Consensus: Harmony Essentials vs. Studio 8.1

Hi, all.

So aside from the upfront advantage of Harmony Essentials being a 64-bit application, how else does it compare to Studio 8.1 overall?

Given what has been added/subtracted/modified, would you say that one program is far and away better than the other?

I appreciate anyone’s opinions on the subject.

I would try to get Harmony Advantage instead of Essential, Toon Boom still has some nice features like drop shadow for cut-out done away with and scene manager, of course Harmony Premium is the best, awesome work can be done in Toon Boom Studio if you’ve invested the time into being a good artist and know the software well, I would stick to Toon Boom Studio until you can get Advantage, the rendering is way better in Advantage too than essential

Well I haven’t really gotten to know TB Studio all that much yet, so that advantage doesn’t exist. And I won’t be able to afford Harmony Advanced anytime soon. So given that, would you still suggest that I stick with Studio instead of upgrading to Harmony Essentials? You also mentioned that the rendering in Advanced is better than that in Essentials, but what about the rendering in Essentials compared to Studio?

Toon Boom Studio is a little better than essential at rendering, I would only recommend essentials if you’re starting out with toon boom products and don’t have $1000 for advance or $2000 for premium but upgrading from Toon Boom Studio will help bring the cost down, to get good instruction for toon boom studio go to infinite skills search toon boom, sorry I meant Harmony Advance in my posts not Advantage

Perhaps you need to define what you are saying is “better.” The rendering should be the same in Essential, Advanced and Premium. The only difference is the features being rendered. The three levels of Harmony share a superior software engine.

I tested all the Harmony versions before I decided on the Premium version, Harmony Premium had the best rendering, essential had ghosting for PNG sequence with an alpha channel, Harmony Advanced was almost as good as Premium except for all the extra features, surprisingly Toon Boom Studio does a good job rendering PNG sequence with an alpha channel, even though it’s slower

I get what you are saying.

I started with Studio. In the process of learning how to use it I watched Animate, Animate Pro and Harmony tutorials in addition to Studio videos. Everything looked easier beyond Studio. The additional features not only do more they also do things in a thoughtful manner that facilitates the process. You can do a lot with Studio but it is a lot more difficult in so many ways. The choice quickly became Animate or Pro. Harmony was more money than I had any business thinking I should consider when I was just beginning to dabble in animation.

Now I only go back to Studio to taste the water so when I return to Animate Pro I feel a boost from working with the superior tools. It also helps shift things in my mind when I try things in both programs. It is similar to only understanding last year’s classes once you are in this year’s. Sometimes it helps to divorce yourself of a subject. Only then can you see it in a different way.

I have not been able to try any level of Harmony 12 with my current computer so I have only based my thoughts on what I have read in Toon Boom’s literature, watching videos and reading user comments.

I got to where I could “think” with Studio’s tools and knew how to get what I was after. There were things about the timeline- adding tabs for working with XYZ controls, that I liked. Setting up different saved workspaces is a real timesaver.
The real disappointment to Studio was there was no way to open Studio projects in Animate/Animate Pro/Harmony. When I’d bought Studio in 2011 I’d assumed a feature-disabled, upgrade-able path. A character library in Studio had to be exported as pdfs to retain vector info.
I want bone deform and the ability to work with outline and fill separately as one can with Animate Pro. But at least Harmony Essentials aka Stage will upgrade. Best- S

It just costs you $99 to upgrade to Harmony Essentials. What a deal! I feel cheated and no one will reply to anything with any real understanding that this upgrade is for suckers, and I’m one of them.

As of June 14, 2015 it is $126. Does that make you feel any better? :slight_smile:

and more than that, definitely not.

Totally - you can never get hold of them. Typical that such a ‘global company’ only has help desk between 8.30 and 5pm Monday to Friday Montreal Time. Bit a hard for the poor suckers that use it anywhere else in the world and need to get on and get their work done. Every other big organisation in the world has 24 hour help desk. This is pathetic. When you ring them they say they are going to open at 8.30am so you wait and wait and wait and then call at 8.44 and they don’t take calls because they are closed.
If you want to do anything to timeline find another program because the silver service sucks the big time!!!

9am …and edit …still waiting…apparently they open at 8.30 …???

montreal uses eastern standard time not “montreal time” its only 1 hour off of central time 2 hours off mountain time and 3 hours off of pacific. they are not a global company. they are a company based out of montreal quebec canada. it only makes sense that they are open during a timeframe within the normal working hours of their timezone. to expect anything else is what is unrealistic