Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

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Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby wizaerd » Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:17 am

I have Animate Pro 3, from ToonBoom which I bought quite some time ago. (I don't remember why I bought it, I just did... I'm a software junkie.) Recently, I was curious about it so started watching some of their tutorials on it, and am completely overwhelmed with the needless complexity of it all. For anyone who complains that Anime Studio Pro is too hard, point them towards Animate Pro, and they're truly learn what too hard actually means.

For cutout, or bone specific type of animations (not really counting frame by frame since I have no interest in it), I don't see anything in there that can't be done in ASP, and there's quite a few things ASP can do that it cannot, especially after the release of v10 (target bones FTW). And yet Animate Pro is so much more expensive than ASP. What gives here? Am I missing something, because I just don't see it...
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby heyvern » Fri Mar 28, 2014 2:34 am

I also tried out some Toonboom products a while back and had the exact same reaction. It just seemed so tedious and complicated. Of course if I spent as much time using it as I use Anime Studio, I would probably get the hang of it eventually.

The important difference between the two programs was that in less than a day after getting Moho, I had it "figured out". Within literally an hour I was creating and animating. I wasn't an expert in that time, but it was so simple to understand that I could then continue learning all the cool tricks.

With Toonboom, I could see that it had LOTS of interesting powerful features, but the interface just was a bit difficult to get comfortable with or understand in the same amount of time. I could see it was going to have a bit of a learning curve.

-------

I had the same experience switching from Animation Master to Lightwave for 3D. Animation Master is fairly simple to learn and get the hang of QUICKLY. LW on the other hand... is quite powerful but very complex. Eventually I memorized... a lot of... the bazillion key commands and steps to do what is needed, but it is the steep learning curve of an application that can break your creative flow. If a program is simple enough to start using right away, you sort of bond with it.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby Danimal » Fri Mar 28, 2014 1:30 pm

wizaerd wrote:...needless complexity... Animate Pro is so much more expensive...

With those two phrases you kind of answered your own question. If something is ridiculously hard and costs a lot of money, it MUST be the better, more professional choice. Anything easy and/or costing less is nothing but a "toy" in comparison.

Yes, that's sarcasm. But sadly, it's also how the average person thinks.

I watched one tutorial for Toon Boom Animate once and that was certainly enough. There was some baffling peg system that made no sense whatsoever and to do something as simple as make a character walk or whatever the tutorial was took about 20 steps. I thought "I can do that in Anime Studio in about 10 seconds," closed the tutorial, and have paid zero attention to that software ever since.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby slowtiger » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:33 pm

At the place where I'm teaching now they had TB Animate installed - 800.- €, and it didn't even started up (was a permissions thing, it only works in admin mode).

I convinced them to buy an AS licence and a TVPAint licence, that's 150.- and 250.- € - and guess what the students like better now.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby Greenlaw » Sat Mar 29, 2014 4:38 am

We have a license of Animate Pro in our studio. (I too am a software junkie.) It's actually a very good program but there are multiple reasons we switched to Anime Studio Pro for our 2D animation projects.

1. Cost.

My partner and I decided that we would both be working on our 2D animation productions so we needed to get a second license, but due to the price of Animate Pro, that wasn't going to happen any time soon. Then we found that ASP was significantly less costly...in fact, our two ASP licenses together cost less than the single license of Animate Pro, I believe even with the recent upgrade cost added.

2. Licensing scheme.

Toon Boom's licensing system is inconvenient for the way I work, which is to animate on a workstation in my home studio and on a laptop when I'm working away from home (which is most of the time.) They do allow me to move the license between computers but there is no way to deactivate a license remotely (like you can with Adobe CC,) and this has caused a problem for me on a couple of occasions when I was on a freelance gig (using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro, not Animate Pro.) Also, TB limits the number of times you can move a license in a single day--this too caused a professional issue for me on one occasion.

ASP, on the other hand, is far more liberal with its licensing, allowing up to three activations at once. Needless to say, this is a huge plus for me and the way I work as a freelancer. I really, really appreciate that they trust their paying customers.

3. ASP does the job...and more!

Our test project using ASP was the short film 'Scareplane'. I designed the project to be 'easy' to help us learn the program quickly, but we quickly discovered that ASP was far more capable than I had given it credit for. As a result, the film wound up looking much nicer than what we originally set out to create. I do wish the freehand drawing and frame-by-frame capabilities were better in ASP but for now I can deal with it.

To be clear, I don't mean to knock Animate Pro at all. As I said, it's a very good program, and if the first two points were not a problem, I might still be using it. But considering all three points, it just didn't fit the current requirements of our studio.

I don't think I'll be going back though. Overall, ASP has been an excellent value for us and I know we'll continue to create with it for many productions in the future. (I'll keep using Toon Boom Storyboard Pro though.) :)

G.
Last edited by Greenlaw on Sat Mar 29, 2014 9:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby AmigaMan » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:39 pm

We had training on TB Animate, years ago now, at the studio I worked at and I think all the animators hated it. The company seems to be run by not very nice people also. However, I've gone through all this before so won't go on about it again :D Everyone loved Anime Studio and we were due to use that before the parent company pulled the rug. We found out that the woman dealing with us via the parent company had connections with TB. We wondered why she was so keen for us to use it!
Needless to say, I'd never consider ever using TB Animate on principle.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby heyvern » Sat Mar 29, 2014 7:13 pm

I think the concept of "pro" and "consumer" applications is getting blurred.

For a long time a "pro" application was:

A. Hard to learn
B. Had more features than you would ever use
C. Cost a LOT of money

This applies to ANY application.
If a program came along that didn't meet these "pro requirements" it was delegated to "hobby" software status. Only used for "fun" and was not a serious production application. Reviewers often would not truly evaluate the potential of a program but would compare it based on price and features only.

These days I think there is a paradigm shift. I know people who will use the iMovie app for iPhone and Mac to quickly edit and produce videos instead of using a high end program even though it's available. The reason? It's easy, fast and gets the job done.

There is even a new genre of indie film production that is shot and edited entirely with an iPhone. I expected to see... amateurish crap but instead the results were as good as expensive video production done in studios with big budgets and expensive cameras.

This to me, is the big difference between "Toonboom" and Anime Studio. So many want Anime Studio to be a "pro" application with "more features" and even a higher priced version just for "professionals". They think there are aspects of Anime Studio that doesn't push the "professional" aspect of it (content, marketing, etc).

I think that keeping things simple is better. Limitations spark innovation. Ease of use allows those ideas to be created faster.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby Greenlaw » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:11 pm

Yes, I've always found the distinction between 'pro' and 'hobby' tools a bit annoying since I've worked on many 'high end' commercials, film and video game productions using what some might call 'low end' software and gear. In my opinion, creating art is not about the cost and sophistication of a tool itself but about how an artist chooses to use it.

If you're a creatively driven person, you can make beautiful art using pretty much anything.

G.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby heyvern » Sun Mar 30, 2014 2:58 am

Greenlaw wrote:If you're a creatively driven person, you can make beautiful art using pretty much anything.

G.


Yes! I just saw a show about how they make traditional Mexican hand crafted chairs.

They have been making these chairs for a very very long time and the style and tradition has been passed down over the years. During one part of the construction a "railroad spike" is used as a hammer. No explanation given. The spike is used to simply pound in nails. Obviously these craftsman could afford a "real" hammer now, but in the past an expensive hammer probably wasn't available and railroad spikes were lying around for free. (as a child I lived near an old fashioned RR track and had a large collection of those same spikes).

You use whatever is available.

p.s. I still have some of those RR spikes. I tried to animate with them to prove my point, but obviously there are limits. ;)
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby slowtiger » Sun Mar 30, 2014 8:36 am

I still have some of those RR spikes. I tried to animate with them to prove my point, but obviously there are limits.

Well, I could - with a camera and something to scratch into ...
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby Greenlaw » Sun Mar 30, 2014 4:25 pm

I tried pounding my keyboard with a RR spike. I don't recommend it. :wink:

G.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby Ronbo » Thu Apr 03, 2014 2:44 am

First of all, I must say that if you go to one of the ToonBoom forums you might very likely find a similar question but with ToonBoom the positive and Anime Studio the negative. That is the nature of various software forums. Personally, I have and enjoy both applications and I think the major difference is that TBAnimate excels in the frame-by-frame approach, which ASP realistically can't compete with, and is aimed more at Flash users and traditionally-trained animators, whereas ASP is powerful but easy to use, excels in bones/cut-out animation, and is downright fun. They are both wonderful tools to create animation . . . it simply depends on which works best for you in particular.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby Danimal » Thu Apr 03, 2014 3:48 am

Ronbo wrote:if you go to one of the ToonBoom forums you might very likely find a similar question but with ToonBoom the positive and Anime Studio the negative

Without doubt. Probably several, in fact. See my previous reply for why that is.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby InfoCentral » Wed Apr 30, 2014 3:34 pm

The excellent part about Toon Boom products is that they play very well with other programs. I know several people who use Illustrator or Xara for the artwork and then import it into Toon Boom. I just wish AS would play better with outside graphics programs. Heck, even Reallusion promotes creating their Crazy Talk Animator content with Serif Draw Plus and importing.
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Re: Why would anyone choose to use Animate Pro?

Postby o0Ampy0o » Sat Jul 19, 2014 5:58 am

Hello Everyone.

This is my first post here. I see that this thread has been dormant for a couple of months but I would like to add a different perspective.

I am considering software that would provide the tools needed to create a certain level of character animation and found this forum while doing research.

The general notion that ease of use and low cost would be cause for dismissal from competing with a product that has proven capabilities to meet the needs of professionals but is considered complicated is flawed in and of itself.

A factor to consider is the growing strength of the street-educated. The average Joe has access to a wealth of resources. Especially in computer related tasks people figure out a way to do what they need to do. People share these methods. What matters is that they are able to get a job done and preferably as quickly as possible and to the level of quality the situation requires. However, when someone without a solid foundation of formal education relies on information gathered from random sources they do not have the ability to recognize bias and misinformation. (NOTE: I am not talking about basic education as much as formal training in a specific context. People may have college degrees but there is a growing trend towards accessing shared knowledge from a widening range of sources.)

What may appear complex to an inexperienced potential user is the built-in capability of doing a lot more within a feature than the user can imagine. That inexperienced person only knows of one or two basic things and looks to accomplish those tasks. Anything present in a program that expands its capabilities is seen as a complication and an unnecessary obstacle. Why does a process involve so many windows? Why have a dial or slider to adjust incrementally when a simple on/off switch is all they need for the task they have in mind? They have no idea what a particular tool is designed to do. They are only looking to accomplish a limited task.

Of course the approach to these deeper capabilities makes a huge difference. Regarding an approach, there was a time when a Mac was the preferred visual designer's platform in part because it was designed with a workflow that was an extension of a proven process. This idea is something better demonstrated than described in words but one example is the way the mouse worked like water finding a natural path on a Mac while the mouse on a Windows machine functioned more like going through a canal. One took into account a flow of typical sequences while the other seemed to make a point of emphasizing the beginning and ending of every step one might make without regard for the reason you were using the mouse in the first place......typically the computer is a means to an end not the end.

I think you can do much more with Toon Boom software but I think the way things are done needs refinement. In software evolution it seems like capability usually precedes ease of use. From its core AS is designed to do a limited number of things simply. I agree that you will get something out of AS quicker and easier but the gamut of the product is narrow. A major hindrance that I believe must be overcome is its drawing and painting capabilities. As long as you are forced to build characters without freehand drawing and painting tools it will be of limited use to most serious animators. Keep the current approach for those who cannot draw but add the option of using freehand drawing and painting methods with light table/onion skinning, etc..

I want to do more than enjoy making an animated cartoon. I want to make something that other people will enjoy viewing. I don't think AS will allow me to bring my characters to life the way I want to see them or the way that I believe other people would enjoy seeing them. TB software has a lot of things I may never use but it has the potential to get me where I want to go. I have Anime Studio Debut to tinker with and AS Studio Pro is affordable. I also have TB Studio as well as demos of Animate and Animate Pro. I am leaning towards Animate or possibly Pro but only because I can get a deal on Animate Pro and it is basically Animate with more features. Although I don't necessarily need or want those features and they add to the initial complexity and learning curve I could change my mind once I had enough time and experience with the software.
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