wanting to participate in the development of Tupi as a tester, as a user, and as a contributor of the project. We’re not looking for funding alone (although we need it, of course), but for a community of artists wanting to break down the status quo, wanting to change the world and to participate in the creation of their own tools.
As any Free Software project, our development process is absolutely open. You’re able right now to test and join our community, ask for features, share all your feedback with us and try our latest version of Tupi . For now, the installer is only available for Linux, but part of our main goals with this campaign is to create the installers for Windows, Mac and Android. Our capacity to create them and to develop a very professional software application depends on your will to help us.
Finally, take a look at a little example of what is possible to create using Tupi currently and imagine how far it could evolve with your support:
Thank you so much to all the supporters of this Free Software initiative.
Risks and challenges
The ideal scenario for us is to build partnerships with other programmers in this new development cycle. If that doesn't happen, the whole challenge will be 100% up to us. We're hoping that our marketing efforts for this campaign will bring attract people who are interesting in propelling Tupi to a final state.
For the first three years it has been our sole responsibility to keep developing Tupi and we've done it because we love this project. This year the situation is no different except now we have the chance to get real support/funding from outside contributors, giving us more time to focus on coding and more hands helping in the process. Sharing in the development and bringing new ideas to the Tupi is something that we are looking forward to. Open source software is only as strong as its user base. Collaborating with users and developers can only result in a strong final product.
The worst possible scenarios related to attaining our goal would be that some features won't be ready for the release of the version 1.0. Tupi's an ongoing project and won't stop after one year of funded development. If the initial target date isn't attainable for all features, we'll keep everyone current on any revised features schedule or delays. At some point in the future any postponed features will be ready in a minor release. Just as its been from the start, Tupi animation software will happen because our passion for it never ends.
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