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VS Blender

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:01 pm
by Guyon
This is not a hate comparison. I am looking for some honest advice.

I bought 2 versions of Anime studio and now have the pro version of MOHO, and yet to make anything more than the most simple of animations. I just never had the time.

Now I need to get few things done and ready to put in the time to lean it well. But.. With some of the power upgrades to Blender like Cut Out Animation, I am wondering which program I should use. While I know blender better than Moho, I just want the best program for solid 2D animation. So any advice on what I should become an expert on to get pro-style animations? Maybe even a shot?

thanks, guys

Re: VS Blender

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:34 pm
by dkwroot
I love Blender and Moho. I often use them together, but if you're interested in just 2d animation then Moho is the more established program. The Blender 2d features are still in alpha and will probably take years to mature and work their way into a professional pipeline. I love what Blender is doing with 2d, the potential is incredible, but for the moment Moho has the edge on them.

To be totally honest, Moho isn't the most well known 2d program either. ToonBoom, Flash and TVpaint are the industry standard so if you're trying to build up your resume it might be best to practice in those programs. That's my two cents, anyway.

Re: VS Blender

Posted: Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:24 pm
by Guyon
No, I am not trying to improve my resume. I am on the verge of starting the process to make a quality animation. I am a skilled artist and have experience in using many programs. I actually did look at ToonBoom when I bought Anime Studio, but Anime Studio seemed more powerful and not as hand-drawn frame by frame like ToonBoom was.

Also, I was not going to use Blender's Grease Pencil. That is very new and looks like it has a future, but not for me. I was looking more at Blenders Cut Out Animation like this one:

So please keep this thread going, as am looking for lots of input before I start my project.
Thank you, thank you.

Re: VS Blender

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 12:30 am
by synthsin75
If you're looking to avoid frame-by-frame and want to do mostly cutout animation, there are really only two contenders. Moho and Spine.
Personally, I think Moho has the most to offer.

Re: VS Blender

Posted: Thu Aug 16, 2018 2:13 am
by Greenlaw
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 and Croods 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.

Re: VS Blender

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:55 am
by Guyon
Thanks for the great input guys.

As one final thought. Has anyone tried to add an figure on to an map4? I just tired an amiamted ball on a blender mp4 video hill and it worked pretty cool. Maybe use the best of both worlds?

Re: VS Blender

Posted: Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:54 pm
by Greenlaw
I generally avoid using compressed movie files for compositing within Moho. You can do it of course, but if you need frame accuracy, it's best to go with image sequences. If the sequence is only meant for reference, you can use highly compressed JPEG because it streams faster over a network. For final comp quality, PNG sequence works best.

If you insist on using a movie file for import, make it uncompressed or use a codec that allows whole frames, like PNG sequence or Motion JPEG.

Re: VS Blender

Posted: Fri Aug 24, 2018 3:15 am
by Guyon
"I generally avoid using compressed movie files for compositing within Moho."

Wise words Greenlaw.