Harmony vs. Anime Studio Pro

Hello, I’m a fairly new animator (barely half a year’s experience in Flash) moving onto potential new software to mingle with.

I’m curious about how Harmony in terms of animation ability compares to Anime Studio Pro. I’ve searched around but what I find is either outdated version comparisons or very very bare bones comparisons.

So I figure I would ask somebody who possibly had experience (recent preferred) with one or both of these programs to tell me how they feel and the learning curves for both.


hi, I own both softwares, Harmony has superior Drawing and Painting Tools and in my opinion and is better suited for Onion Skin or frame by frame animation, nice graphic art can also be made with ASP and it has very good bones to rig and animate characters, and shapes can be deformed and animated as you please, both are great vector based animation programs, but Harmony can be upgraded from essentials, advanced, premium which is tops, Harmony is used for a lot of big productions and is a better software to use if you want to pursue a professional animation career. also it depends how talented you are as an artist I have seen great animations done in old versions of Flash, and great animations can be made in ASP, even though personally I would rather use Flash just to make a website if I had to, but it’s easier to use Harmony or ASP for making animations.

Do not waste your time with Anime Studio Pro,

Toon Boom Harmony is the way to go…

It is strange how software intended for animation does not feature adequate drawing capability. Until version 11 you could not draw a natural looking line in ASP. You had to fake it with a polyline type of tool. I have been open to experimentation and have the latest version of both Harmony and ASP. I prefer the approach Toon Boom Harmony takes in every aspect. You could say both are idiosyncratic however ASP comes at everything from another planet. ASP only in the latest version added frame by frame capability. It still requires jumping through hoops. You can set up dials and switches to automate movement in ASP however I find that movement achieved though direct manipulation, as done in Harmony, looks more natural and nuanced. Both have free trial versions. If you go this route make sure that you read and watch a lot of tutorials. You will not be able to do much in either without a lot of familiarizing and experimentation.

Anime Studio Pro is far more powerful than Harmony for cut-out style animation. Harmony is better than Anime Studio for drawing and frame by frame animation.

Just saying one is more powerful is vague and useless to anyone trying to understand the differences. Please be specific. What can be done in one that cannot be done in the other? Thank you.

By more powerful, I mean that Anime Studio Pro, and the plugin-in/scripts that are developed for it, make the job of constructing and animating cut-out characters easier.
As you well know Anime Studio Pro goes beyond the definition of cut-out animation as you are able to manipulate the very geometry of the drawings (Anime Studio Pro is in many ways more similar to a 3D program like Maya than to convential animation/drawing software, and indeed you are modeling your characters rather than drawing them. )
To a certain extent you can deform geometry with the curve and envelope deformers, but not to the same extent and with the point accuracy of anime studio. Also Anime Studio allows for organisation of the shape shifting point animation by means of smart bones and dials.

Anime Studio Pro allows for easier reuse of animation, Mike Kelley has produced some excellent scripts (and youtube tutorials) showing off this potential. Swiss Army Bones and it’s predecessor, Walk Assist allow you to create walks, runs, sneaks, basically any skeletal movement and reuse that on other characters. Also this movement is relative and additive, i.e. adding the cycle will walk your character accross the screen, without sliding feet. Harmony cannot do any of this, and because of the way the animation is stored, it is absolute and any animation you try to reuse will not add onto the characters position.

There is so much more, but do your own research you can trial both.

Personally I have both Harmony 12 Premium and Anime Studio Pro 11 and I use them both.
I tend to favour Anime Studio Pro because I mainly do cut-out animation and it gives me better results faster. I get more done with it, even though I started with Harmony back in version 9. Anime Studio Pro is something I have started using within the last 2 years. I really wish Harmony could do the things Anime Studio can, because I prefer Harmony’s UI and drawing tools. But right tool for the right job.

I though was the more useless comment, perhaps it was written by one of the sales team :wink:

It seems like animestudio can do 3d rotation with 2d plains quite easily with “handles”, sorta like you have in maya. TB doesn’t have that.

EX: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ohAVI5rvRRo

I wish to be part of toon boom company :wink:

after the great answer of “MetalVagabond” I think there is not more info to add…
but here is mine as you requested a useful comment :wink:

I have tested all animation software on earth, (just missing celaction and RETAS is too expensive).

I played with Anime Studio since was called: “Lost Marble MOHO”
the bone system is very very nice and powerful, but you cannot draw in this software, the draw system awful!!!
now they say "New! Create authentic frame-by-frame animation"do not believe this marketing trick, slow and unstable…the new feature AS 2016 is “Copy and Paste Keyframes”…is 2016 and you do not have copy and paste keyframes?? really :wink:

The UI of the software is too old and they are not planning to upgrade it, they just changed the color…the same with the workflow…

Toon Boon Harmony only competition WAS Adobe Flash, and Adobe.inc do not care about Flash…so the workflow/UI never was a priority for animation.

if you want to work in the industry you need to learn Toon Boom, if you want to be a freelance, you can use whatever you like, but toon Boom will be a lot better, easier, faster workflows etc…Do yourself a favor, start with pencil and paper or with a wacom tablet, use toon boom harmony and start learning frame by frame animation, drawing, gesture drawing, character design, etc…

Just do not waste more time (like I did) just go straight to Toon Boom Harmony :wink: