Harmony Premium vs Essentials for simple cut-out animation?

I have more works in mind than just cut-out animation and plan to upgrade eventually no matter what, but I am interested in knowing what Harmony Premium can do for simple cut-out animation, like old school South Park style animation. It seems in Harmony Essentials I can do everything I need to, rig my characters, a 3D space to work with, and have the effects to make it look decent. What exactly would Harmony Premium help me do for cut-out animation that I can’t do in Harmony Essentials?

Bump…? I cant be the only one who has experience with South Park style cut-out animation in Essentials or Premium. Would love some insight from those more experienced than I am!

You can definitely do simple stuff in essentials. The real deal breaker for me is the Node view. I’m totally spoiled by that, and would cry real tears if I had to work without it.

What exactly does the node view allow you to do? I apologize if that’s too broad of a question, but I don’t have time to watch videos on premium/advanced and really learn about it since I’m constantly working on my project. To me, it just seems like a more complicated view of the timeline view, I know I’m wrong, but from an inexperienced users perspective that’s what it looks like.

It’s a more intuitive view than the timeline view for setting up your rigs.
Trying to do complex hierarchies by nesting things in the timeline is much more difficult than having the visual reference of the node view.
Everything is laid out in a visual map, so you can see all the connections at the same time. It’s easier to adjust the little chords than to drag things around in the timeline.
Even when animating I prefer to select things from the node view, so I’m 100% sure I’m using the right peg.

The more complex your stuff the more valuable it is. Simple ball bounce, or south-park style stuff probably wont give you much of a headache. I work on studio-level rigs, so there might be a tonne of textures and shadows, and extra nodes. These can easily be sorted and grouped in the node view. It’s really an organizational tool.

Note: I was writing this as Tracy responded but it might help so I am posting it anyway:

You should give the few people visiting the site, especially on a weekend, a chance. This is not a very active forum.

Tracy and others can answer this better than me for sure but for starters the node view allows you to work outside the linear constraints of the Timeline. There is a limit to working in layers. There is also a threshold where things become difficult to navigate in the Timeline. Working with nodes and the node view is sort of like being able to access the work elevated with an aerial perspective instead of having to navigate through corridors.

You have better access to the pieces of rigs through the node system and there are also things that are impossible to duplicate using the Timeline because you cannot get from A to Z any other way than to helicopter in.

Another way to think of an advantage of the Node View is like the difference between having a Table of Contents with hyperlinks for a manual or trying to locate and navigate to topics without one. Once where you need to be you don’t just read you build things.

I hope this gets the idea across.

Thank you both for the information, I think I understand how the node view could help with more complex scenes. From what I know about Harmony Premium, it seems like being able to utilize expressions would be of the greatest help.

I apologize if I seemed like I was being pushy for an answer, I just didn’t want my question to get buried before I received an answer.

No need to apologize. I was going to say you were not pushy but you seemed a bit impatient however I just realized your initial post was a full month to the day before you bumped up the thread instead of a few hours as I had thought. I guess your initial post quickly dropped below other threads. There was a stream of SPAM threads making matters worse as well.