Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

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aongus
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Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by aongus » Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:59 pm

Toon Boom has announced a new version of its high-end software, Harmony, which will replace not only the existing version but also its cheaper products, Toon Boom Studio and Animate. Those will no longer be available after October 2015.

There are 3 versions of Toon Boom Harmony: Harmony Essentials ($375 — roughly equivalent to Toon Boom Studio), Harmony Advanced ($975 — roughly equivalent to Toon Boom Animate) and Harmony Premium ($1975).

Alternatively, monthly subscriptions from $23 — $109 are also on offer.

I had to take a deep breath after reading these prices! It’s surely a business opening for Smith Micro. Anime Studio Pro with a generous professional feature set now costs less than Toon Boom’s debut edition.

Anime Studio 11 is set to be announced this year. I’m looking forward to what Smith Micro will have to say.
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by Droxon » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:23 pm

I wish anime studio 11 was out already.

Toon booms looks better and better with each release, to be honest I might consider switching over to toon boom or even tvpaint depending on how good the new release of anime studio is.
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by aongus » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:28 pm

I've used Toon Boom Harmony. Yes, it is excellent. But I wish it was more affordable.
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:44 pm

aongus wrote:There are 3 versions of Toon Boom Harmony: Harmony Essentials ($375 — roughly equivalent to Toon Boom Studio), Harmony Advanced ($975 — roughly equivalent to Toon Boom Animate) and Harmony Premium ($1975).
A little more info: The equivalents are actually Animate, Animate Pro and Harmony, respectively. For the most part, all three are the same program as far as ui and workflow goes. I use TB Animate Pro (in addition to ASP 10) in my home studio and TB Harmony at work. Animate Pro and Harmony add deformers and access to the network (nodal) editor, and Harmony has a few additional tools like a really nice spline deformer.
Alternatively, monthly subscriptions from $23 — $109 are also on offer.
Not sure how I feel about the subscription option. For some software, subscription has worked out for me but for others it's forced me to switch over to competing products that offer a perpetual license. Since I don't use Toon Boom as regularly at home, subscription will probably discourage me. But for now TB is still offering perpetual licenses as well. But then again, in some ways (see below,) I think the TB products are a bit overpriced, so maybe subscription makes more sense? I dunno. We'll see.

Yes, I'm curious to see what the next version of ASP will bring too. In some significant ways, ASP is actually more advanced than TB, most notably with its the IK and constraints system. TB has a very simple IK system for cutouts but their advanced deformers do not support IK at all--for me, this is probably the single most frustrating thing about rigging and animating in TB. On the other hand, TB has the edge when it comes to creating FBF animations.

G.
Last edited by Greenlaw on Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:41 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by jayfaker » Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:45 pm

Oooh... That subscription pricing is pretty tempting though.
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by Francis Seven » Mon Apr 13, 2015 9:34 pm

I'm not really tempted by Toon Boom because CACANi seems to do it all for me in terms of FBF and ASP does everything I need for 2D cutout animation. And both are cheaper.

What needs to happen is an export tool to make CACANi and ASP work well but that's a different subject. I'm sure Duey agrees with that.
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by InfoCentral » Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:07 pm

I've noticed this trend of discontinuing the lower end products and try to get customers to purchase the more expensive options. The eliminated all their kids products a few years ago. It seems like they are getting out of the consumer business and focusing on the professional sector only. I hope that works for them. I have Toon Boom Studio 8 and Animate 2. I guess this is where I stop. I really don't see any need to upgrade anyways as it works out fine for me.
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by Lukas » Tue Apr 14, 2015 5:15 pm

The lower end Toonboom stuff was quite shitty. I'm glad they're spending their resources on more useful stuff :)
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by InfoCentral » Tue Apr 14, 2015 9:47 pm

I think Studio is what the company was founded on and built on.
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by Greenlaw » Tue Apr 14, 2015 10:15 pm

Apart from the new subscription option, what they're doing is re-branding their product line to simplify development and eliminate confusion. In the past, they had multiple products that were actually quite different programs and it got confusing figuring out why you would use one product over another. More recently their product line was Animate, Animate Pro and Harmony were nearly identical products but the name differences made them sound like completely different programs.

Now their three animation products are still essentially the same program with different levels of features but the new names make that a bit clearer.
Last edited by Greenlaw on Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by aongus » Wed Apr 15, 2015 12:24 am

With the entry level Toon Boom Studio, they’re offering a crossgrade to Harmony Essentials (equivalent to Animate) for $99. I’ve criticised their prices in previous posts, but this actually seems very good value.
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by herbert123 » Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:01 am

Last time I worked with Toonboom it forced the animator to work with animation curves in a separate keyframe window. I believe it did not offer a full animation curve window. Is that correct? Does the new version remedy this?
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by dueyftw » Mon Apr 20, 2015 6:12 pm

Francis Seven wrote:I'm not really tempted by Toon Boom because CACANi seems to do it all for me in terms of FBF and ASP does everything I need for 2D cutout animation. And both are cheaper.

What needs to happen is an export tool to make CACANi and ASP work well but that's a different subject. I'm sure Duey agrees with that.
CACANi has some major issues. Making doesn't work, sequence image only output and always having to have an internet connection. But all software has issues. To make CACANi work with AS... CACANi would have to have an AS export to AS vector or Anime Studio would have to add a new vector layer that would accept svg format. I don't see ether happening soon.
herbert123 wrote:Last time I worked with Toonboom it forced the animator to work with animation curves in a separate keyframe window. I believe it did not offer a full animation curve window. Is that correct? Does the new version remedy this?
The last time I work with tooboom it had a cool beg system and crashed every 5 minutes. Version 3 I think.

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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by jahnocli » Mon Apr 20, 2015 7:47 pm

dueyftw wrote:"...Anime Studio would have to add a new vector layer that would accept svg format. I don't see ether happening soon."
I don't know if I've got the wrong end of the stick here, but can't Anime Studio already import svg format graphics?
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Re: Toon Boom announces new products (and prices!)

Post by Greenlaw » Mon Apr 20, 2015 8:11 pm

herbert123 wrote:Last time I worked with Toonboom it forced the animator to work with animation curves in a separate keyframe window. I believe it did not offer a full animation curve window. Is that correct?
I'm currently using Harmony at work and, yes, to me that appears to be the case.

I think there's a lot to appreciate about Harmony, especially when it comes to FBF drawing, but for cut-out style animations I'm finding it can surprisingly 'basic' (this is strictly a personal opinion of course.) The motion graph, for example, is very simple compared to motion graphs I've used in other programs, and in some cases you need to drill down a bit to access them. I think this is because the workflow behind the program appears to be designed for animators coming from a 'analog' background, and maybe there's some resistance to making the ui and workflow 'too digital'. But because of this approach, Artist's who have long used other digital animation programs (notably 3D animators,) may view parts of the workflow as a step backwards. I could be wrong about that but, as I said earlier, this is only my personal impression so far.

Here's an example: if you're using any of the advanced deformer modules for rigging (bones, curves, etc.,) there is no IK available, only FK. This makes animating walks and other motions where I need to 'pin' something, more of a manual process than I'm used to. To animate a character walking, I've had to detach the legs and rig the each limb from the ground up, and to animate the walk, I need to visually align the end of the thigh to the hips, more or less on a frame-by-frame basis. (Thank goodness for onion skinning!) This system works well enough once you get into the flow of things, but it's also a bit more labor intensive than a straightforward IK with Goal Constraints, like we have in ASP.

That said, I wish ASP had a Curve deformer like the one in Harmony--it really is pretty cool. (Hmm. Maybe you can fake it with a motion path? Might have to try that.)

To be clear, I don't really want to criticize either program because 1.) I'm using both fairly regularly these days, and 2.) I think each has its own strengths and weaknesses that can make it more or less suitable for given task than the other. In general, I think ASP is stronger for cut-out animations and Harmony is stronger for FBF, and there's obviously some overlap in features. If you have to make a choice between the two, it should be based on the style of animation you want to do because neither program really 'does it all' perfectly.

For my own personal and professional work in the future, I will probably wind up using both programs on the same productions.

G.
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