Animate 3

Animate 3 is coming out. the highlights so far are: pencil brush, texture brush, and presets…

who else thinks as well, if that’s all, it’s not worth upgrading?

I never upgraded to Animate 2, so it might be worthwhile for me. Also, they brought over the “shift and trace” feature from Animate Pro, which I like a lot. Meaning you can temporarily move a drawing from one cel so you can use it for reference in a different cel. So if you want to make sure a character’s head on frame 10 is not too different from the same head on frame 1, you can see them in the same place.

It looks as if they may have taken the bone tools out of Animate and kept them in Animate Pro. They are marketing Animate Pro as a tool for “cut-out” animation and Animate as a tool for “frame-by-frame” animation. Of course, all the high-end effects remain in Animate Pro for some reason. And why exactly cut-out animation, preferred by hobbyists, is considered “pro” while frame-by-frame animation, used in animated features from major studios, is somehow not “pro” is a mystery to me. Also, did they remove some of the frame-by-frame tools from Animate Pro? If so, why?

I was really hoping for the bitmap pencil tool to be brought over from Storyboard Pro, to use for rough animation. I think that’s my biggest disappointment.

I’m actually looking at it from the opposite direction - I’ve been working in Harmony during my dayjob and considering getting a standalone copy for home use but it’s soooo expensive. The new animate Pro looks like it will have all the functions of Harmony that I use (doesn’t appear to have particles or 3d integration, but I don’t use that stuff). I’ve said it before but I don’t really understand why Animate Pro and Harmony Standalone are separate pieces of software particularly now that they’re almost completely the same thing.

I agree; it seems strange to market Animate Pro for cut-out and Animate for frame-by-frame. I guess they consider FBF a dying art, which is sad because TBA and TVPaint Animation are THE applications for FBF animation.

I’ll have to wait and see what the pricing and cross-grade options are, but at this point I would be tempted to “down-cross-grade” from Animate Pro 2 to Animate 3, if I upgrade at all.

All I can say for now is that it is a bit weird, don’t know how I feel about this, but I do have one question.

If I upgrade from Animate Pro2 —> Animate Pro3, I am basically upgrading into a program that is going to take an animation technique away from me?

Animate Pro is now a cutout tool? and Animate is now a FBF tool? I am baffled by this quite frankly, not mad or upset just totally confused.

If anything I thought you’d get rid of either Animate PRO, and have your lineup go something like Studio - Animate - Harmony - but instead you Split them in Half? lol totally unexpected.

I wish you luck with this risky move.

My guess is that if you want to have both ways of animating now you have to get Harmony…


I’m confused too… currently the only upgrade option for Animate Pro is V1 to V2 with V3 free when it’s released. What about the people that already own V2 and want to upgrade? Is this going to be an option? Will the price be the same?

I was going to upgrade from TBStudio 7.1 to Animate 2 but I do mostly cut-out animation. Since the new Animate 3 will not be for cut-out I don’t want to have to get Pro 3 at the higher cost. Seems like I should get Animate 2 now and either not use upgrade or keep it as separate install. Can you do that or does the new version overwrite/erase the previous version? Thoughts?

You wouldn’t be able to upgrade to V3 and keep V2 as a separate install because you need to surrender your V2 license in the upgrade process :frowning:

Are you shure Animate 3 doesnt have the same cut out tools as animate 2?
Only more advanced in Pro


The video posted is not very long. My guess is that all the features in Pro 2 will be in Pro3 but enhanced. They can’t show everything in so little time.

Then pencil tool going to animate is huggggeeee.

Hopefully they can come post some more details because this really should be exciting news when it seems everyone here can’t actually figure what it going on!

Animate 3 should still have the ability to parent layers to other layers, meaning you have what you need except for IK (which is of dubious benefit, IMO) and deforming layers. So you should still be able to hinge layers to each other, but you won’t be able to make an individual drawing “warp” or bend with bones. Personally, I think if you are too lazy to draw a couple of extra frames (of, say, a creature’s tail whipping around) and if you need IK because you are too lazy to take the two or three steps involved in forward kinematics*, then you shouldn’t be animating. Also, get Anime Studio for cutout animation with bones, it’s the first program to feature this and probably still the best. Cheap, too.

But I agree, I doubt they took features out of Animate 3. I think it’s mostly a marketing idea to target different “demographics”, although again, cut-out is preferred by hobbyists and low-end TV animation studios. Probably the same marketing mindset that caused Smith Micro to rebrand Moho as “Anime Studio”, even though it has no Anime-specific features, and is expressly for cut-out animation.

(* Inverse Kinematics: you move the character’s hand and the arm follows. Forward Kinematics: you move the upper arm, then the forearm, then the hand. All of two extra steps.)

Er Animate Pro is getting the same features as Animate + bone tools. I seriously doubt that they are removing any features from Pro. The whole point of Pro is having more features than vanilla Animate. How would removing FBF from Animate Pro make any kind of sense lol. Granted their marketing is kinda silly.

The True Pencil and the Deform tool did get me a little bit excited but not enough to consider upgrading ( not sure if to call it Upgrading, cross grading or even downgrading ),I wonder if the Deform tool is the same exact one in Harmony or if it is just a watered down version.

If I decide to Upgrade and that is a BIG IF, I would def go with Animate Pro, because it does have the cutout animation technique and has to have a timeline/time sheet right? if it has a timeline then you can still do frame by frame right? … Er, I would think.

I do know that some traditional animators don’t really care for the whole digital cut-out style puppet type of animation. John K, of Ren and Stimpy, for example prefers just Animate and could really care less for bones, IK, the network, etc. I remember him and others mentioning that they would love to have things like Shift and Trace but prior to this you would have had to upgrade to Animate Pro to get that.

So, I can understand the distinction that maybe Toon Boom is trying to do here. I hope that Animate Pro is not losing anything that it had but it looks like it will not get particles or 3D import and the high end functions of Harmony.

Obviously there is a lot of guesswork going on in this thread but here is my take:

Animate got some of the features from Pro like Shift and Trace, textured brushes, perhaps more support for scanning, annotations in the x-sheet column, more advanced vectorization, etc.
Animate Pro got some of the features like Deformers from Harmony and both Animate and Animate Pro got the True Pencil as well as being written for 64 bit.

Harmony still has the high end features like 3D import, Particles, etc.

That to me makes sense, there is still a hierarchy and they have 3 products that can appeal to all of the various artists out there.

I hope Toon Boom does not leave us hanging with so little info for too long. It would be nice to have a table comparing all three products like this old one for the Animate 2 family.


Will Animate Pro 3 be compatible with the Harmony file system? Really it should be to deserve the word “Pro”.

This would make more sense to me…

Harmony Network - as harmony for studios with advanced networking
Harmony - with advanced 3D integration / particles
Animate Pro - as Harmony but without the 3D / particles

They could all be the same installer, differing only in the licensing and activated modules, surely this would simplify product development for the professional line.

Does anyone know how soon “Coming Soon” is???
Just curious as to when this will actually be released.

Here, here! I’ve been complaining about Harmony files being totally incompatible with Animate Pro files for the last few years. Would love to be able to do some of my work from home on a system that doesn’t forsake my child’s college education and then bring it into my Harmony at work. Still don’t get why they’re so determined for Standalone and AP to be too different things.

I am also confused… If someone buys V2 (Pro) today they get V3 for free but I paid more than the current price for V2 and I’m sure I’ll be expected to pay for the upgrade to V3. It looks like V3 will not have what I was looking for anyways (3D import).