Quill

There are lots of different contexts in applications where a rich text editor is needed. And Quill, built firmly with the modern web in mind, is currently our clear favourite.

Quill lets you convert a basic div element into a powerful rich text editor with a few lines of JavaScript. But its most biggest draws are its flexibility and extensibility by means of modules and a powerful API. 

Quill offers themes and modules that include toolbar, keyboard, clipboard and history. You can test-drive many of these features in the Quill playground and of course the documentation is a must-read if you intend to use its advanced. 

Pros: The traditional office of cubicles provides the peace and quiet you may need to get the job done. You’ll avoid distraction and be able to hunker down at your desk. You’ll have a place to stash things and keep office supplies and personal items at your fingertips.

Cons: You may feel more isolated working in a cubicle, where it’s not as easy to collaborate and keep the fun and creative atmosphere alive. Stashing papers and personal belongings can grow into a cluttered mess. It really is easier to rely more on digital documents and to learn to live without papers and office supplies surrounding you.

Quill was born during the development of Dear Angelica, an immersive story which puts you in a series of 3D scenes sketched in VR by hand. You can move through these scenes listening to audio which completes the impactful storytelling experience. But the Quill-based work, which was nominated for an Emmy, lacked animation which could make that kind of story come to life in a whole new way.

The new version of Quill might open up an entirely new avenue to artists who can tell stories with the help of VR. Its creators see Quill as able to dramatically speed up the time it takes for a character or scene to go from an artist’s imagination to animation. In the years to come, could Quill become a necessary tool in the pipeline for animated movies?

“Those who don’t know how to work in VR will be at a disadvantage,” said Quill Lead Engineer Inigo Quilez.

The overall idea is that creators using Quill can save time that would’ve been lost as an animated character or scene went through a number of iterations. It takes time to conceptualize, model, light and put a single shot in motion for an animated movie, and if one person working in Quill can condense that process down so it is faster than a mouse and keyboard (as well as pencil and paper), then a paradigm shift could be at hand for artists.

This is precisely the bet being made by Fable, the new startup which emerged when Facebook shut down its experimental VR storytelling division Oculus Story Studio. The founders or Fable (former members of the Story Studio team) plan to use tools like Quill to produce stories more quickly, and with fewer people, than ever before.

According to Oculus, Quill’s update includes “new animation tools and VR-native workflows, including support for free frame-by-frame redrawing, copy-and-re-pose animation, an animation brush, and more.”

Quill’s Lead Designer Goro Fujita said he was able to create an animated short film in three weeks with Quill he estimates would’ve taken a year to make with a traditional 3D animation pipeline. Fujita said the way Quill brings to life his ideas makes him feel like a magician.