1. What are the system requirements for using Pivot?
Pivot v2-4 will run on any version of Windows from 98 onwards. There are no additional requirements.
Adequate RAM may be required for long animations. Pivot v5 requires a GPU and preferably Windows 10 (see the download page for more details).
2. Can I run Pivot on a Mac or under Linux, etc?
The current version of Pivot will only run on Windows. However, you can use Boot Camp to run Pivot on a Mac
with a recent version of OS X. You can run Pivot on Linux using a virtual machine or the WINE emulator. However, the official download only works under native Windows, so contact us if you need to install on a different OS.
3. Can my school use Pivot without the developer's permission and is it free?
Yes. Everyone has permission to use Pivot for free for personal or commercial use. If you need an installer for school network deployment then please visit the contact page and ask for one using your school or educational authority email address.
4. Is Pivot safe for my computer?
Yes. The installer contains offers that could be flagged as adware by your anti-virus software but
they are safe and you can choose not to install them. If you do install an offer and want to remove it then this
can be done in Add/Remove programs in the Windows Control Panel.
5. What file formats does Pivot support?
Pivot animations can be saved in the native '.piv' format, which can be edited in Pivot at a later time. You can also save as an
animated Gif, an Avi video or as a sequence of images in a number of formats. Pivot 5 also exports as animated Png and several other video formats.
'.stk' files are stick figure types that can be loaded or saved from the figure creator window.
Background images can be loaded from Bitmap, Png, Gif or JPeg files.
Sprite images can be loaded from Bitmap, Gif or Png files
6. How can I add sounds or music to an animation?
Pivot does not support sound. However, after saving an animation as an video, you can import it into a video editor, such as
Windows Video Editor, and add sound.
7. How can I upload a Pivot animation to YouTube?
YouTube does not accept '.piv' or '.gif' files. However, you can export as a video that can be uploaded to YouTube.
8. Why does my animation lose quality when I save as an animated Gif?
If you have many colours in your animation, such as if you animation contains a photo as a background, then many of the colours
will be lost when saved as a Gif since the Gif format only supports 256 colours. To avoid this problem you can change the Gif settings to improve the quality or export your animation as a video.
9. How can I add text to a Pivot animation?
Pivot v4 comes with a folder of characters in .stk format that can be used to add text to animations.
You can also create text in MS Paint and load the image into Pivot as a sprite.
Alternatively you can export your animation as an Avi video and add text using a video editor such as Windows Movie Maker. Pivot v5 adds support for text using any installed font and in a number of styles.
10. How can I change the speed that an animation plays?
The simplest way is to use the scroll bar next to the play button. If it still plays too fast then it means that you have to make smaller movements of the figures between frames. Smaller movements take longer to animate but result in a smoother animation. Pivot v5 adds support for inbetweening, which can be used to slow the animation down without needing to manually create more keyframes and results in smoother movements.
11. How can I make the animation smoother?
Make smaller movements of the figures between frames so that you can play the animation with a higher rate of frames per second (fps).
Also consider easing - as covered in this tutorial by Jojishi. Pivot v5 adds support for inbetweening, which makes it a lot easier and quicker to make smooth animations.
12. How can I change the background of my animation?
Backgrounds can be loaded from the file menu. Backgrounds are Bitmap, JPeg, Gif or Png images. These can be downloaded from the web or created yourself using a drawing application such as MS Paint. You can also create backgrounds out of figures using the figure builder,
which has the advantage that you can move them to give the effect of camera movement. Pivot v5 adds support for coloured and gradient backgrounds without needing to load an image. The virtual camera feature can be used to create camera movement effects.
13. How can I improve at using Pivot?
There are some basic rules you can follow to improve your animations.
- Make small movements between frames to make your animation smoother.
- Vary the amount of movement between frames depending on the speed of the figure.
- For figures that move, try to move each part of the figure to make the movements more fluid and realistic.
- Make the figures slow down and speed up gradually. This is called easing.
- Think about physics and how people and objects move in real life.
- Try to think of an original idea for your animation.
- Use figures that you have created yourself to make your animation more unique.
- Watch other people's Pivot animations to get ideas and new techniques.
- Have a look at online tutorials by talented Pivot animators, such as this one by Mitch or this one by Jojishi. Another good tutorial is provided here by Foley.
14. Can a stick figure have multiple colours?
In Pivot v2-4, the figures can only have a single colour. This makes things simpler because you don't have to
worry about which parts of the figure are in front or behind when creating the figure. To use figures with multiple colours, you
will have to create them from multiple figures and then change their colour after adding them to the animation.
You can then join the parts of the figure together into a single object using the join tool. Pivot v5 adds support for figures with multiple colours.
15. Where can I get more stick figures?
You can create your own figures by clicking 'Create Figure Type' in the File menu. You can also download figures from the web in .stk format from sites such as droidz.org (the website is currently down but should hopefully be fixed eventually). The STK Library also contains a large collection of figures. Filter by category or Pivot version to find what you're looking for. If you don't find what you're looking for then consider making your own and submitting it for the library. The library also contains piv files, which can include groups of joined figures and multiple frames. These can be used by selecting the group of figures and copying and pasting them into your animation.
16. Is Pivot available in other languages?
Pivot v4-5 is available in several different languages. If your language isn't included then you can create your own translation (see the Help page).
17. Are there any Pivot forums?
There are several forums for Pivot on the web where people can share animations and stick figures and offer help in creating
animations. These include the ones listed here.
18. How was Pivot created and why?
Pivot was created by Peter Bone using Delphi. The first version was started in around 2004 because his brother needed something user friendly for
making stickman animations. The basic idea of Pivot was to make it possible to make a stickman animation by dragging the parts of
the stickman while keeping the proportions of its parts constant. Pivot was the first software designed specifically for stick figure animation to use this mechanism.
19. Will there be future versions of Pivot with more features?
Pivot v4 is the latest stable version, which includes improvements to memory use and speed of the program as well as features such as figure transparency and support for saving as a video. Pivot v5 is now available as a beta version and includes features such as a higher segment limit in the figure builder, multi-coloured figures, polygons, bendy lines, canvas zoom, gradient backgrounds and inbetweening. Development of Pivot is planned to continue into the future.
20. Why are there offers for other software in the installer?
The revenue earned from these software offers means that we can continue to develop new versions of Pivot while keeping it free. The offers are all optional and can be opted out of by unchecking the boxes or by clicking 'Decline'. We only allow safe software offers, so if you do install software on your computer that you didn't mean to then it won't harm your computer and should be easy to uninstall from 'Add Remove Programs' in the Windows control panel.