pro 12 or debut

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pro 12 or debut

Postby lilithai » Sun Dec 03, 2017 8:48 pm

i don't what program to get. do you think it's to hard to start with pro 12? should i just use debut? is the a basic setting in pro? ( i have never used animation software before but i do use photo shop)
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Re: pro 12 or debut

Postby jahnocli » Sun Dec 03, 2017 11:55 pm

There are 30 day trial periods for both versions of the software. If I was just starting out I'd get Debut (you can always upgrade later on if you feel the need). I think there;'s a comparison chart somewhere on the Smith Micro site if you want to check for deal breakers. Good luck whatever you decide!
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Re: pro 12 or debut

Postby Greenlaw » Mon Dec 04, 2017 12:29 am

That's hard to say. Since you mention that you have no previous animation experience, I think it depends on what you want to do with animation and how far you're willing to go with it.

Moho Debut is pretty cheap, and it has everything you need to do some fun stuff. You can probably learn it quickly, but the features are limited if you want to go beyond basic puppet animation techniques. By no means do I mean you can't create quality work with Debut, but it will be relatively 'simple' work compared to what is possible with Moho Pro. That said, I believe simple animations can be very appealing if the stories and characters are engaging. And if you don't have a lot of time and or a big budget, there's a lot of merit in keeping your designs and animations 'simple'.

Moho Pro is a bit more expensive than Debut, but it packs a lot of advanced features that can take your animation to a more sophisticated level. With Pro it's possible to create and animate puppet rigs to approach the look of FBF animations, but easier to animate and re-animate than it would with traditional FBF techniques. If your technical ambitions are higher, and you don't mind having a lot more stuff to learn, Pro is a good choice.

Moho Pro has everything Debut has, so if you want to take it slow, you can limit yourself to the 'Debut' features and learn the 'Pro' features as you need them.

But with either version, quality animation doesn't come automatically. Quality only comes with a lot of practice and experience. As a beginning animator, it's important to understand that, otherwise you're going to be unhappy with any animation program.

If you just want to dabble in puppet animation to see if you even like it, go with Debut. It has a basic IK system and Switch layers, and you can do quite a lot with that. It's compatible with Photoshop and png, so you can use almost any bitmap paint program to create elements for it. If you don't like it, you haven't spent a lot of money. And if you do like it, you can upgrade to the full version later.

If you intend to create more advanced animations and will stick to developing your skills for years, I would go for Moho Pro. Pro is really not that expensive compared to other professional animation packages, and you can get a lot more out of it than you can with Debut. Smart Bone Actions are probably the biggest reason to get Pro, and if you plan to do any external compositing, Layer Comps and Moho Exporter are a pretty big deal too. Pro also features handy effects tools like Particles and Dynamics. One of my favorite Pro features is sketch bones. I like to use it to animate tails in animal characters, and lately, I've been using it for complex eyebrow animations--being able to 'draw out' the eyebrow shapes with a stylus opens a wide range of expressions using only one piece of artwork for each eyebrow.

Since you have Photoshop, there is a related feature worth mentioning: Photoshop Layers support. This means when you import a layered Photoshop file, Moho will respect the layering, which is useful when you've layered out the limbs for a character this way. When you update the layers in Photoshop, Moho will automatically update the layers from that imported file. That's super useful when the changes are going to be simple and straightforward. Debut supports Photoshop but imports as a single layer.

However, with complicated Photoshop documents, layer support can get messy, and the relationships may break if you're not careful about preserving Layer IDs.

Personally, I find it more reliable to stick with PNG exports from Photoshop, which you can import to Debut or Pro, and Moho will still update the imported images when you change them. Using PNG export from Photoshop is less automatic, but If you decide to it, I highly recommend installing the free Photoshop-Export-Layers-to-Files-Fast script. This is faster than the native Photoshop PNG layers exporter, and it has a few more features. The one 'gotcha' is that it won't overwrite your previous files, so you need to delete them before writing new ones. Moho will still pick up the changes with the new exports, and there's no need to worry about Layer IDs.

At work, we sometimes create a lot of animation with artwork created in Photoshop and imported to Moho Pro. Now that Moho Pro allows you to create custom meshes, this has been an ideal combo. Debut can also deform images with bones, but you get far less control and precision than you have with Moho Pro. But if you just want to layer bind the images to the bones to transform them rather than deform them, Debut is perfectly fine for that.

Lately, we've been creating more of our character artwork directly in Moho or using the native vector tools. Just so you know, Moho (Debut or Pro) does not have any bitmap drawing tools, so you shouldn't expect to draw in Moho the way you do in Photoshop. Most drawing in Moho is done using a 'click-and-drag' method, similar to Adobe Illustrator. This system works well when you need natural looking limb deformations in your rigs, but creating your art with 'click-and-drag' is less like traditional drawing and feels more like modeling in a 3D program. There's nothing 'wrong' with that but it's just a very different way to draw, and it may seem frustrating or tedious if you're not used to it. It's worth the effort though if you want to see optimal deformations in your character rigs.

Moho does have a couple of freehand tools that let you draw more 'naturally,' but IMO they're flawed and can require too much 'cleanup,' so I wouldn't depend too much on them. The development team is aware of this so hopefully, improvements will be coming.

Personally, I think the freehand tools are okay to use for items that won't be deformed by bones. For vector art that will we deformed by bones, it's better to use 'click-and-drag,' and in many cases using regular points rather than Bezier points. This may seem like more work up-front, but it will pay-off when you're rigging and animating the character.

Anyway, there are more differences between to Pro vs. Debut which you can read about in this comparison sheet:

Moho Pro Vs. Debut

Before you buy anything, download the trial versions and check them out for yourself. Hope this helps.
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Re: pro 12 or debut

Postby gjordan » Sat Dec 09, 2017 3:33 pm

I always say the same when some one ask this, go to Amazon and search for an old pro version, version 8 or more, it you find one it should be the same price as debut and have almost all the features of the actual pro, after you learn with it and without the problems that debut brings, like that you cant create your own bones, if you like all and want you could buy the upgrade to 12 pro and will be cheaper than to pay for the debut upgrade to 12 pro. I tell you because I did the error to buy debut, and for the time I was to upgrade to 12 pro it was cheaper to upgrade from an old version of any other pro, so maybe this is the way for you.
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