Guyon wrote:This is not a hate comparison. I am looking for some honest advice...
No hate here, we use a lot of different animation programs. This is necessary because different programs are better at certain tasks/styles than others. In a nutshell, whatever gets the job done quickly and efficiently.
The team I'm on at DreamWorks Animation uses Moho Pro in some of our TV shows. We also use After Effects, Animate, and Toon Boom Harmony for 2D animation, but for so-called 'cut-out' style, Moho Pro has been our go-to program for a couple of years now.
For simpler 'cut-out' puppets, Moho Pro is very easy to use. Some of the Puss in Boots
, King Julien
stuff are good examples. In these cases, I can usually just layer bind imported PSD layers to the bones and I'm good to go. Moho's IK, Bone Targets, Switch Layers, Smart Warp and Smart Bone Actions make it very easy to knock out quick 'one-off' scenes.
Of coure, it's possible to get very sophisticated with Moho Pro rigs and create animations that look closer to frame-by-frame. The 2D rigs created for Boss Baby
are examples of that. These rigs were created entirely within Moho using carefully plotted vector layers, a have 100+ Smart Bone Actions each. Needless to say, these type of rigs take a longer to create than the 'cut-out' rigs we made for earlier shows. Let me stress that: a lot longer.
The payoff is that, once the rigs are built, we can have several artist animating longer sequences and the animations get done amazingly quickly. And, unlike with FBF, animating retakes can be a breeze. Also, thanks to Moho's Referencing, if I have to improve a rig or fix a problem with it, the animators can get the update if they need it. (Well, admittledly, there are some limitations with rig Referencing but once I figured out what they were, updating usually
went well for us.)
I haven't personally used Blender in production but at another studio, some of my co-workers used it. We didn't use it for 2D though, mostly for creating vfx elements imported to other 3D animation and compositing programs. I'm very curious about the recent Grease Pencil developments and will eventually look into it myself, but since it's still considered Alpha, I'll wait until it's farther along in development before commiting anything serious to it.
Anyway, for 'cut-out' style, I highly recommend Moho Pro. I've done a lot of 'cut-out' style animations in AE (with DuIK) and Harmony too, and, IMO, Moho is just much better suited for it. What I don't like about Harmony is that, while it has some nice deformers, it doen't really support IK (well, not anything like what Moho has anyway.) Moho's Smart Bones system is also very unique in capability and ease of use--I can't think of any other 2D animation program out there that approaches it.
However, for FBF animation, either Animate or Harmony is much better. (I personally like TVPaint a lot for FBF; I use it at home but we don't have it at work...yet.) Moho Pro can get the job done for simpler FBF tasks but problems with the current Freehand and Blob Brush tools can make creating lengthy and detailed FBF very frustrating. Hopefully, the Moho devs will address this in a future release.
I hope this is helpful.