First day on the job with Harmony

So I have started my new job today, and the first thing they have me learn is Harmony. I have extensive experience with all sorts of animation, compositing, and 3d animation software, and my first experience with Harmony are not exactly… good.

  1. Importing bitmap images at the exact resolution without Harmony re-interpreting them is proving to be fraught with issues. As far as I could tell, this is because of the fact that Harmony works primarily as a vector-based app - however, it is very, VERY frustrating to say the least.

  2. no graph editor to change animation curves? I do not mean that aberration “set ease for Multiple Parameters”. Who ever came up with that?

  3. no guides? No way to setup your own safe areas?

  4. And the interface so far tends to get in the way of things quite a lot. Perhaps I am spoiled, but here are a couple of things I am encountering:

  • I cannot drag my mouse over the checkmarks, locks, etc. to quickly turn off/on items. One by one, or first select a group. A bit cumbersome.

  • as far as I can tell I need to open a separate properties window for each layer?

  • Can the interface be zoomed or enlarged in any way?

  • timeline interface: can it be zoomed, enlarged in any way? (not zooming in/out frames)

  • can I move the timeline into its own window?

  • can windows like the x-sheet be pinned to be on top of the other windows?

  • buttons and icons are quite confusing at times - any way to add text labels?

  • in imported images dialog I switch to “create single layer named” and start typing a name - does not work - strange, word is highlighted.

  • all those tiny input fields are difficult and awkward to control at the high resolution I am working at (2x2560*1440 screens)

  • I work on a dual screen setup. xsheet and network windows do not move to the front when I switch to the main Harmony window. I am forced to hide other open apps or switch each of Harmony’s windows separately to the front.

  • a lot of the program’s interface feels neurotic: one the one hand it uses animation terminology, on the other hand loads of developer tech speak is introduced in the dialogs. It feels a bit disjointed, and seems more complex than it should have been. I mean, I understand everything, but I shudder at the thought how any of my animator friends without a technical background would ever learn this.

Anyway, I do not mean to complain here. It is a very capable app, and I love the network (reminds me of Nuke, etc). It’s just that the interface could have been so much better in my opinion.

Of course, I do not have a lot of experience yet (just a couple of days), and it feels a bit archaic and old-fashioned in places. Not well thought-out, or at least, as if the interface in many places was designed by a programmer, instead of a good UX designer. The x-sheet works fine, for example. The timeline - well, good enough. Missing graph editor: inexcusable in my opinion.

Ah, well, back to work. Learning a new app is always interesting :wink: