Brushes are really low-quality / pixel-y

So I just downloaded the trial version for Harmony and I’m super confused by everything (There are so may option compared to the animation system I used before) and I need a bit of help.

I tried to draw a simple test animation but the brush is really jagged and pixel-y. I messed around with the settings and turned on something called “Full scene antialiasing” and it fixed the quality but now when I draw the lines don’t appear as a draw, but rather after the finish the stroke.

Is there any way to have smooth lines and have the line appear as I’m drawing it?

What hardware is in your system?

What graphics cards are you using?

What tablet?

Have you experienced this delay/lag using the mouse?

(Sorry if this information is out of order or whatever I’m not the best at computer related stuff)

Processor: Intel(R) Core™ i5-6200u CPU @ 2.30GHz 2.40 GHz
RAM: 8.00 GB
System type: 64-bit Operating system, x64-based processor

The graphics card is NVIDIA GeForce 520

I use a Wacom Intuos pen & touch tablet

Yes, when I use the mouse its still only shows the line when I finish the stroke.

The 520 graphics card is severely under-powered. It’s really at the extreme bottom of graphics hardware.

I’d say there’s your problem. Perhaps install the latest drivers to see if that will help? I have a reasonable graphics card (590 GTX) and Harmony works fine with full scale anti-aliasing turned on.

Having said this, in terms of real-time anti-aliasing quality while working NOTHING beats ClipStudio. The display quality is out-of-this-world. The drawings tools, display quality, and “drawing feel” outperforms all other digital drawing software in my opinion. If you are doing frame-by-frame animation only, perhaps consider downloading the ClipStudio trial as well. I prefer to do my frame-by-frame animations in ClipStudio, and export the drawings for use in other animation software such as Harmony and OpenTOonz.

The graphics card you have is probably on the lowest end of what Toon Boom recommends.

I find that the better the graphics card, the better your experience will be with Toon Boom products.

Just to give you some reference, Toon Boom has some recommendations where they have a GTX 980 as Best, a GTX 960 as Medium and the GT 520 as Slow.

The GTX 980 can have 4 GB or 6 GB of RAM, 2048 CUDA Cores, and a 256-Bit, 224 GB/s memory bandwidth.
The GTX 960 can have 2 GB of RAM, 1024 CUDA Cores, and a 128-bit, 112 GB/s memory bandwidth.
The GT 520, can have 1 GB of RAM, 48 CUDA Cores and a 64-bit, 14.4 GB/s memory bandwidth.

I upgraded my graphics card 3 times in the past 5 years and saw a noticeable difference in Toon Boom Animate/Animate Pro/Harmony each time. The more memory, the more CUDA cores and the faster bandwidth really does make a tremendous difference.

You may have some issues with the Wacom tablet and the drivers, there have been topics on the forum where users have discussed that. May be worth a shot to see if that helps any before looking into any hardware upgrade.

We are now up to version 14 but when I was researching components for a system to run the previous version of Harmony some of the features of these graphics cards were not utilized by Toon Boom software. It doesn’t hurt to have it if you can afford it and other applications benefit but I would hesitate to make the assumption it is important to Harmony.

The drivers gear cards for specific applications. Some features and the card drivers mostly benefit gaming or 3D applications. Not sure if still the case but OpenGL was the only thing utilized by TB Software. CUDA technology was not important.

So if you are going to shop for a graphics card I highly recommend talking with TB Support about it. The minimum requirement page is a basic reference. There are quite a few models of GPU to choose from. For instance the NVidia card I have is sold under several brands, each with variations and there are additional flavors within some brands.


Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop feel very good to me.

I’d like to try something that could be even better.

Any thoughts regarding the elimination of trial software after it has served its purpose?

I use OS X.

Agreed, good OpenGL performance is important. CUDA is not utilized at all in TB - mostly CUDA dramatically speeds up 3d rendering and video export rendering IF and WHEN it is specifically supported.

[ The way these Replies get inserted in the middle of threads can lead to them being overlooked so I am duplicating another post here. ]


(Regarding ClipStudio) Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop feel very good to me.

I’d like to try something that could be even better.

Any thoughts regarding the elimination of trial software after it has served its purpose?

I use OS X.

i agree, love clip/manga studio’s drawing tools (though i still come back to harmony for still-work for the vector stroke quality/editability/color remapping features). the perspective ruler drawing assistants are also excellent, would like these in harmony (a note for a different feature request :slight_smile: ).

i am particularly impressed with how smart clipstudio is at recognizing stroke-cadence grouping. if i am doing crosshatching, for example, and i want to undo some strokes, the software has a very good intuition about the “breaks” between my stroke patterns, and will clear a chunk of strokes that were made after the last break in my stroke cadence.

it’s not keeping track of the amount of strokes as much as the timing of my drawing patterns – if i make one stroke, stop, another stroke, stop, then undoing will just remove one at a time as usual. if i make one stroke, stop, then draw a bunch of strokes a bit faster, and stop, and do another stroke patch, and then undo, the last stroke patch is cleared first, another undo will clear the “middle” stroke patch, another undo will clear the first single stroke i made. it “just works”, and doesn’t get in the way.

nothing else i’ve used does this or gets it right – its either undo-per-stroke, or the timing pattern recognition is not in sync with me and removes way too much/too little of my drawing history. this sort of workflow feedback enhances the artist’s abilities and really boosts the value of digital drawing tools. it’s what elevates the tools beyond the physical limitations of ink on paper.

Yes, I completely agree with you: ClipStudio is the only application that feels entirely “right” to me when drawing and inking. I forget I am working digitally in ClipStudio - which isn’t the case with other applications.

[Yes, I noticed that as well - most forums put answers at the bottom of the thread, which makes it easy to keep track of all the messages. This is the only forum that I am aware of that behaves like this.]

In my opinion Illustrator and Photoshop feel like bulky bulldozers compared to the “lightness” and feeling of control in ClipStudio. Adobe’s software just cannot keep up… at all in this regard. ClipStudio offers a number of incredibly handy tools for quick and efficient stroke editing as well.

It works well together in a pipeline with animation software such as Toonboom and OpenTOonz. I draw in CS, and then export the drawings at a high resolution (bitmap) for import into TB or OpenTOonz.

By the way, in OT I found the centerline convert to vector option to be near perfect for my inks - beautifully converted variable width single strokes are generated. In TB I have not been able to reproduce this yet. The convert to vector option creates outlines, and converting to pencil lines destroys the quality of the lines, unfortunately.

ClipStudio will not export to a vector format, so if you want vectors in either OT or TB the lines must be converted back to vector. OT does a splendid job, while TB struggles in this regard. Then again, bitmaps are also usable.

I claim to be no expert on CUDA but Nvidia’s cores are basically like AMD’s Stream Processors right? And aren’t those cores, processors part of the GPU? So, how do you separate one from the other? Isn’t more cores better? I have also heard both of those terms, Cuda cores and Stream Processors called Shader Units. Again, isn’t that involved in Open GL performance?

The other thing is that we don’t all just use our computer, desktop, laptop just for Toon Boom. I kept upgrading my graphics card in my Mac Pro because the requirements to run Apple’s Motion were getting more aggressive. More and more effects were being offloaded to the GPU, to see effects in realtime, etc. That original Nvidia GT 8800 card only had 512 MB of RAM and the CUDA cores were 112.

The GTX 680 that ultimately replaced it has 4 GB of RAM and 1536 CUDA cores. Yes, the memory bandwidth and clock speed all increased dramatically but going from 112 cores to 1536 cores did nothing for performance? Really?

I get that something like Apple’s Open CL and Nvidia’s CUDA can harness and maximize the power of all of those cores, but doesn’t the GPU use those cores regardless? Isn’t the GPU made up of those cores, and the cores make up that GPU? So, again more cores is better, yes?